Browsing: Restaurant Features

Joe Senser’s Sports Theater-Minneapolis


D is originally from the Minneapolis area and we love to head down for a variety of reasons, typically Viking match ups.  But this particular trip was  for a very special celebration-the marriage of a beautiful niece.  We had a bit of a window before we all had to get gussied up for the ceremony and #1 son had found Joe Senser’s Sports Theater the night before.  I am often skeptical when a place’s main claim to fame is that it is owned by a football player.  But Joe was a Viking and since I acquired purple blood through marriage I was willing to give it a try.

I didn’t get much conversation out of my family of diners because their eyes were fixed on various screens -the start of the French open, baseball updates and one devoted to video bloopers.

But when the food came it was just what the doctor ordered and so I was content.

D enjoyed this Cobb Salad which took him forever to eat.

The Frenchman: this combo special of a burger, waffle fries AND boneless chicken wings.

Daughter #2 went with the chicken wrap that was so huge, Daughter #1 ate the second half on the car ride home the next day.

For me?  They had me at artichokes….artichoke and chicken flat-bread.

Joe Senser's Sports Grill on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:“The primary requisite for writing well about food is a good appetite.”-A. J. Liebling

Purple blood in my veins but a true blue heart….

Mask Restaurant-Gimli


On our way to our cottage, when we drive over the last hill with our first glance of the lake, we can often see the lights of Gimli on the opposite shore.  The distance is about twenty miles as the crow flies and yet we often do not get over to the east shore of Lake Winnipeg.  But on this weekend, we were invited to a family wedding and decided to stay the night to enjoy some time meandering the shops and galleries of this Icelandic community.

We asked for breakfast recommendations and the Mask Restaurant was the unanimous choice.  The cafe has two entrances-one for breakfast and lunch and the other for fine dining.   The casual side is painted a beautiful “brillante giallo” -a vibrant yellow reminiscent of cafes that we visited on the west coast of Italy.

Sisters #2 and 3 were immediately drawn to order the Eggs Benedict- a family favourite.  I got to taste the homemade hollandaise sauce on the dish that I just had to try.


The “Fisherman’s” breakfast includes a pan-fried piece of pickerel with a drizzle of the lemony/buttery sauce.  Fish for breakfast?  Well, never before, but it was amazingly delicious!  The dish also included two rashes of crispy bacon, a perfectly cooked over-easy egg, lacy hash brown potatoes and marble rye toast.  

Our server was always around to refill the fabulous coffee or a stronger European blend if you so choose.  If breakfast is this good, what on earth would dinner be like?

Alas, it will be a very long time before I get to find out as the regular treks to “our” side of the lake are about to begin.

Mask on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:“Love, like a chicken salad or restaurant hash, must be taken with blind faith or it loses its flavor.”-Helen Rowland

Love to Lunch


There are many benefits to working out of a home office.  My day doesn’t begin with a commute but a wander around the house to tidy up and when it is fair enough, a lap around the yard to see what has poked its head out of the earth overnight.  I am rarely awake to see my husband off and Daughter #2 sleeps until the very last moment before she leaves for University.  I do admit that I spend too much time on Facebook and Twitter to satisfy my interaction urges but I still miss being with other people during my work day.  And so I lunch……

All the places that I’ve lunched lately are familiar places, sometimes with new acquaintances, other times with life-long friends. 

First stop: my first patio lunch with one of the beautiful Sarahs that I have met on Twitter.

I always order this dish because it features both eggplant and artichokes! Angel Hair Pasta tossed with Grilled Vegetables, Roasted Red Peppers, Concasse Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Feta Cheese, Pickled Eggplant, Wilted Greens and Artichoke Hearts.

Second stop: The Southside Keg with my long-time friend Gord (he always treats).  This is their new Wedge salad and he likes his with lots of pepper.

I had the Prime Rib Dip-oh my.

Next stop was with one of my very youngest friends-our new Goddaughter (with her Mom and family) to the Falafel Place for some Israeli fixings.  Do you think that she can finish her plate?

The Falafel  Place is one of our favourite neighbourhood places-huge portions of freshly prepared, nutritious food.  I had the Tabouli salad but didn’t include the photo because it looks like a plate of grass-so GOOD!

Last Stop: the Spicy Noodle House on Osborne.  We love the peanut soup with a side of fried pork chop.  I had the deluxe Curried Vermicelli.

What was particularily fun about this lunch was that I got to meet this international student from Brazil who is homestaying with my friend Laura’s family.  This was her first taste of peanut soup.  But I do not think her last.

Kath’s quote:  “A man may be a pessimistic determinist before lunch and an optimistic believer in the will’s freedom after it.”-Aldous Huxley

Yougot Chinese Restaurant


This delightful find is off of my beaten track at 1500 Pembina and so it took a lunch meeting in the vicinity of someone else’s office to get me there.  The menu is huge and I will have to go back to try their Ribbonfish Stew, Quail Eggs and Shrimp Cashew, 4 kinds of lamb, a variety of tripe, tongue, heart, etc. etc.  Okay I lied-I might not try the tripe.

I know the nutritional reasons for consuming organ meat and when you think about it, utilizing every part of the animal is a respectful way to eat.  But there may be some who vehemently disagree with this statement and perhaps I should best not go there.

Our lunch: Unexpectantly, we were served a starter of a light egg drop soup. 

We chose Quick-Fried Octopus with Chili and then played it relatively safe with Chow Mein with Chicken and Vegetables. 

The latter was pretty pedestrian on its own but could be brought to life when some noodles or the bok choy were speared with the chilis or a perfectly cooked sliver of octupus.

The place at lunch was absolutely empty which was surprizing with the quality of the food, prompt service and the pleasant surroundings.  Yougot is sparkling clean, filled with sunlight and maintains a pleasant decor.  If it was my neighbourhood Chinese food option, I would be more than content. 

Yougot Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:  “Tongue: well that’s a werry good thing when it ain’t a woman’s.”-Charles Dickens (Charlie’s opinion-not that of the writer)

Deseo Bistro


Right off the bat, I need some help.  This little restaurant is so new (in my circles) that I have not heard anyone pronounce its name and so I do not know which syllable requires the emphasis. For now it is DCO in my head until someone corrects me.

Our office was in the Exchange in the late nineties even before the Red River Campus arrived.  At that time our lunch selections revolved around dim sum and Vietnamese but even then I was content.  Now-so many choices….

I’ve long admired the glass atrium the restaurant is encased in.  I thought it was a brave move on the Royal Albert Arm’s part many years ago.  My lunch-date remarked that it felt as if we were no longer in Winnipeg (which I took as a good thing on that gray, gritty day).  The space itself feels “gritty” too, which is not a negative remark.  The space has a lot of history and it is apparent in an authentic way.  (I was warned to skip a visit to the ladies though). 

Our server was a ray of sunshine-enjoying the bustle, her guests and the food.  She had a couple of great suggestions including the skirt steak which I will try on another occasion.  I opted for the wild mushrooms on grilled toast topped with goat cheese and truffle oil.  The earthy, musky tastes were contrasted with the sharpness of the cheese.  D doesn’t care for truffle oil and so I do not use it as often as I would like at home.  So I especially savoured the treat.

Our server also suggested a side dish as my open faced sandwich was just that.  Carb Queen that I am -I ordered what I call “smashed” potatoes.  I often make these at home using Giada De Laurentiis recipe but I like Deseo’s version even better.  I imagine that the potatoes are boiled and then smashed before being dropped momentarily into a deep fryer and then lightly salted.  Not having the use of a deep fryer at home-I’ll not bother any more and just fixate on Deseo’s version.

My friend cautiously ordered a chorizo hash  not professing to be a spicy guy.  He indicated that he really enjoyed his choice but his eyes were continually drawn to the huge pulled pork sandwiches being delivered to surrounding tables.  He simultaneously figured out that he could wind his way through downtown’s walk way system to come back again if spring didn’t hurry up.

I was craving some Latin tastes so next time I may opt for the bean fritters or the lime & manchego polenta.  Going back to Deseo Bistro and soon is a fore gone conclusion.

Deseo Bistro on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “The most learned men have been questioned as to the nature of this tuber, and after two thousand years of argument and discussion their answer is the same as it was on the first day: we do not know. The truffles themselves have been interrogated, and have answered simply: eat us and praise the Lord.”-Alexandre Dumas

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