But we believe that a meal shouldn’t be a mere pit stop to refuel – a meal should share the flavours of a place and satisfy as many senses as possible. So when he was on the road for work, we challenged Warren to find places to eat in Jasper – restaurants, diners and cafés that did more than fill his tank. In Jasper, it wasn’t hard to find establishments to rise to the call of a grumbling stomach, even with the added restriction of a gluten-free diet.
1: Breakfast and a caffeine fix at Coco’s Café
Coco’s Café caters to the vegan, celiac and barista crowds. They take dietary restrictions, food allergies and cross-contamination seriously. I had the Huevos Rancheros breakfast again. It features scrambled eggs with a red sauce and crumbled feta, mashy red bean and homemade salsa, and is a must whenever I’m in the area. It is served with a corn tortilla, so you can have everything together in a wrap. The hash brown potatoes have a kick to get you started in the morning. And speaking of kick, the espresso coffee is from Calgary roaster Phil & Sebastian and makes a great latte.
2: Brunch at Bright Spot Family Restaurant & Pizza
Bright Spot is your family restaurant with a Greek influence. It offers all-day breakfasts, which I love and had for lunch. My choice was the mushroom, ham and cheese omelet, served along grilled potatoes with oregano and spices (prepared gluten-free, of course). The potatoes are crisp on the outside and tender inside. Meals arrive quickly and properly cooked, which is great if you’re on a tight schedule (or incredibly hungry!).
3: Dinner at Papa George’s Restaurant
During the winter, many places to eat in Jasper feature 3-course meal specials. I visited Papa George’s during my recent business trip to Jasper. A third-generation family restaurant started in 1925, the founder’s granddaughter Stefa graciously looked after my gluten-free needs and provided great conversation. I had their nightly special: a flavourful smoked chicken breast stuffed with black forest ham, and cheddar cheese, topped with an apple and Frangelico sauce. The toppings and seasoning complimented the smoked chicken and tender seasonal vegetables nicely. The special includes a garden salad, finished with a light and tasty mango pineapple sorbet.
4: And one for the road at Snowdome Café and Laundry Mat
I stopped at Snowdome Café and Laundry Mat for a quick meeting and my last latte before heading back to Canmore. The barista created a masterpiece of a cute bear that looked so amazing I could barely drink it. I just had to take a photo to treasure the artistry, but made sure that it wouldn’t get cold during the photo-op. Locals rave that Snowdome makes some of the best espressos in Jasper, and if you happen to spill it, the coin operated laundry on-site offers a convenient solution (especially if you’ve been on the road for a while now).