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Aug 16, 2010 01:05 PM

Weekend in Canmore

Just returned from an anniversary weekend in Canmore:

The Trough -- This place used to be near the top of our list to eat and now, not so sure. It makes sense now that we've learned the original owners had sold; we are used to their high standards and sadly, The Trough seems to have seemed to slipped a bit. We both shared the Mexican themed pizza for an appy. That was probably the best part of our meal; luscious spiced beef tenderloin on crisp flat bread with too numerous delicious toppings to remember. To split hairs maybe there was too much topping and it ended up being a messy but delicious affair.

For mains we had the paella - shrimp and scallops, chicken apple sausage in a spicy tomato sauce on a bed of basmati rice with mustard seeds. The tomato sauce seemed highly acidic which made it less enjoyable and my husband's plate was heaped high with rice and I barely got any, the sauce almost running off the plate. Shrimp were perfectly cooked and scallops were overdone and rubbery. Dessert was the sticky toffee pudding, which was incredible, and the coconut cream pie. TBH I had better coconut cream pie at a truck stop in Cabazon, California; there was just something off about the flavors, plus it was very heavy. We're willing to give them another chance, but with our meal topping $140 with tip and (not including drinks), we were disappointed. Service was excellent and attentive.

The Iron Goat -- Very pleasantly surprised. We've driven by many times, but decided to give it a chance after hearing about their unique duck wings. Contrary to what I've heard, service was very pleasant and efficient. Gorgeous view and we were seated overlooking The Three Sisters. I had the salad with BC peaches, arugula, roasted tomatoes and bocchini. There was some old yellowed arugula that I had to pick out, which was a bit of a turn-off, but the salad was overall delicious. The duck wings were simply amazing; they are done in a confit with mangoes and spices, then served with black bean sauce. TBH found the black bean sauce way too overpowering and these wings are spiced beautifully enough stand out on their own. The gameburger was simply amazing and if you were to have one burger in Canmore, this is it. The chef/owner stopped by for a chat and admitted to an uneven start, but is committed to serving, fresh local made-in house food. The menu offerings look tasty, fresh and modern and we look forward to returning.

Chef's Studio Japan -- not much to say to what I've already raved about; fresh beautiful sushi made by talented female sushi chefs. My faves are their special eel roll and as always, the scallop sushi is silky, absolutely the freshest I've ever had and melts in your mouth. They had toro in and it was sublime and we had the best tempura in the Bow Valley area. You can't go wrong here and the prices I find are very reasonable for Canmore.

Hope this helps anyone travelling out to the Rockies and wanting some recommendations.

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  1. We had dinner -- six people -- at Trough a couple of weeks ago. We loved our appies and mains were mostly very good (my halibut was STUNNING), but desserts were just- terrible. Coconut cream pie was awful, tasted of nothing but cinnamon. Sticky toffee "pudding" was as dry as toast and the measly, tiny thumbprint of ice cream last about two bites.

    Try Marra's Way Sushi next time too- incredibly cheap pseudo kaiten-style (served on a big table); everything I've had there has been absolutely deicious. Chicken karaage is spectacular and we dropped only about $16 each for sushi that rivals any I've had.

    1 Reply
    1. re: John Manzo

      We just came back from a week in Canmore and Banff. Didn't go to any of the restaurants listed above, but we were impressed with several other places!

      breakfast: Aroma's was terrific in every way, the food at The Wood was good and it was a lovely place to sit outside on a beautiful morning, and we loved The Summit but were there on such a smoky day that there was no view at all (will have to go back)

      coffee: We thought the house blend at Communitea was the best in town. Coffee Mine was good, too.

      lunch: We ate at Wild Flour in Banff a few times and enjoyed the soups and grilled veggie sandwiches as well as the good, strong coffee.

      lunch/dinner: Rocky Mtn Flatbread pizza was terrific, especially the thin crust pies listed at the top of the menu. Broccoli/mushroom soup and green salad were fresh and satisfying.

      The terrace off the bar at the Chateau Lake Louise, which we ventured onto because of the glorious view was (of course) overpriced but worth it, we thought. We enjoyed salads and sandwiches and my teenage son now swears by their steak sandwich. Really good sweet potato fries.

      And on the way back to the airport in Calgary, we had a delicious and fun meal at Diner Deluxe. What a hoot.

      Thanks to everyone on this board for the great tips.

      The Coffee Mine
      802 8 St #103, Canmore T1W 2B7, CA

      Communitea Cafe
      Mistaya Place 6 Ave 10 St, Canmore T1W 3L8, CA

      Diner Deluxe
      804 Edmonton Trail NE, Calgary, AB T2E 3J6, CA

    2. I go to the Canmore area often and the best place for casual dining is The Grizzly Paw on Main Street. It's a microbrewery - brewing their own pops as well as beers. Their burgers are terrific! You can choose from a few kinds of meat. My favourite is The Angry Bison Burger. Their house salad is called Roughage and it's terrific, as are their fries. So, I always opt to accompany my burger with half fries, half Roughage salad. And, since their home-brewed pop is non-stop, I never get the same refill twice. I also go to the shop and stock up on my favourite beer to take home - Rutting Elk, pop and Barbeque Sauce.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Susen_Calgary

        I was at the Grizzly Paw about two weeks ago after doing some trail riding with some friends. 5 of us ending up having burgers, with the sixth member of our party having their pulled pork sandwich. The burgers were good but their fries were a bit of a turn-off; the fries tasted a bit fishy. We also shared their tenderloin wrapped bacon as an appy - delicious! Some excellent microbrews as well.

        Thumbs-up as well to the Rock Mtn Flatbread - great place to take kids. Over-all, lots of great culinary choices in Canmore!