I am often in Jasper, either on business or just to enjoy the warm hospitality, beauty and excitement of this charming mountain town. I spent a good portion of my developmental years in Banff, and Jasper reminds me of the slower-paced Banff of my youth. It still has many family-owned restaurants, whether it be Kimchi House, with fine Korean food prepared and served by owner Monica An, or Snowdome, where Shelley Koebel works behind the scenes to ensure that you can enjoy a great hand-crafted cup of coffee and, if you are so disposed, get a load of laundry done at the same time.
And then there’s Something Else Steakhouse, a family-owned restaurant that truly lives up to its name. It is a great steakhouse if you are hungry for red meat. If you would like something different, such as authentic Greek cuisine or specialty pizza, it is truly something else.
The restaurant is owned and operated by the Balomenos family. Alex and Helen left their native Greece and arrived in Canada in 1971. They purchased the restaurant in 1996 and have been graciously serving delicious food ever since. Although their son, Kosta, is now active in running the business, you can still see Alex and Helen there most of the time and, if you’re lucky, Helen may even serve your table.
I have had the opportunity to try many of the dishes on the menu. Their steaks are always tender, flavourful and cooked to perfection. If you are in the mood for Greek food, I recommend their Chicken Souvlaki. The charbroiled chicken is prepared with Alex’s secret recipe marinade to bring out flavour that you will not experience elsewhere.
The last time I was at Something Else, I tried their barbecue chicken pizza. On first bite, my only thought was “How could I have missed this before?” The crisp, thin crust, made daily from another secret family recipe, melts in your mouth, as you appreciate the blend of mouth-watering flavours from the barbecued chicken, sautéed mushrooms and fried onions, topped with premium mozzarella.
So the next time you are in Jasper and hankering for a good meal, I suggest you stop in at Something Else. And say hello to Helen for me.