Our brief escape to the Rockies last October also involved less extravagant meals than The Bison. First up: Wild Flour Bakery, a casual café after my own heart – bright and cheery, and filled with the alluring aroma of fresh bread, it looked great at first glance. Mack had a not-so-positive experience there in the past, but was eager to see if they could make amends this time.
Their lunch menu consisted primarily of sandwiches, served on fresh house-made bread. Mack’s choice of the aged cheddar sandwich was unimpressive – he remarked that he loved the cheese and the bread, but he was expecting more from the combination. And though I enjoyed my sandwich, I thought the melted Swiss overwhelmed the delicate Valebella prosciutto.
Aged Cheddar Sandwich
Swiss and Prosciutto Sandwich
We fared better with our choice of hot beverages. My London Fog (something I don’t have often, but the Earl Grey-milk mixture sounded good on a chilly afternoon) was good, and Mack’s Mexican hot chocolate was appropriately spiced.
Something we didn’t get a chance to order was dessert (though the chocolate torte looked mighty tempting) – so perhaps our next visit will concentrate only on sweets.
On the way back to Edmonton, we stopped in Canmore for a bite to eat at Valbella Gourmet Foods. I am familiar with them primarily through their bacon and sausages sold through Sunterra, but was curious to see their whole range of products.
The deli counter at Valbella
If we only had a cooler, I would have definitely stocked up
As for the small cafe that served only a handful of items, it was a revolving door of customers. They seemed to have their share of regulars from nearby construction or trades sites, very similar to the usual lunchtime crowd at The Italian Bakery or Handy Bakery. So – we ordered what everyone else ordered – the special that featured a few different types of meat.
While I typically prefer my sandwiches toasted or warmed in some way, the fresh bread, still crisp, made up for this somewhat. And the assortment of meat was a good opportunity to try a bit of everything.
Valbella special sandwich
If you’re passing through Canmore (with a cooler!) be sure to stop by for some top-quality meats. While the sandwich was good – the meat case is where it’s at.
Wild Flour Bakery
211 Bear Street, Banff, AB
Open everyday from 8am-5pm
Valbella Gourmet Foods
104 Elk Run Boulevard, Canmore, AB
Monday-Friday 8am-6pm, Saturday 9am-5pm, closed Sundays