A fun and funky little restaurant…
Latest visit: June 11, 2012
First visit: June 11, 2012
During our two-week tour of Alaska and the Yukon Territory, our bus pulled into Whitehorse the capital of YT, drove slowly up 2nd (a main drag) to let us get a visual flavor of the town before backtracking to let the passengers out for lunch at Tim Horton’s. Fortunately for three of us, I had spied a small place about a block north of Horton;s called Burnt Toast Cafe, so Jane and I together with our friend Jean Hogan (a woman of great taste and a fellow gastronome) made a beeline for Burnt Toast, possibly saving our delicate tastebuds from a cruel fate at Horton’s.
This proved to be one of the best decisions we made on the entire trip. Our lunch was so spectacular that we enlisted two more friends to return with us that evening for dinner.
Start your lunch with a cold glass of Yukon Red. You can thank me later.
Yeah, Canadians love their beer. So do I.
Yukon Red is all about flavor. The drink starts with by displaying a deep bronze color but the beer is crystal clear. The head is an abundant fine mousse (pronounced ‘moose’ for the cabin crowd), cream colored and just spilling over the rim of the glass (if you got the good waitress, Yukon trained and all). As you raise the mug, your senses catch the fine aromas permeating from the glass, clean malty sweetness touched by spicy hop esters.
In September 2009 Yukon Red, the brewery’s Amber Ale was awarded the 2009 Canadian Beer of the Year at the Canadian Brewing Awards, finishing with gold in the Amber Ale category.
Yukon Red is among the very best beers that I have ever had. Anyplace.
Pulled Pork Sandwich with Potato-Leek Soup
Paprika rubbed, slow roasted pork finished with a zesty house made barbecue sauce and piled on a French bun with smoked cheddar.
I never expected to fond world-class pulled pork outside of the USA, but this one is among the very best I have had, and certainly better that anything Albuquerque has to offer (but Gary West’s Smokehouse in Rio Rancho comes close). Beautifully spiced, tender and juicy, this sandwich was perfect.
The real surprise here, however, was the potato-leek soup. The first taste put my tastebuds on alert. The second taste confirmed that this is the best version of this classic soup that I have had. Period. Get some. Amazing combination.
Thai Prawn Salad
Prawns, peppers, cucumbers, beets, carrots, black sesame seeds on a bed of rice vermicelli with a spicy peanut dressing.
Shrimp and beets? Yeah, really. I used to think that beets were too earthy to serve with delicate shrimp. Not any ore. This is a fabulous combination.
The quality of the lunch surely required us to return for dinner. We anticipated the return all afternoon.
And Then—The Dinner
Bill and Mary Ann, our newest old friends, joined the three of us for dinner. They are both accomplished gastronomes. They wanted to see for themselves what all the raves were about.
Well, they found out.
Arctic Char en Papillote
Lemon herb crusted local Icy Waters char steamed in parchment paper served with blue cheese mashed or rice and a fresh daily vegetable.
Arctic char or Arctic charr is a cold-water fish in the Salmonidae family, native to Arctic, sub-Arctic and alpine lakes and coastal waters. It breeds in fresh water, and populations can be either landlocked or anadromous, migrating to the sea.
The Arctic char is closely related to both salmon and lake trout, and has many characteristics of both. Individual fish can weigh 20 lb (9.1 kg) or more with record-sized fish having been taken by angling in northern Canada, where it is known as iqaluk or tariungmiutaq in Inuktitut. Generally, whole market-sized fish are between 2 and 5 lb (0.91 and 2.3 kg). The flesh color can range from a bright red to a pale pink.
Cooked in parchment paper, the flesh absorbs the herbs and spices and remained tender and juicy. A beautiful thing to do to a fine fish.
Alaska salmon and cheese wrapped in a large flour tortilla and lightly grilled. Served with a cup of herbed tomatos and sprinkled with green peppers.
I am not normally a quesadilla fan. Generalluy boring. The only quesadilla I have enjoyed was a steak quesadilla served at the at the Sugar Nymphs Bistro in Peñasco, New mexico.
Until now. I suspect that you will not get a salmon quesadilla in New Mexico (or anyplace in the great southwest). Salmon in a quesadilla is a bit of genius, especially up here where salmon is plentiful and served in nearly every restaurant in some form or another. Fabulous dish.
Scallops, mussels, prawns, shrimp, sausage and rice simmered in our house made ancho pepper jambalaya sauce topped with cilantro crema.
Jambalaya is one of those classic Louisiana Creole dish of Spanish and French influence. The Oxford English Dictionary indicates that ‘jambalaya’ comes from the Provençal word ‘jambalaia’, meaning a mish mash, or mixup, and also meaning a pilau (pilaf) of rice.
But would you expect to find an authentic jambalaya in the Yukon? Probably not, bur surprise! Burnt Toast, in its eclectic wonders, has it, and I loved it. Delicious, spicy, and beautiful to boot, this is a very fine dish.
Topped with red onion and choice of Tzatziki or Cajun Remoulade or lemon and cucumber.
Everybody, it seems, does some version od fried calamari’ My favorite is simply delicately fried and served with a generous pile of fresh lemon. Ignore the veggies, and that’s what you get here. Lightly crisp and gently fried, this version is the equal of any I have had. You can’t go wrong with this.
We wanted to go back for breakfast the next morning, but our bus was departing for a long trek to Dawson City early, before Burnt Toast opened. Pity.
So what we have here is a fun and funky little restaurant serving some of the best eclectic food in the YT. The service was spot on, and the servers were very knowledgeable. The chefs are outstanding and the plating was beautiful.
My only problem is that Whitehorse is 2,877 mi from Albuquerque. Were it close, I would eat there at least once a week. It’s that good.
Burnt Toast Cafe
Be sure to check the Facebook page for daily specials.