Chef Jenny Basom didn’t open her Trail Creek Bistro on a whim.
First she percolated menu concepts in the business incubator of Community Futures in Trail. Then she walked city streets and asked people what they would like to experience in a new Trail restaurant.
What she heard was “ethnic” and “international” cuisine – so that’s how she came up with her diverse menu in her Rossland Avenue eatery.
“I came here with my partner so I was able to go into the entrepreneurial program (at Community Futures),” she explained. “That was fabulous, because they helped with a business plan and all the basics. So that really was the big catalyst.”
Diners have many options, beginning with lighter fare like the popular southwest quinoa salad, and her trending menu of quiche baked in homemade pastry, soup simmering with local ingredients and a seasonal sandwich choice.
Her entrees adventure into around-the-world fare, including everything from butter chicken, pad thai, tacos and moroccan vegetable pie, to her own spaghettini and meat sauce recipe, tarragon salmon and Jamaican jerk chicken with a kick from Basom’s homemade spicy marinade.
“The food is fresh, with lots of options and very international,” said the 12-year Red Seal Chef. “It’s how I like to eat because I don’t have one particular cuisine I relate to. I’ve been learning over the years and after my survey around town discovered the key word, ethnic – I took my favourites and put them on the menu.”
Having done her homework about Trail, Basom offers one choice that’s unique to the city.
Smoke Eaters pizza comes with bacon, pepperoni, chicken, mushrooms and onions loaded on top of homemade thin crust that’s baked straight on a pizza oven stone.
“It’s not a perfectly round pizza,” she said. “I make my own dough and sauce so it more Famosa-style (Neapolitan).”
Since taking over the site, Basom has set aside a play area for children and added a kids menu to her family-themed bistro.
“The restaurant is casual and my philosophy is fresh and healthy,” said Basom. “It’s a place for a family to go, besides fast food, that’s kid-friendly.”
Basom’s kitchen is fully equipped, but she only turns on the deep fryer one day a week.
“Sunday is strictly breakfast day, and I only use my fryer for hash browns,” she said. “And I use dough starter for my Belgium waffles the day before. All of this is based on what I love to eat and what I think other people are looking for. And the world could always use more waffles,” she laughed.
“Specially with strawberries and whipped cream.”
Since opening, Basom has hired and trained three young servers for the dining room.
In the kitchen it’s a different story. The mother of three is the bistro’s lone chef, but says her boys are already well acquainted with the dishwasher.
“The two older ones love to come in and help out,” she said. “Until now, I’ve worked the management side and the kitchen side of restaurants but this is a whole new experience trying to fit it all in with the kids,” she added. “That’s why the hours are a little quirky – we still want to have a family life.”
She has no immediate plans to add alcohol to her beverage menu. Instead, the focus is the family theme and locally sourced products like Warfield’s Seven Summits Coffee Company.
Regular business hours are Wednesday through Sunday, but orders can be to-go. For details visit Basom’s Trail Creek Bistro Facebook page.