This is going to be a strange review as we discovered this restaurant during Banff Bon Appetite and what drew us to this restaurant was the word “Smokehouse” in the name. So, we made ourselves a reservation at the Mountain Home Smokehouse Grill in Banff, on Banff Avenue, just off the highway. This restaurant is inside of the Banff Voyager Inn which is a hotel we stayed in many years ago… and it’s got the best rates of the town, but for a reason!
We were about 15 minutes early for our reservation, so we decided to go in anyway. There was only 1 other table of 6, and only 1 waiter on duty. We were seated after he had taken the order to the large table and from there, we waited. After he came to take our order, we realized we didn’t get our drink order in. It was only Hot Tea that we wanted, and it took a long time for him to find water and boil it. By now, another table has come to sit behind us and they wanted to order off the regular menu, instead of the Bon Appetite special. He took forever to figure out if he could do that. It was interesting! We got some Bread and Butter and the bread was fine, but the butter was completely melted – there wasn’t a way for you to spread the butter… you had to dip it. To make it worse, the waiter dropped some butter (dripping butter) on the floor and tried to give it to the table behind us. The customers said “you got to take that back” and the waiter didn’t. I was glad it wasn’t my butter that landed on the floor – or so I think! The bread was fine though, the service was a little weird…
Okay, now it’s been awhile, and I got a glass of water, and our tea finally came. He didn’t bring us cream or milk, or even a mixing spoon – so I just used my knife. Tea was fine, it was just normal Red Rose Tea and we never got asked if we wanted the water refilled.
Now, we get our appetizers, which I ordered the Spinach Salad which was a salad over dressed in pear vinaigrette and candied walnuts! The walnuts were amazingly delicious and there’s nothing wrong with the salad – beside it being over dressed. Not bad start! The portions were extremely generous as well!
The other appetizer that we ordered was the Buffalo Barley Soup and this soup was amazing. It was meaty and hearty with tons of flavour! This soup offered huge chunks of buffalo pieces and lots of vegetables. It was the favourite of the 2 appetizers from the special menu!
After the appetizers, we realized we’ve been waiting there for over an hour already. We waited for another 20 minutes before the waiter came out to ask us if we had our appetizers already… and we told him we did. We knew it would be quite a wait for the actual entrees… but, when they came – it was pretty good! I ordered the Elk Meatloaf that was topped with brandied saskatoon berry demi glaze served with oven roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes (you could choose from fries or even sweet potato fries too!) and it was pretty good! Elk is a very lean meat, so the meatloaf was very lean. It wasn’t too dry, but it was quite dense. The flavours were all there, and they gave 1 1/2 slices. The bottom piece was only a half piece! I enjoyed the Elk Meatloaf even though the demi glaze sauce looked weird to me, it was good as it added moisture to the meatloaf!
The other entree that we ordered was the Beef Ribs which came with 2 enormous ribs smoked over cherry and hickory wood, then braised in Big Rock Traditional Ale for extra tenderness finished with spiced rum BBQ Sauce! Yup, this was as good as it sounded! It was juicy, tender and tasty!
From here, we waited and waited and then the waiter comes out to ask us what it was that we ordered. I said I wanted the Chocolate Pecan Pie as it’s what they advertise as “made from our own recipe”, so I was hopeful for the best pie I’ve had in a long time. The pie was cold, and it had no texture at all! Mushy crust, soggy pecans and a chocolate gooey mess. It just wasn’t what we were hoping for…
Now, we were excited for the Homemade Apple Pie as nothing sounds more delicious than a nice warm piece of apple pie, right? This one was stone cold, mushy crust again! What’s happening? You can’t really goof on an apple pie! Ah well, they’re just not too great with desserts. I’m sure someone out there likes their pies, but I had different expectations. The portions of the pies were huge, like everything else!
Overall, there were a few slips and downfalls, but for $25 for a 3 course meal, it was extremely awesome! Service isn’t everything for us, you need the food to back it up, and surprisingly, it turned out okay! Soup and entrees were amazing, and like I’ve been stating throughout – the portions are very generous. These items are on their regular menu as well, so you can try it out. Nothing here really screamed “smokehouse” to us though. Another thing to note, they’re only opened for Breakfast and Dinner!
Mountain Home Smokehouse Grill
555 Banff Ave
Banff, AB T0L