A tempting selection of the best restaurants in Canmore
Crazyweed had been top of my ‘need-to-try-before-I-leave’ list for months. A temporary work visa is a lot like a vacation in that way. It reduces your time in the Canadian Rockies to a definitive list of what you want to do, while the looming end of your time to do them grows ever nearer.
Suddenly it was my last day as editor at RMV Publications and several days before my flight back to where I’m from in Ireland. So I jumped at the chance for an office lunch date at Crazyweed.
The Canmore restaurant had caught my attention with a quick glance at the menu online. Roasted brussel sprout appetizers and forest mushroom pizza enchanted. An eclectic mix of Asian, Canadian and other dishes reinstated its self-given description as a place of ‘world cuisine’. It was intriguing.
And on arrival – one Friday afternoon – I got the same impression. Quirky touches added character to the contemporary interior. Artistic black and white photographs hung on the walls and bright cushions added splashes of colour to the wall seating.
We were shown to a table next to the open-plan kitchen. Another nice touch, I thought, bringing a modern industrial feel to the décor.
Our publisher, Jack, ordered the pickle chicken sandwich, with cucumber coriander aioli and Serrano chili. The fried chicken was tender and juicy, he remarked. Its flavours were locked in the light, non-greasy batter, and neither the pickle-brined meat nor pickle garnish had too strong a flavour. Overall, a well-balanced and tasty meal.
Glenn had the Crazyweed burger with Alberta beef and pork, goat gouda, double smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato and red pepper relish, which he described to be “like a Big Mac but with 10 times the meat and flavour.” Alex went for the Vietnamese pork ball sandwich with perfectly seared meat, fresh bread, fries and house ketchup.
Though the sandwiches looked delicious, I was much more interested in Andrea’s plate of the daily curry – beef vindaloo on the day of our visit. Our friendship is based on a ‘sharing is caring’ ethos, so I stole a few forkfuls…
The sauce wasn’t very spicy but was otherwise full of flavour (a great choice for those who prefer mild curries). Soft jasmine rice, grilled naan and fruity chutney were perfect sides. It was a fresh, healthy-feeling take on a favourite Indian dish. I loved it, but not as much as my own choice.
Karen and I had gone for the Bahmi Goreng. Although I had no idea what it was, the menu description was too good not to pass up: a noodle dish with bacon lardons, ground pork, greens and a fried organic egg.
It was incredible. The perfectly cooked udon noodles were coated in a thick, sweet soy sauce with notes of garlic and a rich, tangy aftertaste. There was a beautiful seasoned flavour from the pork and a salty smokiness from the bacon lardons, while the lightly fried shallots and scallions added colour and crunch.
The fried egg on top completed the dish. Cooked sunny side up, the soft yoke oozed over the thick noodles making them even more sticky, moist and delicious.
Crazyweed is definitely one to tick off your list before your time in the Canadian Rockies ends. For me, writing now from a flat green corner of Ireland, the food is a delicious memory. But it’s the time spent with my team at RMV that I’ll never forget.
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