Posts Tagged ‘Alberta’

Great Food in the Rocky Mountains

May 3rd, 2010

I’ve just gotten back from a weekend conference in Jasper.  I stayed at the Jasper Park Lodge, where as always, the food was fabulous, but not all that exciting.  What really made me smile were all the other hidden gems I discovered on the trips to and from the mountains.

Breakfast at Cafe Mondo

A friend who worked in the park recommended a few places to visit while I was up there.  We had dinner at the De’d Dog Bar in the Astoria Hotel – I went for the extremely tasty bison/deer/elk burger with a side of the best fries I’ve had in ages.  Breakfast was at Café Mondo – a crispy ham and cheese croissant with a side of fruit salad.  Great coffee at this little restaurant, and a friendly, casual atmosphere.

On the trip home, we stopped in Canmore for an early dinner.  Our first choice, the Crazyweed Kitchen, was closed because it wasn’t yet 5:00pm.  Fortunately, we happened upon The Grizzly Paw Brewery which was most definitely open.  The place was full of families and groups of friends, both inside and out on the patio.  We ordered up a burger, a steak and a big plate of fish and chips.  Everything was perfect pub food.  I even convinced the bartender to mix their Nut Brown and Raspberry Wheat ales to make a PB&J – something we came up with in Halifax, that I had been craving for about two years.  It did not disappoint.  I’ll be on the lookout for some Grizzly Paw bottles the next time I’m at my local liquor store, since I’m sure it would go perfectly with some Valbella sausages (my previous favourite Canmore food export).

Spaghetti with sausage and arugula

Waterton Lakes National Park

March 2nd, 2010


I just spent a wonderful weekend in Waterton.  I needed a break from “the big city” so I headed down to the mountains for two nights at the Waterton Lakes Lodge Resort.  The lodge is a grouping of small, multi-room chalets with a communal rec centre and a central restaurant and pub.  The pub has a fantastic second-storey view of Mount Vimy, one of my favourite mountains in the park.

Vimy’s is pretty much the only restaurant open in Waterton since the Kilmorey burned down last year.  They serve tasty pub fare, with a bit of an Alberta twist.  For dinner the first night, I had a bison, mushroom and red pepper stew that I’ll be trying to recreate later in the week.  Their house salad features a killer saskatoon and garlic salad dressing that goes well with sweet potato fries and big Olympic hockey games.

I’m looking forward to a summer visit, when the weather is warmer, the patio is open, and they have an expanded menu.

The Crowsnest Pass

August 17th, 2006

The Livingstone Range

I spent some time in the Crowsnest Pass this past week, and thought I would pass along a few recommendations. The Pass is a great summer getaway, with beautiful scenery, interesting history, and some good options for visiting foodies. The Frank Slide Interpretive Centre gives a great overview of the area’s history, as well as a perfect view of the mountains, and should definitely be a stop on your trip. If you’re driving down to the Pass from Calgary, highway 22 is fastest, and is a gorgeous drive to boot. Just watch out for the occasional deer and other wildlife. ;)

Cranberry Orange cookies

The Cinnamon Bear is a great place to stop for coffee and baking, right on highway 3. The owners are friends of my parents who used to own a B&B in Edmonton, and the hospitality experience really shows. The coffee shop is always full of locals and travellers, looking for a hot cup of Kicking Horse coffee and a good bit of conversation. The homemade cookies are divine, and the sandwiches (made on freshly-baked buns) are the perfect recharge during a long mountain drive.

Cinnamon Bear Bakery & Café on Urbanspoon

Mountain Bakery European Cafe

The Mountain Bakery is a great little cafe on the business loop in Blairmore. The owner moved to Alberta from the Loire valley in France, and makes traditional French breads and pastries in this rather unexpected setting. The baguettes are perfect for a creekside picnic, and if you’ve never tried pain au chocolat, and won’t be making it to France anytime soon, this is the place to go.

Mountain Bakery
12849 20 Avenue (Main Street)
Blairmore, Alberta
Telephone: (403) 562-7999

If you’ve been driving for hours, and need a protein-filled pick-me-up, Rum Runner is the place to go. This funky country bar serves up great burgers, and freshly-tossed pizza. The pub bought their bar at an auction – it’s the one from Show Boat – and they’ve also got one of the old Chateau Lake Louise canoes hanging from their ceiling. I tried the jalapeno and swiss hamburger with a side salad, and while the salad was fairly lackluster, the burger was exactly what I needed – nice and spicy, with that authentic Alberta beef taste.

Rum Runner
7902 20 Avenue (Main Street)
Coleman, Alberta
Telephone: (403) 562-7552

Latte-Da Espresso and Pastry Bar – Claresholm, Alberta

August 9th, 2006

Coffee and Eccles cake, VW style

Before I leave for Halifax this fall, I plan to visit as much of my corner of Alberta as I can. There are lots of little places I want to visit (or re-visit) before I head out East, since I’m not sure when I’ll be back, or for how long. I’m planning to do some road-tripping next week, so you can expect to hear a lot about the places I eat while I’m on the road. Any recommendations for restaurants, markets, farms, etc. that are South of Calgary would be greatly appreciated.

On a recent Ikea-supply-gathering trip to Calgary, I stopped for breakfast at Latte-Da Espresso and Pastry Bar in Claresholm. (1 hour South of Calgary, 1 hour North of Lethbridge) Latte-Da is located on the far South end of the city, in an building that was once a car wash and gas station. While this probably doesn’t sound promising, this cozy local coffee shop serves up the best coffee in the city, along with fresh pastries and cookies. I went with the Eccles cake, and it was equal in taste to my English grandma’s version, and bigger, to boot. ;)

Latte-Da also makes fantastic soups and sandwiches, which I had a chance to sample when they catered a library training session I took part in over a year ago. Everything tastes like it’s fresh off the farm, and the prices will make you glad you skipped out a pricey Calgary lunch. My small coffee and pastry cost me just $2.50, and I’m betting you could get a yummy, filling lunch for about $5.00.

If you’re heading down highway 2 this summer, make sure you stop by!

Latte-Da Espresso & Pastry Bar
4416 1 St W
Claresholm, Alberta
Telephone: (403) 625-2588

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