Banff, Jasper, and the Icefields Parkway
At the end of June 2012, we escaped to Alberta for a long weekend.
We stayed at the Pension Tannenhof B&B, a cozy inn just a short walk from downtown Banff.
After checking in we walked downtown in search of food.
We started with Elk Nachos at Elk & Oarsman Restaurant & Pub.
They have a rooftop patio with an amazing 360° view of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
Our next stop was The Grizzly House for Cheese Fondue for Two.
The next morning we started our journey towards Jasper along the Icefields Parkway.
My friend Gary recommended the GyPSy Guide for our drive.
It’s a small device that attaches to your windshield and plays commentary through your car’s stereo.
As you drive through an area of interest, GyPSy Guide automatically plays an audio specific to that area. I highly recommend it!
Our first stop was Lake Louise.
It was even more gorgeous than I had imagined.
Moraine Lake is situated in the Valley of the Ten Peaks and rivals Lake Louise in beauty and fame.
The view from the top of the Rockpile Trail is spectacular.
The Icefields Parkway is described as one of the most beautiful drives in the world.
And fascinating lakes and mountain peaks.
We checked into the Park Place Inn in Jasper, showered, and went to Tekarra Restaurant for dinner.
Tekarra opened in June 1952. For the past 17 years, Chef David George Husereau has been creating world-famous dishes there.
He certainly wowed us with his set menu for the night: A creative spin on traditional diner food.
The first course — BLT:
King Crab, Pancetta, and Micro Greens on a bed of Risotto.
The second course — Potato Salad:
Duck Confit Boiled New Potatoes with an in-house Smoked Bacon and Gorgonzola Foam with a Soft Boiled Egg, Pickle, and Dill.
The third course — Fish & Chips:
Furikake Crusted Chilean Sea Bass on a Potato Pate, Cauliflower Tapenade, Japanese Cucumber Salad, and Aioli.
The fourth course was a Vodka Watermelon Palate Cleanser.
The fifth course — Roast Beef Dinner:
Sous-vide Filet of Beef with Au jus, Foie Gras, Lobster Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Corn with Spinach, Truffle Flakes and Truffle Oil.
And last but not least, our final course — Bread Pudding:
Three Chocolate Bread Pudding infused with Banana Liquor and topped with Vanilla Ice Cream.
It was an amazing meal and we loved his creativity!
The next morning we explored a little bit of Jasper.
Pyramid Mountain overlooks the town of Jasper and Pyramid Lake lies at the foot of the mountain.
The Old Fort Point trail is a fairly simple hike with great views of Jasper National Park, the Athabasca River, and the Canadian Rockies.
Our journey back to Banff was a lot like our drive to Jasper — wildlife, lakes, waterfalls, glaciers, and mountains.
Before leaving Jasper we picked up a couple of sandwiches from Patricia Street Deli .
That place is amazing. From the second we walked through the screen door we were treated like long lost friends.
We both had the rotisserie chicken piled with a bunch of toppings.
I’m a big fan of scenic picnics with delicious sandwiches.
After lunch we hiked along another waterfall.
There was “Keep Out Danger” tape in one area because the water was so high.
But we snuck-in for a quick look anyway.
We checked in to our Banff B&B and then headed downtown for dinner.
The Bison Restaurant is a rustic restaurant known for game and regionally inspired meals.
John started with Diver Scallops and Braised Bison Ravioli with a brown butter sauce, fried sage, and roasted garlic.
I had the Open Flame Escargot with bacon, roasted garlic butter, gruyère, and puff pastry.
John’s main course was the Carmen Creek Bison Ribeye with smoked shallots, thyme, and a red wine jus.
I went for the Carmen Creek Bison Short Ribs with baby potatoes, carrots, turnips, mushrooms, and bacon.
Yes — everything was as good as it looks!
The next morning we drove to the airport via Johnston Canyon.
The Johnston Creek has cut through the limestone rock for thousands of years to form sheer canyon walls, waterfalls, tunnels, and pools.
Our weekend in Alberta was everything we wanted it to be: R&R mixed with great food.
Even though we packed a lot in to just a couple of days, it was a very relaxing trip.
There is just something special about experiencing nature’s canvas.
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