A review of a fast food restaurant? Really digging the bottom of the barrel to invent reasons to visit Canada, eh? Oh no, this isn’t just a fast food restaurant. BeaverTails is an institution, serving the pastries of the gods. With its signature combination of fried rodent tail and sugary goodness, BeaverTails aren’t just a delectable snack, they are a blissful experience. Short of chugging 3 cans of Red Bull or snorting a dozen Pixy Stix, BeaverTails are your best way to get a pure sugar high.
For me, the appeal of BeaverTails prior to my trip to the Canadian Rockies had more to do with their Disney lore than anything else. For years, BeaverTails were sold at a stand in the Canada pavilion at Epcot in Walt Disney World. Then, on a cold night in 2005, the legendary BeaverTails vanished without a trace. This was followed by mass hysteria among fans, including a petition to bring back the venerable BeaverTails.
Was there a beaver shortage in the Great White North? Were crazy Canuck animal rights activists enraged about the number of tail-less beavers populating their cities and river-fronts? Did Canadian Parliament demand tougher restrictions on export of this treasured commodity? Or, perhaps, was it a contractual thing and Disney elected not to renew because BeaverTails didn’t fit their new goal of 95% of snacks being gourmet cupcakes?
Whatever the case may be, there has been a groundswell of praise and hype for BeaverTails in the decade since they left Walt Disney World, and the snacks have developed a cult following akin to Figaro Fries, Handwiches, and the Brown Gravy Waffle Fries (okay, not the last one).
Do the pastries live up to that hype? In a word: yes.
I got my BeaverTail in Banff, Canada, prior to picking up camping supplies we’d take on our trek up Yoho National Park to hike the Odaray Highline Trail.
They say BeaverTails are the perfect fuel for hiking the Canadian Rockies. (I’m not sure who “they” is, but someone somewhere has probably said it before. If not, I’m saying it now.)
Upon entering, I discovered it wasn’t simply a matter of approaching the cash register and requesting “one of their finest beaver tails.” There were an abundance of choices.
The special edition S’mores tail sounded good, and you know any food with its own hashtag must be good, but since this might be my only chance at a BeaverTail ever, I thought I should go a more traditional route.
I asked the BeaverTailrista what she recommended for a BeaverTail virgin, and she responded without hesitation that you have to do the “classic” No. 1 your first time, but that they could do half and half so I could try another flavor as well. Perfect.
Since approximately 63% of Canada’s economy is supported by Maple syrup exports, I figured that would be the best option. Plus, the BeaverTailrista recommended it as the second most popular choice.
Sarcasm aside, this dessert was glorious. The pastry was soft and with a slight sponginess and elasticity that made it far superior to an elephant ear, but still somewhat similar in style. Because of its similarity to an elephant ear, I found the cinnamon and sugar (“classic”) half of the BeaverTail to be a tad basic.
Still very good, but lacking the wow-factor and unique flavor that spawned so many BeaverTail addicts in the Disney fan community. By contrast, the Maple spread half was out of this world. Rich, decadent, and extremely sugary (as would be expected), it was a real treat.
I probably couldn’t have eaten an entire BeaverTail of the Maple variety. I think it would be too much, as even half of the Maple BeaverTail made me feel like my teeth were beginning to rot (totally worth it).
Mark Willard also joined in the BeaverTail reconnaissance mission, and he ordered a No. 1/No. 7 split. Below is a photo of him lining up a shot to torment his Disney-loving followers on social media. Not cool, Mark. Use your BeaverTail powers for good, not evil.
Overall, I’m not saying that you should visit Canada just to get a BeaverTail…but you totally should. There are also “a few” other selling points to our Northern Neighbors, such as the breathtaking Canadian Rockies, but everything after these delicious pastries is proverbial icing on the beaver’s tail. It’s easy to see why this treat has a cult following among Disney fans, and is popular enough to support a chain selling only one specific dessert item. They are delicious, unique, and oh so decadent.
For more of my tips and thoughts about visiting the Canadian Rockies, please check out my Canadian Rockies posts. If you’re planning a trip to Banff National Park, I recommend the Canadian Rockies Moon Handbook.
Have you tried a BeaverTail? If so, was it a life-changing experience? Where else have you spotted the elusive BeaverTails? How many miles would you trek through the snow, barefoot, to savor the sweet taste of a BeaverTail? Any other thoughts or questions? Please share in the comments!