Sorry, We’re Open

Grande Prairie 16

This roast-beef sandwich, at Soups in Beaverlodge Alberta, was definitely worth a year’s wait and 3,000-km-plus of driving

Thank God for persistence. Or pig headedness.

Last summer, we drove 1,000 kilometres from Calgary to near Tumbler Ridge, in northeast B.C., for a backpack. Just past Grande Prairie, Alberta, we stopped at a recommended lunch spot, called Soups, in Beaverlodge. Closed for the week. Strike one.

The bad luck continued when at the very trailhead, after a long gravel-road drive, was a hand-made sign: trail closed because of wildfire. On our way back through smoky Beaverlodge, a week later, we stopped again at Soups. Still closed. Strike two.

Grande Prairie 2017 7

1,000-plus kilometres of driving leads to this surprise

Because we’re dim-witted creatures accustomed to suffering, three of us headed back this summer for another crack at said backpack. Of course, we stopped at Soups for a mid-morning break. Closed for a staff break. Strike three.

IMG_6135

Would you like that beaver smoked?

The smoke in the mountains was still rather thick, but the Monkman Pass trail was open and we persevered through a wonderful week of waterfalls and alpine lakes. So things were looking up when we stopped at Soups, on the way home. What do you know, it was open.

Monkman 89

Hiking amongst the tarns in Monkman Provincial Park

Packed to the rafters, in fact, at mid-week lunch. Who knew so many people lived in little Beaverlodge? Or made it their favourite place for a bite out?

Grande Prairie 12

Soups is a bustling place, when it’s open

We grabbed the last free table and watched the bustling staff deliver house-made soups and hefty sandwiches to the expectant diners. Many of the sandwich meats are made in house, as is the thick, soft bread; customers are, charmingly, asked if they want their sandwiches on “white or brown.”

What we wanted, after a week of hiking and dehydrated meals, was big, fresh and tasty. And Soups delivered on all counts, serving up honking sandwiches of roast beef and bayou chicken. Chased with a fresh-baked cinnamon bun.

Grande Prairie 18

“Take that picture and let me chomp down on this bayou chicken sandwich”

And then into the line at the till, where long-time owner Luvie Castro chatted with all the customers, at least the ones paying the bill.

Who knows if I’ll ever go through Beaverlodge again. But if I do, it’s definitely worth a stop to see if Soups is open.

Soups
908 2 Avenue, Beaverlodge, Alberta
Weekdays 7 am-3 pm. Closed weekends
780-354-3111

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