Over the last several years, the downtown of Winnipeg has slowly been changing. From a food perspective you notice this from a number of new restaurants such as Sana Soup House. You also notice it from the way some older restaurants update themselves. True there are some like Ming Court that will probably never change.* However, there are other places such as the Elephant & Castle that have undergone substantial renovation.
*Since writing this, Ming Court has indeed undergone a change. This change has produced the same great food but with a much more pleasant atmosphere
Dining at the Elephant & Castle:
The Elephant & Castle has been one of the places I like to go for lunch after Sunday Services. I’ve mentioned before that preaching and presiding are activities that burn up a lot of nervous energy and I find myself quite hungry afterwards. It’s also a good early supper place. If I want a complete meal(dessert isn’t necessary for me to consider a meal complete), Elephant & Castle is once again a good choice. Finally, for Jets fans, it’s located really close to the MTS Centre.
The change in decor was definitely an improvement. The whole place is more open, and with a brighter look to it. With the change in decor I wondered whether or not their would be much of a change in menu. There has been, but it hasn’t been done at the expense of the classic pub menu that was on offer before the change. The most noticeable change in the menu is the menu itself. What was once a large book is now a small tablet. Not the computer kind, but around the same size.
In keeping with the idea of the classic pub menu, the first main dish I ordered was the bangers and mash. It came looking more artistic than the previous version. It also came tasting better than the original(which was quite good). They had managed to maintain the flavour while making it less fatty in texture. The image won’t scale so I haven’t included it, but below is the picture of the quite nice Beer & Cheddar soup that went along with it.
One of the new additions to the menu is a poutine bar. While I wouldn’t put the poutine I tried there at the top of my list, it was still pretty good. Also, the sauteed button mushrooms make a real good addition to a meal.
On my most recent visit I went for another pub classic, the Stuffed Yorkshire Pudding. This wasn’t quite as good as the Bangers and Mash. While the beef was sliced nice and thin, I found it a little on the dry side. I liked the fact that the green beans were good and crispy and I like the mashed potatoes. The Yorkshire was reasonably fluffy. The one thing I didn’t like was the Horseradish Sauce that came with it. I had to try two bites before I was able to recognize the Horseradish. While I know not everyone likes the sinus draining style of Horseradish I prefer, this was bland, runny and mild beyond belief.
As you would expect there is a good selection of beer and ale on tap. You have to ask, as the servers seemed trained to offer Bud and Bud Light(Really? At a British Pub?). All drinks are served as pints. I went with the Rolling Rock.
Speaking of the service, I’ve generally found it to be quite good. I did have one rather poor experience, but the management looked after me very well when that happened. The service is quick and friendly. The meal generally comes in reasonably short order. There are also plenty of TVs, so if the place isn’t too full, you can often get what you want to watch. The Elephant & Castle is one place that I will keep going back to for meals on an occasional basis.