Things You Must Try: Jasper

This past weekend, I made a visit to Jasper for a conference. During my time as a student and even now as a working professional, conferences have been a great way for me to see different places. I always try to spend some of that time indulging in local eats.

The view from the Jasper SkyTram is breathtaking. 11/10 would recommend.
Syrahs of Jasper (606 Patricia Street, Jasper, AB) was my first pick of the weekend. Whenever I go out of the city, I try to find something that I might not necessarily get back home. Syrahs of Jasper was one of the places in Jasper that promised a good serving of elk and they also happened to have a 3-course dinner deal for $29.

Syrahs of Jasper in downtown Jasper, across the street from the Jasper Adventure Centre.

In place of bread, they served a blue cheese and red wine biscuit with a red pepper butter. (Luckily for me, the only trace of blue cheese in the biscuit was its blue colour.)

Syrahs' House Salad - mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, fresh bocconcini, avocados, and walnuts with a vinaigrette dressing. The millennial blood in me appreciated the avocados.

Tequila Sunrise - a palate cleanser that was basically like sugary ice with a little booze. Pretty much a tiny granita.

Elk Osso Buco (maple whiskey and mustard braised elk shank with roasted carrots, rutabaga, and potatoes). The elk was a +$7 on top of the $29 3-course dinner deal, but it was so worth it.

I had to take my dessert to go, but I opted for their Baked Apple Tart with a dollop of cinnamon creme fraiche.
A new eatery opened its doors only a month ago in downtown Jasper. Should you take a stroll around the town and follow amazing aromas of Caribbean cuisine, you'll come across the quaint shop called The Spice Joint (614 Connaught Drive, Jasper, AB). Their menu is a fusion of Canadian lunch staples with Caribbean flavours. In its first 4 weeks, The Spice Joint's most popular dishes include their Jerk Chicken Grilled Cheese, Jerk Chicken Sandwich, and Jerk Chicken Caesar Salad Wrap. While I was enjoying my lunch, a fellow came in from the patio to let everyone know that he just had the best grilled cheese sandwich he's ever had in his life. That testimonial in addition to my own tasty sandwich will ensure my return to this fine establishment. 

The Spice Joint, a little Caribbean paradise in the middle of the Rocky Mountains.

The interior of The Spice Joint looks like a typical cafe with a chalkboard menu, except instead of pastries and muffins in a window, they're Jamaican patties.

Jerk Chicken Sandwich - toasted brioche smothered with jerk aioli, a generous helping of jerk chicken, and housemade slaw. Their jerk chicken is absolutely delicious. The meat is unbelievably moist and so full of flavour. I can totally see how the jerk chicken grilled cheese would be to die for. A bottle of ginger beer pairs very well, by the way.

I enjoyed my Spicy Beef Jamaican Patty at an elevation of 2287m.
One thing to note is that if you need to grab a bite in Jasper before 7am on a Sunday, the only place you can go is Bear's Paw Bakery. They have a solid spread of baked goods from loaves of bread to their famous "bear paws". 

Thank you, Bear's Paw Bakery for being open at 6 on a Sunday.

I grabbed a Spicy Sausage Roll and Cheese Bun and ran off to catch my bus back to Edmonton.
Every now and then, all you need is a little dose of fresh mountain air to retreat from the daily grind of the work week. In any case, it's good to be home again and I'm really looking forward to our city's summer food festivals, not to mention that the farmer's market will be outside again in a few weeks!


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