Eagle Plains Hotel
Eagle Plains – Kilometer 371, Dempster Highway
When travelling in remote areas, good food is more of a luxury. than an expectation. You really can’t count on what you’re going to get – sometimes, i’ve encountered some of the best, home-style, lovingly cooked food. Sometimes, barely edible mush. So when driving the Dempster Highway, and we came to the half way point between Inuvik and Dawson City, I had no idea what to expect.
Eagle Plains is what lies at roughly the half way point. The only hotel rooms, restaurant and bar for many many miles, it’s a natural stopping point for people travelling one of the most scenic highways i’ve ever seen. Comparable to the Icefields Parkway/Jasper-Banff highway. Very pretty and well worth a visit!
With a a snowstorm threatening our visibility, we were happy to stop. Inside the hotel, there was a bar, complete with stuffed and mounted animal heads, and a cafeteria masquerading as a restaurant. Starving, we opted for some food before hitting the bar.
Looking at the extensive menu, there is an incredible amount of selection. From sandwiches, to fish and chips, to steak, pasta, chops, salads and everything in between, the length of the menu told me one thing – most of the items had to be frozen. The only “fresh” item on the menu was the fresh baked pie. A positive steal at $3.25.
Both extremely hungry, we figure that hamburgers are the best way to go. After all, it’s hard to mess up a burger. Having a rather large appetite, i opt for the Eagle Burger – two 5oz patties, cheese, turkey, and fried egg , served with your choice of side for $12.95. The arctic circle burger exludes the egg, and drops the price a dollar.
The verdict on the burgers? Nice juicy patties – definitely chock full of fat. Handmade – not machine made, i still get the sense (based on the textur) that the patties were frozen, defrosted and cooked. It was actually really quite tasty though. Nice balance of flavours. Lousy bun, but what do you expect 400 km from the nearest grocery store. It’s greasy, but that was neither a surprise, nor unwelcome. The pie (ala mode) was decent, but also greasy.
Breakfast the next morning was more of the same. Their breakfast sandwich (called the Klondike express) was $7.95, was egg, ham and cheese on an English muffin, served with hashbrowns. The hashbrowns were undercooked, and not very good. But the breakfast sandwich was an indulgence in grill grease, and definitely hit the spot before setting off.
At the end of the day, there isnt much to say about Eagle Plains Hotel. First off, you don’t really have a choice – it’s the only place for miles. Secondly, it’s a greasy spoon, so you should go into it expecting this. However, the taste of the food is actually really good, and based on what i was expecting, they definitely exceeded expectations. In this case, we got lucky with the remote location, as they put some effort into getting some decent ingredients, and serving them. In remote areas, you won’t always get this lucky, but this is a good place to grab some solid grub. The highway is definitely worth the trip – and the burger is well worth stopping for as well.