Eating our way through Sun Peaks….in two days

While Sun Peaks Resort provided us an ample amount of mountain biking, alpine hiking, and dancing to Burton Cummings, it also offered a variety of eateries, from pizza joints and bakeries, to pubs and restaurants.

Since we arrived in Sun Peaks just before 10PM and hadn’t had dinner yet, we were limited in our options and opted for the ever-reliable late night snack – pizza. When we got to the “famous” Mountain High Pizza, they were making fresh pizzas so only had a few single slice options left. We contemplated ordering a full pizza because they had some interesting combinations, and offered a whole wheat crust, but we weren’t that hungry so voted against it. Instead we tried a slice of the “Homesteader” which was BBQ chicken, and a vegetarian. It was decent pizza, but over-priced at $4.25 a slice, especially since when we asked if they could heat the pizza (it looked as though it had been sitting there for hours) they stuck it in the microwave.

The next day we had a disappointing breakfast at Tod Mountain Creperie and Coffee House; clearly we weren’t meant to eat on this trip. The caramel macchiato didn’t taste like caramel at all, and it’s questionable if they did actually use soy; my stomach begged to differ. My smoked turkey, spinach and goat cheese crepe with hollandaise sauce was mediocre at best, in both taste and presentation. A dollop of hollandaise sauce on the side and a pencil thin crepe doesn’t deserve a high grade (or a photo). Oh, and they forgot the turkey…they’re only human so mistakes will be made, but it was the main ingredient. James’ sweet crepe was actually decent, but it’s pretty hard to screw up a strawberry and banana, Nutella crepe with whipped cream; the ingredients speak for themselves. It should be noted, that James makes excellent crepes, so we have pretty high standards.

Tod Mountain Creperie and Coffee House

Fortunately, they have good taste in coffee and offer a self-serve Doi Chaang drip coffee (paid refills of course). One thing I noticed about Sun Peaks was their high quality coffee; no Tim Hortons or Starbucks crap, all Doi Chaang, Cherry Hill, Kicking Horse, and coffees of the like.

Would I revist Tod Mountain Creperie? I’d give them another chance as their staff seemed friendly and I heard that the breakfast burrito is actually pretty tasty.

After hiking, we had lunch at Vertical Café. They have pre-made paninis, baked goods, smoothies, coffee, and most importantly, made-to-order sandwiches. You choose the bread, protein, cheese and vegetables (no limits). I opted for the turkey cheddar with all the veggies and their signature sauce on a multigrain bread. It was delicious, with fresh bread, fresh produce and a creamy, flavourful special sauce.

Would I order a sandwich from here again? Definitely. Maybe with double the protein.


Vertical Cafe

Cell Phone Photos

When we finished lunch, we wandered aimlessly around the village “lèche-vitrine”, as James says, translated to “window licking”,  otherwise known as window shopping. Not in consumer mode unless it came to our bellies, we went back to Vertical to grab a slice of carrot cake and then camped out by the ground squirrel hub to grab some photos of the adorable creatures. Locals surely thought we were a bit odd squatting and gleefully taking photos of something that’s of-the-norm to them, similar to tree squirrels in Vancouver.

Ground Squirrels

After we got our fill of ground squirrel shots, we headed back to our chalet to have a glass of a bottle of Hester Creek 2011 Merlot, and relax before dinner at Powder Hounds.

We were lucky to enjoy  glass of wine with the iconic Nancy Greene, and dinner with her equally as iconic husband, Al Raine, alongside CKNW celebrity, Cheryl Mackinnon, and her quiet, but friendly, husband Bob. Our company also happened to like their wine, and we polished off two bottles: Ex Nihilo 2011 Pinot Gris  ($19 retail), and Cheryl’s “table wine”, Road 13 2011 Seventy-Four K ($24.99 retail).

For dinner, I was craving meat and opted for a half order of the 12oz Grilled Sirloin Stack ($19.95) and added six prawns ($6.95).

Powder Hounds Restaurant - Surf & Turf

Instead of two 6oz cuts of Certified Angus beef sirloin stacked on top of each other, I had one slab of meat topped with goat cheese, fresh basil, and crispy prosciutto. It is normally served with red skin potatoes, a demi glaze and winter root vegetables (mainly carrots and beets), but I’m not a potato-lover and so had it without starch. I wasn’t wowed by this dish, but it wasn’t because of the meat or the toppings, it was because of the undercooked, and frankly boring, side vegetables, and the lack of demi glaze; I had to steal sauce from James’ delicious beef stroganoff.

Powder Hounds Restaurant - Beef Stroganoff

Slow cooked AAA sirloin in a rich mushroom cream sauce topped with roasted three onion compote, sour cream and herb bread with linguini noodles ($19.95)

I’d recommend this dish to anyone looking for a hearty and satisfying meal; celiacs and lactose intolerant folks need not apply. The beef strips were cooked perfectly, the bread was served warm and laced with fresh herbs, and the sauce was calorie-laden, mushroom-loaded, and addictive.

If you go there, just do it.

On the second day we were in town only for breakfast and lunch as we had to make the journey back to Vancouver.

We started our day off at Bolacco Café where we were greeted with a friendly “good morning”, as we took our place in line. We were told that this place was popular for locals and tourists alike, and the line was evidence. Since we were going mountain biking afterwards, we wanted something light, so we decided on a small breakfast wrap each ($3), that had cheese, egg, small chunks of ham and a bit of vegetables. They were simple, yet jam-packed and they hit the spot. Since we were warned that they were small we also ordered a smoothie to share. The smoothie was healthy, yet sweet and rich, and wasn’t skimpy on quality ingredients. The base was a low fat greek yogurt with juice, a banana, ice/water and fruit. It didn’t specify what kind of fruit, as it changes week-to-week, but ours had raspberries and strawberries. Our combo was enough food to satisfy our hunger and to give us enough energy for a few hours of mountain biking.

Bolacco is family owned and operated by a lovely polish couple and earned the award of best customer service in Sun Peaks (in our opinion). I’d definitely go back to Bolacco’s to try some of their baked goods during my next visit to Sun Peaks.

After mountain biking, it was time for lunch at Bottoms Bar & Grill also known as the “Locals Living Room”.  Parched,  I promptly ordered a Double Gin Caesar with bacon slices and beans ($6), in honour of “Sunday Funday”, of course.

Bottoms Bar & Grill - Double Gin Caesar

I had a hard time deciding what I wanted (not unusual), because there were many things that I wanted to try. In the end, I ordered the Bacon Jalapeño Cheddar Stuffed Burger ($14.23). This “mountainous” burger, as they say, comes equipped with  lettuce, tomato, red onion, mustard, and Bottoms’ signature Sundance sauce. I’m obsessed with mushrooms on my burgers so I added them as well, and was pleasantly surprised with the mound they threw on there.

Bottoms Bar & Grill - Jalapeno Cheddar Burger Bottoms Bar & Grill - Jalapeno Cheddar Burger

Despite having jalapeños inside, the patty was not too spicy, and I think that one with a sensitive palate for spice could handle it. I like my burgers messy (ask anyone), and this one did not fail to impress in that regard. It was a juicy, decently-sized patty, with the perfect amount of sauce, a good amount of veggies and a buttered bun with crisp edges. I was in burger heaven – partly due to the fact that I was half-way done my second caesar, and starving from mountain biking all morning, but mostly due to the fact that it was delicious. I was also impressed with the generous serving for the side salad with creamy balsamic vinaigrette, cranberries, slivered almonds, cucumber slices, tomato chunks, and red onions.

Would I order it again? Without a doubt.

James is on a mission to find the best pulled pork, so that’s what he ordered.

Bottoms Bar & Grill - Pulled Pork Sandwich

For $12.94 he got a moist, saucy, sweet, pulled pork topped with tangy coleslaw and frisee onions, served on a fresh pretzel bun and paid extra to substitute regular fries for yam fries. The protein-to-bun ratio was appropriate, even if they went a little overboard on the coleslaw. Better too much, than too little as  you can always take it off. The “pretzel” would’ve been better if it were crunchier to add contrast to the sandwich. The yam fries were skinny (I like them a little chubbier), crisp, and flavourful…especially when coated with Bottom’s aioli.

I asked James if he liked it and he said it was okay, but it didn’t earn the top spot on his list.

We had a good taste of what Sun Peaks has to offer culinarily by eating at a variety of places that were quite different from each other.  I’ve already started a list of restaurants that I want to visit during my Winter visit, and that includes the recommended 5Forty Café & Deli, which is a café/clothing store.

For more photos of the city and eateries check out my gallery on Flickr. 



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