ABOUT ROAD TRIP STOPS OFF THE BEATEN PATH WITH ATB x LINDORKThis blog post is the last of five in an Explore Alberta – Road Trip Stops Off The Beaten Path with ATB x LINDORK series to be posted Aug 17-21, 2020. The intent of the blog series is to highlight local Alberta businesses (who also bank with ATB!) that you may not have heard of, who could use your support during the pandemic, as part of ATB Financial’s #ATBGoodnessGrows initiative. These businesses are located in lovely towns and cities “off the beaten path” between Edmonton and Calgary. Supporting local and exploring Alberta are two of my passions, and are topics I’m proud to partner with ATB Financial to highlight during the pandemic. You’ll also get an opportunity to enter for a chance to win an Ultimate Alberta Road Trip Prize Package! Learn more about this sponsored series and read some marketing tips I’ve shared with ATB.
Driving between Edmonton and Calgary, you likely recognize spots like the City of Airdrie or CrossIron Mills mall, located just outside of Calgary. Also just outside Calgary, 30 minutes north (or 2.5 hours from Edmonton), is the tiny little Town of Crossfield, Alberta, home to a charming and very unique looking diner, located in the very first building to exist in the town.
The Diner at Shorty’s—an autobody garage turned restaurant teeming with history
The Diner at Shorty’s is truly one-of-a-kind. It’s part diner, part car shrine, really! Car enthusiasts will get a kick out of this restaurant, owned by husband and wife duo Colleen and Lindsay Harder. The space is new, just opened June 2019, in a converted old auto body garage that is definitely not new—first built in 1916. The building itself was built in 1908 and first housed a general store before expanding to include the garage and gas station.
Lindsay and Colleen have worked in the restaurant industry for decades. For 23 years they owned and operated a popular seafood restaurant in Calgary, well known for serving the very best fish and chips, before selling it when Lindsay got sick. But then Lindsay recovered, and they wondered what they should do. A diner had always been something of a retirement restaurant dream for them.
Shorty, the owner of the building, and a friend of Lindsay’s who was helping restore an old car for him at the time, suggested Lindsay launch the diner in his building.
At The Diner at Shorty’s, you’ll find license plates adorning the walls, a giant stop sign hanging between what was once the garage doors of the autobody shop. Oil cans, car puzzles, a checkerboard flag floor, even a 3D GT40 piece of art coming out of the wall. There’s car memorabilia everywhere inside The Diner at Shorty’s.
You’ll find classic diner eats here, but with a special focus on burgers and tacos. They brought the best fish and chips from their Calgary restaurant here to Crossfield, and added a delicious fish taco to the mix as well. They also sell a lot poutine—a very popular order at the diner! We tried a tasting of a few dishes including their famous fish and chips, chicken tenders, and Caesar salad.
Lindsay, a clear car buff and history buff, in particular—Crossfield’s history—was eager to show me all sorts of old faded photographs and newspaper clippings about the building, its ownership, and its role in Crossfield. Shorty is the fourth owner of the building since it opened in 1908, and actually lives above the diner and comes down to eat every day.
Both Lindsay and Colleen greet you warmly, with big smiles. They happily give you elbow “handshakes” (during COVID times), and—like the other Alberta business owners featured in this blog post series—are just so dang passionate about their business, and grateful for community support.
At The Diner at Shorty’s, you’ll find a lot of history and a lot of heart in the room!
Be sure to plan your visit down to the area this summer! Eat, explore, and support local businesses. If you do visit, ATB also has some incentives for you!!
Visit The Diner at Shorty’s and get $5 off with your meal!
Thanks to ATB Financial, The Diner at Shorty’s in Crossfield will be giving visitors $5 off with your meal if you mention code LINDORKATB during your visit! This offer is valid from August 21 to September 7, 2020. (Please note: The Diner at Shorty’s will be closed for the September long weekend so if you want to redeem your code, do it before the long weekend!)
Enter to win an Ultimate Alberta Road Trip Prize Pack ($1,100 value)!
As part of this Road Trip Stops Off The Beaten Path blog series I’m doing with ATB, I’m also highlighting other Alberta businesses off Highway 2 between Edmonton and Calgary, and giving you a chance to replicate my trip!
Enter to win an Ultimate Off The Beaten Path Alberta Road Trip Prize Pack valued at $1,100 on Linda’s Off The Beaten Path Alberta Road Trip blog, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook posts shared between Aug. 17 to Aug. 23, with winner randomly chosen out of all entries received and announced on Aug. 24.
** GIVEAWAY CLOSED **
Congratulations to Megan W. from Facebook—the winner of the Ultimate Alberta Road Trip Prize Pack!
WHAT YOU’LL WIN:
- $100 gift card to spend at five featured Alberta businesses (valued at $500 total)
- A 1-night night hotel stay (valued at $200)
- Car rental for your road trip (valued at $200)
- A $200 Visa gift card for extra road trip spending!
HOW TO ENTER:
You can do one, some, or all of these entry methods on one, some, or all of my ATB Alberta Road Trip posts shared between Aug. 17-23 for more chances to win!
- Blog Entry: Leave a comment on any of my ATB Off The Beaten Path Road Trip blog posts saying who you’d take on your Alberta Off The Beaten Path road trip and what you’d most like to do.
- Facebook Entry: “Like” (be a Page Fan) of Lindork – Linda Hoang and ATB Financial, and leave a comment on any ATB Off The Beaten Path post tagging a friend you’d go on this road trip with. Include what you’d most like to do on the road trip.
- Instagram Entry: Follow @lindork + @atbfinancial, and leave a comment on any ATB Off The Beaten Path post tagging a friend you’d go on this road trip with. Include what you’d most like to do on the road trip.
- Twitter Entry: Follow @lindork + @atbfinancial and quote any of Linda’s ATB Off the Beaten Path road trip tweets (retweet with comment) saying what you’d most like to do on the road trip and tag a friend you’d go with.
Check back throughout the week as new blog and social posts are shared, giving you more chances to enter and win!!
AND WIN BONUS PRIZES BY DOING YOUR OWN ALBERTA ROAD TRIP OFF THE BEATEN PATH + SHARING ABOUT IT!
If you go on your own Alberta Off The Beaten Path day trip / road trips from Aug 17 – Sept 7, 2020, there are various incentives you’ll get at different businesses featured in this series PLUS if you share about your visits on social media, ATB will be randomly surprising road trippers with Visa gift cards! Share about your trip on social media using #ATBGoodnessGrows and tagging @ATBFinancial + @lindork for a chance to win!
While you’re in the area, don’t forget to try Enjoy Garden Restaurant (also in Crossfield!)
Just down the road from The Diner at Shorty’s, you’ll find the long-standing Enjoy Garden Restaurant, which has been serving authentic Chinese food (and Western food) in Crossfield for nearly 20 years (since 2001). Enjoy Garden Restaurant is run by the sweetest husband and wife duo, Wendy Liu and Howard Quan. Howard cooks. Wendy operates the front.
“He cooks. I serve,” Wendy said simply and sweetly to me during my visit.
I have a very soft spot for Asian restaurants because I grew up in one! I also love the stories of Chinese restaurants in small towns. Alberta has so many, there was even a museum exhibit about it back at the Royal Alberta Museum a few years ago, titled Chop Suey on the Prairies. I’m also a big fan of the book Chop Suey Nation by Ann Hui, stories about small town Chinese restaurants across Canada.
In their 20 years operating, the last few months have been the slowest—due to the pandemic. I really feel for them, and hope locals and travellers alike stop in to support. The food is *REALLY* good.
Although online reviews typically rave about their Western offerings (including their burgers, which I bet are delicious), we went authentic Chinese for our meal. The spicy Szechuan Dumplings (wonton pork dumplings dripping in spicy sauce) were delicious. The Hot and Sour Soup was perfect. The Black Bean Beef Hot Plate was fantastic. We round it out with classic Chicken Fried Rice. A perfect meal at a very authentic Chinese restaurant in the tiny Town of Crossfield.
While we ate, Wendy placed to-go orders by a regular named Rich, and greeted another regular Ken, who came in to dine alone (no menu required—he knows what he likes). Construction out front at the time of our visit is possibly also affecting business but there is side and neighbourhood parking nearby, a very short walk away.
A really fun fact Wendy shared was that the new Ghostbusters movie actually filmed in and outside of the restaurant back in summer 2019 and part of the filming meant the Enjoy Garden Restaurant got some free renovations—some nice dragon room separators and window decals. A fun little tid bit you can share for when you tell people about your visit to this lovely little Chinese restaurant in Crossfield, Alberta.
Those are just some of many Alberta businesses worth a visit this summer. As you plan your day trips and road trips, see if some of my other Alberta Travel Guides might help you round out your trip.
And follow along for the rest of this blog series with ATB!
See all stops on ATB + LINDORK’s Road Trip Stops Off The Beaten Path:
- Explore Leduc & Nisku, Alberta (Prestigio Bakery + Rig Hand Distillery)
- Explore Millet, Alberta (The Butterfly Boutique + Altar Yourself)
- Explore Lacombe & Red Deer, Alberta (Eastside Eatery + Red Hart Brewing)
- Explore Didsbury & Torrington, Alberta (Cowtown Brewing Co. + Gopher Hole Museum)
- Explore Crossfield, Alberta (The Diner at Shorty’s + Enjoy Garden Restaurant)
Check my blog and social media every day from Aug. 17-21, 2020 as I release daily travel guides + Alberta business features and ideas to help you plan your Alberta road trip while supporting local businesses!! You’ll also get more opportunities to enter for a chance to win the Ultimate Alberta Road Trip Prize Pack each day.
- Learn more about this sponsored blog series
(and read small business advice I shared with ATB)
- Read “Five rural Alberta entrepreneurs share COVID-19 small business lessons”
- Learn more about #ATBGoodnessGrows
If you live in the Edmonton, Alberta area and want a hyperlocal newsletter delivered to your inbox every Wednesday with ideas on things to do, places to eat, exclusive giveaways and other useful bits of information:
Disclaimer: This blog post is part of a sponsored blog series partnership with ATB Financial. This does not impact opinions stated in this post. As I’ve shared repeatedly, I love supporting local businesses and exploring my province. After doing different, smaller, support local initiatives in Edmonton over the last few months of the pandemic, this travel / support local partnership felt like such a perfect pairing! Thank you ATB for working with me to highlight some amazing Alberta business owners and great Alberta towns and cities outside of Edmonton and Calgary.