Banff / Jasper restaurants
- Oaktown Bob
Just got back from a week visiting Banff/Lake Louise/Jasper, thought I post my experiences.
Grizzly: in line with other comments, go for the experience, not the food. I'm glad I went, but I won't be going back. You get to eat some "exotic" meats that you won't get elsewhere, but that's about it in terms of the "experience". And the sauces are gelatenous.
Coyotes Grill: good for breakfast. I asked some locals where they'd take a friend from out of town and this one came up every time. We went twice, and would go again. Good pancakes, fritattas. And it was just about the only place that didn't have old 70's cover music in the background. (While I can't explain it, many restaurants play really bad covers of really good 70's music in the background).
Salt Lick: Had just a corned beef sandwich, but it was good. Rye bread lightly toasted. The wife had some bean/corn chowder she really liked (it tasted a little pasty to me). Some other folks in our group went here for a steak dinner and gave it two thumbs up. (Steak is big in this area). Background music tends to the loud side, all the waitstaff wears black.
The Terrace (in the Banff Park Lodge): dinner was good. Fish was a common selection in our group. Had a tasty seafood chowder. Located a little off the main street and not busy at all. Would go back.
The Depot: an old train depot. As other posts say, the food is good and worth a visit. I would go back. Everyone in our group liked it. Pretty casual atmosphere. Deserves more than just 5 lines of discussion, but I can't remember all that I ate.
The Post Hotel: a little more upscale (you have to wear pants) and more expensive. Impressive wine cellar. You can see it all behind glass walls. I had the caribou, which was tasty. Would recommend it and would also go back. The seats filled up the night we were there, and remember, this is when business is slow. A prior posting compared the Post Hotel to French Laundry in Northern California. While the food itself was quite good, it wasn't quite the French Laundry level. And the overall dining experience or event also was a few steps below.
The dining room at the Icefields Chalet: edible, passable, but not fine dining. I had chicken cordon bleu covered in brown gravy and onions, which was a new experience for me. Not exactly as described on the menu. They also served chinese food, which was fine. My recommendation is to go with the chinese food and don't expect much.
Dining room at Chateau Jasper Hotel: dinner was generally good. I had ribs, which were quite tender, although the sauce was bland. Again, everyone in the group gave it a positive response and I would go back. The breakfast buffet, on the other hand, was disappointing. Skip it.
And that's it. I've gotten some good recommendations off this board, so I hope this helps others.