Many a time I have walked by the Magpie & Stump with its deceiving name and curious exterior, admiring the food through the windows. The menu on the big wooden door always tempts you that little bit further and then the smell of Mexican delicacies floating to your nostrils through the cold air was enough for me. I needed to visit. Though there are many ethnic restaurants around Banff and indeed the Rockies, the Magpie and Stump is one of the few Mexican themed options and is particularly unique in its décor.
Part frontier saloon, part Tex Mex, it is easy to see why this place has always caused me so much curiosity. As soon as you walk through the heavy doors and the warm air hits, the decorations are the first thing to catch the eye. Cowhides, tequila signs and plants are just a few of the odd quirks in this homely feeling place. Immediately upon entering the ‘saloon’ the friendly smiling staff comes to help you to a seat. The offer of a margarita is too hard to refuse as we peruse the huge varied menu.
There is literally everything from hamburgers to Nachos to choose from and one look around me was enough to see that we were going to be faced with huge portions. With this in mind, myself and gluttonous eating partner decided to share something we have never tried before for appetizer. The Mexican Crisp came out looking like some form of basic Mexican pizza. The taste was beyond delicious like someone had gone to the trouble of organizing the perfect tasting nacho with spicy meat and cheese. When the enchiladas came out, it was time to get a second wind. Despite the warnings, I still wasn’t ready for a meal of that size.
The beef and onion enchilada’s were beyond compare and must go down as one of the finest main courses I have had in Banff. Dripping in taste, it was hard to put the fork down despite my stomachs best efforts at warning me. My accomplice in greed destroyed her almond and chicken tacos almost before I could get a taste. Almost. To celebrate our accomplishment, another addictive margarita was ordered. If a delicious and satisfying meal in a place where the staff is as helpful as can be is what you are after, then look no further than the Magpie and Stump of Banff.