Matt Mosteller, For The Calgary Herald
Published: Thursday, December 13, 2012
Jammed with deadlines, gridlocked traffic, and more family and social scheduling then you know what to do with? Not only are you a candidate for a quick Rocky Mountain escape to refresh your mind, with a multitude of flavours and locally sourced ingredients, the food offerings of the mountain towns around Calgary are becoming increasingly known as foodie havens. With that in mind, here are the top foodie stops – in a mountain town near you.
Quick tips to start: Don’t overpack. Have your bags pre-packed and loaded, and beat the traffic by leaving the office early. Don’t forget to program the iPod with your road-trip playlist.
Food to thaw frosted taste buds abounds in Fernie, a three-hour drive from Calgary, where a foodie transformation has changed this Rocky Mountain town named by Rolling Stone magazine as the coolest town in North America into a stomach pleaser.
Loaf Bakery and Restaurant is the newest kid on the Fernie block, with new digs on Main Street. Known far and wide for its honest bread, Loaf has created a notable offering for your Friday feast. Start with the roast beet salad and move to what the establishment is known for; artisan pizzas. Try the Vegetariana or the one aptly named for the legend of powder, The Griz. Both won our recent group over, but many also enjoy such new menu main dishes as braised elk osso bucco and a tantalizing Parmesan risotto.
Sushi in the mountains? Yamagoya is a place that delivers the goods. So get here early as the lines can be long if you come after 7 p.m. The tuna sashimi melts in your mouth.
Time for a Picnic? Take your classic outdoor feast to new heights with farm-to-fork freshness at Picnic, a top dining spot in Fernie. It offers simply celestial cuisine and endlessly flowing wine.
Another hour from Fernie, along the beautiful Kootenay River valley, is Kimberley, sitting on a forested perch on a bench of the Purcell Mountains, complete with a walkable, car-free German-style village.
Dinner in a 350-year-old Bavarian farmhouse should pique your interest. The Old Bauernhaus Restaurant (which was taken apart and transported from Germany and reassembled in Kimberley) is a regional favourite that prides itself on locally sourced ingredients. Your hosts and chefs Nils and Michelle Fuhge are passionate about their freshly prepared specialties with a menu full of stunners like Buttermilk Marinated Heritage Farms Free Range Chicken Breast and Venison Geschnetzeltes. It is vital to book in advance so you don’t miss out.
Like riding a bike for a meal? Check out Pedal & Tap, a place that hugs the pedestrian-friendly Platzl like an old friend. A casual, fun foodie delight that feels more like you are at a good friend’s kitchen party than a restaurant, dining here is simple and good. Start with Lettuce Ride or Speedy Spinach and end with my favourite, Pedal to the Meadow; a burger for vegi fanatics.
Just shy of three hours from Calgary takes you to a whole new world. Wrapped in endless views of Rocky Mountain spires, the town of Golden gives you time to time to relax, dine and take in nature.
Are the Top 50 Best Places to Eat in Canada on your bucket list? Just winning this award once is a huge coup, but Golden’s Cedar House Restaurant has won it six times. Adorned with local art, warm colours, crackling fire and candlelight dining, Cedar House brings everything together to create a unique ambience. If that is not enough to get you going, then the espresso and maple syrup marinated buffalo steak will rev your senses up. Or check out the black sesame crusted wild Pacific halibut fillet.
Love Grill & Liquids? My stomach frequently takes me to the front door of Eleven 22 in downtown Golden, tucked away in a renovated turn-of-the-century house, Eleven 22 is a perfect escape for fine food and a warm atmosphere. Warm the belly with house-made seasonal soups, the lamb shank Australian or the Asian fusion miso-sake bowl filled with a bounty of savory ocean delights.
Looking for a quickie? An hour from Calgary, Can-more has grown over the years into a foodie and fitness Mecca.
Trough Dining Company in Canmore may only have 10 tables, but that just makes this spot all the more of a romantic secret. And the food fits the bill, with free range chicken and, of course, the local choice, AAA Alberta beef tenderloin.
Crazyweed isn’t something residents of Nelson, B.C. partake in regularly, rather it’s a place full of foodie fun and energy on Railway Avenue in Can-more. A rich wine list matching a star lineup, from Alberta sterling rib-eye to my spicy star, the red seafood curry bowl, Crazyweed will leave you fulfilled and on Rocky Mountain time.
Need a health stop? Communitea in Canmore is aptly named because it is a great place for socializing and enjoying and warm beverages. But it is the healthy offering and friendly staff that keeps me coming back to this place. Communitea has fresh food worth the wait, from picture perfect salads to a dish that takes you to a spiritually special place, the Buddha bowl with tofu.
Matt Mosteller is better known as Powder Matt through his blog at PowderMatt.com or at Calgary Herald.com. He spends his days on the slopes working at Resorts of the Canadian Rockies. Check out this adventure lover’s first book at mattmosteller.org
Source: Calgary Herald
© Calgary Herald 2012