Browsing: Restaurant Features

East India Company Winnipeg

April24

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Thirty years ago, prior to my marriage, I lived downtown in the Holiday Towers. Often times on a warm evening while I sat out on my balcony, I would get a beautiful waft of mellow spices. The East India Company (349 York Ave.) was responsible for the exotic aromas. Recently I stayed next door to my old apartment for a conference/retreat and followed my nose back to the East India Company.

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The restaurant is narrow but deep and I was surprised when I went to the buffet just how many people were there for lunch. I would imagine the convenience of grabbing a quick and easy meal was what attracted them as well. I had a small window for lunch and so not having to wait to have my order taken or the food prepared meant that I was eating within five minutes of arrival.

I do not profess to have an expansive knowledge of Indian food so I made very sure of noting the name of every dish that I was tempted to sample. But, by the time I had eaten, walked back to the hotel and wrote everything down, I had a few memory gaps.

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I do know that I selected a Pakora (a cauliflower & potato packet) and enjoyed the unusual taste more than the vegetable Samosa. I also loved the bright green Palak Paneer: a creamed spinach made gooey with homemade cheese; so too, the Bhurta of smashed eggplant and peas. I appreciated their roasted chicken which had a pink flesh from the permeation of spices. My favourite of this and most Indian dinners was the butter chicken (Murgh Makhan), wondering how they manage to retain the tenderness without the dish tasting stewed.

The East India Company makes eating vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free very easy indeed and is likely another reason why the restaurant is so popular. The operation was overseen by a handsome gentlemen in a white suit, whom I suspected was the owner. He was too busy that day for me to inquire.

East India Company has dine in, take out and catering menus available. They are open on weekdays from 11am -3:30 pm and 4:30-10 pm. On Saturday they are open from 5-10 pm and on Sundays from 12-3 pm and 5-9 pm. They are wheelchair accessible via the north door of 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.

East India Company Pub & Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “Don’t go and cook Indian food if you never cooked Indian food, you know?”-Wolfgang Puck

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Love never fails.

 

 

 

The Falafel Place

April10

For decades Ami Hassan has been a permanent fixture at the River Heights restaurant that he owns and operates. He is typically visible in the open kitchen putting his special flair onto Middle Eastern dishes. I have know him to leave his station and come into the dining room to admonish patrons for lingering too long over coffee, declaring that he needed the space for hungry customers. On this day my dining companion and I met for an early lunch and I was surprised to find the Falafel Place (1101 Corydon Ave.) already busy. Perhaps they were still there from breakfast as the restaurant does have an all day menu.

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My lunch date was drawn to the breakfast section and ordered a Falafel Breakfast complete with two eggs, 8 falafel balls (essentially a spiced chickpea fritter) , tahini (sesame seed sauce), hummus and pita wedges. For good measure and to share her fare, she ordered a side of potato pancakes (latkes) topped with garlic, onions and peppers. She oohed and awed while savouring every taste but made specific remarks about the perfectly cooked over easy eggs and that the potato pancakes were delightfully crispy on the outside and silky in the middle. I tasted the falafel balls and those pancakes and would whole heartedly agree with her assessment. I have travelled to Israel and my favourite cook book is one entitled “Jerusalem” so I consider myself acquainted with the tabbouleh salad making technique.

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Essentially the salad is a parsley/bulgur one, with different ratios of the two ingredients depending on which regional variant of the salad you’re making, or your personal preference. There is a warning in my cookbook that “other elements need to be handled carefully”. I made a judgement error with my order, because I was craving a traditional tabbouleh salad with fresh tastes of parsley and mint. Ami’s emphasizes slices of vegetables.

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Originally I had been torn when I saw spanakopita on the menu, so we ordered it to share. As you likely know, the spinach dish wrapped in a crunchy phyllo is a Greek specialty and it is not intended as a criticism when I say that Winnipeg Greek restaurant’s spanakopita recipes are much better. Enjoy Ami’s specialties and you will be more than impressed. The Falafel Place is open seven days a week from 6:30 am-9 pm. There is an all day menu available. They 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.

Kath’s quote: “Parsley – the jewel of herbs, both in the pot and on the plate.”-Albert Stockli

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Love never fails.

 

 

 

Angelo’s 2017

April6

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One difference of the first half of this year’s sojourn to Isla Mujeres is that half of the family that being our son, his wife and their two little ones, had a different dining schedule than us. When we are typically planning a Happy Hour somewhere, they need to get their girls fed and hopefully maintain a similar bed time schedule to that of home. This meant that on some evenings, some or all of us, would join them for a beverage as they had their dinner and then when they headed “home” (the reason a hotel in Centro was key for this stay), we would depart for our own supper plans.

On this evening we joined them at Angelo’s.

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They graciously poured me a glass of wine, having selected my favourite varietal which I enjoyed

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as I watched them tuck into a Bolognaise with Meatballs

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and a delectable pizza. Between the poufy bread that is always delivered hot to the table

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and the extra effort that the bartender went to in satisfying a chocolate milk request, the little girls were equally pleased with their parents’ choice. We made our way to Fredy’s for our later dinner, but that is another blog post.

Later in our stay: week two, when most of the 83 people that had gathered onto the island for a family wedding, made their way home, D and I returned for our own dinner at Angelo’s. From virtually our first taste in 2005, Angelo’s has been a must visit. We are crazy about both their fruita de mare pizza and pasta. I have said it before and I will say it again here, I am not just saying that these items are great compared to other island offerings, I am saying that Angelo’s rivals dinners that we have eaten in Sicily, on the Amalfi Coast, in Cinque Terra and in Tuscany!

On this second visit, we may have indulged a little bit too much with the vino tinto before dining. While the kittens are away, the cats will play! I took one blurry picture of our pasta

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and another inadequate one of our pizza.

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Suffice it to say, the meals were as stellar as previous visits, but our merry-making made for an inadequate reporting of such. We will try to behave and do better next time.

Kath’s quote: “All is fair in love and beer.”~ Kurt Paradis

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Love never fails.

 

 

Lola Valentina 2017

April4

The selection of a restaurant to host the rehearsal part for my niece’s nuptials was a fairly complicated one, but in the end, the perfect venue of Lola Valentina’s was chosen for a variety of reasons.

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The spacious layout of the restaurant allowed us to mingle easily. As we had assembled from points all around the world and some of the bride’s family was meeting members of the groom’s family for the very first time, this was particularly appreciated.

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The bride and many members of her family and circle of friends are either vegan or vegetarian and Lola Valentina’s was very accommodating with the special dietary requirements.

The restaurant is ideally located right on Hidalgo in Centro so it was easy to locate by foot or by taxi for newbies to the island.

The bride and groom have travelled the world and are food aficionados. A pedestrian menu would simply not suit this sophisticated couple.

We started with appetizers of guacamole, fish ceviche and poblano chilies wrapped in bacon.

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The guacamole was lightened up with the clever additions of tart green apple and slivers of peppers. There were also delectable little balls of deep fried cream cheese adorning the plate.

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The fish ceviche was a nice twist from the shrimp and mixed ceviche that we typically order at the shoreline restaurants. The vegetable crudité also lightened it up and provided an alternative to scooping up the ceviche with a taco chip.

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The stuffed chilies were over the top decadent and although I could only manage a taste, the complex savoury flavours were much appreciated.

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To whet our whistles while we transitioned from appetizers to entrees, two signature drinks were served. I chose the Coconut Frozen Margarita which seemed like a heck of a good idea until we sat through 5 island-wide power shortages and the blenders in the bar were of no use.

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The bride and groom allowed us to select between the following entrée choices: Coconut Shrimp,

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Chicken Stuffed Chilies including rice and pico de gallo ingredients,

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Tamarind fish, Steak Tacos (which I didn’t get a photo of)

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and my selection of fish stuffed with shrimp in a pablano cream sauce on creamy mashed potatoes. “Heaven, I’m in heaven…”

The evening was a sticky one and the fans would konk out with the power. But everyone were troupers and stayed on through the sweaty and tearful speeches. We are a mushy bunch all right-exactly how I like my peeps to be.

Kath’s quote: “Tears shed for another person are not a sign of weakness. They are a sign of a pure heart.”  ― José N. Harris

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Love never fails.

 

Rubens 2017

April3

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Our first breakfast on the island was….no big surprize-Rubens!

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Not only was our hotel just up the street, the outside tables were accessible for K AND let’s face it: D and I had been dreaming about Ruben’s shrimp omelet since our last trip to the island.

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We actually did spend some time reading Ruben’s menu, not because we couldn’t decide what to order but because we missed seeing Ruben on this visit and purusing his menu was like spending some time with him.

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We ordered rounds of papaya and orange juices along with Ruben’s delicious coffee. We were happy to just BE back on the island and to get our bearing again.

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Ruben’s efficient kitchen had our meals out in no time. Not only were the eggs tender and flavourful in the omelet but the shrimp (which I guess are seasoned and browned in butter), literally burst out of their wrappings. I like mine with a bit of the breakfast rice and do not even add a grain or salt or pepper because they are so perfectly seasoned.

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K is an eggs benedict aficionado and she loved Ruben’s!

Kath’s quote: Charlie Harper: Hey, Alan. Can you taste my hollandaise sauce?

Alan Harper: You made hollandaise sauce?

Charlie Harper: You tell me.

Alan Harper: [Tastes sauce] You did not make hollandaise sauce.

Charlie Harper: Damn you, eggs Benedict.

-Two and a Half Men

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Love never fails.

 

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