Saturday, November 20, 2010

Secret Weekend Getaway...

Banff, Alberta

My boyfriend and his roommate made "secret plans"this past weekend for me and his wife. We weren't exactly sure where we were going, but was asked to pack up a swim suit and a dress (hint, hint).

We arrived at our destination about 4.5 hours later, to find out we were staying at the gorgeous Rimrock Hotel and Resort.

Banff is a very popular weekend getaway for Calgarians. It's a close drive and it's nice to escape. This weekend was particularly busy, probably because of the mid-week vacation day for Remembrance Day and many people took off the Friday to make it an extra long weekend.  With no kitchenette in the hotel, one is always stuck with the idea of "where should we eat?" I had thought the guesswork would of been taken out for where we would be eating for dinner that night, but I found out that no one had made plans (or reservations) for that night. This shouldn't be a problem in Banff because it's commercialized enough that we have alot of choices for dinner. There was the option of eating at the two restaurants in the hotel, but one restaurant's entrees were between $100-$300 and the other restaurant was full. Saltlik, a popular steakhouse in Banff, didn't have openings until 8:30pm, as well as another popular joint, The Bison. Rather than calling up the restaurants, we all thought it would just be a clever idea to hit town and just wing it. So we did!

Walking up and down the streets in Banff on a chilly November day, I must say has a nice wintery feel. It's been a while since I have done this...(ok, I'll stop reminiscing). We walked down Caribou Street in Banff and I glanced to my left. I see a dark building with a wooden exterior with little lighting. The Magpie and Stump was apparently where my boyfriend's roommate's wife and aunt dined years ago.

What an interesting little restaurant-wood interior and exterior. Very dim lights inside with interesting souvenirs hanging off the wall. This place is squishy inside, with people backing up right into your chair. I wasn't quite sure what kind of food they served here with a name like that. Sure enough, it was authentic Tex-Mex fare.

I ordered the special that night: tostadas with chili meat, beans, sour cream and guacamole on the side. My boyfriend ordered the enchiladas. For starters, my boyfriend and I both opted for the mushroom and onion soup, which was delicious. 
The yummy soup.

It had a little bit of a kick to it. It was topped with crispy fried strips of tortilla with two white flour tortillas on the side. All of our orders came rather quickly. We only waited about ten minutes, which was great because I was hungry!

My meal was very filling; the tostadas consisted of a lightly-fried tortilla on the bottom, topped with chilli meat, shredded lettuce, and topped with salsa. On the side was guacamole, sour cream and of course, refried beans. My boyfriend's meal looked yummy as well. The enchiladas were filled with beef, rolled in tortillas and drenched in salsa and baked in the oven with cheese on top. My boyfriend's roommate also ordered the same special as me. His wife ordered the chimichangas, which is a lightly fried burrito. That looked good as well.

This place was good. It wasn't spectacular or anything. The food was good and is probably what one would expect at a Tex-Mex restaurant. I think the atmosphere contributed to the whole experience of eating here, to almost feel like you are eating in a small, run-down wooden barn.

Verdict: scrumptious

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