Locally Sourced Foods at the Whisky Jack Grill

    Ashley Materi February 1, 2018

    Jasper opened several restaurants during the summer of 2017, and the Whisky Jack Grill in the Tonquin Inn is one of them. Owners John Riedler and his partner Darlene are some of the most well-known restaurateurs in town. John is the mastermind behind Raven Bistro and Fiddle River, two of Jasper’s most beloved eateries.

    Whisky Jack is another name for the grey jay; a bird native to Canada and informally voted as Canada’s national bird by Canadian Geographic.

    The Whisky Jack Grill takes inspiration from its namesake. It follows a Canadian wilderness theme by using locally sourced ingredients. The interior has dark wood furnishings.

    My dining partner and I just wrapped up a weekend of enjoying the natural beauty of Jasper. We were hungry. We started with the Canadian Prairie Fire Shrimp, a dish served with a thick mustard-tarragon marinade. Our entrées came quickly afterwards. I chose the Turkish Cevapcici Meze Plate, which had grilled pita bread, house-made hummus and Turkish yoghurt cheese. It was drizzled in harissa and mint-cilantro sauces with pumpkin seed oil. It also had two meatballs, which I gave to my dinner partner. The server told me the plate can be modified into a vegetarian dish. There is also a gluten-free option.

    My partner decided on the herb-crusted beef brisket entrée. The slow-cooked beef is covered in a thick crabapple port-molasses barbecue sauce. It is accompanied by buttermilk mashed potatoes and grilled veggies. The meat was very tender. The distinctive barbecue sauce was also enjoyable.

    My favourite part of the meal was the mojito. I recently came back from a trip throughout Southeast Asia, where fell in love with passionfruit mojitos. I’d never seen that option in a Canadian restaurant before. I was so happy to find it on the cocktail list at the Whisky Jack Grill. In addition to passionfruit, you can choose lime, watermelon or pomegranate.

    The restaurant is tucked away from the crowds of “downtown” Jasper. This allows for a relaxed and enjoyable meal.

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