Teahouses, Saloons and Manure – A View of Jasper

Heading to Jasper today. We stopped at Lake Louise again to hike to the Agnes teahouse.  The trail isn’t wonderful; it’s long and there are few viewpoints.  You have to doge piles of horse manure and actual horses as you go. On top of it, it had been raining, so the trail was muddy and the manure was mixing in.  Of course, I had on flip-flops.

Once we go to the teahouse, it was pouring and I could see my breath.  It’s a sweet spot, though, and kinda glad we came up.  The teahouse is at the base of a little glacial fed lake and surrounded by a wall of cliffs and mountains on three sides of it.  The building is very rustic and people are crowded into every nook and cranny.  There was no electricity except in the kitchen where every thing was made from scratch- and even there I don’t know if it is electricity or just gas. The crew was washing all the dishes by hand.

The kitchen was absolutely buzzing with activity: breads and cobblers were being pulled out of the ancient oven and pots were rattling with hot water for the over 100 teas listed for sale.  Breads were being kneaded and soups were simmering. The food, though we didn’t’ have any, looked very handmade and imperfectly delicious. The hot chocolate, however, was lacking the cocoa it needed to make it rich and creamy and instead tasted like hot water with chocolate flavoring

We ate lunch at the Fairmont Saloon where three of us ordered the pulled pork sandwiches.  These are very filling and are on the drier side of things as far as sauce is concerned but are pretty tender overall.  The onion rings that came with them are preferred over the very unspectacular fries that I unfortunately substituted them for, but I stole a lot of Steve’s anyway. Overall, it was extremely filling and I would have preferred more of the fresh coleslaw that comes with it to balance the heaviness of the massive amount of pork they serve on that sandwich. You only get about four modest bites before the slaw is gone.

Service was just okay.  I ordered cheese with mine and they forgot but made up for it with several slices brought on a plate later.  The waitress only filled our glasses once. Mine had been empty for about 10 minutes. We were thirsty hikers and this was a heavy meal. Water was necessary. But they were all very friendly.

We headed up to Jasper and saw a bear on the way.  Ate at Earl’s.

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