Browsing: Restaurant Features

Eating Lighter in January


If you are trying to shed a couple of pounds after the indulgence of Christmas, you may want to sample one of The Keg’s lunch salads.  On this day I was at the Keg Southside location.  I often chose the Santa Fe salad but on this occasion I was coaxed into the Cobb Salad.  The selection was chock full of high protein items like chicken, hard-cooked egg and bleu cheese (and some crumbled bacon), romaine, arugula, tomato, avocado and a light dressing.  As far as salads go, this one is very hearty.

I have often been confused that Cobb salads don’t contain corn but I found out that it is named for Robert H. Cobbe who was an American Restauranteur in the 1970s.

Other dieters, reduce their calories by limiting their protein intake.  That would be a delicious choice in this portobello mushroom burger.  The meaty grilled mushroom is served upon a toasted bun and then topped with pesto aioli, roasted red peppers, provolone cheese and arugula.  You can have it served with fries if you intend to go to the gym or with a salad to further lighten up your fare.

If you have a sweet tooth, you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice dessert.  The Keg sells mini dessert portions.  We ordered this butter tart and each had a forkful-yum.

The Keg Steakhouse & Bar - Southside on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Larry: I think I am just going to get a Cobb Salad. I’d like to make a few substitutions, if that’s OK. I’ll get… no bacon. No eggs. Bleu cheese on the side.
Cliff Cobb: Are you sure you want a Cobb Salad? Do you do that every time you order that salad?
Larry: Do you have a problem with it?
Cliff Cobb: It’s my grandfather’s salad. I’m a Cobb of Cobb salad fame.”-from “Curb your Enthusiasm”

Pony Corral-Pembina Hwy.


Where do 35 people go out for brunch with 1 day’s notice in Winnipeg?  When D’s family assembles for a brief weekend each Christmas, the time is short and very precious.  One of our traditions is gathering for one last meal together before heading back onto the highways for the road trips to Minneapolis and Dauphin or to the airport for the flights to Toronto and Calgary. 

This year, Christmas kind of snuck up on us and although we were pretty organized for the festivities themselves, we didn’t plan for the morning after.  Then we remembered how easily the Pony Corral had accommodated us the year before and took a chance.  Well not only did they have space for us at short notice, it was in a separate area of the 2nd floor balcony with our own fireplace, coat rack and TV screen to check the NFL scores. 

The challenge of pleasing such a diverse group of diners at a reasonable price is a huge one but the Pony Corral’s extensive menu covers off everybody’s tastes.  I choose a chicken souvlaki pita and D an omelete.

Others ordered sandwich melts and burgers.

Bigger appetites, tucked into steak and eggs.

But I was most impressed with the selection on the kid’s menu.  This foot long was well priced and just what the younger set had in mind.  The food kept them interested until we started a round of “telephone”.  The game starts when one person whispers a message into the next person’s ear and you pass it along to see how accurate the end message is delivered.  The first couple  of rounds were very accurate and then the youngest member of the family started to mix things up with his take on how the messages should go.  Hilarity ensued.

A restaurant can’t be all things to all tastes but the Pony Corral comes pretty darn close.

 Pony Corrall on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “It matters not how simple the food — a chop, steak or a plain boiled or roast joint, but let it be of good quality and properly cooked, and everyone who partakes of it will enjoy it.”-Alexis Soyer 19th century French chef

The Current Revisited


Our original plans had been foiled and we were looking for a convenient (parking) but upscale spot to have a celebratory girl’s lunch.  The Current at Inn at the Forks turned out to be a perfect spot.  I have been to this beautifully appointed restaurant a number of times before and each time, I am escorted to exactly the same table.  And so on this day, I felt right at home.

Laura is a chicken and turkey salad aficionado and she declared The Current’s to meet her high standards.  Their chefs include tarragon and toasted walnuts.  I noticed that something was topping the mixture and it was a grilled Granny Smith apple slice.  This came with fantastic french fries and a just- made savory gravy.  I am especially complimentary about the fries to justify my reaching across the table to Laura’s plate on repeated occasions.

Karen went for the Moroccan Chicken Burger which would definitely get my vote next visit.  The spicy chicken breast was accompanied by a green apple and rhubarb chutney, brie and a coriander mayo.  She chose a crisp Caesar salad to go alongside.

When I am dining, I often don’t make a decision until the server comes to the table.  I declare to lunch dates that “I like to work under pressure” but the true reason is that when confronted with a decision, the most spontaneous answer is almost always the correct one.  In this case, I over thought my decision.  I was really tempted by the pickerel and chips but thought that I should make a “lighter” choice.  So I ordered a shrimp omelette that came with spring greens.  

My Dad showed me very early in life, how to prepare perfectly scrambled eggs and omelettes.  The eggs are to be lightly and quickly whisked  so as to introduce air and infiltrate the yolk and white, but not so much so that they are over mixed as they will become tough.  In addition, I like my eggs to always be served wet as a dry egg is an overcooked egg (imho).  Perhaps this was the case with my choice that day.  I twittered the restaurant to ask if they happen to use a pre-mixed product and Ben assured me that they use only vita fresh eggs.  

With our timelines, the choice was perfect as the server was accommodating and efficient and we enjoyed a lovely visit in a equally lovely locale.

The Current on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “I have had, in my time, memorable meals of scrambled eggs with fresh truffles, scrambled eggs with caviar and other glamorous things, but to me, there are few things as magnificent as scrambled eggs, pure and simple, perfectly cooked and perfectly seasoned.”-James Beard




Elements is the long awaited bistro and dining room created by Chef Ben Kramer of Diversity Foods.  I’ve been for lunch, twice now.  The first time was a number of weeks ago.  While I awaited my lunch date. I saw a table of people that I recognized.  It was their first time as well.  They invited me to sample the bowl of Spicy Bacon Carmel Popcorn that sat on the middle of their table.  Simultaneously salty and sweet, it was a yummy treat.

My date sampled the Baked Macaroni & Cheese made with more bacon, chevre and cheddar (not exactly lo-cal).

But her salad offset the indulgence.

I chose the linquine with onions, garlic, feta and hazelnuts.  I topped mine with chicken.  I found mine to be heavy on the onions which dissuaded me from trying it a second time.

Yesterday’s lunch started with a yam and peanut soup and then two shrimp tacos.

A friend choose this combination as well but opted for the onion soup and had her taco stuffed with chicken.

The third member of our klatch, slurped (in a polite way) the 3 step Raman noodles: choosing egg noodles, hot and sour sauce and shrimp as well.

Since there were three of us to share dessert and we were in a festive mood, we ordered the vegan chocolate cake.  I am assuming that this meant it was eggless and they went unmissed.  The cake was rich and moist and the combination of blueberries and the dark chocolate was divine.

The room is light and airy and has windows along two walls.  On my second visit, there was such a blustery wind blowing outside that we were able to watch passers by hang onto their hats!

The restaurant is a welcome addition to a fairly lengthy strip of Portage Ave. without an upscale eatery.  The constant expansion of the University of Winnipeg, will certainly change this over time.  Elements has set the bar high for future prospects.

Elements on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “What science demands more study than Cookery?     You have not only, as in other arts, to satisfy the general eye, but also the individual taste of the persons who employ you; you have to attend to economy, which every one demands; to suit the taste of different persons at the same table; to surmount the difficulty of procuring things which are necessary to your work; to undergo the want of unanimity among the servants of the house; and the mortification of seeing unlimited confidence sometimes reposed in persons who are unqualified to give orders in the kitchen, without assuming consequence, and giving themselves airs which are almost out of reason, and which frequently discourage the Cook.”-Louis Eustache Ude (1813)

New Restaurants for Winnipeg in 2011


Winnipeg has a vibrant restaurant scene and always so many choices from which to declare the year’s best new entry.

 I was introduced to business partners Kyle and Marc when I visited Unburger Restaurant/Café at 472 Stradbrooke Ave. for my first time. The little place has a fresh, crisp and clean design.  I sampled the “Unburger”-grilled pineapple, balsamic onion & tomato relish, caramelized onions, bacon, cheddar, herb mayo & a sunny side up fried egg!  The addition of pickled beets was just my cup of tea. 

The newly relocated Deseo Bistro is at 696 Osborne St.  There was some debate as to whether Deso should be considered new as they were formerly located on the main floor of the Royal Albert Arms.   But since Deseo was the hands down winner when I asked my cyber-circle for their favourite, I declare it to be Winnipeg’s best new restaurant.  I’ve been twice -once for a savoury lunch of sweet and sour figs and chorizo sausage and a second time for a cozy dinner when I sampled Chef Scott Bagshaw’s BC Clams tossed with pancetta and brussel sprout kim chee, and Caramelized Pork Belly accompanied by sour pear, crispy chicken skin and succotash.  Deseo’s small plates are nothing short of exquisite. We were warmly hosted by the other Deseo partner and lovely gentleman-Alejandro Moro.

I was surprised when no one remembered or (faced up to) loving Smoke’s Poutinerie which drew such a crowd when it opened in the Exchange this past summer.  Being the poutine aficionado that I am-I was duly impressed by the savoury gravy and real cheese curds.


My Blogging friends had this to add:

Carbone Coal Fired Pizza on Taylor is my new favourite pizzeria. The coal-fired oven creates the best crispy-thin crusts that cook in as little as 3 minutes. The peppino is a must-try with cherry tomatoes, prosciutto, arugula, parmigiano and a splash of olive oil, and keep room for the ferrero dessert pizza topped with nutella and roasted bananas.

The new Stella’s at Plug In 460 Portage Ave. in the Buhler Centre across form the University of Winnipeg is the perfect place to grab a big fluffy cinnamon bun and coffee on the way class or work. If you have time to sit down in the sunny dinning room enclosed in floor-to-ceiling windows, order the Mexican Breakfast.

My new fave restaurant isn’t really a restaurant per se, but a coffee shop.  Parlour Coffee at 468 Main Street has finally filled Winnipeg’s need for a place to get an incredible cup of properly prepared coffee.  Its simple design and warm, friendly atmosphere (and staff) will definitely have you fixin’ for your daily cup of joe.

Kath’s quote: “If you never try a new thing, how can you tell what it’s like? It’s men such as you that hamper the world’s progress. Think of the man who first tried German sausage!”-Jerome K. Jerome (1889)


« Older EntriesNewer Entries »