Food Musings

A Winnipeg blog about the joy of preparing food for loved ones and the shared joy that travel & dining brings to life.

Olympia Diner

March27

We introduced our children to restaurant dining at an early age and now we enjoy doing the same with our grandchildren. Generally, family restaurants do the best job with accommodating kids. With research I knew that the Spiridakos family owned Olympia Diner (3253 Portage Ave.) so I thought we had gone to the right place.

Our cheerful waitress immediately grabbed the crayons and a colouring sheet so we were off to a good (read: peaceful) start. There was not a children’s section to the menu but we spied chicken fingers and fries and knew we would be able to appease both granddaughters. Glamma and Poppa had tastes of those chicken fingers and we were very impressed. A kid’s cup of chocolate milk was immediately delivered so we could determine and make the rest of our selections.

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I must admit that I was disappointed that they were out of moussakka but as pastia was pretty close with its béchamel topping, I was content. Truth be told, most of the pasta casserole went home with us as I filled up on Greek French fries. Imagine a Greek version of poutine with oregano liberally sprinkled onto freshly cut fries along with lots of crumbled feta.

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My husband chose a Greek Salad and we learned the difference between Greek salad which includes lettuce and a village or peasant salad which does not. The garlic toast was enjoyed by our youngest granddaughter along with her favourite dish-the ice from Poppa’s glass.

Even though we arrived before noon the diner was busy with patrons. Perhaps they too were drawn to wholesome Greek cooking or the distinctive Grecian blue décor.

The Olympia Diner is open Tuesday – Sunday at 11 am. They close Sunday-Thursday at 9 pm and Friday-Saturday at 10 pm. There are separate lunch and dinner menus available.  The diner is not wheelchair accessible from front door.

Watch for Food Musings every second Wednesday in your copy of The Headliner, The Herald, The Lance, The Metro, The Sou’wester and The Times.

Olympia Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “Eat and drink with your relatives; do business with strangers“.-Greek Proverb

tuscany2-19

Love never fails.

 

 

Sushi Cushi

March10

Sometimes even food aficionados want to throw down their aprons and exit the kitchen. One Friday I hosted a dinner for 25 people in our home and the next evening cooked for and hosted another social event for 40. Come Sunday evening I really wanted to consume something that I had not prepared but was mindful that we have been successful in keeping our new year’s resolution of careful eating. Sushi was just the ticket.

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Sushi Cushi (1045 St. James St.) is en route to our youngest daughter’s home so we placed our order and were on our way to pick it up 10 minutes later. Upon entering, the restaurant was completely full so it was a good thing we were taking out. Both the room and the staff were cheerful and pleasant.

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Even the serious sushi chefs momentarily broke their concentration to break into smiles.

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We selected the Blue Ocean platter recommended for three or four persons

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but after sampling one piece of each roll, all four of us declared that we could not eat another thing. Had we left the table immediately this may have been true but as we chatted and lingered, chop sticks were spearing our favourites for second tastes. In spite of this, we still left a sushi feast for our daughter and her husband to enjoy the next day.

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Every roll tasted freshly made with excellent ingredients. We especially enjoyed Bite Me made with asparagus and smoked salmon, Bakudan (a food explosion) with chopped tuna and chili sauce and the Blue Ocean including cream cheese and tuna.

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In the centre of the platter was Sushi Pizza which turned out to be everyone’s favourite. The “crust” was made from formed rice that had been topped with salmon, avocado and masago (roe from a salmon like fish). The classic rolls entitled Teriyaki Chicken, Spider, Tempura Yam, Calamari, Californian and Dynamite were equally scrumptious but not especially unusual.

Sushi Cushi is owned and operated by Dong Noh Owner. They are open weekdays from 11:30 am-10 pm. Saturday & Sundays they open at noon. Saturday they closes at 10 and Sunday the close at 9 pm. There is an all day menu available. they are wheelchair accessible.

Watch for Food Musings every second Wednesday in your copy of The Headliner, The Herald, The Lance, The Metro, The Sou’wester and The Times.

Sushi Cushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “The fine art of preparing sushi is something that you watch and learn”. -Nobu Matsuhisa

dulth1

Love never fails.

The Newest Member of Our Family

March7

This is the first full day that the lovely Alicia is spending as the newest member of our clan. She married our nephew (Little A) in a private ceremony in Canmore yesterday and is today spending time with her new husband.

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Our family feels particularly connected to this union as it was J1 who introduced the two. J1 and Alicia became great pals when they worked together at the St. James Keg. Their first blind date, neither showed up but somehow those jitters got under control for a second rendezvous. The rest, as they say, is history.

The guys in the family got together last weekend for a gentlemen’s (I use the term loosely) event out at Lester Beach. So the way was made clear for the ladies to assemble too and welcome Alicia into our family.

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Alicia got some help opening presents by the Wee One and her cousin Serena.

We did so with warm wishes, presents (many of them cooking related) and food…glorious food!

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Kath’s quote: “Love is a partnership of two unique people who bring out the very best in each other, and who know that even though they are wonderful as individuals, they are even better together.”- Barbara Cage

TSR Watermark - 5596

Love never fails.

 

Saddlery on Market

February27

Saddlery on Market (114 Market Ave. to be precise) is located on the main floor of the Great West Saddlery Warehouse building, erected in 1898. A little bit of Winnipeg Trivia: the saddlery company became the world’s largest manufacturer, wholesaler, and retailer of harnesses and saddles. The restobar has been inspired by Winnipeg’s past and serves homey, comfort food.

I was excited to meet up with an old friend. Her arrival was delayed as she could not find a parking spot in the area, either in a lot or on the street. This must be a real challenge for the restaurant.

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Anticipating my winter vacation, I chose from the salad section of the menu. The Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad was a hearty serving of red onion, candied pecans and roasted shallot vinaigrette. Once all the good stuff vanished from the top of the salad, I tried very hard to finish my vegetables by consuming all of the spinach leaves on the plate. Perhaps I was distracted by the hand-cut French fries that arrived with my companion’s burger. Being a good friend, she gave my permission to enjoy some of them off of her plate. They were the highlight of the visit.

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The house burger which was her selection was a half pound of ground chuck topped with lettuce, tomato, provolone cheese, pancetta, caramelized onions and premise-made barbeque sauce. She remarked that the pretzel bun was delicious but not sturdy enough to offset all of those fixings. The burger was tasty and juicing but eating it without making an enormous mess, took a lot of skill.

The space has supported a number of restaurant concepts in the past but I do not recall one that let the beautiful brick walls speak for themselves. Perched at a window with a view to the Exchange District, I anticipated that the restaurant would get busier over the lunch hour with so many persons who work in the area.

The Saddlery has an all day menu available. They are open weekdays from 11 am (Saturdays at 4 pm). Until 10 pm Mon-Wed and Late Thursday-Saturday and are closed Sundays. Wheelchair access is through the space at 112 Market Ave.

Watch for Food Musings every second Wednesday in your copy of The Headliner, The Herald, The Lance, The Metro, The Sou’wester and The Times.

Saddlery on Market Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “my salad days, When I was green in judgement, cold in blood.”-William Shakespeare

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Love never fails.

 

 

 

 

 

The Frenchman’s 30th Birthday

February21

Three out seven family members turn 30 this year but the Frenchman was the first. Last night’s celebration was particularly noteworthy though. The Frenchman brought a new tradition to us when he first joined our family. For a birthday celebration everyone has an opportunity to express why they love the person we are celebrating. The Wee One decided the order of sharing starting with her Poppa and saving Auntie Boo for last. While her Mom was sharing, the Wee One (three years old) knew that she was next and you could see her wheels turning as to what she was going to say: “I love him because he is so nice and her loves me and he always plays with me.”

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Food traditions were also recognized. D typically finds a good deal on back ribs and prepares them with a lengthy slow roasting procedure which is detailed here: My Man’s Ribs.

The Frenchman (and the entire family) also love chicken wings and so I made a batch from a well-loved recipe and served them as an appetizer:

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Parmensan Chicken Wings
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer or Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 c parmesan cheese (I use freshly grated but Kraft actually works best in this recipe)
  • 1 t parsley
  • 1 t paprika
  • 1 t salt
  • ¼ t pepper
  • ¼ t garlic powder
  • 2 lbs chicken wings (tips discarded)
  • ½ c melted butter
Instructions
  1. Measure first 6 ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Dip each piece in melted butter, then toss in cheese mixture.
  3. Coat completely.
  4. Place on a foil lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes.

A couple of hints:

  • In order to ease back richness and expense, I cut the parmesan in half and add a cup of breadcrumbs. Since the only crumbs I could find were already seasoned, I did not add the parsley flakes or salt and pepper.

 

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  • I am working very hard to lose 10% of my body weight for medical reasons and so I did not partake in the wings or ribs. Instead, I tossed a chicken breast in olive oil and then the parmesan mixture and had this with a pear, walnut & feta salad.

I was perfectly content while the rest of the family indulged in the above and also in poutine. The latter was made with real turkey gravy and Bothwell cheese curds. Even the youngest member of the family (one year) loved the wings and ribs!

Kath’s quote: “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”- JRR Tolkien

beer_love1

Love never fails.

 

 

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