Established in 1985, this is Banff’s oldest pub. It boasts live music every night of the week and has a rooftop patio, which I’ve enjoyed in the summer after a day of paddle boarding.
On this brisk afternoon, I chose a table with second-storey views of Banff Avenue through big windows with plaid curtains. Behind me out the window Mount Norquay sat draped in snow. Too bad I wasn’t close enough to see any skiers!
The Rose and Crown in Banff has daily specials every weekday. It was Wednesday, so I chose the steak sandwich deal, cooked medium, with a side of mashed potatoes with gravy on the side and topped with sautéed mushrooms. It seemed like an ideal choice for a cold winter day.
I was impressed to see that sandwiches and burgers have eight side options (before you even get into the upgrade options). Sometimes when you’re craving mashed potatoes, fries just won’t cut it.
My friendly server told me this $9 special is popular with locals. Other Wednesday deals include pints of Big Rock Beer (I went for a Grasshopper), and half price bottles of wine and $4 tequila shots—it was a little too early for either of those!
I admired some of the Christmas decorations while I waited for my meal, listening to classic rock like the Allman Brothers’ Ramblin’ Man and Heart’s Crazy on You. The garlands and ribbons created a festive atmosphere with the dark wood tables and wood floor. The restaurant also has some ski décor and pub décor like beer signs.
The stage is centrally located near the bar and has an eye-catching brick wall. At the other end of the room there’s a fireplace area with comfy seats.
My meal arrived quickly (the restaurant wasn’t busy but had a few other tables), and I tried to savour it but it disappeared pretty quickly as well because it was delicious. The steak was lean, which I like, and cooked and seasoned perfectly. The generous amount of juicy sautéed mushrooms were really flavourful, and the garlic toast was thick and crispy. It went down great with the light, refreshing beer.
The mashed potatoes had the skins mixed in, which I like, and they were a nice consistency—creamy but not too mushy.
By the end of finishing the whole steak I was happily full and knew I would need a mid-afternoon coffee to prevent a food coma. I rarely dine out alone and usually get my boyfriend to help finish off the last few bites, but there was no need in this case.
I think I’ll head back for Thursday $7 burgers or Friday $9 fish and chips!