207 Banff Ave, AB
Growing up being raised in Calgary - frequent mini Banff getaways was a thing in my family and every time I'd walk by the Grizzly House, I'd feel drawn to the people sitting on the patio with their own fondue pots, yet I have yet to try;' Now after all these years of walking by added with a kick ass work week, I finally decided to do an impromptu 'treat yourself' Banff trip with a girl friend of mine on a lovely Wednesday afternoon and gave this place a go! Added I secretly knew she was going to be proposed to in a matter of days in the Dominican... so it ended up really being a real 'treat yourself' pre-vacay to her vacay and a post vacay getaway to my vacay just a week before. /ohthelife.
After two hours of enjoying some good R&R time in Banff Upper Hot Springs, her & I was famished! Initially I was still a bit hesitant in giving this place a go after because I always heard of how expensive it was... but as I experienced the meal, it all made sense!
After a bit of a debate, we decided the full course meal all together gave the best value. For $44-64 depending on the meat you opt for, it comes with soup or salad, Neuchâtel (cheese, wine, Kirsch fondue) or a Bagna Cauda (vegetable fondue), a main course of your choice and it ends with a Toblerone chocolate fondue with fruit + wafers. Her & I chose the Beef + Prawn and the Beef and Scallop both ($47.95).
Salad: Their Grizzly house salad dressing was creamy, thick and sweet... I asked for it on the side since I normally don't enjoy salad dressing - however I found myself a bit hooked with how good it was. If you enjoy creamy dressings, this could be a winner.
The above Neuchâtel fondue (cheese, wine, Kirsch fondue) was a cheese lovers dream. The initial bites was a bit strong because the wine wasn't fully cooked down, but after about..5-10 mins the taste was just right. It comes with a side of roasted garlic and they recommended us to throw in black pepper to taste - I ended up putting ALL the garlic in and a really really generous amount of black pepper. Before the cheese gets cooked up on the bottom of the fondue pot, our waiter came over and scrape the crunchy cheese for us to finish off... I can honestly say I might have fell deeper in love with cheese since that night.
3rd course: Meats! Our waiter came and helped us set up the Oil fondue and rock plate. Since it was our first time we tried out both... and found ourselves more drawn to the ease and taste coming from cooking on the stone compared to the oil. The herbed garlic butter used to help oil up the stone gave my seafood/beef an extra richness, I couldn't help myself with putting on extra when it came to watching my meats sear. All the meats cooked really fast and it was such a fun experience!
Before eating the meats, our waiter introduced us to 5 available dipping sauces for the protein. From L-R and center we have: garlic bacon, red Pepper, dijon horseradish, honey mustard and teriyaki. For my beef I really enjoyed the garlic bacon, dijon horseradish and for the seafood, their teriyaki and honey mustard was super!
Dessert time: Toblerone + fruits + Wafers was a great ay to end a wonderfully fun experienced meal.
Overall I really enjoyed the entire experience of eating at the Grizzly House, despite it being more on the pricer side. The meat portion looks a bit small being only 6oz per order, but in consideration of the other 3 course + lots of bread... my girl friend & I both walked out feeling perfectly satisfied with the amount of food. I felt that the Grizzly House was more of a dining experience than just another restaurant in Banff. For the past years I've had the pleasure of exploring many famous Banff/Lake Louise buffets/restaurants and I can happily say I'd opt to spend my money here again whenever I'm in Banff again! (And maybe the person I'll eat with would be game to try out their Exotic fondue with Shark, Alligator, Rattlesnack, Ostrich, Frog legs, Buffalo and venison!)
Bon Appetite + Fondue Love