One would think that with over 5 weeks of eating out along the road, we would have dozens of great restaurant stories. Sadly that’s not the case. The great meals were few and far between. We did eat well and most of the spots were decent but we found there are 3 ingredients for a great meal. These are quality of food, quality of the wait staff (friendliness/helpfulness) and location. Below are 4 of the best meals we had, which had all three of the criteria in excess. We had other good meals, but these 4 were the best!
Burr Trail Grill
We raved about Burr Trail Grill in a preview post, but it deserves another mention. Such great authentic burgers that are humanely raised and handled (our top criterion when eating out). The combinations were fantastic (Swiss Mushroom for one, Chipotle Cheddar for the other). Great rustic fries. Delicious root beer. Pies of all flavors that are melt in your mouth good, baked daily, on premises. Excellent wait staff. The rustic setting off picturesque Highway 12 in Utah at the start of the famous Burr Trail it the topper. No better place. Wish I could go there right now.
Chateau Lake Louise
Another restaurant worth revisiting was the Lakeview Lounge. Can you really go wrong with the Lobster Croissant and the Rocky Cheesesteak? Well maybe you could, but not here. Along with truffle parmesean fries and sweet potato fries, we were in heaven. The view was second to none.
Jasper Park Lodge
The restaurant at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge was probably the best overall experience we had. It was so good at dinner one day, we came back for lunch the next day! We enjoyed an excellent fried calamari for an appetizer on the outdoor patio. Our appetizer was followed by pan fried trout with a white bean and sausage ragout and grilled vegetables and a parpadelle bolognese that was really tasty. When you add great service and an incredible view of the lake and Mount Edith Cavell, there is probably no better place in Canada to have a meal. After dinner we enjoyed smores roasted over an open fire pit down by the lake. Life doesn’t get better does it?
The Painted Turtle Restaurant was a fun find. Just cruising down the backroads of British Columbia, Rebecca searched Yelp on the back seat. The Painted Turtle rests at the water’s edge of Dutch Lake, conveniently nestled between Jasper National Park and Kamloops, BC. it was a great rest stop for us at mid day. It’s a cozy if sparsely decorated place, known to the tourist buses as well. It sits at the lake in and amongst rental cabins, so they do quite a business in summer. It almost felt like a place that was lost in time, when life was simpler.
Our waitress was really friendly, welcoming, and helpful. In retrospect, it makes such a difference when you’re greeted warmly and get really good service. Seems like that should be obvious, but some of the best places we ate were made better by the warm kindness of the wait staff.
Rebecca ordered a chicken and pasta dish that had an amazing sauce. I don’t order chicken at restaurants because I don’t think chicken makes for a great dish. But she loved it and I have to agree that it was probably one of the best chicken dishes I’ve ever had. I ordered the New York Reuben with fries; I felt like I had just been transported to a Jewish New York Deli. Fantastic sandwich with great sauerkraut, Dijon mustard and tasty Swiss cheese. The fries were perfectly cooked. With great views of the lake, The Painted Turtle is a worthy stop along your travels in BC.