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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

Dacquisto Italian Kitchen


As is often the case, I knew what I was going to order for lunch at Dacquisto’s  even before my lunch date was scheduled.  The combination of a goat cheese and black olive pizza was too much to resist. 

What I wasn’t anticipating was how beautiful and cozy the restaurant would be.  The “big box” exterior  did not prepare me for the lush drapery and streaming sunlight within.  We were met immediately with the pleasant smell of woodsmoke from the oven. 

I also didn’t predict how affordable the lunch special menu would be.  One can hardly steer through a drive thru for an $8. lunch nowadays.  I opted to add a mixed Italian salad to combat the carbs and that only added another $3.   The lunch savings were reinvested into a fine bottle of Argentine Malbec which was shared three ways (lest you think we over-indulged). 

The said pizza was titled “Black & White” and was part of the Bianco section of the pizza menu. The taste of the cheese and olive blend reminded me of my favourite Black Truffle Bothwell cheese.   The crust was as delicious as I remember back in Chef Micheal’s “Pasta la Vista” days. 

My fellow diners enjoyed a large mixed Italian salad with chicken and the Gnocchi.  A special order was accommodated so that the Gorgonzola variety from the evening menu was served (at a slightly higher price).  I didn’t request a taste but I knew the extent that it was being savoured when the server asked to clear the plates and the gnocchi lover could not give up her last three morsels. 

The restaurant was filled with families, seniors and a couple of other business meeting tables.  I will definitely go back-perhaps to sample the Italian Buffet next time. 

Dacquisto on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:“A cook, when I dine, seems to me a divine being, who from the depths of his kitchen rules the human race. One considers him as a minister of heaven, because his kitchen is a temple, in which his ovens are the altar.”-Marc Antoine Désaugiers

In keeping with the B&W theme…..

Confusion Corner Bar and Grill


With its central location and ample parking lot, Confusion Corner is a popular meeting place for many.  Last evening the place was hopping and it was a Tuesday night!  In the last couple of years, it is likely the place that I have been to the most and I thought that it was high time that I sing its accolades.  With the exception of once, when we completely overwhelmed our new waitress, the service was been efficient and attentive. 

Since this is an after work get-together, it’s the food that quarantees the success of the evening, and that takes top marks.  A couple of times this winter, I’ve enjoyed a “crunch” salad -garnished with a couple of kinds of nuts to provide the promised texture.  I tried to find it on their on line menu just now but was not successful.  So perhaps it is a new item and does not have a permanent place on the menu or perhaps the on line menu needs adjusting. 

Last night as I enjoyed Mama’s Meatloaf (baked ground beef with capicola ham and a blend of three cheeses on a ciabatta roll), my media friends were loving the Panko-Crusted Chicken Tenders.  They are served in a very unusual manner-upright on a skewer.  They may soon become the cities’ best as I heard that The Keg Steakhouse and Bar are removing theirs from the next menu.

But the star of their fare is the Pesto Chicken Pizza.  I dream of it sometimes and have tried to recreate it at home.  They have found a dish which combines many of my favourite tastes and I TRY to resist ordering it but cave in, more often than not.  The basil pesto, feta cheese, artichoke hearts, roasted garlic and chicken are assembled in the perfect combination of savoury and salty.  The crust is delicate and yet sturdy enough to hold the weighty toppings.

We’re really looking forward to patio weather again and CC has one of the most unique rooftop patios around with a retractable awning in case of a sudden shower.  Ah spring……

I have never taken pictures of my food at CC, so please indulge me with these randoms from my collection. 

Just one question of other patrons or staff at CC-how do you pronounce “Lumpia” Rolls and are they worth the embarrassment of unfamiliarity? 

Confusion Corner Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:  “And do as adversaries do in law, strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.”-William Shakespeare

You got to have friends to make the day last long.

Joey’s Polo Park


It may sometimes seem to my readers that I never eat at home and some weeks that is quite true.  Because I work out of my house, lunch meetings are perfect for me.  I have been in my field for a very long time and have made many personal connections with my colleagues over the years.  Often the business projects fade away, but the friendships do not.  So when one of them declares “Oh, we must do lunch!”  I get out my daytimer.

The other cool thing about my business is that I have connected with a new generation of designers and communicators.  Many of them are the same ages as my kids but that doesn’t seem to make a difference to me or to them.  In yesterday’s case, I am also friends with my colleague’s Mom so the three of us got together!

Joey’s was the perfect central location and parking is ample.  We arrived at 11:30 which was wise because by the time we left at 12:45 there was a line up to get in.  The decor is open and gets quite boisterous.  But it is a very comforting feeling that you are in a room with so much energy and that you live in a vibrant community.

To say that I get stuck in eating ruts is an understatement.  Of the half dozen times that I have dined at Joey’s, I have always ordered the very same thing!  I try to psyche myself up before I get there with thoughts of fish tacos and pot-stickers but then I cave and order the Rotisserie Chicken.  I suppose that is a testament to just how good it is.  You can taste that the chicken has never been frozen as the flesh is firm and moist .  The dry rub that goes on before and the sauce after roasting is a wonderful blend of peppery and savoury tastes.  The servers are always willing to substitute sides and I got my veggie fix with a crunchy cole slaw and a zingy ceasar salad. 

Joey's Polo Park on Urbanspoon

I got filled in on all the news from friends and filled up with delicious and nutritious fare.  Here’s some irony-we stopped at the food court for a bite before an event at the MTS Centre later that night and we ate at -Joey’s Only!  What a crazy life.

Kath’s quote: “The smell of roasting meat together with that of burning fruit wood and dried herbs, as voluptuous as incense in a church, is enough to turn anyone into a budding gastronome.”-Claudia Roden

Love you A&A.

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