Continuing from where we left off after last weekend’s beautiful dinner at the Juniper Bistro in Banff, we woke to a pretty slow start the next morning and waited until Kirsten joined us before we went out for a little nature walk.
Ernie took us to the Bow Falls Trail, which you can follow for as long as you’d like along the river. After nearly an hour of walking, we took an opportunity to cross a bridge back into downtown Banff for a little lunch at Coyote’s Southwestern Grill, one of Mom and Ernie’s favourite spots. They sell bottles and jars of their house seasonings and salad dressings that stir the tourists into a feeding frenzy (my mother included)!
Aside from apparently being a great place for breakfast and a coffee based on the lines you can see out the door every morning, Coyotes is home to the Perfect Lunch ($11) which allows you to choose a half portion of any of their sandwiches along with tortilla chips and fresh salsa, soup or a side salad. After having eaten some of their generous portions, I will admit this is the perfect amount of lunch and for a fantastic price, especially given the location in scenic “downtown” Banff.
Kirsten foolishly opted for a full portion of the Grilled Vegetarian Foccacia with chips and salsa ($14) which she was not able to finish. The fresh bread was loaded with roasted and fresh veggies, melty cheese and delicious pink pickled onions, one of my favourite condiments! She let me scoop a few bites of her salsa as well, which was so bright and flavourful. Such a nice, hearty sandwich for someone looking to keep it a little lighter but with the roasted veggies and cheese keeping it hearty enough to satisfy you after a busy day on the trails.
I ordered the Coyote’s Veggie Burger ($14) made with a house barley and vegetable patty. We’re clearly not vegetarians based on 95% of my posts, but when I find a restaurant that preps everything fresh and you can see brightly-coloured produce when you walk by the kitchen, it’s hard to say no to these vegetable-forward menu items. (The fact that I was trying to leave room in my body for a 10oz order of prime rib later that day may have also played a role.) Anyways, this patty was delicious, filling and held together well, especially with the help of the nicely toasted slice of mozzarella on top. The fresh salsa, veggies, pickled onions and fanned avocado made this a pleasure to eat. I chose the sweet potato and corn chowder as my side and it was a smoky and velvety complement to all the brighter flavours on the burger. Loved it all!
Matt, Mom and Ernie were all feeling smoked salmon vibes (I think the proximity to the BC border does that to a person). Mom and Ernie chose to split a full order of the smoked salmon bagel ($14) with chips and salsa while Matt opted for that aforementioned “Perfect Lunch” with a side of corn tortilla and chicken soup. I stole more than a little bit of his soup, which was bright, hearty and packed with shredded chicken.
I always try to think of what I don’t like about a place so I don’t become the Paula Abdul of restaurant reviewers, but there was nothing not to love about this spot. Service was prompt and friendly (as it is almost everywhere in Banff), the food was ridiculously tasty and a great value, the coffee was nice and we were able to enjoy a meal in a busy, crowded place without shouting at one another across the table. After listing all those things, I will say one bad thing about this place – they don’t have a second location in my neighbourhood in Calgary! I very highly recommend you check out Coyote’s (206 Caribou Street, Banff, AB) on your next trip to Banff. Do it!