Favourite Fernie Dishes

I remember watching a childhood friend nearly choke to death on a Tastee Freeze foot long grey stadium hotdog in the backseat of my parent’s station wagon. We were parked beneath the Tastee Freeze awning, served by a young girl roller skating between cars. Mom didn’t panic, she’d seen kids choke on these dogs before, when young Roger started to wheeze and turn blue, she pulled him through the side door and gave him an open handed smack between the shoulders. A four-inch chunk of the dog shot free from his mouth and sailed onto the windshield of a car next to us. Most excellent.

We laughed at all near death experiences back then, we had yet to develop a conscience. I think it had something to do with watching Evel Knievel attempt to jump Snake Canyon or Muhammad Ali pound someone into the canvas, we were all a bit tougher and edgier then. Mom knew what to do and could fix anything with string and electrical tape.

Another time, many years later we were drinking coffee at the Alpine Restaurant. We drank a lot of coffee back then in the days before we raided rumpus room liquor cabinets. We were eating a shared plate of fries when someone decided to stick a couple up their nose and do a walrus bark. The ensuing laughter caused yet another one of my friends to inhale a large quantity of fries and begin to choke. The owner, Dave, bounded over in a panic (not like mom) and began karate chopping the choking youth between the shoulders. I seem to recall it took longer for the potato mass to dislodge then the Tastee Freeze hotdog. Dave was clearly not the choking child Ninja mom was.

A lot of kids nearly choked to death in the 70’s Fernie dining of old. Oh, the memories.

The homemade pie at Rockies, Calzone at Libby’s, shakes at the Diamond Grill, the lamb shank at The Wood, Scotch Eggs Benny at Mojo Rising, Mulligatawny at Jamocha’s, Won Ton at the Ginger Beef, Steaks at Mr. Mikes, Eggs Benny on pea halloumi fritters at The Old Elevator, Lasagna at Gabriella’s, Club House at the ABC, Pizza at Rip and Richard’s, Sausage Rolls at the Fernie Bakery, Potato Cheese Soup at the Whistle Stop, a Number 2 at the House of Lee…

Meanwhile back to today. Bearded hipsters on fat tire bikes wiz past the hole we dig to bury winter in the unseasonably warm March ground. It looks like the worst is behind us and warm days are outnumbering attempts winter makes to cling to its final moments of cold. Mountain bikers, fisherman and gorbie photographers slowly riddle the woods and pathways. Summer is rearing its head and for locals, it’s a time when things slow down and we get to enjoy the town at a leisurely pace. Tourism has afforded us an abundance of great places to dine and like the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, it’s easy to find something awesome to devour.

Here’s my list of favourite dishes.

Let’s start with breakfast. Try The Blue Toque’s Sunrise in Marrakesh with a mandatory side of sausage, Max’s Restaurant’s Breakfast Burrito, and the Loaf’s The Works.

Lunch time. It’s all about The Brickhouse’s Plane Jane Burger with cheese, The Northern’s Sweet Sriracha hot wings, Le Grand Fromage’s Old Smokey grilled cheese sandwich, Mugshot’s Reuben Panini, and Freshie’s Tuna Wrap with its homemade balsamic dressing.

Dinner. Head to the Livery and try their Moroccan Braised Lamb Shank, Nevado’s for Pescado Tacos, Pho Locoal’s Shredded Pork Pho, Curry Bowl’s Panang Curry, Bridge Bistro’s Elk Meatballs, Yamagoya’s Surf and Turf Roll, Rusty Edge’s Forest Floor Pizza and check out Island Lake Lodge’s summer menu.

Hungry yet? That list makes me break into sweats. I am sure my favourites will change as restaurants unveil their summer menus. Most excellent are the restaurants of today and decades past. We have it and have had it good here, which shows that restaurants don’t last forever. Get out and enjoy while time and supplies last!