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Texas Roadhouse-Grand Forks


Sister #3 and D know the best way to prepare back ribs.  They must be slowed cooked with just a little bit of moisture so that the fat melts away and they fall off of the bone.  So when Sister #3 says she knows a really good place for ribs-she knows what she’s talking abut. 

When we arrived at The Texas Roadhouse for a late dinner and there was still a wait for the dining room.  A gang of handsome (somewhat tipsy) guys encouraged us to stay with their declarations of great food and so we did.  The wait was not long at all and as soon as we sat down, we dug into the peanut pails and cold beer. 

Not long after the just made buns arrived to tide us over.  I was not so inclined to these as I have a salty/savoury tooth and these were sweet and then accompanied by a cinnamon/sugar butter.

A wonderful salad arrived next with chopped egg and grated cheddar-almost a meal in itself.


 When the platters of ribs and loaded baked potatoes arrived, we were glad that we still had appetites. The ribs were bursting with flavour and oh-so tender.  I was happy that we had only ordered half racks ( and I still took half home for a “heading-home” snack the next day).

Me and my carbs…the baked potato was extraordinary.  How could this be-it was just a potato, you’re thinking?  The skin had been rubbed with olive oil before baking so instead of just enjoying the chees/ bacony inside, I loved the crunchy skin as well.  And we all know that the skin is where the vitamins are, right? 

Our server was a university student transplanted from the Twin Cities.  He was enthusiastic about his work and taking care of us.  When we saw staff walking around with the declaration: “I love my job” on the back of their t-shirts, we believed them.

Would love to try the rotisserie chicken next time but the hand cut steaks look pretty tempting too.

Texas Roadhouse on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Was I catching the contagious enthusiasm of this Canadian? Was I truly euphoric at the sight of fresh-grilled pork?”-Professor M. Aronnax in Jules Verne’s ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea’

Mexican Village-Grand Forks


Five of us travelled together to NYC last summer and we were trying to recreate the fun times with another stateside adventure.  Now Grand Forks is no New York City (sorry Grand Forkians, Winnipeg ain’t no Toronto either), but we still managed to have a nice rest, great shopping, fun times and good food.

We were heading for Mi Mexico to find that it was no longer open.  We’d done Paradiso, many times before so we landed at Mexican Village.  The waitress glanced at the clock over our heads as we arrived (it was 8:40) so we knew that we were being considered fashionably late diners. 

Cold Coronas and our food was out in a flash and that was lovely as we had worked up a thirst and an appetie at Gordman’s.

 A couple of sisters had the combination platter,

another fajitas

and I the chicken tortilla soup (very different from the recipe that I make in that I couldn’t make out the chicken and I’m not accustomed to a cream base) 

and a seafood enchilada (if you call crab flavoured pollock seafood). 

We were surprized that we got our choice of gravies because we didn’t recall gravy on anything when we dine in Mexico-mole sauce yes, gravy no.  It was explained to us that gravies were actually sauce variations.  Must be a North Dakota thing….

Mexican Village on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “I come from a home where gravy is a beverage.”-Erma Bombeck

Pete’s Place


Sometime you just get a craving for good, made from scratch cooking.  D and I are often drawn to the North End of Winnipeg to shop at Tenderloin Meats on Main St. for kubasa and perogies.  A stop at Pete’s Place is often on the itinerary.  Pete’s is nothing to look at from the outside-in fact, you might even drive right by it.  But inside, the place has been recently spruced up and the servers are sweet as pie.

D started with a bowl of borsht that he declared was the best borsht, he had ever tasted.  Now, that is high praise as we have a number of expert borscht makers in our family.  He offered me a  taste but I didn’t want to deprive him of even a spoonful as he was obviously enjoying it, that much. 

Next up was Pete’s sandwich which was a cross between a Clubhouse and a loaded bacon and egg sandwich.  Once again, I declined a taste because D dug in with such relish.

I chose a three cheese omelet with cheddar, mozarella and feta.  It was served alongside home fried potatoes & onions and rye toast.  I was glad that I had not filled up on other tastes, as it was wonderful.  All tolled, I think that our bill was $20.

Food so good-we should just head there for no other reason.

Pete's Place on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “It is odd how all men develop the notion, as they grow older, that their mothers were wonderful cooks. I have yet to meet a man who will admit that his mother was a kitchen assassin and nearly poisoned him.”-Robertson Davies

Deseo Bistro on Osborne


I was recently at an event, where Scott Bagshaw was a prized member of the chef team.  I also read the “review” of the event days later in the WFP where a certain “reporter” singled Scott out for his unorthodox personal style.  Now I can’t imagine that her reflections were based on the evening itself but on urban gossip about a past circumstance surrounding this talented chef.  I ask this question-where would any of us be without a chance to redeem ourselves?

I was duly impressed by Scott and Alejandro’s first Deseo on Albert St.  The location had some issues but the food was impeccable.  Their new Deseo Bistro location on south Osborne is just my style-the second floor where we had lunch was light filled with an open window to bring in the sounds of the street and the fall breeze.  There is a little grove of birch trees on one wall and gorgeous Argentinian drift wood in the front windows.  Leather toss cushions create an inviting look and for me the feel is very cottagey (a place many know-is my favourite place to be).  I’m guessing that this beautiful room is the bar in the evening.  The main floor dining room is just as cozy with the discovery of a real tin celing during renovations.

Our helpful server suggested the squid.  My lunch date added figs and chorizo sausage and I topped the requests off with Potatas Bravas-potatoes cooked in duck fat! 

The squid was so succulent and tender, that next time I might be tempted to order it on a bed of pasta to soak up every delicious dollop.  There was a green sauce that we were mystified by, because we thought that it might be a pesto.  But no, it was arugula gazpacho which added a peppery finish to the sparkling tastes.

The figs and chorizo were sublime.  The fusion of flavours were (almost) indescribable-the sweet and silky juice, the explosion of texture from the fruit itself and the hearty and spicy but perfectly tender sausage.  Lucky for me, my lunch date is not a bread eater and so I got more than my share of the grilled toast to dip into the broth.

My little indulgence of the potatoes were tasty but in all honesty, I was hoping for a repeat of the amazing side dish that was served at the original Deseo’s.  I am guessing that Scott’s repertoire is so huge that he was excited to start fresh at this new location.  And why not?  The courage to make a fresh start is truly admirable.  Where would I be without my own?

Deseo Bistro on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:   “Oh, better no doubt is a dinner of herbs,
When season’d with love, which no rancour disturbs
And sweeten’d by all that is sweetest in life
Than turbot, bisque, ortolans, eaten in strife!
But if, out of humour, and hungry, alone
A man should sit down to dinner, each one
Of the dishes which the cook chooses to spoil
With a horrible mixture of garlic and oil,
The chances are ten against one, I must own,
He gets up as ill-tempered as when he sat down.”-Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Winnipeg Free Press Cafe-Special Event


In my profession as a Media Planner, I often get invited out to special events that are being put on by the media suppliers that I do business with on a regular basis.  We were invited to one such event recently at The Winnipeg Free Press Cafe.  There had a been an enter to win opportunity in the paper and at Manitoba Liquor Marts and the evening was a pairing of BC wines and complimenting tastes.  Now I am no wine connoisseur and leave those observations to ones more educated than I for example,  Ben McPhee Sigurdson  who is the wine guru for The Winnipeg Free Press and presided as one of the hosts that evening.


The food offerings started with a BC Salmon Riette.  Riette being a coarser style of pate-think “country” style. 

Next came my second favourite offering of the evening-Latkas topped with smoked goldeye.  Potatoes-that is what I am afficiando of and these lacy latkes were fried to a perfect crispness and were a crunchy contrast to the smoky fish that I absolutely love. 

When we vacationed in Sicily at exactly this time of year, D picked fresh figs for our breakfast.  Ironically, I only rarely get to enjoy figs and had lapped them at a lunch earlier that day when they were stewed with a chirizo sausage.   These figs were classically wrapped in prosciutto and totally satisfied my sweet and salty taste buds.

Speaking of Chorizo, the peppery sausage was balanced with carmelized sweet onions on baguette.  In my mind, chorizo was native to Mexico or even Italy but no-it originates from the Iberian peninsula which includes the country of Portugal and Spain.    

Next up was the highlight of the evening (from a culinary persepctive at least).  The most enormous sea scallops were wrapped in bacon and baked.  Perhaps they had been seared first because the face of the scallop was slightly crusted but the meat was plump and firm and sparkled on the tongue.  Now we grill scallops in bacon quite often at home and it sounds simple enough, but there is a real knack in cooking the bacon so that the fat has rendered away while not overcooking the scallop-these were perfection.


Carpaccio with parmesan shards and a empanada made with ground beef and ancho chili were served to contrast some of the more robust wines.  Ancho chili spice is made when both the seeds and pods of the plant are ground together, producing the brick-red powder that is most commonly associated with Mexican cooking.

I have been crazy for Portobello mushrooms this season and these meaty ones were coupled with Gorgonzola  cheese in a balsamic reduction.

BC peaches tartlets in phyllo pastry were the sweet crown of the evening.

I do know that the Cafe is available for special evening events such as this one.  The room is cozy even with its glass walls that make you feel right in the heart of the life in the Exchange.  Domenic Amatuzio is the skilled chef of the Cafe and put on a brilliant display of his talents.

News Cafe on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.”-Ernest Hemingway

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