Bison's owners have a winning formula. They are part of the Banff Hospitality Collective group which includes many an eatery: the Balkans Greek restaurant, Magpie & Stump Mexican, the Park Distillery, Bear Street Tavern Pizzeria, the Eddie Burger, and the Maple Leaf Grille. If this isn't enough reason to go, then this review should convince you. Bison is smart yet homely, bustling yet relaxing, and service is very good. The menu proudly boasts that it is regional and seasonal - always good to hear.
Bison's Caesar's (Canadian version of a Bloody Mary) are delicious. The spice level is perfect, the alcohol warming but not overpowering and the juice refreshing. The mimosas are sweet and crisp. Fancy a coffee? Try a brunch shaft - espresso vodka and chocolate milk - creamy and rich.
The menu here is full of amazing options; you'll be hard pressed to pick one. There are eggs benny lots of ways: duck confit and goats cheese, salmon and asparagus, bacon and maple syrup and steak. All of these will satisfy - but if you're feeling meaty, go for the steak. Succulent and flavoursome, with two well poached eggs, nothing at Bison is done by halves. This also includes the mountain breakfast (their version of the full English) and the French toast. This is a sweet tooth's dream, with Apple slaw, berries, whipped cream. The double smoked bacon and Gouda balance the flavours to ensure you can finish the lot. If you swing more toward lunch than breakfast at your brunch, choose the Bison burger or sandwich - packed full of great quality meat, cheese and potato.
The more unusual option on the menu is the brunch pizza. Packed with potato, tomato, onion, Gouda, eggs and bacon, this is a real treat. There could be more hollandaise to perk up the base, but otherwise this is something we want to see on more brunch menus please. The more classic option of the cast iron frittata is huge, ripe tomatoes and creamy goats cheese ensure it is full of flavour and almost too big to finish.
Brunch at Bison is done very well. The huge windows allow light to flood in and there is a gorgeous terrace for those warmer mornings. Service is en pointe and the setting is relaxed, with tables well spaced so you never feel as if you are hemmed in. The food is really, mouth wateringly, lip smackingly good.
The Bison is located just off of Banff Ave along Bear Street. For more information, check out their website here.