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After our visit to Eau Claire, Prince’s Island Park and River Cafe, we took care of a few quick errands before heading up to Banff.  Melissa’s Road Race was scheduled to start around 10 am on the Saturday.  To avoid any last-minute rush, big sis and I had reservations at The Banff Y Mountain Lodge.  A leisurely drive to Banff on a Friday afternoon was a far better option than rushing our way to Banff on Saturday morning.

Not wanting to be idle in the car, I decided to start my next knitting project.  I am knitting a hat for my mom and had picked out a pattern to try.  The pattern said to cast on 112 stitches.  It took me three attempts to complete the cast on.  i did not allow for enough yarn during cast on and ended up having to take it apart to start again.  By the time I successfully cast on 112 stitches, I was worn out.  Perhaps it was the early flight that was finally catching up with me.

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With the warm sun radiating through the window, I found it difficult to focus on the task at hand and closed my eyes for a quick power nap.  When I opened my eyes again, this is what I was greeted with…

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As I shook away layers of sleepiness, I noticed that we were quickly approaching the Banff town centre.  Not too long after, we arrived at our destination for the evening – The Banff Y Mountain Lodge.  We checked in and went upstairs to drop off our luggage.

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the room that N and I shared

the room that N and I shared

our en-suite washroom

our en-suite washroom

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view from our window

view from our window

My big sis and I made our room reservations in February shortly after registering for the event.  As my big sis said, if we want an en-suite washroom, we have to book early.  Yup… thank goodness for that!

After unpacking essentials and freshening up, we realized that it was time for dinner.  Jehfu and Big sis suggested a place to try but the waiting time was too long.  We decided to wander to the main street and to see what restaurant might catch our attention.

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Being in the mountains as dusk was approaching meant the temperatures were cooling quickly.  Factor in the dark clouds that were starting to loom overhead and we could feel the chilly breeze.  As we walked by a Greek restaurant, the rain drops were starting to fall.  Taking a quick survey in our group, everyone seemed agreeable to Greek food.  We decided to give it a try and luckily, they were able to squeeze us in.

Balkan The Greek Restaurant

Balkan The Greek Restaurant

our table

our table

hockey...

hockey…

view from our table

view from our table

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There were many options on the menu and everything looked good.  I couldn’t decide what I wanted as there was just too much to choose from.  My eyes are definitely bigger than my appetite which makes ordering a dangerous task.  Luckily we (the adults) decided to order some items to share.  We ordered the Lagos Stifado (slow roasted braised rabbit) and the Arni Kleftiko (rustic braised lamb shoulder) platter to share.  Noting that we had four adults and only three entree portions, our friendly server asked us if we considered adding the horiatiki salad and the kalamari to our platter.  It was a good alternative to ordering another big entree just in case there was too much food for us.  My niece still had her own kid’s meal.

kids meal...

kids meal…

kalamari

kalamari

horiatiki salad

horiatiki salad

Arni Kleftiko (The Stolen Lamb) -- (rustic braised lamb shoulder) platter

Arni Kleftiko (The Stolen Lamb) — (rustic braised lamb shoulder) platter

Lagos Stifado -- (slow roasted braised rabbit)

Lagos Stifado — (slow roasted braised rabbit)

Yum yum… the food was fantastic!!  I thought the kalamari was pretty good already.  The crispy batter lightly coated  tender pieces of squid.  Delicious!  The kalamari was so good that the horiatiki salad tasted average in comparison.

As we were finishing up the kalamari and the horiatiki salad, the Lagos Stifado and the Arni Kleftiko platter were served.  The braised rabbit (Lagos Stifado) reminded me of chicken.  Overall, the rabbit meat was moist but it did have a bit of toughness to it (like stringy chicken breast).  Turning to the platter, the braised lamb was accompanied by potatoes, veggies, rice and pita bread.  There were three dips on the side.  My guess is … tzatziki, pesto and olive?   I only tried a bit of the olive dip.  I found that the pita bread was so fresh and tasty that it didn’t require any dips.

I tried some of the braised lamb.  Oh. My.  It was phenomenal!  The lamb was so tender and flavourful.  It tasted delicious!  The sauce was good although a bit on the salty on its own.  However, accompanied with the rice and potatoes, it was so good!

I ate a lot and was so full by the end of the evening.  Thank goodness it was a good 10 minute walk back to the lodge.  At least I was able to walk off some of that food.  Hmm… Does storing up energy for my 10K the next morning justify the amount of food I ate?  😉

I hope to dine at this restaurant again the next time I am in Banff!
Balkan The Greek Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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