Lunch Bell Bistro

Lunch Bell Window SignThere is a lot of change and transformation in Winnipeg. Often we focus on big splashy things like the SHED in downtown or what’s going on in West Broadway. Yet, generally with less fanfare, a lot of change is happening along Main Street. Much of this changed is designed to work with the existing community, not to simply transform the neighbour by pushing current residents away.

In the last few days I received a couple of emails about a new restaurant on Main Street.This new place is called the Lunch Bell Bistro. The Lunch Bell Bistro is located in the Bell Hotel, which now serves as transitional housing for those trying to get off the street. The bistro itself is working in co-operation with Changes, an organization committed to helping people with cognitive and developmental challenges find their own places within the community.

Lunch Bell Bistro Philosophy StatementUnder the direction of Chef Chris Tascona, the work experience students will work in both front and back end areas of the restaurant over the period of time they are at Lunch Bell. Along with that, they will spend time in other food establishments giving them an opportunity to see how the skill they are learning in one place are transferable to another. One particular area of emphasis is teaching the students the essentials and importance of food safety and hygiene. If you visit the website link at the top of the page, you can acquaint yourself a little more with the details of the process. Continue reading

Raclette for Thanksgiving Dinner

I don’t know how you feel about traditional meals for holidays, but I can take them or leave them. Some, like pumpkin pie, I wish would disappear forever. I enjoy my turkey, but since you can always get a small U-grade one cheap, I often just by one for myself to roast. Thanksgiving is always a little non-traditional, as it’s also a birthday celeberation. My birthday is the twelfth and my sister-in-law’s is the thirteenth. So, we combine all of that into one event. This year, for Thanksgiving with my brother and family we went totally non-traditional as we enjoyed our meal cooked over a Raclette grill.

Raclette is both a a type of cheese and a type of dish. Traditionally the cheese for dish is melted over an open fire, but in contemporary times table top Raclette grills have been created.

Raclette Grill

This is the grill before all the food has been added.

raclette coupelle

This is called the coupelle and is used for melting the cheese, preferably Raclette, over the grill.

the cheese

The cheese.

Raclette Components:

In addition to the cheese there are several other common components used in serving Raclette. Small potatoes, gherkins and sweet onions are traditional. As well, various dried meats are served. Our dinner featured pepperoni and prosciutto. We also added shrimp. Along with the potatoes we had baby corn and asparagus for grilling. Continue reading

Little Maria’s, Edmonton Street

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted. My schedule has been very full and I haven’t found many new places. Yesterday, though I paid another visit to Little Maria’s Porchetta & Meatballs on Edmonton Street.

If you’ve read the About Page, you know one of the important things for this blog is the matter of eating together. One of the side benefits of that practice is learning about new restaurants. This is really helpful in Winnipeg, where the population to restaurant ratio is about six to one, or so it seems. I first heard of Little Maria’s through my friend Terry who’s part of the Saturday night service that I attend at St. Margaret’s (check out their new website. It was designed by Don Betts who also designed the website for us at St. Philip’s).Little Maria's Sign

I digress. It took me a while to find Little Maria’s after I first heard about it. It’s tucked away just off of Broadway on the street level floor of a highrise. When I first walked it, I felt a little nostalgic. The tables and chairs made me think of Eat Bistro in Aqua Books. I spent many an hour in Eat and walking into Little Maria’s made me miss it all over again. Continue reading

Coffee Culture, Thom Hiebert

For the last year and a half or so, St. Margaret’s Anglican Church has been offering a Thursday Night Lecture Series. Some of the lectures focus on deep theological issues, such as next weeks lecture by David Widdicombe, the Rector, on Wars & Rumours of Wars. Other evenings have seen members of St. Margaret’s present on their art. Still others, such as last night’s lecture on Coffee Culture, by Thom Hiebert, of Thom Bargen Coffee & Tea, see members of the broader community of which the parish is part offer lectures on various topics.

Setting up for Coffee Culture lecture

Thom setting up in preparation for the coffee culture lecture.

Fresh Coffee Culture:

I guess I would have to consider myself as someone on the fringes of coffee culture. I visit coffee bars such as Thom Bargen on a semi-frequent basis. I also attended the Prairie Barista Championships in the hopes of learning more about the world of coffee.  So, I’m always interested in hearing stories about why such places exist and what they mean to people. Continue reading

Fall Suppers – Winnipeg

With the arrival of fall, comes the arrival of fall suppers. If you live outside of Winnipeg, or like to travel outside of the city for your fall supper, there is a great web resource put together by Orest Kinasevych.  I didn’t see a corresponding list for fall suppers in the city, so I have decided to start one. I’ve put out some requests, but could use a few more suppers to fill out the list. If you know of a fall supper happening in Winnipeg, let me know in the comments, and I will add it to the list.

Fall Supper

More Fall Potluck than Fall Supper, but it captures the idea quite well.

St. Basil the Great Parish – Perogy Supper, Fri, Sept 26, Fall Supper Sat, Oct 18

Perogy Supper: Fri Sep 26, 4-7pm

Fall Supper – Sat, Oct 18, 2014.

4 & 6 pm sittings: Adults-$15.00; 12 & under-$7.00
Tickets: John 204-889-3768 / Harry 204-832-0265


*St. Mark’s Anglican Church –  Saturday, October 18th* – This Dinner is now sold out

Date: October 18,2014                                                                                             Tickets: $12.00 adults / $5.00 children over 5 yrs of age                                                 Dinner followed by an auction which is always a high-light of the evening

Phone: 204-233-6088  Address:19 St Mark’s Pl, Winnipeg Continue reading

Extreme Pita Kenaston

I don’t spend much time in the Kenaston Common area. I have visited Supper Central on a couple of occasions, but given that the area is pedestrian and transit unfriendly, it’s not high on my destination list. Recently though, I’ve had the odd opportunity to be in the area, and have gone for lunch at the Extreme Pita located there.

Extreme Pita is not new to me, as I have visited the one by the University of Winnipeg in the past. However, that was quite a while ago. One of the things that I remember from that location was that the pita had a tendency to fall apart because they were stuffed so full.

Extreme Pita Nutritional Guide

The pita I had the first time I was at the Kenaston location didn’t seem quite so full, although the one my lunch partner had was fuller(largely more lettuce). On the second visit I had the grilled flatbread pita. Essentially a pizza on pita. My lunch partner on this occasion had the chicken teriyaki pita, and it too was very fully stuffed. Continue reading