Dining in the Rockies

 

This past weekend we had an opportunity to sample some of the local cuisine that can be found in both Canmore and Banff.

In Canmore there are scores of shops, restaurants and pubs to frequent for whatever you fancy at the time. On Saturday afternoon Megan and I cruised down main street Canmore and after finding some rock star parking in front of The Grizzly Paw, we went in and enjoyed some of the local flavor.

The Grizzly Paw is a brew pub, meaning that they brew their own beer. There are daily brewery tours and one has a choice of where to sit, whether it is outside on the patio, inside in front of the bar and a flat screen or upstairs in the restaurant section. The World Cup was on so we opted for the pub area, which I welcomed considering we had been outside all morning and it was rather hot out. The menu had all your classic pub fair. Nachos, Burgers, Steaks, the list goes on. Megan went for the soup, which is changed daily. I made a game time decision right before I ordered and got a burger called “the Angry Burger”. Being that all their beers are brewed on site, most menu items have a suggested beer pairing, and most sauces are made with one of the beers. The Angry Burger was the hottest burger I had ever eaten, thanks to the Jalapenos piled on top of the patty.

Beer wise Megan and I both went for their Raspberry Ale. As fruit beers go, it was delish. Given that it was hotter than sin out, I found it quiet refreshing. The only downside was that all this food and drink made me sleepy so after lunch, naturally, it was nap time.

For anyone visiting Canmore I strongly recommend the Paw. Prices were reasonable, the beer was great and the atmosphere was awesome. A cool thing about The Grizzly Paw, is that there is a store out back that sells merchandise, beer, condiments, and their new menu item, sodas. We tried the grapefruit soda with Sunday’s lunch and it was very good. On a side note anyone getting the nachos should be quite hungry. If you have 2 or more in your party you will be fine.

Saturday night we headed into Banff and after a bit of walking around our appetites once again grew and a dining spot was found. It seemed that Grizzlies were the theme and we wandered into the Grizzly House for some Fondue. The Grizzly House is not your everyday joint and those who go should be prepared to spend $50-$60 dollars per person. Vegans and Vegetarians should go somewhere else. This place is for carnivores and there is so much meat on the menu that I’m pretty sure almost every animal out there is invited to the party.

There are many choices that are not listed on the menu so do not hesitate to ask the host or your server. We chose the 4 course meal, which included a soup or a salad to start. A cheese fondue to stoke your appetite. Main course which you cook on a piece of granite heated to 700 degrees. Finished off with a chocolate fondue. When I read this on the menu, I was totally convinced this would be much more food that I could handle. Turned out it was portioned almost perfectly and I left feeling very content.

 For our choice of meat we took the road less traveled and asked a few key questioned and ordered from the menu that wasn’t listed. Our first choice was your the “Alberta Platter”. It came with a selection of Beef, Bison, Elk and Venison. The Elk was my favorite. Our other order was a seafood platter which had Shrimp, Scallops, Swordfish, Salmon and Halibut. I steered clear of the Halibut, but the Swordfish was unreal. You also have your pick of a hot rock or hot oil. We tried both and found that each one worked well but if you didn’t have something cooking on the rock that it cooled quite quickly.

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