[Alberta, Jasper] trip report from Jasper

I spent a week at Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rockies.

Food at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge has slipped. Very salty and skimpy meals, not what it was when it was a Canadian Pacific Hotel pre Fairmont. Shockingly bad for the pricepoint. $26 breakfast skillets, $6 cappuccino, $12 loaded baked potato soup, $36 steak and fries (maybe 4 oz of steak and pre-frozen fries).

It is worth it to take the shuttle or take a $22 cab to the town of Jasper from the Jasper Park Lodge, and head directly to The Raven Bistro or Harvest, in town.

The Raven had a lemon sesame pork schnitzel with a rhubarb chutney, which was excellent. They added crumbled chorizo and aioli to their potato salad. That was my wow meal of the whole week. Excellent chocolate tart topped with pecans, too.
Https://theravenbistro.com

Sockeye salmon at Harvest . Nice little spot that only serves dinner Thu to Sat during the winter . It is open for breakfast and lunch Mon to Sat.
https://harvestfoodanddrink.ca

I only had the nachos, shared with friends (comped by my travelling ski club) at the Jasper Brewing Company ,and a delicious cocktail called the Black Sea Bramble made with a local gin, at Jasper Park Brewing Co.
https://jasperbrewingco.ca

Evil Dave’s has a fusion menu with a spicy theme . Liked the space, I think I ordered badly for me (El Diablo chicken with beans and avocado and I can’t remember what else, sort of Mexican, but made by someone who needs to try more Mexican food). Good service. Nice art.
Their Caesar cocktail with chili -infused vodka didnt appeal to me .
https://evildavesgrill.com

Evil Dave’s and Jasper Park Brewing had good food in a casual setting, and I’d return to both.

Syrah’s was an upscale bistro with fairly good food and a somewhat dated menu, but not in the same league as The Raven or Harvest. I had the NY strip.
http://syrahsofjasper.com
I wanted to try the Chinese restaurant on Patricia St and get an o
rder of ginger beef, which is a crispy beef tossed with a sweet ginger sauce invented in Calgary. It is a common dish at Chinese Canadian restos in Alberta and Saskatchewan. I order ginger beef whenever I visit Calgary. Sort of in the same vein as General Tso or sweet and sour, so it won’t appeal to everyone. I was dining with different friends each night, and went with the flow, so didn’t get a Chinese meal this visit.

http://jasperchinarestaurant.com

The food at Downstream (bison short ribs with pureed sweet potatoes) was meh. Would not go there for food. Cocktails were ok, but cocktails at Harvest, Jasper Brewing Co and The Raven were better.

Caesar at Marmot Basin’s Charlie’s Bar, midmountain. This is a Calgary invention, Clamato with Vodka, Worcestershire, Tabasco, and in this case, an extreme bean (pickled green bean). In other parts of Canada, celery is the typical garnish.


BLT Caesar at Eagles Restaurant, also mid mountain

Food at Eagles Restaurant was better than the ski cafeteria’s options. I tried the chicken drumsticks, which were decent.

It seems most spots with table service in Jasper charge $25 to $45 for mains, mostly in the mid $30s, which is typical for tourist towns in Canada. What was interesting, is how variable the quality was at that price. 3 of my mains were around $33-$36 (The Raven, Harvest, Downstream) , and my NY strip at Syrah’s was $46n and they varied from meh to amazing. The Raven was offering much better value and service than its competition.

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I was there in the early 90’s. How time flies. Now I want to do the train trip to the glacier.

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Easier to see the Columbia Ice Fields if you take a tour bus or drive a rental car, from Jasper or Banff.

I’ve taken the train from Edmonton to Vancouver via Jasper in the 90s, and from Toronto to Jasper in 2011. Can’t see too much from the train, as far as I remember. :slight_smile:

Yes, the tour bus, always. I don’t drive.

A few years ago I took the train from Toronto to Winnipeg, then Churchill back to Winnipeg. We were the only 2 people in the private car who were not part of a polar bear safari packaged tour. I enjoyed the experience.

https://vimeo.com/190055219

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold