Shadow Lake Lodge – Back Country Canadian Rocky Mountain Food
Sometimes it is the menu and other times it is the location but not so often is it both.
From the biggest tea spread this side of the Atlantic (the Canadian Rocky Mountains are more than a hop and a skip across the ocean) to the early morning caffeine fix to the evening dining, Shadow Mountain Lodge in Banff National Park has the recipe section covered.
Coffee is on for those rising with the sun to slather the morning dew on their hiking boots as they slink down mountain paths for sunrise meditation or partake in something more physical, sunrise salutations at Shadow Lake, perhaps, or a jog up to Gibbons Pass, to work up an appetite for the edibles soon to be laid out for that first meal of the day: fresh fruit and yoghurt, hot cereal, then on to potato latkes, eggs (this morning, pass the scrambled, please). Try to hold back on the bacon before the piece de resistance arrives, cinnamon buns dripping in quintessential Canadian sweetness, maple syrup. Clean fingers, beware; just when “FULL’ is immanent, the lunch fixings lie exposed on the counter begging your selection. Is the timing a ploy to pack less in the lunch bags by holding the prep at the moment of satiation, just after breakfast? Never fear, with plenty of backup in the back room, savoury and sweet stocks are brimming with ham and cheese and turkey and beef and granola and cookies and cakes for your backcountry pleasure, catering to the diet restricted, of course.
Escape out into the wilds of the Canadian Rocky Mountains without fear that you must rush back for tea at 4 sharp. With capable staff and bottomless stores, the platters will be replenished until all signs of appetite have been stifled and the house mouse is disappointed at only meagre crumbs. Dips of cheddar and chipotle, beet and guacamole, hummus and artichoke. Pancakes slathered with Nutella for the younger set who just didn’t have ROOM at breakfast. Sweets explore the sensitivities of caramel and chocolate, marshmallow and nut categories.
Another hike is being discussed as appetites overdose but the lofty beds beckon a pre-dinner prone position snooze. upon being summoned by the bell, there are vino choices to be made, a little front country in the back country, for those not inclined to trek it in. This is no rubber chicken circuit as smells and signs waft from the kitchen and triple adjective descriptions surround the dinner samplings, complete with all of the trimmings of a holiday feast. Chicken braised in white wine sauce, beets and feta, grilled pork with maple drippings, roasted yam and curry mayo, creamed mashed potato are but a few of the menu offerings. Finish off with strawberry shortcake or blueberry cake crumble and take all of the energy you have left to push back from the table before the kitchen crew offer you more. Later, snuggled in your cozy cabin bed, tomorrows menu may be uncertain, but you will dream of Rocky Mountain hiking vistas to offset the back country eating at Shadow Mountain Lodge.
For more on Shadow Lake Lodge, Skoki Lodge and backcountry hiking, see: