Browsing: Restaurant Features

Mercadito Latino

January30

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When Mercadito Latino was on Henderson Hwy I would drive by and wonder about its offerings inside. Unfortunately I never had an excuse to go in. Three years ago the Mercadito relocated to 570 C Sargent Ave. and was able to add more dining space. I am guessing that is when it became a full blown restaurant.

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The structure of the business is very much like the places that we love to visit in Mexico with the wife in the kitchen lovingly recreating her family recipes and her husband up front serving the tables and manning the cash register. We were introduced to Sonia Lemus when she finally had an opportunity to sit down at the end of her evening. She was as good-natured and pleasant as her husband Julian. Together they own and operate the market and restaurant.

In keeping with our other Latin restaurant experiences, the food came out quickly and steaming hot. You could taste that all the concoctions had been freshly made.

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We were delighted by the tortilla soup that we shared. Dotted with pieces of silky avocado, goey cheese, pulled chicken, crispy tortilla strips and sour cream, it warmed us up nicely. I would have loved a lime wedge to squeeze into the broth like we do when travelling.

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When the pupusas arrived at our table, Julian asked us if we were familiar with them. We responded yes based only on the one other opportunity to eat Salvadorian food in Winnipeg at La Fiesta Cafecito. We requested “Revueltas” which means we enjoyed cheese, beans and pork in all three corn flour pockets. I pressed for more detail about the cheese used. Julian replied that it was a blend of a Salvadorian cheese, feta and mozzarella.

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We were full by this time and still had chicken tacos coming to the table. If you think that tacos are always the Old El Paso style, you would be mistaken. Soft corn tortillas are eaten at almost every meal as a way of scooping up the fare. We had to at least have a bite and appreciated the subtle spiciness of the chicken and peppers inside the soft corn taco. My bite resulted in juices bursting out of the wrap and onto my plate (the sign of a very delicious taco).

The restaurant has an all day menu available. They are open Tuesday-Saturdays from 12 noon until 8:30 pm and 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.

Mercadito Latino Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “Humour keeps us alive. Humour and food. Don’t forget food. You can go a week without laughing.” ― Joss Whedon

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Love never fails.

 

2016 Restaurant Wrap Up

January13

2016 has been a wonderful year of noshing for Food Musings.

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The year started with munching on salads at The Nook, The Peaks Restaurant and the Capital Grill, then progressed through the delectable offerings of beef tartar at Sous Sol and Segovia. The peanut butter & jam chicken wings were a hit at the Silver Heights as well as the peanut butter and jam buster at Bronuts.

Midyear brought the Sunday brunch buffet at Gausthouse Gutenberg and out of town treks to Jonsey’s and Hillside Beach.

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Noodles were the selected fare at Dancing Noodle, Nicolino’s and Tom’s Pho and fish and chips were sampled at both Sei Sushi and the Captain’s Table.

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The biggest surprises were the bacon and egg pizza at Peg Beer Co. and the calamari on the seafood pizza at Amici (now closed) followed closely by quail eggs at both Bisita and Fusion Experience. Everything was a surprise Saperavi, the first Georgian restaurant on the prairies.

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The year concluded with exceptional tastes of the Vietnamese pork sandwich at King + Bannatyne,

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fried chicken toast at Clementine and paella at Simon’s Cuisine.

What does 2017 hold for Food Musings? Well I am still trying to work my way through the reader’s suggestions of Begonia Grill, Common Sense Deli & Bakery, Diner’s Grill, Ethiopian food at Massawa, Latin American fare at Mercado Latino Restaurant & Market, a theme night at Rossmere Country Club and the White Star Diner once they make their move to Kennedy St. On my personal list are Saddlery on Market, Feast Café Bistro, Blind Tiger Kitchen and Crème de L’Essence. So it looks like 2017 will be another busy one with trying to keep up with Winnipeg’s vibrant restaurant scene (and going to the gym to offset the fruits of my labour).

Kath’s quote: “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.”-Mae West

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Love never fails.

 

 

Simon’s Cuisine

January2

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Simon’s Cuisine is part of the snazzy new Food Hall at The Forks Market. Winnipeggers were out in droves on this particular balmy winter day and so finding a parking spot took a bit of patience. Simon’s delectable offerings made one forget about the extra effort. The new Hall had a grand open feel, even though the seating is still food-court style.

Simon’s has been on my radar for a long time. I had intended to visit their original location on St. Mary’s Road and never got the opportunity.

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Jose Sturym, the Owner/Chef moved to Winnipeg in 2003 from Argentina with his family. He opened the original Simon’s in 2004 and this manifestation earlier this year. Along with a huge variety of Argentinean empanadas the kiosk offers Chicken Deshuesado (a boneless chicken breast marinated in lemon, garlic and wine), a Milanesa Sandwich and Fritatadas. I couldn’t decide between the Lorca or Paella so I ordered both.

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Lorco is an Argentinean stew made from sausage, squash, lima beans and hominy (corn grits). I detected a smoky paprika taste and enjoyed the white beans and mild sausage. The hearty portion came with a wedge of bread to mop up the stew’s sauce.

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I was particularly impressed with the Paella. Containing a spicy chorizo sausage and a variety of seafood, namely mussels, squid and shrimp, the dish could easily pass as a dinner entrée. The famous Spanish casserole is rice-based but has distinctive onion, garlic and spicy pepper notes. The juices from the seafood permeate the rice and create a hearty and deeply satisfying dish.

I can imagine dining there one evening with a flight of craft beer or a wine flight from The Common also located in the Food Hall.

I forgot to ask who Simon was!

Simon’s Cuisine official address is 132-1 Forks Market Road. They are open daily from 11 am until 8 pm. They have an all day menu available and 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.

Simon's Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “ESTELLE: What am I supposed to do with all this Paella?!
GEORGE: They said tomorrow, maybe.
FRANK: Maybe?
ESTELLE: Maybe they don’t like us.
FRANK: Why wouldn’t they like us? (tastes the Paella) Again with the pepper? What do you gotta use all the pepper for?!!
ESTELLE: Ah keep quiet.
FRANK: What are you trying to set my mouth on fire?!!
GEORGE: I don’t know what the reason could be”. – Daily Seinfeld

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Fusian Experience

December19

My husband caters a few special events each year and when that happens I get kicked out of the kitchen. This created an unexpected opportunity to order in and Fusian Experience (612B Academy Rd.)immediately came to mind. The phone line went immediately to voice mail so I suspected they were busy on a Saturday evening. Since they are right in our neighbourhood, I nipped over there to place my order in person. Only 3 of the half dozen tables were occupied but the phone orders were really keeping the kitchen hopping. Owner Lisa Le-Taing (with her husband Owner/Chef Chris Taing) took my number and told me that she would phone me when I could return to pick up our fixings. This gave me an opportunity to survey the tiny but sleek restaurant. The bar stools at the open kitchen would be a fun spot to perch in the future.

Oxford dictionary states that “fusion” refers to food or cooking that incorporates elements of diverse cuisines. How would Chef Taing fuse Asian food to our favourites of Mexican and Italian cuisine? We ordered from the Tapas section of the menu which in itself is a fused notion because you may or may not know that tapas are a Spanish manner of eating.

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We enjoy Lettuce Wraps on a regular basis but typically not with sushi rice and lemongrass pork. These were especially crunchy and the ribbons of cucumber and cilantro made them taste sparkling fresh.

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Sushi Tacos were also stellar with the clean tastes of satiny albacore tuna and mango salsa. In fact every time we tasted something new our dinner got better and better.

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The Hawaiian Shrimp Nachos knocked dinner right out of the park!  Spicy panko shrimp were perfectly teamed with mango and pineapple. The avocado and Gouda added a silky texture, the jalapenos some heat and the wonton crisps even more crunch. We were so crazy for these; we plan to pick them up on a regular basis.

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The Forbidden Risotto was the pièce de résistance. Organic king salmon had been fashioned into a floral bloom and was nestled atop a bed of black rice risotto. Black rice is so packed with nutrition; we should all try to eat it more often. The quail egg added a fabulous pizzazz both visually and in taste.

Fusian Experience is open Tuesday-Saturday 11:30-2 pm, Tuesday –Thursday 5:30-9 and Friday & Saturday 5:30-9:30 pm. There are Lunch, tapas, dinner and catering menus available. They are wheelchair accessible and have plenty of parking in the lot behind the restaurant.

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.

Fusian Experience Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Kath’s quote: “The food was so good that with each passing course, our conversation devolved further into fragmented celebrations of its deliciousness: ‘I want this dragon carrot risotto to become a person so I can take it to Las Vegas and marry it.” –John Green

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Love never fails.

 

Captain’s Table

December5

How do you feel when you walk into an empty restaurant? Are you excited that you get your pick of tables or skeptical about what is coming out of the kitchen? I was pleasantly surprised by the fare at the Captain’s Table Fish and Chips, 1823 portage Ave. in spite of the restaurant being completely empty on a Monday evening. The helpful server told me that they are very busy at lunch and later in the week so keep this in mind if you plan to visit.

The restaurant was decorated in a quaint nautical theme so there was a lot to look at as I waited to pick up our dinner to go. When they handed me a brown bag full of food, I thought that I was getting someone else’s supper. I had ordered the Captain’s Combo with a salad/fries side as I thought that it would be the best way to sample a variety of their offerings.

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The sautéed jumbo prawns were perfectly prepared and still hot and firm when I got home. The breaded shrimp were fun to plop into cocktail sauce and pop into our mouths, having first removed the tail of course. There were two pieces of fish on the platter and I tried my best to determine which was cod and which was haddock, but failed to do so. The fries didn’t do very well on the short car ride home. They had cooled and needed to be reheated.

I must confess that I am a fish and chip snob, ordering them wherever we travel to compare the world’s to my favourite Winnipeg’s versions. The secret to delectable fries is the right potato and a two step frying process. The best fish in my humble opinion explodes with a crunch when you bite into it. How does the Captain’s Table fare to these exacting standards (I am being facetious here)? They missed the mark slightly on quality but I give them top marks for value-the $20 dinner fed two of us!

The Captain’s Table is locally owned by Garry Swain who I understand I had just missed that evening. They are open Monday – Saturday from 11 am – 9 pm. They have an all day menu with a special lunch only section and a take out menu available. The front door has one step which might prove difficult for persons with mobility issues.

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.

The Captain's Table Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “Look at that sea, girls–all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn’t enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds.” ― L.M. Montgomery

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Love never fails.

 

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