Grizzly House


207 Banff Ave
Banff, Alberta

Notes: Original Fondue Dinner (Beef and Free Range Chicken)
$45.95, Exotic Fondue (Shark, Alligator, Rattlesnake, Ostrich, Frogs Legs, Buffalo and Venison) $63.95

Price: $$$$
Food: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Ambiance: 4/5
Tummy Points: 4/5

Grizzly House on Urbanspoon

Recognized by the UN as a World Heritage Site, Banff National Park is one of the most beautiful places in Canada with clear blue lakes and tall snow capped mountains.  Inside the park lies the small town of Banff that includes many souvenir shops, chain and unique restaurants, and travel/tour/excursion agents.

One of the unique restaurants I found here is Grizzly’s.  You can’t miss it with its unique looking store front.  It’s usually busy here during the tourist season with everyone wanting to try something different rather than the usual McDonald’s just down the street.  The first time I waited 30-45 minutes while the second time I lucked out with an available outside seating.  As usual, it’s a great tourist trap and it serves fondue, both which mean it’s going to be pricey and it is.

They offer complete fondue sets which includes a choice of salad or soup, cooking your meat in oil fondue or on hot stone, and chocolate fondue.  To spoil the surprise, I liked it here enough that I came here twice so you’ll see photos I took inside and outside seating.

WP_20140607_23_29_41_Pro_smBecause the building isn’t well ventilated like a Korean BBQ restaurant but still allows guests to grill at their tables, the air is thick with the smell of meat cooking.  Your clothes will smell like meat no matter what.

WP_20140607_23_41_59_Pro_smIt’s tossed in their house dressing which is thick and sweet.  They put too much dressing so it’s very heavy at the bottom of the salad.

Chicken Tortellini Soup
WP_20140808_22_03_27_Pro_smA little on the salty side but there’s a a few tortellinis and chicken in there.

French Onion Soup
WP_20140808_22_03_19_Pro_smFor their complete coarse, you can swap the salad/soup to a french onion soup for $2 more.  It’s well worth it.  The cheese is nicely melted and the soup is salted just right.

Neuchâtel Fondue
WP_20140808_22_11_22_Pro_smIt’s a cheese fondue with some wine and Kirsch.  It’s good to put some or all the garlic into the fondue for some extra flavor.  Our waiter suggested to leave a bit of cheese at the bottom and let it cook to give you some fried cheese.  It’s pretty good.

Raw meats for the lobster/beef fondue and grizzly classic fondue
WP_20140808_22_46_47_Pro_smBottom Left to Right: Lobster, Beef, Chicken, Beef.  Top: Crocodile (side order)

Raw meats for the exotic fondue
WP_20140608_00_12_10_Pro_smIncluded is 1oz each of shark, alligator, rattlesnake, ostrich, buffalo, venison, and a frog leg

WP_20140808_22_47_00_Pro_smAssorted sauces garlic, red Pepper, dijon horseradish, honey mustard and teriyaki (center). i only liked the horseradish at the top center.

Cooking lobster and chicken on the hot stone
WP_20140808_22_51_11_Pro_smThey salted the lobster which I wish they didn’t.  I did like how they chopped it up so it’s easier to cook on the stone

Cooking beef and crocodile on the hot stone
WP_20140808_22_57_47_Pro_smWe usually need 2 fresh hot stones to get our whole meal cooked.  Meat quality is good with beef and chicken tender.

Some inside cooking on the hot stone
WP_20140608_00_14_21_Pro_smTop is chicken and beef.  Bottom are rattle snake, shark, alligator, and frog leg.  They recommend cooking each side: chicken (2 minutes), frog (4 minutes), shark (2 minutes), alligator (2 minutes), snake (1 minute), ostrich (1.5 minutes), buffalo (1.5 minutes), venison (1.5 minutes)

Cooked exotic fondue
WP_20140608_00_21_41_Pro_smThe food cooks very quickly so watch that hot stone.  I personally liked the rattlesnake the most but it’s all the most pricey of the meats.  I did wonder if the shark was a nurse shark.

Chocolate fondue
WP_20140808_23_22_39_Pro_smThe fondue is made with melted Toblerone chocolate.  Included are wafers, strawberries, banana, apples, oranges, honeydew, and cantaloupe.  I wished they included a cold cream puff.

The complete meals are 6-8oz of meat which isn’t a lot of meat but you’ll be filled with the bread in cheese fondue and the soup.  The service we got on our second visit was really good with a humorous and attentive – albeit busy waiter.  Both times our waiter gave us a run down of the main menu focusing mainly on the complete fondue and provided suggestions on how to best savor each fondue and the cooking times for each meat.  Food takes a while to come out so plan to have a 1.5-2.5 hour dinner.  Overall I really enjoyed the experience and would recommend a visit when you’re out in Banff.

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