Tag Archives: Jasper National Park

Clean Clothes and Great Java at SnowDome Coffee Bar in Jasper, Alberta

Wash your clothes while you savour a fabulous java at SnowDome Coffee Bar in Jasper, Alberta

Wash your clothes while you savour a fabulous java at SnowDome Coffee Bar in Jasper, Alberta

It’s such an obvious concept, I’m surprised more enterprising businesspeople haven’t thought of it. I’m talking about a laundromat combined with a coffee shop. You’ve got a captive market of folks waiting an hour or more to clean their clothes. Might as well sell them a cuppa and maybe something to nibble on.

But Coin Clean Laundry in the mountain resort town of Jasper, Alberta has taken things a step further. The java in their SnowDome Coffee Bar is so good, you can happily go there with no intention of putting a load in—the quiet hum of all those stainless machines just an interesting backdrop while you’re sipping in a comfy chair.

You know owners Shelley and Sam are serious about their coffee when they’re using a high-end, custom-made Slayer Espresso machine, with its walnut paddles. (Slayers are made in Seattle by a company headed by Jason Prefontaine, whose family owns the Calgary-based Fratello coffee business; no surprise, Fratello beans are used here.) The robust Americanos were so good, I could never stop at one.

Comfy chairs with a barista operating the exacting Slayer Espresso machine in the background

Comfy chairs with a barista operating the exacting Slayer Espresso machine in the background

SnowDome also bakes some fine fruit muffins and cookies (try the Warden). They do charge for Wifi and to use the in-house computers but, hey, they are dealing with the tourist crowds. If you need to clean your body, too, after a weeklong backpack, there’s  coin-operated showers in back.

SnowDome Coffee Bar
607 Patricia Street, Jasper, Alberta
Daily 7:45 am-8 pm
SnowDome Coffee Bar on Urbanspoon

Across the street from SnowDome, Jasper Liquor Store & Wine Cellar seems a misnomer. I mean, sure, owner D.J. Bowen’s got a couple of thousand wine labels on hand. But what hooks me is the 700 kinds of beer in a spacious, refrigerated room. It’s one of the best beer selections I’ve seen in Alberta.

Just a small sampling of the 700 types of beer available at Jasper Liquor Store and Wine Cellar

Just a small sampling of the 700 types of beer available at Jasper Liquor Store and Wine Cellar

I’m enthralled with so many compelling ales, lagers, IPAs, lambics and stouts that I’m shivering when I emerge. The biggest find is a hopped mead from Water Valley, Alberta’s Fallentimber Meadery, the honey smoothing the hoppier tones and producing a drink that’s delightfully different.

Jasper Liquor Store and Wine Cellar
606 Patricia Street, Jasper, Alberta

Backpacking Reward: Hearty Burgers in Lake Louise, Alberta

There's nothing like a week-long backpack into southern Jasper National Park to work up an appetite

There’s nothing like a week-long backpack into southern Jasper National Park to work up an appetite

It’s the end of a week-long backpack in southern Jasper National Park, and the one thing that keeps our feet plodding down the last muddy trail to the car, and civilization, is the mental mantra ham-bur-ger, ham-bur-ger. So it is with stiff legs and famished appetites that we stumble into the Outpost Pub in the darkened bowels of the Post Hotel in Lake Louise, on our way back to Banff. It’s swanky upstairs with a 25,000-bottle wine cellar, but down here—despite the linen napkins and fine European service—they don’t seem to mind my muddy trousers or heavy stubble. And we don’t mind the Lake Louise premium of $15 and up for a burger, especially when it’s six ounces of dense sirloin and a mountain of thin-cut fries, washed down with a pint of Big Rock Traditional. The preliminary basket of chewy, sourdough buns is excellent and somewhat better than the house-made burger bun. But when you’re this hungry, any quibbles are nigh insignificant. For about 10 minutes, the only sound from our table of six is chewing. Or is it inhaling?

Yes, that's a massive sirloin burger behind the mountain of fries at the Outpost Pub in Lake Louise

Yes, that’s a massive sirloin burger behind the mountain of fries at the Outpost Pub in Lake Louise

Outpost Pub in The Post Hotel
200 Pipestone Road, Lake Louise
Monday to Friday 4:30 pm-midnight, weekends noon to midnight
Outpost Pub on Urbanspoon