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rancher rick's Profile

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Vernors Ginger Ale YYC

Well, you just never know!!
I do agree that Vernor`s is absoluely the best ginger ale. After discovering Fentiman`s Tonic makes the "best" G & T`s, I tried their ginger beer which, IMHO, is a superior gb. If you haven`t experienced Fentiman`s you owe it to yourself to sample a bottle. There are some excellent ginger beers out there, Fentiman`s is one of them.
Next Montana trip(Spring) I`ll do some scounting around for the much fabled Vernor`s so will file a progress report.

Vernors Ginger Ale YYC

Gee , finally found some common ground here!
Wish I could be of help but I`ve been searching for Vernor`s for years with zero success. It`s tough to find west of the Mississippi. Last year I found a store in Kalispell, Montana that was carrying it but next trip they said they were no longer carrying it due to poor sales.

Winter Holiday at Banff Springs!

"Understand the opposition"? More than a little partisan, I would guess......."those latte drinking, Volvo driving elitists".
Ford Nation, Anyone?

Winter Holiday at Banff Springs!

Burr under my saddle? Hardly!
Banff is supposed to be a "world class destination" so is there any reason that restaurants there shouldn`t meet that standard. Whistler has far better restaurants.
I sure don`t expect "every" restaurant to be be like River Cafe but is it too much to expect at least some of the restaurants in Banff to present a level of food quality & service that one finds at River Cafe and many other fine Calgary restaurants.
Yes, there are places in Banff that serve the transient ski demographic & it would seem that demographic is well served, ie, McDonalds, Magpie & Stump, et al.
Ian Brown, a noted journalist, wrote an article in the G&M several months ago lamenting the paucity of fine dining in Banff. Of course, the Globe & Mail may be too "high brow" for you so you may have missed it.

Winter Holiday at Banff Springs!

"Banff is great".... Really???? How about "Banff could be great"? I do believe Banff could be great but most of the places are just focused on relieving the tourists of their dollars. So many people working in these restaurants simply don`t have any idea of what good food is/should be. I don`t blame them, they`re working for minimum wage. It`s a management & a system`s issue.

rimrock banff,any good food?

You weren`t very specific about what type of food you`re looking for in Banff/Rimrock.
I`ve only stayed at the Rimrock once.....our experience dining at the Primrose was very average. Others have said that Eden is a first class dining experience.
My wife & I prefer dining at Bison for a great dinner.
There`s lots of Banff dining info on this site..

Winter Holiday at Banff Springs!

As mentioned already, great intinerary which will make for a fabulous vacation in the Canaian Rockies.
The Banffshire with it`s opening close to your arrival could be a litttle suspect despite the "adjusted" pricing. A few summers ago we had lunch/drinks on the patio off the main lounge at the Springs. It was painfully obvious that the staff training was a "work in progress". Almost none of the staff had a clue as to what they were supposed to be doing, ie, meals being brought to the wrong tables, etc. Fascinating in a perverse sort of way!
I`d recommend Grapes for a fondue in an intimate setting first night It`s always a requisite visit on our stays there.
I haven`t been to the Grizzly for years so I can`t really comment on the current status. If the cleanliness factor/food quality is anything like the Magpie & Stump which I referenced in a previous post, it sure merits a pass.

Winter Holiday at Banff Springs!

I stand "corrected" was the Primrose where we had dinner at The Rimrock with the "average" dinner & confusion with the bill. Apologies!

Winter Holiday at Banff Springs!

Have just read your most articulate response & you have a good sense of the Banff "dining scene".
Another spot to avoid is the Magpie & Stump which is frequented by the young ski bum crowd, not that there is anything wrong with being 20 something. I was there once! I had a meal there last May while my wife was at a conference meeting. I quickly regretted my choice. It`s TEX-Mex but not in a good way! I`ve travelled the SouthWest & love the regional interpretations there. The kitchen staff should be embarassed!
I wish that I could recommend other places beside Bison but I really can`t offer any. There was an interesting article in the Globe & Mail last year by Ian Brown bemoaning the lack of quality dining in Banff. As you suggest, it`s a "no-brainer" for such an oustandingly beautiful environment.
I noted your reference to QC with interest. Friends recently spent a week there at the Fairmont & sent us several texts re: wonderful dinners they had during their stay.
If you should happen to be in Calgary for any length of time, I highly recommend The River Cafe on Prince`s Island in the urban core. Been dining there for several years, its a strong personal favorite & consistently high quality on every level.
Again, enjoy Alberta & Banff!

Winter Holiday at Banff Springs!

My wife & I spend a fair bit of time in Banff, specifically, Fairmont Banff Springs. It`s such a beautiful hotel & absolutely one of our favorite places.
In terms of dining spots, we have dined at all the in house venues at the Fairmont excluding the Banffshire(declined to pay those prices tho` its been recommended by friends). The Bow Valley Grille was quite average, The Waldenhaus was good for a cold pint & some "pub grub" on a warm summer afternoon but nothing exceptional there. Can`t remember the name of the Italian restaurant there, very nice environment, impeccable service every time we`ve eaten there but the food? On the average considering the prices. If you`ve eaten high quality Italian cuisine anywhere, you may want to give this a "miss"
Grapes is a warm, intimate space that we always visit over a fondue & bottle of wine. Again, stellar service but the food is kind of average.
On a recent stay we elected to dine at Bison.......somewhat on the casual side(we prefer pristine white tablecloths!) but the food was very, very good. In fact, it was by far the best dinner we`ve ever had in Banff. I`d highly recommend Bison based on our experience.
Places to avoid: Beaujolais.......arguably, the worst dinner we`ve ever had anywhere at a restaurant that purports to be "fine dining". Eden at the Rimrock was OK. We spent several days there(Fairmont was completely booked!), nice hotel. The dinner we had was on the average side & the server miscalculated our bill. About 11:30pm the front desk called & requested that we come down to FD to resolve the error our server had made. My response was "How about tomorrow as we are booked in for 3 more days!!" However, I digress!
For a good breakfast I`d recommend Maple Leaf Grill downtown, the breakfasts are good tho` service can be spotty at times.
My wife is an absolutely wonderful cook & a "foodie" so standards are fairly high.
If I sound a little on the negative side about Fairmont Banff Springs it`s because we feel the quality of the food should be a lot higher. We`ve stayed at Fairmont Palliser in Calgary & Fairmont Whistler, both places have much better food esp. Whistler.
Enjoy your stay in Banff, what a beautiful time of year!!

Angie`s salted caramel popcorn in YYC?

Was at Okotoks Costco a few hrs ago........ lots of Angie`s BoomChickaPop but no SC kettle corn.

Angie`s salted caramel popcorn in YYC?

OK, thanks to all! We are regular visitors to the Okotoks Costco & in fact, will be there this afternoon. I`ve seen Angie`s BoomChicka there(it`s good too!) so will keep an eye out for the SC popcorn.

Angie`s salted caramel popcorn in YYC?

Thanks! I live south of High River........hope this doesn`t sound "stupid" but is Bridgeland Market a store or?

Angie`s salted caramel popcorn in YYC?

On a recent trip to Montana we "discoverd" Angie`s salted caramel popcorn(kettle style) at Community Foods in Bozeman. We brought back 4 bags but due to gluttony we only have one left.
Anyone know where we can source this in YYC?. I`ve seen the Angie`s brand at Costco but only in regular popcorn. This stuff is good!!....not too sweet nor salty.

Opinions on NXR or Bluestar gas range?

We have had our Bluestar 36" range for almost 2 years & absolutely love it! It replaced a very expensive Thermador which was a piece of c#*#p!
The BS is a wonderful addition to our kitchen & it gets a lot of use as my wife is a terrific cook. I am an amateur baker as well so I can say that the oven is perfect for baking bread too.
I wouldn`t hesitate to recommend a Bluestar range!!

Aug 03, 2013
rancher rick in Cookware

Fancy tonic water in Calgary?

Fentimans #1 for us, followed by Fever Tree. Jeff @ Birch Beverages delivers great service. Also like the Fentiman`s Ginger Beer a lot.

Buying a whole Beef Brisket in Calgary & area.

I`ve been smoking briskets for close to 20 years & I used to buy them from Foothills Meats here in High River. I think they would get them in from Cargill(?).The briskets initially were good but in later years the fat would be trimmed off them so I stopped buying them at FHM.
Several years ago on a trip to Kalispell I discovered briskets at Walmart there so I bought two to try out. They were excellent & a very good price as well. Last year I also found them for sale at Costco`s in Montana.
Last week on a trip to MT I picked up two.......smoked one yesterday for a party at the ranch & it was EXCELLENT.
Of course, this doesn`t help much if you never get to MT but if you do!!

This board is a bit slow?

Been back in Bozeman on holidays for a week now.....great city & area, love it here! As HTC says, it is a bit of a food wasteland. We`ve been mostly preparing our dinners & eating very well with some great local sources of quality ingredients . We, fortunately, stay at a hotel where we have cooking facilities.
Drove to Big Sky yesterday & browsed the farmer`s market. Bought some wonderful bread & pastries from Sinclair`s Bakery. Big Hint: check out Mark`s baked goods, he`s the "real deal"!!

Jul 25, 2013
rancher rick in Mountain States

Barrel-aged cocktails — where do you find small barrels in Calgary?

Maybe try Highwood Distillers in High River.

The Smokehouse BBQ in Lethbridge

Good to know....will have to stop there this summer.
I have to say that I`ve been disappointed in the BBQ joints that we`ve experienced here & in Montana & New Mexico. OK, so those states are hardly known for great BBQ or any BBQ for that matter.
I`ve been smoking briskets for 15 years now & I humbly say that I haven`t been anywhere that even comes close to my brisket. Admittedly, I haven`t been to Texas!

Buying Meat bones

Check out Foothills Meats in High River,,,,,652-2204 & ask for Jennifer.
I take my steers there for processing......the place is spotless & service is excellent.

Trip to Whitefish, Montana

Just got back from recommended earlier, North Bay Grille still a good bet for a great lunch/dinner. I noticed that this time prices have gone up.
We went to the Whitefish farmer`s market on Tuesday.a pretty good market for a small town.....lots of excellent looking produce & generally, a good vibe!

Jun 25, 2013
rancher rick in Mountain States

The Bison in Banff.....anyone know their beef source?

sent an email to The Bison yesterday so hope to get a response in this week.
Thanks to those who have responded to my thread. As I`ve said, I had hoped that someone might have the answer as many restuarants don`t reply to customer inquiries
The folks at Ewe-Nique Farms did send a very warm response to my inquiry. Sound like good people to do business with if you`re interested in buying organic lamb.

The Bison in Banff.....anyone know their beef source?

OK, so I had asked our server who referred me to the Lethbridge farm. Apparently, he was mistaken & yes, I could call The Bison. Thought someone of this forum just might know the source

The Bison in Banff.....anyone know their beef source?

Have eaten bison many times over the years as we have friends who use "buffalo"to train their cutting horses. I used to buy the infrequent "cull" but I`m not a real fan of bison meat.... we find it a little "gamey"

The Bison in Banff.....anyone know their beef source?

I had dinner at Bison back in early May....had a beef ribeye which was, arguably, the best steak I`ve ever had in a restaurant; tender & a very beefy flavorburst. After dinner I inquired about where they source their beef & was told it came from a farm in the Lethbridge area. I called the farm but I was told that they only supply the lamb for Bison.

Bean dip at a restaurant near Yellowstone around 1979???

That is, indeed, a long shot! Everyone has a memory of some sort like yours & trying to retrace it is seemingly impossible.
My own experience is an outdoor Asleep at the Wheel concert in Bigfork MT in `79 at a bar called the Junction Bar. It was a fabulous concert but years later when we have been to Bigfork I have asked "locals" about the JB & absolutely no one remembers it.
Did I just imagine that concert? No `cuz I have friends who were with me that day & they do recall it.
Good luck with your search!

Jun 02, 2013
rancher rick in Mountain States

Worst experience at a "fancy" restaurant and why?

Nothing really horrendous here but rather more about the ineptitude of some "high end" restaurants.
A few years ago while holidaying in Banff, Ab we decided to dine at a somewhat fancy restaurant which had been recommended by friends(not foodies) & had received some very positive reviews in the press. The environment was very nice & our young waiter, a recent Swiss immigrant, was very professional & attentive. I ordered the prime rib which was quite acceptable tho` not stellar & my wife ordered a steak(rib eye). She mentioned after the first few bites that the steak tasted as if it had been boiled. I thought it was unlikely but I had a bite & it was indeed "awful". It did have a grey appearance to it. We called the waiter over & he referred us to the maitre d` who seemed quite offended that we would complain. After some discussion my wife decided that she would order the lobster bisque which was very average.. When we received our bill they had included all the entree`s so another discussion ensued. In the end, they agreed not to bill us for the "boiled" rib eye.
Should you be in Banff, Alberta on vacation do not dine at Beaujolais!

May 30, 2013
rancher rick in Not About Food

Trip to Whitefish, Montana

I expect you`ve read the other posts including mine maybe. My wife & I are in Kalispell fairly often & have been for the past 20 years.
The Bay Grille in Kalispell would be our top rec.....not fine dining but very good & consistent. Hops on Main St seems to get good reviews....we ate there a number of times when it was called Capers. Same ownership, different name so it`s likely good as well.
In Bigfork, a short drive & a beautiful village on the Flathead Lake, has numerous restaurants: people rave about Thyme which we haven`t tried yet as it`s only open for dinner. The Swan River Inn has a good brunch on Sundays tho` its a little hit`n`miss. Great location tho` looking onto the Bay.
Can`t help you out on the park activities/destinations.

Flipp'n Burgers - Calgary (Kensington)

Thanks, FB.
I will definitely stop by in the next while & check out the burgers & fries. Happy to hear that you cut your own fries.
As you may have guessed, I raise cattle(grass fed) south of Calgary & am a little "particular" about where the beef is sourced. I appreciate that you run a commercial operation so sourcing ground beef from Cargill or XL just makes sense on that level.
Wish you success in your venture!