In Alaska: Where the Chili Is Chilly

In the fall of 1978, Fran Tate had the notion to open a Mexican restaurant in Barrow, Alaska. She had canvassed the town—there are, if you count the transients, roughly 3,000 people there, 80% of them Eskimos—and Mexican food is what they said they favored, overwhelmingly. The more she thought about it, the more she liked the idea, and one day, in a fit of enterprise, she seized a board, a piece of two-by-four, it being the nearest thing at hand, and drew her plans on it—the kitchen, the dining room seating arrangement, all...

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