We have learned a ton of useful bits of information, lifestyles, and strategies from our parents. One thing we have picked up from our parents was how to really relax when the time presents itself. We often refer to this as “cabin mode”. We have become very very good at getting into cabin mode in an appropriate amount of time. After being in Kenora for only two hours we had checked into our hotel room, had a great “Winter Bites” lunch offering, and stocked out hotel fridge with two big bottles of Prosecco, and a dozen different Ontario Craft beers that we hadn’t seen in Manitoba before. We know how to get comfortable and facilitate a good time in our family.
After spending two incredibly blissful days in Kenora we decided to have a Winter Bites Lunch marathon. We got out the Winter Bites Passport and looked at every lunch offering, and when the restaurant opened and charted a course for five lunches in one day! Was it 100% necessary… well, no. But it was a ton of fun and it really felt like a fun “touristy” thing to do. We started the day with the Four stack of Buttermilk Pancakes that we showed in the last post.
The second stop on the marathon was Bijou Steakhouse. We chose to try the Steakhouse Burger.
An amazing burger patty, with their house made tequila BBQ sauce, caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, bacon, cheddar, and four Shocktop battered onion rings!!! The fries on the side were fantastic but that burger really stole the show. We were able to talk with the owner of the steakhouse about some fun new things going on at Bijou which we are very excited to check in on when we make it back to Kenora. The space has an amazing vibe and I really want to go and check it out one night when there’s a band playing and it’s packed.
After the Burger we went to check out the Cornerstone conveniently located right next door. The fun thing with how the Cornerstone is doing the Winter Bites lunches is they are offering different specials all the time. When we arrived our server described the BBQ chicken cheese steak sandwich that was featured that day.
The zippiness of the bbq sauce that was on the sandwich was an amazing compliment to the classic flavours present in a cheese steak. We had a laugh when the server was explaining how a lot of people are surprised when there is no steak on the sandwich when it arrives due to the name. I explained another time when somebody I know thought they were eating chicken when they had ordered a chicken fried steak… not naming names.
We then enjoyed a slow walk over to Ristorante Pizzeria Italia to tackle another lunch item. I really loved the art that was placed all around the restaurant. I felt like it really captured a lot of my favorite memories of when I was in Italy years ago. Pair the warm ambiance with a dynamite Cannelloni di Carne and you got one amazing lunch!
Balance is one of the things that great Italian food is blessed with a balance of flavours, textures, herbs and spices, everything. This Cannelloni was the model of balance. The meal was bold, elegant, big, subtle, fresh, rustic, and more all at once. It should be said that Cannelloni has been a food of love for both of us since we were young and it would often be the food of choice on birthdays, valentines days, and most recently, New Years Eve.
Our final stop was at Dinos Greek Restaurant. If Ristorante reminded me of Italy, then Dino’s is IN Greece! The people, the interior design, the interior architecture, the menu (of coarse), everything screamed Greek. It was so fun to finish off the adventure at Dinos because although it didn’t remind us of our homes growing up, it still oddly felt like home. It felt like they knew we were coming and were excited we made it, which if you imagine it, is a great feeling when you walk into a restaurant.
The Gyro platter that is offered on the Winter Bites Lunch Menu is amazing. The freshness of the Greek salad was a very refreshing addition to the beautiful hearty gyro. The meat had an amazing depth of flavour and the sauces mixed with the fresh veggies in the gyro complimented each other perfectly. I know that often the gyro has a sort of food court style label thrown on it, but this take on the classic dish really has a great restaurant quality feel to it. I will definitely have this again when I am next in town.
Stay tuned for part the final bites of our Winter Bites Kenora experience!
Kath’s quote: “Next to eating good dinners, a healthy man with a benevolent turn of mind, must like, I think, to read about them.” -William Makepeace Thackeray
Live simply, laugh often, love deeply. Thanks for the gift of hearts Anne.