Prairie Regional Barista Championships


This past weekend Winnipeg hosted the Prairie Regional Barista Championships. It’s hard to believe how much the coffee culture in Winnipeg has changed in about three years. 2011 was when Parlour coffee opened on Main Street. Parlour was also one of my early reviews.  Since then Little Sister, Thom Bargen, Cafe Postal, and Make have all opened. The desire for specialty coffee has even spread south to Winkler, where you can find Johnny’s Java.

Video: Learning About Pour Overs at the Prairie Regional Barista Championships

This has produced a thriving coffee community. So much so, that the Prairie Regional Barista Championships were held here. The first time in seven years they had been held outside of Alberta. I heard about them thanks to a poster at Thom Bargen Continue reading

Waki Temaki Sushi Truck

When I did my preliminary Food Truck Power Rankings, I mentioned that there were three trucks that I still hadn’t tried. I’ve now visited Waki Temaki Sushi Truck, so I can knock that number down to two. Waki Temaki is run by the owner and chef of Yujiro Japanese Restaurant on Grant Avenue.

Waki Temaki Sushi Truck

You can generally find the Waki Temaki truck on Broadway in one of the blocks close to the Legislature. Winnipeg has approximately 12,000 sushi restaurants*. This is a good thing as those who check in on Dining with Donald fairly regularly are aware, I am a sushi fan. With Waki Temaki, we can add 1 sushi truck to that total.

* Number may be slightly exaggerated.

Waki Temaki MenuValue:

Rolls range from $3.50 to $6.50. The rolls are neither the biggest or smallest I’ve experienced. Salads are $5.00-$5.50. You can add a drink and a salad to any roll for $5.00 to make a combo. The Donburi, essentially deconstructed rolls, are $15.00. While providing a reasonably good sized portion, they seem a little steep. However, you can get yourself a pretty fair lunch for $10.00-$12.00 if you are inclined. 3.75/5

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Ford Sustainability Feast

One of the enjoyable elements of food blogging are the occasional invites to events such as the Little South America Tour I went on a couple of months ago. About three weeks ago, I received an invite to an event entitled, “Have You Eaten a Ford Lately!” I RSVPed saying that I would like to attend, but were the organizers aware that I didn’t drive at all. Assured that such a lack wouldn’t put the brakes on the invitation I said yes.Ford Go Further Sign

The event was subtitled a “sustainable culinary adventure.” I didn’t quite know what to suspect. In the end it was a presentation by Ford on their commitment to sustainability in manufacturing automobiles. As it turns out, many of these sustainability practices feature the use of food. To drive home their message, the menu for the feast was built around the foods that Ford is working with. Continue reading

Bell Tower Community Cafe

It’s a typical scene that you see at many food banks. People come in the door, line-up and wait as they proceed along to the table, where they register to receive a food hamper. However, it’s what happens after they’ve registered that make this food bank a little different. This food bank is the Bell Tower Community Cafe, operating out of Westminster United Church

Once the clients have registered they are encouraged to go and grab a bowl of soup, or now that it’s summertime, head back outside and grab a hot dog and hamburger along with some salad, bread, or cookies.  Then there’s coffee and tea. Not the add one cup of grounds for 100 cups of water type either. The coffee is likely to be from Thom Bargen’s and the tea from DAVIDsTea.

If you hang around long enough you’ll see the auditorium transformed. There’s a band up on the stage. While people enjoy the music and conversation a line of children will snake its way around the tables, or they’ll be out in front dancing. Often some of the adults will join them in dancing. Among the noises, laughter and shrieks of delight will also be frequently heard.

B-Side Apostles at the Bell Tower Community Cafe

The B-Side Apostles consist of Larry Updike, Eric Boorman, and Greg Glatz. Greg is associate pastor at Westminster United and helped launch the Bell Tower Community Cafe.

This is not some idyllic scene. After all, many of the people here are clients whose income makes feeding themselves and their families difficult. Since it began it February, right up to last Friday, the Bell Tower Community Cafe, has shared over 800 hampers for more than 1,600 people, about 600 of whom are children. Yet, despite this there is more laughter and pleasure here than you will see at many other food banks. How did this happen? Continue reading

Food Truck Power Rankings-2014

Food Truck Rankings in this Post are provisional.  There are some new trucks I haven’t gotten to and some I hope to revisit before ManyFest.

On A Roll Food Truck Menu

Sadly they are no longer on the streets of Winnipeg.

This is my second Power Rankings post for the Winnipeg Food Truck scene. I wrote one at the start of ManyFest last year. My explanation of power rankings is in that post. Since yesterday marked the roll out of the 2014 Food Truck Wars, I thought it once time to post a new one. ManyFest Food Truck wars run from September 5-7. This year there will be a new truck atop my rankings. Last year’s champ On A Roll decided that they wouldn’t operate this year.

There will be a couple of trucks not listed. Since almost all the food trucks are in the competition I will only including the ManyFest. If a truck isn’t on here, you still should try it out when you see it. Like with the Le Garage truck last year, trucks that I haven’t visited will be given a N/R (not ranked) rating. These are the trucks I hope to get to before ManyFest. That means that means Beaujena’s, Mikky’s, Sis ‘n Me. and Extreme Fries are not on the list. Still check them out if you can.

Please remember, that although a truck may land on the bottom of the power rankings, you should still give it a try. This is meant to be fun. Plus, it’s skewed towards my favourites.

Food Truck Power Rankings: 2014

1.) Poutine King

I commented last year that this truck would rate higher for me if it was on Broadway more. Also in addition to great food, makes good use of Social Media to promote the truck.

The Poutine King

2.) Red Ember

Dividing time between Broadway and the St. Norbert’s Farmers Market. Red Ember has quickly become a fan favourite. Also, North America’s biggest food truck. Continue reading

Casa Bella Deli-Market

I’ve been venturing in and out of the Forks a little more in the last few weeks. There are often events going on. It was my go to place for watching the World Cup. Plus, when it comes to food there are all sorts of little surprises.The dining runs from Food Court to fine dining (Sydney’s) and everything in between. One of the little surprises is Casa Bella Deli and Marketplace.Casa Bella

Casa Bella is one of those plays that I have habitually walked past. Perhaps it’s all the years I worked in a grocery store, but I’ve never found the grocery stalls at the Forks all that appealing. The fruit and vegetables is generally supplied by the same companies that supply the chains. As a result I’ve haven’t noticed the meals to go section. Recently I decided to pay it a little more attention. Continue reading