A friend and I made a quick trip to Banff because we had free tickets for the Lake Minnewanka boat tour. If you can score discounted tickets for the boat tour I totally recommend it. As a local though, I would not say it’s worth the regular $55 pp.
We looked through Zomato photos and reviews for a handful of restaurants that were recommended to us, and we decided on Mexican. It had been quite a while since we both had good Mexican so the photos online seemed to call out to us.
The restaurant is dark and woody – it reminded me of the Palomino in Calgary, with worn wooden furniture and rough floors (the kind of place that never looks clean). The ladies washroom is tiny and rustic; I felt like I was camping in the bush rather than using the washroom at a well-rated restaurant.
But, onto the food! We shared the empanadas as an appy. It was a good sized dish – 2 empanadas with salsa, hot sauce, lettuce, and a crema sauce. The empanadas were good. I like that they were baked and not greasy. I don’t believe the menu said that they were chicken empanadas, and the server made sure we were ‘ok’ with chicken. The homemade salsa on the side was quite enjoyable. I also liked the sour cream sauce.
It was really tough for me to choose just one item on the menu because it all looked good – chimichangas, tacos, enchiladas, burritos – I’m truly a fan of it all! So, to get some variety, I went for three soft tacos – spicy beef, chicken, and popcorn shrimp. The dish came with a small bowl of Mexican rice. The spicy beef was definitely spicy – but it didn’t have a a lot of flavour. The chicken was disappointing – I found it to be bland. The popcorn shrimp seemed to have the most flavour, but again, it could have used some kick. The rice was ok – good flavour but dry.
Oh, and don’t forget the drinks! I had a strawberry & banana margarita. My friend chose a Spicy Sanchez (their version of a caesar). She said it was good, but it wasn’t very spicy. It was unfortunate that with 1/3 left of her drink, a fly committed suicide in her glass. Poor Carmela lost her appetite.
Service was good – the server was attentive and helpful. But, all in all, I was disappointed in my food choices. I’d return and try a burrito or a chimichanga but I’d be looking for more flavour for sure. I’ll give anything a 2nd try…