Westlake Grill

International flavours featuring local producers

Posts Categorized / Opinion


In a hurry for lunch? We’ve got you covered!

The dreaded lunch rush!

Lunch is always a confusing time. Should you pack your own, sit at your desk and still try to get some work done? Or maybe head out to a fast food place for a quick bite that will end up leaving you still hungry? You could even go out to that fancy restaurant and get a decent meal, but the last time you went you were late back for work. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Most folks only get an hour for lunch. That’s sixty minutes to eat, socialize, grab a coffee and catch a small breather before heading back to the daily grind. For some, that hour is the only reprieve they have for the day; they don’t want to spend it at their desks, answering phones or helping customers. Nor do they want to spend it waiting in line for something greasy, or sitting at a table waiting for the cheque to be delivered. Forgoing all of these situations, you’re likely to give up and head to the vending machine for a questionable snack.

Hey, we’re not judging. We’ve all been there. Thankfully, West Lake Grill has healthy options that will tantalize your tastebuds and get you back to work on time.

Great Food, Great Timing

Using the best available ingredients, all our meals are prepared in house and cooked to the highest standards. We believe it’s how food should be.

perfect burger, best burger

Our Ranch Approved Beef Burger is made from 100% grilled beef, covered in delicious crispy bacon, then smothered with a succulent Saskatoon BBQ sauce. Then we pile on crisp lettuce, fresh tomato, aged cheddar and Ranch Style aioli. Guaranteed not to make you want to run for the vending machines again!


Who doesn’t love a great steak sandwich? Ours is smothered in our delicious Saskatoon Peppercorn sauce and topped generously with onion crisps. Words cannot describe how amazing this is. Stop licking your monitor and come get one of these bad boys!


Have you tried one of our Sliders? You get your choice of Elk or Smoked Beef Brisket smothered in Saskatoon Barbeque Sauce with creamy goat cheese, bacon and onion crisps served on house baked ciabatta. You’ll never feel the need to wait in line at that fast food place again.

All our lunches are served with your choice of Ranch Cut Fries, Baby Romaine, Beet & Watermelon Salad or Soup.


Join us for our Annual Red Deer Pumpkin Hunt!

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Overwaitea vs the Pumpkin Patch

It’s a long standing tradition in my house that the night before Halloween we find the biggest pumpkin, carve it, place a candle inside, light it, turn off the lights and take a picture. I’ve been doing it this way since I was a kid and it’s something I am passing down to my son. As a kid, you couldn’t just walk down to the local pumpkin patch and pick the one you wanted. Oh no, we had grocery stores like Overwaitea that boasted some of the grandest pumpkins the world had ever seen, loaded up in these big cardboad bins outside the store kids could dive into and return to the shopping cart five minutes later, giant pumpkin in their grips, a look of victory on their faces like some Chesapeake Retriever returning from the hunt with a prize goose clamped between its jaws. For us, that was our pumpkin patch. Going and picking your own was unheard of. In Red Deer pumpkin patches are all over. We went to our first patch last year and found quite possibly the largest pumpkin our household has ever seen! It was fun cleaning it, carving it, even placing one of our cats inside and taking a picture.

Red-Deer-Pumpkin-PosterBut there was something missing. Something from those days as a kid when I would climb in those combo bins and dig through dregs, hunting for the perfect pumpkin. It was the thrill of the hunt I missed; searching around in near dark to find the ultimate pumpkin.

Red Deer Pumpkin Hunt at Heritage Ranch

In Red Deer pumpkin hunting is as easy as Heritage Ranch. Throughout the month of October, join us for our annual Red Deer Pumpkin Hunt! Bring your flashlight down to the patch for a tractor ride, some hot chocolate, popcorn, and of course a pumpkin! There’s something so satisfying about heading out into the dark, armed with a flashlight, and finding that prize pumpkin, something akin to that childhood nostalgia of letting mom do the shopping while my brother and I searched for the family Jack-o-Lantern.

My son has been talking about it all this month. Even with school looming on the horizon, and the last weeks of summer slipping through his fingers, he’s still overtly excited about the pumpkin hunt. And I don’t blame him. I myself am looking forward to the day when we can grab our flashlights and head out to the Ranch for a good old fashioned Red Deer Pumpkin Hunt. So much so that I’m no doubt going to break tradition and start searching the first week of October! Out with the old, in with the new, that’s what I say.

This is how traditions are born.


Food and wine pairing method

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Ever wonder what wine goes great with chicken? Are you grilling up a steak dinner for family and friends and want to know the perfect red wine to go with it? This article will focus on how you can find the perfect food and wine pairing method.

Today more than ever there is an abundance of information to help you find the perfect flavour combination. When it comes to food and wine paring, there’s one old adage most people stick to: “What grows together, goes together.” For example, you may have tried a Decoy 2010 Napa Valley Red Wine with your steak and found it delightful; or you may have tried Rosso di Montalcino: 2006 Il Poggione with your pasta and loved it. There’s a fair bit of science going on here that makes these flavours go so well together.

So what is a good food and wine pairing method?

When you break a wine down you start to realize that all wine is made up of different characteristics, including acidity, bitterness, alcohol level and sweetness. When you start looking at these flavours as ingredients, it makes it infinitely easier to find a food and wine pairing method that works best for you. For example, Fettuccine Alfredo with asparagus pairs very nicely with forcefully acidic Sauvignon Blanc. The acid has a way of balancing the sauces considerable richness, and the Sauvignon’s earthy tones go very well with asparagus, which can make most wines taste unpleasantly vegan.

Taste is science

food and wine pairing - taste receptorsAt a very young age, children learn that our taste buds are capable of at least four sensations: sweet, sour, bitter, salty. In recent years, however, scientists have expanded on the traditional tongue map, allowing one, and possibly two, primary tastes into the original four. In the early 1900s, a Japanese scientist sought to detect another taste — that of the savoury seaweed common in Japanese cooking. Kikunae Ikeda eventually isolated glutamic acid as a distinct fifth taste. He named this fifth taste umami, a Japanese word meaning delicious, savory taste. You can taste umami in meats and tomatoes.

Eager to build upon this theory, researchers found a breakthrough in mid 1985 while failing to replicate the taste of MSG using the common four tastes. It wasn’t until 2002, however, that French researchers actually found a potential receptor for fat. Fat very well could be the sixth taste!

How the food chart works

Wine Folly has put together this wonderful chart for food and wine pairing, focusing on the flavours as ingredients.


In this example, they selected a few ingredients and a preparation method to show you how the poster can create guidelines for a successful pairing. Remember to focus on the most important flavours as the key ingredients.

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The Perfect Burger – what you need to know

perfect burger, best burgerHave you ever gone to a restaurant, ordered a burger, bit into it and had your life changed forever? Ever wonder what made that burger taste so good? Was it the fried onions? Was it the special sauce? Was it the seasoned patty? Or perhaps it was a combination of all these things; a perfect juxtaposition of flavours that made your tongue do somersaults in your mouth.

Whatever it was, few people forget the best burger they’ve ever had. It’s one of those life defining moments, equivalent to a first kiss or learning to ride a bicycle. And why shouldn’t it be? As we go through life and get older, our taste in cars might change, our taste in music might change, even our taste in clothes might change, but that one perfect burger, and the joy it brought to us, will remain the same. Burgers have a funny way of doing that. Some people are straightforward ketchup, relish and mustard lovers. Others call foul when you smother the bun in mayo. And still others have to have bacon and cheese or it just isn’t a burger. But we all strive for the perfect burger. As long as there have been summertime barbecues, as long as there have been kiss the cook aprons and people goofy enough to wear them.


So what ingredients make the perfect burger?

Most experts agree the perfect burger always starts with the perfect patty. And the perfect patty always starts with the perfect meat. Here in Alberta, we believe the perfect burger is made of fine AAA Ground Beef, perfectly seasoned, rich in both fat and flavour. Less fat makes for a drier, less tasteful burger. Too much fat, however, can be equally devastating to the burgers’ taste. Grilled or fried is really up to you, though there are many who are advocates for both methods. Which cheese you use is also a matter of taste. Cheddar, swiss, parmesan — it’s really up to you. This is your burger, after all; dress it up how you like. Cooking burgers is a fine art. Too many people rush into it, cooking it too quick on one side and not enough on the other. Take your time, enjoy yourself.

What do you think makes the perfect burger? Leave your interesting or creative burger experiences in the comments below.