When I visit minuscule town of Field, British Columbia (population “fewer than 200,” according to the town’s website), it’s Monday evening and summer is sliding into fall. Heavy clouds hang low on the mountains, obscuring the impressive peaks of Yoho National Park that rise on either side of town. A fine mist falls, one that will change into snow overnight as the temperature drops. It’s quiet here, save for the whoosh of cars on the nearby Trans Canada Highway; the town’s few homes—outnumbered by its guesthouses—seem empty.
As soon as I open the door to the Truffle Pigs Bistro, which sits on the first floor of the Truffle Pigs Lodge—by far the biggest such establishment in the town, with 13 guestrooms—I seem to have found the action. Down jacket-toting diners pack the humble dining room where an assortment of winged pigs hangs from the exposed beams above. The small dining room seats only 40 and there’s a wait. I’m seated at the bar a half hour later, and it’s well worth the delay.
Truffle Pigs could probably get by providing crappy food—after all, there’s only one other restaurant in town, and the three national park restaurants in the area are either hard to get to or expensive or both. Apart from the high prices of the restaurants at Lake Louise, 20 minutes east, and Banff, an hour away, Truffle Pigs is about all there is. Though it’s so close to the world-famous Alberta scenery that draws scores of people from around the world to each year, the experience on the British Columbia side is decidedly low-key, intimate, and inviting, with no crowds to contend with.
Still, Truffle Pigs outdoes itself with an enticing and mostly meat-focused menu borrowing an array of international flavors for generously portioned plates like Hot & Sticky Phuket Lamb Ribs, Bulgogi Pork Belly Nachos, 48 Hour Bender Short Ribs, Dawdling Duck Confit and Gnocchi Al Gambas.
Sitting at the bar, I chat with the bartender, who learned my name and left for six minutes during his shift to check on something at home a few blocks away; he doesn’t bring keys because no one locks their doors here. I meet fellow travelers, who offer tips on hiking trails in the area, and drink the staff-suggested combination of housemade ginger beer mixed with kolsch from Mount Begbie Brewery in Revelstoke, a ski town two hours west.
Apart from dinner, Truffle Pigs also serves a daily continental breakfast and seated lunch, and operates a small take-away deli counter with items like wraps, sandwiches, cheese, and desserts.