Food Musings

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

The Feast


When my lunch date and I arrived promptly at noon, this little place was packed. There were a couple of larger parties who were definitely enjoying themselves and the laughter reverberated off the walls. We were tucked in next to a little window which was cosy since it was one of the first cold and rainy days in a long while.

I was first inclined to order a bannock pizza but remembering that I had been to the Poutine Cup the night before and that we often treat ourselves to pizza on a Friday evening, I opted for a lighter choice.


The pickerel sliders with homemade cream of tomato soup were the perfect alternative. The soup was absolutely delicious; chock full of sparkling fresh tomatoes that only taste that way at the end of summer. The pickerel was beautifully seasoned and perfectly cooked.


They arrived open-faced on top of lettuce, tomato, pickles and an enormous smear of dill & chive mayo. Upon investigation they were not on a bun but delectable little bundles of dough-known as fry bread or bannock. I could have been satisfied with just the bannock as they were airy and chewy at the same time.

Feast chick sand

My friend ordered a chicken sandwich that she let me have a bite of. Once again the chicken breast had just the right seasoning and was not dried out with over cooking. Hers too came with lettuce and tomato and the beautiful addition of melted mozzarella and cranberry sauce. Bannock stood in for a bun or bread and she was equally delighted by her sandwich.


She chose rice as a side and was even impressed with its rich taste.

Neither lunch was easy or tidy to eat. My friend graciously pointed out that I had mayo on my face! Our fingers were also covered in mayo and we reached for the serviettes over and over again. My lunch companion suggested that it wouldn’t be the place to come on a first date.

The Feast Café Bistro is located at 587 Ellice Ave. and is owned by Christa Bruneau-Guenther. Breakfast, lunch and dinner and catering menus are available. They are open Monday-Saturday at 9 am; close at 4 pm Monday-Thursday and at 9 pm Friday and Saturday. They are wheelchair accessible.

Kath’s quote: “The perch swallows the grub-worm, the pickerel swallows the perch, and the fisherman swallows the pickerel; and so all the chinks in the scale of being are filled”. -Henry David Thoreau


Love never fails.


Tapas Adega


Typically when we are anticipating a trip away, we try to become accustomed to some of the foods, wines and other delicacies of the region.  Our next European adventure will be Portugal early in 2018. We are going with dear friends who I will start to address as the Wine-lover and the Beer-lover in this space. Recently they invited us to join them at Tapas Adega because owner Arnaldo Carreira is from Portugal. It was a time to talk of food, wine and the adventure ahead.

If the Beer-lover hadn’t directed us through Gus and Tony’s (2015 Portage Ave.) to an adjoining room, we wouldn’t have known how to get into the restaurant. The entrance and other finer points do not concern Arnaldo. He is simply a man who loves to cook for food appreciators. There is no set menu. You are sat down. Candles are lit and the wine starts being poured out. Before you know it the first of many small plates start arriving at your table.


Cod Cakes were first-they were piping hot and had the appropriate proportion of fish and potatoes to make them a great start.


At the same time a little platter of Portuguese chorizo was placed on the table. The cold cut had been lightly grilled to bring out the flavour and charm of the meat.


A sparkling version of calamari arrived next. All three dishes were simply garnished with olives that I could not stop eating remembering our time in Positano, Italy where little bowls of olives accompanied every Peroni or glass of chianti that we ordered.


Shrimp skewers arrived next but were not delivered in a usual manner. They arrived with the skewers standing upright; achieved when stuck into an overturned orange. The grapes on the skewers were also a lovely touch.


The Wine-lover said she was not partial to mussels but we encouraged her to taste Tapas Adega’s version as they had been baked in a cheesy mixture. They were a rich and satisfying taste.


To cleanse the palate before the “main” arrived, there were summer tomatoes topped with a cheese mixture and a sprinkling of dill. We inquired of the mixture and were told that it was goat cheese and another secret cheese. We loved the tart creaminess of the cheese whatever it might have been. The acidity of the tomatoes offset the cheese perfectly.


Next up was a larger dish with small portions of fish, pork tenderloin, shrimp and chicken. My favourite was the chicken, tasting like it had been dry marinated in paprika, chilli powder an perhaps some garlic and lemon juice. The spice was heavenly and the meat tender and juicy.

Now through all of this the wine keep flowing as we discussed expectations for the trip ahead. We also got to chat with neighbouring guests, some of whom had also been to Portugal.

Kath’s quote: “The world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page.”-St. Augustine


Love never fails.





Brazen Hall


A trifecta has been completed with a recent visit to Brazen Hall at 800 Pembina Hwy. The Kitchen & Brewery takes its place with One Great City and Peg Beer Company as Winnipeg’s newly instituted Brew Pubs. Under this special license Brazen Hall brews their own beer as well as concocting some interesting culinary fare.

The visit was a belated birthday gift from my son who also works in Winnipeg’s burgeoning craft brewing scene. He wanted to order a flight so he could walk me through the various styles of Brazen Hall beers available. Alas, we were told by one server that two of their beer were not available and we overheard another server say that they had been too busy to serve flights. Indeed they were very busy, especially considering that it was the first day back to school.


In anticipation of our visit during Burger Week, I asked my son what burger Brazen Hall was serving. When he replied “Farmer Jon” I thought he said “parmesan” and I was looking forward to tasting a Italian burger. Turns out the Farmer Jon celebrated our local farmers and producers with trappist cheese, blueberry maple ketchup, arugula and bacon (of course). I could not detect that the mushrooms had be enhanced with Crown Royal or the onions had been braised with stout but it was a very, very good burger.


I think the winning ingredient was the combination of ground beef and Winkler farmer sausage. The fries too were delectable and I expect they had been cooked in Manitoba canola oil. They were so good, they were even tasty cold.


My son had a couple of great menu suggestions since he had visited on a number of occasions. I went with his recommendation of a Vietnamese Noodle Bowl. He said that the ingredients in the dish were conducive to beer drinking. That was all the encouragement I needed. I anticipated an authentic rice noodle but was pleased with the silky hand-made pasta. Typically I choose pork in my noodle bowls but Brazen Hall’s selection comes with beef. I prefer the former. But the additional ingredients of cucumber, mint, lime juice and almonds provided the perfect blend of acidity, crunch and freshness. I was impressed that a brewery kitchen could pull off one of my favourite ethnic dishes.

Brazen Hall is owned by Kristjan Kristjansson and Kris Kopansky. There is an all day menu available and they are open daily at 11:30 am. They close on Sunday at 11 pm. Monday and Tuesday they close at 12 midnight and Wednesday through Saturday they clos at 1:00 am. The restaurant is wheelchair accessible.

Kath’s quote: “Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.” –Kinky Friedman

beer_love1Love never fails.


Isla Mujeres 2017-Trip Report Day 6



We were up with the sun.


Who wouldn’t want to rise early and spend time with this little cherub?

day6-4 day6-10.

Breakfast was of yoghurt at the hotel.


Sister #3 took Lori (not pictured here) SIL Susan & Judi on a golf cart tour as the ladies had never before visited the island.


We visited with J1 & J2, the Wee Ones, Donna, Carol and Rudy at Ruebens. The eldest of the Wee Ones had pancakes. Here is Miss Independence (at 3 years old) helping herself to the maple syrup.


Daughter #1, D and I spent some time on the malecon. When the time came, D was off to buy us tortas for lunch from Q Brava.


As the day went on, the sea wall proved to be too hot for us, so we went to Hildalgo to sit in the shade.


We enjoyed our first happy hour at Xbuhla

day6-24. day6-23.

and then another with the kids at Bally Hoo (see link here)


for a beer while J1 & J2 ate their supper.


Poppa and Glamma took them for a walk on the pier while they waited for their food. Our dinner was yet to come at Sardinia Smiles (see link here).  After dinner, D and I didn’t want the evening to end so we took our wine glasses down to the malecon for a night cap.

Kath’s quote: “I wish some nights lasted forever”. –Me


Love never fails.

Poutine Cup 2017



Even though the Poutine Cup has been enjoyed by many over the past couple of years, it was our first visit. We arrived at Fort Gilbraltar later than we had anticipated and it had started cooling off, so D in his shirt sleeves was a wee bit chilly. We made a quick lap around to visit as many vendors as we could and then took some time to warm up in the fort itself. The room holds a special spot for us as our daughter’s wedding reception was in the cozy room.

But to the food…


We were impressed by the addition of cucumbers and carrots to the Promenade’s duck poutine. The veggies layered Vietnamese tastes onto rich French ones.

Chew topped their poutine with fermented pepper sauced chicken and then fennel/celery slaw and seaweed. The tastes were so exotic.


I am crazy for figs so we included The Grove Pub & Restaurant on our rounds. Besides fig jam, braised lamb shank, pickled cauliflower, crispy quinoa and cashew cream topped their poutine.


Loving bold Mexican flavours, we appreciated Underdogs’ chorizo gravy, grilled mango salsa tequila lime guacamole and crispy black beans. It was the sparkling cilantro that made their entry most surprizing. I understood that Underdogs took top prize.

IMG-20170914-WA0000 (2)

In our humble opinion One Great City was the winner with Chicken yakitori (skewered chicken), togarashi (chili pepper), wasabi aioli, green onions, tobiko (similar to caviar) & nori (seaweed). You would think that the creator was a Japanese Chef-an indication of his varied skill.

Mark your calendars now for the 2018 Poutine Cup. It is one of Winnipeg’s culinary events that should not be missed.

Kath’s quote: “When I am in Canada, I feel that this is what the world should be like”.-Jane Fonda


Love never fails.

« Older EntriesNewer Entries »