Sunday, February 28, 2010

Month of Restaurant Reviews Is Done

I will continue to feature local restaurants as I come across them but I am back to looking for new artisans, artists, and local shops to feature here. If you would like me to post a feature on you or someone you know please email With Spring coming craft fairs will be in the works and there should be some new creative people starting to pop up with the tulips. ;)

I hope you enjoyed February's food features and I hope you stick with me while we look out for what else Manitoba has to offer us!!

Inferno's Bistro

I am going to keep this review short because there are many reviews online for Inferno's Bistro. They have quite a following. The points I want to make about Inferno's Bistro is that it is the place to go for a celebration. My hubby works with a partner at a small successful financial company so our Christmas party is small. Including their assistant Carol there were 3 couples. They chose Inferno's Bistro for 2 years in a row because they know how to host and cook!! The service feels like 5 star and the food is amazing. The menu is very french bistro with a wide spread from sandwiches with delicious french fries to high end entrees like lamb, duck, and seafood.

Being French they unfortunately do not have a wide variety of vegetarian food. I guess the French like meat. Even with limited choices I still found a great meal to be had. My husband and I started with Cambenzola Frit, fried cambenzola (cheese) served in a raspberry balsamic coulis. I love cheese. ;) It was a good start to the meal. For my next course I had Bouillabaisse aux Légumes Soup with a gruyère crouton and rouille (garlic spicy mayonnaise). It had a light broth with beets and other vegetables. It tasted like it was made to order. Very fresh and light. I love sandwiches so for my entree I happily munched on their Aubergine Grillée Panini both times which is grilled japanese eggplant, roasted mixed peppers, red onion, garlic and provolone. They also have a wide array of desserts that are all more extravagant than the last. I had a chocolate torte both times and they were an AWESOME end to the meal. Truly delicious. The entire meal was perfect.

I would recommend making reservations and to try to get a table upstairs because the main floor is a little squishy and open. During busy times people can be waiting for their table right by where you are eating. Upstairs is very warm and cozy like you are visiting a friend's home. The servers are very professional and friendly.

Other reviews:

Hours of Operation

Monday to Thursday: 11:00am - 10:00pm
Friday to Saturday: 11:00am - 11:00pm
Sundays: Closed
Inferno's Bistro
312 Rue des Meurons
(204) 262-7400


On Friday we visited friends. They got supper from Nikos. I haven't had Nikos for almost a year. I made my husband get Nikos when I was in labour with my boy last March. Oh did it hit the spot. ;) Friday we got a spread of Greek sandwiches, greek salad, caesar salad, and french fries. It was all good. We were a little disappointed that the side pita bread we ordered didn't make the bag but everything else was enjoyed. I had a veggie greek pita with greek salad. I love the feta they have at Nikos. It is soft and creamy and I haven't had it anywhere else. It makes the sandwich!! My hubby got the greek gyro, Shelley got the chicken gyro, and Steve got a sub. Everything was great. I like Nikos because the prices are really good even though they are on the Corydon strip. You can easily get out of their spending $8-$15 and going home very full!

They have a good menu with appetizers, salads, light meals, burgers, sandwiches, and pitas. Nothing on the menu is over $14. The dining room is small and usually full but if you can't find a seat their take out is just as good. ;)

There is a menu online:

and reviews here:

740 Corydon Avenue
(204) 478-1144

It looks like they may have opened a new downtown location. I haven't been there yet though so I can't comment on it.

Nikos Downtown
102K-333 Saint Mary Avenue
(204) 956-5652

Stella's Cafe & Bakery

I have been a fan of Stella's ever since there was only one location in Osborne Village. I lived in the area so it was often a breakfast spot for us on weekends. There was always a long line but we would chat away and it would always end up faster than we thought it would. Stella's makes a great breakfast. It is not a cheap breakfast though so if you are looking for a $3.99 breakfast special this is not the place for you. Breakfast will set you back around $10.

In the last few years I haven't been as interested in going out for breakfast. With little ones in the house it is more exciting to escape for a lunch date or a late night snack. I have visited all the locations but most recently I have been enjoying the Sherbrook location. It is a good destination to have for a walk with a friend. Stella's has a great bakery with fresh made breads of all sorts, slices, and cookies. My friend Karen and I had a late evening walk on a warm night a few weeks back and ended up at Stella's. We each had a hot drink and a sweet square and chatted until it was nearing closing time. The service was friendly and scarce when you wanted it and the slices were good!! I think it will be our regular walk place now that the evenings have been getting warmer. Why not reward yourself for a long walk with sugar and caffeine?

I am the kind of person that usually goes to a certain restaurant for a certain dish that I enjoy. I don't just end up somewhere thinking what do I want? When I head to Stella's for more than just a chai latte and a treat I do have a few choices that I tend to aim straight for. First of all their Garden Burger is a decent veggie burger. What makes it good is that it is made from scratch and they top it with a chutney and a cilantro sauce. I am a sauce girl so a really good sauce can make a veggie burger go from good to excellent. Most of their meals are served with your choice of caesar salad, house salad or soup. They make a good caesar salad but I love their soups. They are interesting, often spicy, and made from scratch.

If I am not in a veggie burger mood then I have often tried their Quiche of the Day made with sautéed vegetables, fresh cream & eggs or their Vegetarian Sandwich that is made with homemade hummus, cream cheese, fresh tomato, lettuce & cucumber. All their meals are the epitome of comfort food. When you leave you feel warm, happy, and ready for a nap. They also make GREAT treats!

They have three locations but I like the new Sherbrook location the best. It is bright, large, and open to the street. It feels like it has always been in the neighborhood. Regardless of when you choose to visit one of the three locations you will get a good meal and have a nice relaxed time.

Stella's Cafe
1895 Grant Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3N 1Z2
(204) 488-7810

Stella's Cafe & Bakery
166 Osborne Street
(204) 453-8562

Stella's Cafe & Bakery
116 Sherbrook Street
(204) 477-5556

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Delicious Vegetarian

Delicious Vegetarian has been my comfort stop in for over a decade. The vegan Chinese menu is as large as any Asian restaurant's that I have been too and it is delicious like their name proclaims. Over the years not much has changed at Delicious Vegetarian other than the decor and their ever expanding menu. The owner is as cheerful and helpful as ever and I have never had a bad visit.

I have been there at least 30-40 times over the years and tend to make most of my stops at lunch for their daily special so I have tasted many many dishes. The daily special allows you to choose your options along side the set meal. The daily special starts with your choice of hot & sour soup or wonton soup. I have had both many times and the wontons are great but I LOVE their hot & sour! It is thick & filled with veggies & soft tofu, and the broth is rich and spicy. The main meal is served with your choice of noodles, white rice, or fried rice and it also comes with a small super deliciously crisp spring roll. The meal itself is a combination of mixed veggies, deep fried tofu, and sauce such as spicy szechuan or black bean. I have had a few dishes over the years that were just ok but most of the time I am very satisfied with their choice. Another great thing for all you people looking for quantity is that there is always something left to take home. The hot & sour soup is so filling that I can take most of my lunch home and finish it for supper. It is also just as good warmed up!

When I was in my very very early 20's I had a roomate that frequented Delicious Vegetarian so often that the owner would make whatever special he wanted. It was fabulous. Our favorite was always the spicy szechuan tofu because it was sweet and spicy and is still my favorite sauce.

It is not necessary to only visit for the lunch special. The menu has so many options that it is difficult to decide on what to try. My staples are the deep fried tofu with spicy szechuan, veggie dumplings, hot & sour soup, their HUGE vegetable soup, sweet & sour gluten balls, and harvest in snow (don't have a menu so I can't remember the exact name). I read some reviews online and it makes me want to head there to try a few things recommended that I didn't even notice like spicy salty mushrooms, spicy peanut soup, and eggplant with black bean sauce.

I only have 3 complaints. I have been there a couple of times at lunch to find them closed when I am not expecting it and they are also one of those restaurants that make you pay for your rice. I get a little peeved with that. If I order 2-3 dishes and rice is the staple, I should not have to pay for it. Just throw it in!! I am sure it costs them pennies and I have a couple friends that do not eat there anymore because of that. They are not cheap, they are just trying to prove a point or something. ;) The final complaint is the location. I love it so much that it should move to my neighborhood. I don't get there much lately because I typically do not go that far from Wolseley to eat. :D I am sure people like it's Pembina Highway location but I don't. Come to me please Delicious Vegetarian!

With that all said the food is great, Terry is super friendly, and the prices are good too. You do not need to be vegetarian to enjoy Delicious Vegetarian. There is something for everyone. I also love to send patrons to Delicious Vegetarian because they are the leaders of the growing vegan empire in Winnipeg. They were vegan before most people knew what vegan was. When new restaurants tend to have a maximum 3 year lifespan they took a risk and are still here serving their delicious daily special a decade and a half later. Hurray Delicious Vegetarian!! I also love how it sits next door to a meat shop. ;)

There are some reviews here:

Delicious Vegetarian
1467 Pembina Highway
(204) 477-1530

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What does Kokeb and The Underground Cafe Have in Common?

They are my two favorite lunch spots downtown. Kokeb* is an Ethiopian restaurant in the little strip across from Discreet Boutique at Ellice and Princess. The food is amazing and they have a weekday vegetarian lunch buffet for $7.99. The buffet includes the injera which is a large sourdough flat bread, rice, salad, and 7-8 varieties of vegetable stews and lentil purees. Ethiopian food is not too spicy but full of flavour. Kokeb features a beet stew & a potato stew that are awesome. They also have many bean and lentil purees with a variety of flavours. The injera bread is used as your only cutlery and it is easy to scoop it all up. They also have many meat dishes on the menu for the non-vegetarians out there. In the evenings I often get the vegetarian platter which has a mix of dishes served on top of the injera. I have been there a couple times when the business has been slower and the cook has heaped on more varieties than normal making an amazing meal for us. Kokeb is a great place to go for thrifty eaters too because it is very easy to get out of there day or night for around $10.

The Underground Cafe is in the heart of the Exchange District buried in the bottom of a business building. It has crazy decor with murals ranging from vegetables to musicians. The walls are black and the place is always loud and packed. The servers are always nice and seem to really care about the place and the food is good diner fare with a twist. The have a large lunch menu that features mainly comfort food like sandwiches, soups, and salads. The twist is that they reinvent many sandwiches and have a good selection for vegetarians. I can't believe that I have gotten this far into the review without commenting or should I say hailing them for their masterpiece.....THE SUNBURGER. This is the greatest veggie burger of all time. I have been eating veggie burgers for around 15 years now and have never found one to top this one. I have heavy meat eater friends that choose it before anything else on the menu. I am unsure why they even need anything else on the menu because it is that good. It is a rice, probably tofu, eggs, seeds, and cheese (and much more) huge patty served on a bagel with a lime dill sauce, lettuce, green pepper, and red onions I believe (I don't like onions on burgers so I take them off anyways). The sauce is so good that I guarantee that you would lick if off anywhere is spills. It is so big that they actually have a whoosy version for those you don't like sauce all over and the burger is split in 2 and served open face. Whomever orders it that way is a complete whoose in my book though!! ;) For the macho man they actually have a double sunburger. I have no idea how you would eat it though. Anyone who says they know a better veggie burger is on crack. There is no better veggie burger out there.

The Underground Cafe daily soup features are also delicious and fresh. They are also usually vegetarian. They are a good side to the sunburger. They also serve breakfast and have good selection of hot drinks. The one and only issue that I have with The Underground Cafe is that they are sometimes closed for staff holidays when you wouldn't expect it and sometimes for no reason at all. I have been disappointed a few times because I'd have to find a parking spot, pay the meter, and skip over longing for my sunburger for it to be closed. After the tears finally cleared from my eyes I would have to venture into another local restaurant and find something that cannot possibly compare to my sunburger. Another thing is that they only open weekdays for breakfast and lunch so it is hard for fans like me who do not work in the area.

Check out this great review with photos of the Underground and it's yummy food:

Downtown Winnipeg, especially the Exchange District, is full of delicious & unique restaurants. Other decent ones that I frequent are Mondragon Bookstore & Cafe for their TLT (BLT with tofu instead of bacon) and their beet borscht, The Albert Diner for their BBQ Tofu Sandwich, Don Pedro's Mexican Grill for Cheese Enchiladas, and The Fyxx for either their Three Cheesi or Garden O-Plenty sandwich or just a stop in for a dessert and hot drink. I have heard great reviews for the Lo Pub for their great vegetarian and vegan eats and local beers but haven't had a chance to check it out yet.

330 Ellice Avenue,
(204) 784-9267

The Underground Cafe
70 Arthur Street
(204) 956-1925

*Kokeb was formerly known as Yenat. Even though I know it has been changed it will always be Yenat in my head. ;)

India Palace vrs East Indian Company and Ivory

India Palace is my favorite Indian restaurant in Winnipeg. The food is delicious but it is the owners that make it the top on my list. India Palace may not have the mile long buffet like East Indian Company has or the fancy decor that Ivory does but it is a simple and has a quiet comforting atmosphere. I have never had a bad experience at India Palace and I have eaten there or picked up food probably close to 20 times. The owner of India Palace has been there every time I have visited and she is fabulous from the minute you walk in until you leave. She is very charming and has given me samples of some of the sweets they offer like the jalebi and burfi and they are beautiful and delicious. Another plus is that they also come around with hot nan bread once you have your meal.

My favorite dishes at India Palace are their Veggie Korma and Palak Paneer. They also make kick ass appetizers and a delicious indian chai style tea. I have had their buffet several times and I like it because it isn't over the top. They choose 8 or so of their favorite dishes and offer them at a vary reasonable price. They also include their huge and delicious samosas along with the buffet. I am often drawn to their buffet because they always have their veggie korma available on it and I am a sucker for samosas. Their samosas can be ordered and picked up by the dozen for $9.99.

I do not feel comfortable at East Indian Company like I do at India Palace. The owners and servers are friendly but it always has too many people bustling around rushing back and forth from their huge buffet. I am not much of a buffet lady and it bugs me when I buy individual dishes and I see them scooping them from the buffet for me. Oh does that make me peeved. What is the point of ordering an individual dish if you don't get it fresh. I have had the buffet a few times in the last 10 years and the food is good but I can only eat one plate so I would prefer to get my favorite dish rather than pay the large sum for the buffet and if it is too much to ask...not scooped off the buffet. Also, the nan has to be purchased separately which adds more to the hefty cheque price.

My issue with Ivory is again not the food. I have known many servers over the years who have worked at Ivory and quit because they stole a huge chunk of their tips in their so called tip sharing. A friend of mine knew this of them and refused to tip and the owners noticed there was nothing on the table and made sure to ask if he was planning to tip at the register. That is the main reason why I stay away from that place and I cannot comment on the food because I refuse to eat there.

I know there are several other Indian restaurants in Winnipeg and I would love to hear comments on them if any of my readers have time to share. I have one bit of advice I would give about most of the Indian restaurants I have tried is that they tend to use mild to medium spice with most of their dishes. If you prefer spicier curries then make sure to let the servers know or you may be disappointed. I think they cook for the masses who prefer less kick. ;)

India Palace
770 Ellice Avenue
(204) 774-6061

Sa'aadal Kheyr, Shawarma Time, & More Reviews from Local Blogger

Various Reviews from Local Dine Out Winnipeg Blogger Anny:


I've got a few restaurants I'd like to recommend. Some I have reviewed (, some I haven't.

For something new, try Sa'aadal Kheyr, the only Somalian restaurant in our city. 164 Isabel St., 415-5166. I love the Chicken and Rice dish, though the fish and beef are also very good. The samosas are fantastic and you MUST order the bread. It's not on the menu, but it's the only way you should be scooping up the rice dishes! I'm not a fan of couscous myself, but others I've fed say it's good.

Other faves, Shawarma Time for great shawarmas and good hummus; Tomato Pie Co. for the best tomato sauce, fresh pasta, and good thin crust pizzas; In Ferno's Bistro for a great patio and good food - try the Prawns au Pernod; Bangkok Thai for excellent curries; India Palace for great curries, too; and so many more.


For those who do not know, Shawarmas are the middle eastern version of a Gyro or Donair.

Thank you Anny for your reviews!

I will be reviewing In Ferno's Bistro and India Palace shortly so keep an eye out for them.

Sa'aadal Kheyr
164 Isabel Street
(204) 415-5166

Sa'aadal Kheyr Reviews:

Shawarma Time
616 Ellice Avenue
(204) 774-2109

Shawarma Time Reviews:

Tomato Pie Company
167 Osborne Street
Winnipeg, MB R3L 1Z2
(204) 477-6609

Tomato Pie Co. Reviews:

Bangkok Thai
100 Osborne St #208
(204) 474-0908

Bangkok Thai Reviews:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Current Buys From Local Artisans

I had this dress custom made by Michelle at Button Jar. She had one on her blog and I fell in love with it. It is just adorable and she made it long enough so that my daughter can wear it for a couple of years. The shoulders have ties as well. It was beautifully made and the fabrics used are classic and work very well together. My girl calls it her "Princess Dress".

I got three more pocket bibs from Jaimee at Lilypad. They are perfect for messy kiddos and wash up great! Jaimee has fun fabrics and the prices are between $10-$15 each.

Currently they do not have a lot on their etsy site, one just had a babe and the other is growing one, but they can do custom items quick.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Right There! Tea, Food & Wine Korean Museum Restaurant

I have visited Right There! twice. My recent visit was with my friend Carmelle who had never experienced the Right There! event. The owner Jae-Im Kim visits you at the door and you feel like you are visiting a luxury spa. She speaks quietly and is a ray of sunshine. She leads you to a beautiful chair made out of a smooth tree stump and spreads the place mat menu on a wood table that sits on top of another smooth tree stump. The room is bright and organic. She explains the menu and helps you make choices while also teaching you about the healing and health benefits of your choices.

Right There! has a beautiful selection of teas, coffees, cold drinks, and alcoholic beverages. She starts us with cool barley water that adds just a little sweetness to the water. I chose Crushed Pear Juice and Carmelle chose the Royal Palace Tea which is a mix of gin-seng, date, pine nut, and peanut. She explains how it is beneficial for detoxification and vitality and it is very good for the liver.

She also starts us with an appetizer assortment of Kim-Chee, pickled radish, seaweed, and a transparent noodle soup. The Kim-Chee is delicious and the pickled radish tastes like salt and vinegar chips. Neither of us were big on the seaweed but I know it is very good for you so we did try to finish it. ;)

When she hears that we are both vegetarian she fully recommends to us the Bi-Bim Bab which is rice in a heated ceramic bowl topped with assorted vegetables, and served with a sunny side egg on top. $11.99 for the vegetarian version. The also have bbq beef for $12.99. She is very persuasive so we take her advice and it is delicious! It comes hot and each vegetable has a little spot in the large bowl. The egg is place on top and you mix it all up and eat it. She left a small bowl of hot sauce so add to it but I am very wimpy since I had my kids so I PASSED.

The meal was fantastic and the service is beyond what is expected. You feel very special by the time you leave not to mention light and relaxed. The food is not heavy or oily so you feel refreshed with the visit.

My first visit was with my husband who is unfortunately big into quantity and about an hour after we ate he wanted to eat again. He thought it was good but he wouldn't go again because it didn't fill him up. I feel that it isn't important to stuff your face with a huge quantity of meat, carbs, and grease so I thought it was a wonderful meal and Carmelle would agree with me. We had a fantastic time and would genuinely recommend it!!

I have not experienced much of Korean food and Right There! has inspired me to try some of the dishes at home...especially Kim-Chee & Bi-Bim Bab. I found a good site online that has videos to show how to make them. I just have to get to the market soon!!

Right There! Hours:
Monday: 4pm-Midnight
Tuesday-Saturday: Noon-Midnight
Sunday: 5pm-11pm

They have a website with their menu and a review from the Winnipeg Free Press:

These sites have reviews as well:

Right There!
472 Stradbrook
(204) 775-5353

Monday, February 15, 2010

Homer's Restaurant I KNOW that Homer's Restaurant is still open because my husband and I decided to order take out for Valentine's Day. We have two small children so we had our romantic dinner here once the kids were in bed. I was very thankful for early bedtimes because my stomach was growling.

I have had Homer's a few times in the last 4-5 years. It is not far from our neighborhood and they have a delicious menu and I especially love their Homer's Vegetarian Platter. My favorite greek dish is Dolmathes. They are little vine leaf bundles stuffed with rice and glazed with a lemon sauce. Normally they come in the Homer's Vegetarian Platter but they have changed the dish slightly and they do not anymore. Their online menu still shows them on the platter so they would make it that way if you wanted it. The platter comes with a stuffed tomato or pepper, spanakopita, roasted potatoes, and the veggies of the day. My platter came with the stuffed tomato. Everything was lemon and fresh tasting. The spanakopita was buttery and rich and the potatoes were fantastic. Even the seasoned vegetables were good and the red peppers tasted like they were marinated for hours. They were melt in your mouth good. I am not 100% sure that the potatoes are not cooked in a chicken broth. If you are a very cautious vegetarian you may want to ask before ordering. I am a long time vegetarian but I know that I have occasionally eaten items at restaurants that may contain some meat broth and I am sorry to say that sometimes the less I know the better. Many ethnic restaurants still label dishes with meat broths, fish, or oyster sauce as vegetarian dishes so it is good to check.

We, or should I say I, decided to order the Dolmathes appetizer because it has 5-6 of them for $8.95 and I can't get enough of them. I actually have bought a jar of the leaves at Deluca's and have intended to make them at home but haven't gotten around to it yet. They were delicious and the lemon glaze was light and creamy. I was very impressed that I allowed my husband two of them. It must have been the love in the air.

My hubby ordered Greek Baby Back Ribs which came with Avgolemono lemon chicken rice soup, roasted potatoes, and their veggie of the day. He said his meal was great too but said that he prefers ribs that have a wet sauce since these were more of a dry rub. He said they were very good but he said they would be better as an appetizer since they are similar to dry ribs offered at many restaurants. One thing that he was very impressed with was the prices. All the meals were between $15-$25 and this included the steaks and seafood. My husband is fairly thrifty so for him to say this was pretty cool. Also, I have a menu from 4 years ago and the prices have not gone up much at all and I know that nearly every restaurant I go to ups their prices every year or two including the cheap delivery pizza places.

Their menu says that they were established in 1979 and that they are the creators of Chicken Souvlaki and that is has since spread internationally. Hmmmm......I wonder if that is true?? They also feature fresh, tasty, unadulterated food, and multigrain flax bread that is baked on site. Using fresh, natural ingredients is very important to Homer's Restaurant. I have yet to dine inside so I cannot comment too much on the service but I have always spoken with friendly people on the phone and at the front. I have used them for small catering events and have never had any issues and everyone has always been very happy with their meals. I would recommend that you keep them in mind for a work lunch, a small or large function, a dinner party, or like we enjoyed...a romantic dinner for two.

They have menus online:

Homer's Restaurant & Catering
520 Ellice Ave
(204) 788-4858

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Deluca's Onsite Cooking Studio

I know that most people have heard of Deluca's food products and have visited their Portage Ave Italian Specialty Store, Deli, and Bakery. I have been a customer of theirs for many years and have also been very lucky to be involved in two events in the Deluca's Cooking Studio. They use this studio for cooking classes and private events. Friday, we were at a Deer Lodge fundraiser dinner in the Deluca's Studio and it was great. The room was decorated beautifully and it is bright and cheery. The staff and Deluca family were amazing and the atmosphere was very fun and relaxed. The kitchen is open and they have cameras on the cooks so you can learn from them on the large flat screen tvs. They also include some recipes to take home. The meal included a salad, a pasta, the main dish, dessert, and wine.

Fridays menu was Insalata Misti (mixed green salad with lemon balsamic vinegar), Gnocchi al Ragu di Agnello (tomato lamb sauce), Petti di Pollo Ripieni con Prosciutto, Formaggio e Spinaci Patate al Forno e Vegetali Misti (chicken stuffed with prosciutto, spinach, & cheeses in a white herb sauce served with roasted baby potatoes and veggies), Tiramisu con Panna (lady fingers dipped in espresso & brandy with whip cream, chocolate shavings & amaretti crumbs), and they had cappuccino or espresso to finish the meal. My husband loved the meal, especially the Gnocchi. They had a demonstration on how to make the three courses (not dessert) and sent home the recipes for the entire meal.

With me being the vegetarian at the table I had the salad, Gnocchi with a tomato sauce, and a eggplant layered dish similar to a lasagna, using the eggplant as the noodles, and of course the dessert. My whole meal was delicious especially the eggplant. It was rich and had so much flavour. I love eating where the chefs know how to mingle the flavors so that it is completely balanced and nothing overwhelms the palate. Many people do not have this gift and there is always one herb or flavour that takes over the dish. This meal was a wholesome Italian meal from being to end. The dessert was light and a yummy end to a fabulous meal.

Deluca's has cooking classes available for anyone and it is run similar to the private parties. There is no hands on experience but the demonstrator is easy to follow, you get to eat a delicious 4-5 course meal, and can take home the recipes. I have not been upstairs to experience their restaurant but I am sure many of these dishes are served there as well. The restaurant has a menu online and it is open:

• Monday – Thursday 11:30am- 1:30pm
• Friday 11:30 – 2:30pm & 5:30pm-8:00pm
• Saturday 11:30 – 2:30pm

950 Portage Ave
(204) 774-7617

Friday, February 12, 2010

Baby and Kids Show February 20-21st

Lori from Sling Sisters reminded me about the Baby & Kids Show at the Convention Centre this month. I have never been but I have heard that there is a lot of neat things and lots of fun stuff for the kids.

"We will be there and are offering an awesome deal for anyone who is there - 50% off of a pouch sling with purchase of a bamboo wrap. We'll have lots of stock with us and will be allowing people to try on a carrier while they look around. Its always fun to see babies coming out of strollers and parents trying something new (that they've never seen at wal-mart). We were interviewed by the Free Press a few weeks ago and they are planning to put an article about us in the Baby and Kids edition next week! I'm so excited, but won't really believe it until I see it with my own eyes - I keep thinking its too good to be true as I know how much they charge for advertising space.
I know that AMP diapers is going to be there as well. I met Annie for the first time recently and absolutely love her and her products, I think she's a great Manitoban business to feature. All of her product line is made at her store in St. James which I think is really cool.
Lux for Sprouts is also going to be there and is the show's main sponsor. They carry our products and are locally owned.." - Lori

This is the official details from baby show site:

"The Winnipeg Baby & Kids Show, Presented by Lux For Sprouts

Showtime Productions is proud to present the 5th Annual Winnipeg Baby & Kids Show! The Baby & Kids Show is Winnipeg's largest special event for expectant parents and young families.
Families can explore the show for the latest in baby and toddler products & fashions, collect information, and attend information seminars, all under one roof! This year the show is proud to welcome as a Special Guest Speaker, best-selling pregnancy and parenting author, Ann Douglas!
And children will love the show as they're treated to fun and activities throughout the day, including quality live children's stage entertainment & special Meet & Greets. This year the Baby & Kids Show is excited to present "The Backyardigans" live on the Main Stage, plus a special Meet & Greet with "Dora the Explorer"!
One lucky family will also win a luxurious Beaches Resorts Vacation valued at approx. $5,000!
See PRIZES & CONTESTS page for more details
Every family will also receive a free Gift Bag filled with family-themed products & samples, courtesy of Babymoon Ultrasound.."
The Winnipeg Baby & Kids Show The show's official website:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The River Mandarin Restaurant

It seems that The River Mandarin Restaurant is no longer open either. I will keep the review in case they do actually reopen on Corydon. I drove down Corydon from Osborne to Stafford and didn't see any sign of them and their phone number is not assigned to them anymore. I will be keeping my fingers crossed that they have not closed their doors permanently.

I started my life, outside of my parent's home, on River Ave. One of the many restaurants that I frequented was The River Mandarin. It is still my all time favorite restaurant in Winnipeg. I know it doesn't look like much from the outside. Even the inside is dated and the food hasn't changed in years which is good because it is delicious. The menu is huge with a variety of Northern Chinese and Thai dishes and prices are average to slightly high for this type of cuisine. The main draw for me is that they will make nearly all the dishes with tofu instead of the meat and that is awesome. It is hard for me to not spend a fortune though. How can I limit myself to just a couple things when there is a menu of delicious options for me? A meat eater may not get that comment the way another fellow vegetarians will. Vegetarians are used to having a few options to choose from so when the menu opens up to hundreds of vegetarian choices it can be overwhelming and not in a bad way.

I always start with an appetizer and my choice depends on how many people are with me. Vegetarian Dumplings are great for a couple and you need a group to enjoy the Harvest In Snow. Harvest In Snow is a huge dish of diced veggies, crunchy rice noodles, nuts, & tofu (if you replace the chicken & pork) with a hoisin type sauce. For those who haven't had this dish it is an event. It is served with a head of fresh iceburg lettuce. You scoop and roll the mixture into the lettuce and top with the sauce and try not to make a mess. It is fantastic and it is large enough to be a meal in itself for two people which explains it's $23 price tag.

The entrees & soups I mix up with each visit are the Thai Coconut Soup, Thai Green Curry Bean Curd & Vegetables, their signature dish Wonder Chicken where I exchange the chicken out for tofu, and I always get the Dan-Dan Noodles. The Dan-Dan Noodles are fat noodles covered with a sweet peanut sauce, chopped nuts, and I believe chicken. I always trade it out for tofu so I am not sure what the original meat is. The Dan-Dan noodles are one of my favorite dishes in the world. I hate sharing them!!!

The appetizer prices range from $8-16, soups $3-11, entrees $8.75-14. The prices are on the higher side but it is worth the extra money. It may not be for the thrifty eater but the food is also higher end and worth the heftier prices. You get what you pay for. I have never been there when it is packed and I wonder how they stay in business most of the time. I have read in the Free Press that they are planning to shut down the River Ave location this year and move to a smaller location on the Corydon strip. I can understand the move because they never have even 1/4 of their 200 seats filled. I hope the prices do not go up with the jump to the pricey real estate on Corydon.

Here are some sites with news, recipes, and their menu:

The River Mandarin Restaurant
252 River Ave
(204) 284-8963

Monday, February 8, 2010

Handmade in Manitoba's 2009 Top 10

I know it is a little late being February and all but after a month of everyone in my family being sick over and over and over I am ready to get back in action and finish this post started oh so long ago.

I really enjoyed 2009. It was a year of exploring my community. I have featured many talented Manitoba businesses, artisans, and crafters. I just wanted to post my top 10 wrap up of 2009 and I am looking forward to featuring many more local talent in 2010. Since I am a Mom of 2 very young kids many of my favorites are child or food centered. If anyone has their own favorites for 2009 I would love to see them in the comments!!

#1. Favorite Grocery: Eat It *I have been shopping here for years now but they continue to impress me with their beautiful produce, amazing staff, and lots of local goods.

#2. Favorite Baby Goods: Lilypad *I especially love their pocket bibs, pouch slings, & baby blankets.

#3. Favorite Bath & Body Products: Just The Goods *I love the Gin & Tonic Salt Scrub.

#4. Favorite Bakery: Tall Grass Prairie *Best cheese croissants in town!

#5. Favorite Baby Slings & Carriers: Sling Sisters *Awesome ladies & I just picked up their newly introduced Pipa Baby Pack to carry my youngest.

photo borrowed from Pipa Creations etsy site:

#6. Favorite Jewelry: Revelations North *I have to meet her and see her stuff in person!!!

#7. Favorite Artist: Joy Eidse *Beautiful artistic quilts. I especially love this prairie scene. Email her at or connect with her on Facebook.

#8. Favorite Clothing Store: Brave New World *comfortable and beautifully designed clothes from near and very very far away.

#9. Favorite Sweets: High Tea Bakery *delicious cookies. It is my daughter's cookie store. I love their imperial & almond cookies.

#10. Favorite Childrens Goods: Manic Mittens *They have an great selection of hats, clips, and whimsical dress up items. The prices are fabulous too. I am ordering tutus and crocheted crowns for my little girl for her Birthday in April.

I have so many more artisans, businesses, and artists to be featured starting up in March. This month I am primarily featuring local restaurants so when March hits I will be back in artisan action so make sure to contact me if you would like to be featured here. :D

Thanks for reading my blog!!

Pizzeria Gusto

Pizzeria Gusto on Academy is another good choice for a date night. The atmosphere is airy and decorated minimal & modern. The dining room is open concept but it still feels warm and private. The service is great and the food is amazing. The Chef at Pizzeria Gusto takes simple items and morphs them into new takes on comfort food. I love the menu including the unusual but earthy appetizers, pizzas, and entrees. I visited Pizzeria Gusto twice. The first time I was blown away and the second time I was unfortunately very disappointed but I will get to that later.

Last Halloween I headed to Pizzeria Gusto with my friend Debra-Jean. We were both pregnant and hungry. It took us far too long to decide what to eat because everything sounded amazing. We ended up each getting an appetizer and sharing a pizza. Debra-Jean had a deconstructed blue cheese & pear salad that she said was amazing. I had their feature of the day which was chick pea bruschetta and it was the best appetizer that I have ever had. The pizza we chose was called cornish pizza or something like that. I always have a hard time remembering names but I remember flavours forever. ;) The pizza had roasted yam with green sage and browned butter. For two pregnant women this was so much better than sex. We savored every bite and I have now stolen the idea and brought it home. Our only disappointments with this visit were that we could not try one of the wines on display and their dessert menu was not enticing enough to try. I am sure that it changes daily but the night we were there it didn't do it for us.

I hate ending on a low especially after such a fabulous review but I must because it bugged me so much. I love our large variety of local treasures but I have one issue. Often small businesses especially restaurants seem to think it is just fine to be closed any time they feel like it. Their signs say that they should be open but they are not. The night before I arrived at Pizzeria Gusto for my second visit I had called to make reservations because it was going to be for six people on a Friday night. Well, I was told that they do not take reservations so we would just have to walk in and hope for a table. When we arrived the next night it was closed for a private function. I was so miffed. Why couldn't the person have told me that when I had called and saved us the trip? I am a bit of a grudge holder and haven't been back. I am sure at some point I will be lured back with the memories of the delicious meal I had there. Right now I am still hurting inside. ;) I am a bit of a drama queen.

I would still recommend Pizzeria Gusto but maybe call before to ensure they are open. Everyone whom I have recommended it to has gone and adored the food!!! Just remember that it is not a cheap pizza place. It is higher end pizza but two people can easily have an entire meal for $60 or less...unless you add a couple bottles of wine. With my visit it was around $45 for 2 appetizers, 1 pizza, and 2 italian sodas.

Here are some other reviews. Everyone seems to love the place too.

Pizzeria Gusto
404 Academy Road
(204) 944-8786

Sunday, February 7, 2010


It seems that Luce is gonzo and another sushi place has stepped in. Driving down Corydon is strange lately. I used to live and work in the area and since I have moved out of the area and had kiddos I feel like every time I head down the strip it has changed drastically. There are very few places that can stick it out. Clothing stores, restaurants, and other things shops are all replaced with new clothing stores, restaurants, and things shops. Is it because the businesses are not run properly or because too many people are heading to the malls, box stores, and large chain restaurants? It is hard to say. I know that the lease prices on Corydon are ridiculous and business owners rely too much on the summer traffic so some businesses cannot make it through the winter. This last summer was not the most ideal for patios or evening walks so I am sure many businesses felt a little abandoned. I hope this summer is a good year for all our local businesses.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Eat! Bistro

I was emailed a great review this morning about Eat! Bistro located in the back of Aqua Books on Garry St. I too have visited Eat! Bistro last month and thought it was so cute with the miss-matched chairs & tables and the design of the walls and even the ceiling panels. I stopped in with my friend Barb after supper so we perused the books and headed to Eat! Bisto for sweets and a hot drink. I love the dining room. It is bright and very artsy! The server was very friendly and the menu looks fantastic. I got a cupcake and hot chocolate. Both were ok. I am a bit of an icing artist so most cupcakes cannot stand up to the flavour of mine and the hot chocolate didn't have whip cream. Imagine!! ;) But.....the menu of appetizers, soups, and dips look fabulous and I intend to head back for a meal one day soon. Enjoy Jodi's review of Eat! Bistro and head there to share some snacks with a friend.

"Blind dates… are they worth it? Absolutely! Last week I went on a blind date to Eat Bistro. The only unfortunate part of this whole love story is that I have missed many terrific lunch dates at Eat! Bistro as it opened in April, 2008 and this was my first time. The restaurant is in a fantastic downtown location and the building’s old, brick exterior contrasted with its expressive Eat! Bistro sign instantly interested and excited me. Being located in ‘Winnipeg’s cultural city hall’ is a brilliant fit for the culinary creations crafted here. The whole building oozes with creativity and artistic ambiance which makes it both inspiring and inviting for all artists and lovers of art. As this was a first date I experienced only a sliver of my new lovers menu. I was easily persuaded by the ultra fun and friendly server who made me feel welcome, like an old friend in his home. I had the lemon chicken soup, which was deliciously zesty. The soup was accompanied by a warm portion of European baguette and served in a deep wooden bowl and it was comforting right to my soul. It is a rarity these days to be so full, fulfilled and nourished for $6. Although there was no room to indulge in dessert my sweet cravings were satisfied. The in-house lemonade presented a perfect balance between sweet and tart with a surprise to excite my taste buds and my spirit – the taste of fresh strawberries warmed by the summer sun. I had the lemonade…. And I liked it! ($3)" - Jodi

Eat! Bistro
274 Garry St, Winnipeg
(204) 949-1231

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dessert Sinsations

Dessert Sinsations has surprised me. When they first opened I passed by it numerous times thinking to myself: "What a terrible location, this place is never going to make it." As I continued to pass by, and it was sticking around, I figured it was worth checking out. Since my first visit I have never had a bad time at Dessert Sinsations.

Dessert Sinsations is like a complete meal. You start with your appetizer which is a great atmosphere. From the minute you step into the bright fun room you are greeted by amazing staff with bright genuine smiles. There are images of event cakes and desserts all over. Then there is this large dessert showcase that makes you immediately contemplate skipping your meal and heading straight to dessert. I also love restaurants where you can peak into the kitchen and see the chefs running around creating our meals. It makes me feel better, like they have nothing to hide.

The main course starts with a large menu with a delicious combination of new and classic items. I usually skip the meal and head straight to dessert so I cannot ooo and aaa about too many menu items. I do have to comment on the mushroom poutine. OMGoodness! My friend Carmelle told me all about it for a year or more until I finally tried it this last fall. It is the best vegetarian option to have on a menu. Do you know how many times I have eaten roasted vegetables with chevre made into stacks, sandwiches, or puff pastries. Roasted veggies are no longer a new idea. I know that poutine is a pretty classic dish but this mushroom poutine could bring fighting countries together to feast. The gravy is filled with a mix of wild and domestic mushrooms chunks and is poured over a mix of yam and potato fries. It is just salty enough that it makes you crave something sweet to balance out the palate.

That brings me to dessert....which has to be very good considering they named the restaurant Dessert Sinsations. I have tried at least one of each type of dessert they offer. I find the cheesecakes are cheesecakes. They have many flavours and they are beautiful but I find cheesecakes do not have much range....they typically taste the same and don't offer a lot of creativity. They do have a beautiful arrangement of tortes and I have not had a bad one. They use all sinful ingredients and the tortes typically have a great balance. They are sweet, rich, creamy, and light all at the same time. Their desserts are all wonderful but what I typically zone into are the small slices and cookies. I love brownies, shortbread and other cookies, and cupcakes. I think they are great to mix and match with a friend or to consume by yourself of course if you skip your meal like I often do. ;) This is where Dessert Sinsations shines for me. They have delicious small desserts and I applaud them for their large variety of diabetic friendly desserts & dainties. The last time I was there they had 4-5 diabetic dessert selections which is amazing. I of course tend to zone in on the full fat, full sugar treats but my friend Barb tried the diabetic brownie and was very impressed with it.

I have one complaint about Desset Sinsations. It is fairly significant considering I tend to head there with a group of friends. There are absolutely no martinis. I know martinis are probably getting to be a little passe but I don't get out much without the kids and I love a pretty martini when out with the girls. ;)

Dessert Sinsations typically does a set menu for Valentine's Day so if you are interested I would recommend calling for reservations soon.

Dessert Sinsations
505 St.Mary Ave (beside Winnipeg Art Gallery)
(204) 284-2661