My Last Lunch at Murrieta’s

Canmore Dining Guide, August 24, 2017

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I couldn’t feel more strongly about that disposition in the midst of wrapping up my internship with RMV Publications. I was offered the job after a multitude of obstacles and twists of fate. The internship had originally been committed to someone else, who couldn’t end up taking it after all; I had nearly missed the deadline to send the application in; and our editor, I later found out, was drafting an email to offer the position to someone else when she received my résumé. Everything aligned perfectly for me to start my internship with the company.

Of course, I say all of this in the pinnacle of my nostalgia, on the last day of my internship, but I believe it still holds true. A very illuminating four months have passed and to celebrate (or mourn, right guys?) my last day of work, our publisher, Jack, graciously offered to take the office out for lunch. There were only two conditions: the venue would be the place of my choice, and my final assignment would be to write my last dining blog as an intern.

The timing couldn’t be more impeccable, as I’d just spent weeks studying menus of Canmore restaurants for our Dining Guides. Pouring over the menus of various restaurants’ ethnic, innovative and traditional choices, I’d spent the last month of lunch breaks slowly ticking off as many of the restaurants as my wallet, and my time, could handle. And out of the few left to check off, I jumped at the final opportunity to discover one more: Murrieta’s Bar & Grill.

While working on the dining guides, I was immediately attracted to the ambience when I went in to interview their manager. It was perfectly clean cut with simple but refurbished long mahogany tables and high vaulted ceillings. The venue, located on the second floor, had large windows displaying views of both Canmore’s main street, and Lady Macdonald. I was impressed. It always stayed in the back of my mind, so when Jack asked me where I liked to go, the answer was obvious.

We headed into town together, the weather reflecting my mood for my last day: dreary. But despite the pathetic fallacy, our meal seemed to bring joy to all of us.

Looking through the menu we all struggled with the choices. They were all full of eclectic accents. It wasn’t just prosciutto flatbread; it was prosciutto flatbread with strawberry and balsamic reduction. A pineapple maple chipotle glaze accompanied the calamari. Their menu consisted of traditional Italian cuisine with an innovative twist.

Like a true team, many of us chose plates with plans to share it; Warren and I were the exception due to dietary restrictions. But Glenn and Jack shared the daily special: orzo with seasonal vegetables (including asparagus, yum) and chicken, as well as the prosciutto flatbread clad with truffle cheese sauce, strawberries, goat cheese, and a healthy serving of arugula on top.

Keili, Andrea and Alex amicably bickered about who would be willing to share the prosciutto pizza and fish tacos. And when they arrived Keili and I noted that the toppings on the tacos were so generous we didn’t even notice their corn tortilla beds at first glance.

Warren and I chose from their pasta dishes and they were easily able to accommodate our modifications: mine without meat, and Warren’s with gluten-free pasta.

The meal was outdone only by the company and the reminiscent conversation. We discussed the trials and tribulations of meeting editorial deadlines, the stress of gathering content, and only when I was put on the spot – the least favourite parts of the job. All of which I would gladly undergo again.

The venue was quiet for the midday hour, so we didn’t feel rushed after we finished our lunch, Jack and Glenn able to take their time to enjoy an after-meal coffee.

As I sit back in the office, the entirety of my experience here is bittersweet. My internship has been so fulfilling and thoughts of wishing to prolong it have crossed my mind. On the other, months of working on summer events and activities have only increased my passion to discover more of the Rocky Mountains. As I flip through our finished magazine and months of hard work, I ask myself excitedly Where in the Rockies is next?

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