When I began training for the priesthood, I had some theological education. Most of this had been done at Providence Seminary in Otterburne. However, there was still work to be done, especially in the area of Anglican theology and practice. So I enrolled in the Diploma Program at St. John’s College(the program is currently on hiatus). Classes were at 7:00 pm, so I often would go to the Daily Bread Café for supper beforehand.
Daily Bread Cafe is located in the basement of St. John’s College. While functioning as a restaurant for the college, it is open to the general public. The café is only one part of the St. John’s food service program led by Ian Park. On my last visit to Daily Bread, I was having supper before attending a lecture by Bishop Linda Nicholls from the Diocese of Toronto. The lecture was followed by a reception where the desserts pictured below were served by the college’s catering arm.
Daily Bread Supper:
Over the years I’ve tried many of the menu items from the cafe. The great majority of the meals I’ve had have been very good, and it is always good value. I’ve also had the opportunity to be at formal dinners that the food services have catered and they have been quite outstanding.
I started of my last visit with the soup of the day which was a chicken vegetable. When it comes to soups I favour the broth variety, but I also prefer them to have a good deal of meat, vegetables, noodles, etc. This soup delivered on that quite well. It had a good homemade chicken flavour and lots of substance. The soup was served with a cheese biscuit which was moist and chewy.
I’m also a fan of pub food, so I went for the Shepherd’s Pie. The pie came with a flaky pastry crust on top. The potatoes were nicely whipped, and the pie had plenty of ground beef and vegetables in it. The flavour was good and beefy and not overly salted. I topped off my meal with a Farmery Beer, which the cafe serves on tap. As I mentioned in my Elephant & Castle post, I’d rather be offered local brews.
Now, if all the Daily Bread Café had to offer was great meals that would be good. However, the café has also long been at the front of the movement to use local ingredients and to offer environmentally friendly choices. Diversity Foods at University of Winnipeg rightly gets praised for their efforts in these areas, and I’ve written about that before.
Unfortunately, Daily Bread Café and St. John’s Food Services don’t always get the credit they deserve. The most recent example of this is the introduction of Tiffins. Tiffins are a popular lunch style and/or container in India and other parts of SouthEast Asia. How they are used at St. John’s College is that you buy the Tiffin, get a discount on your takeout meal, and then bring the Tiffin back (after cleaning of course), and refill it, once again getting a discount. This saves on the need for takeout containers, and is better for the environment. Hopefully one day, all food service outlets will adopt a similar model.
The Daily Bread Café is open 8 am to 8 pm. If you happen to be on the U of M campus at anytime, it’s definitely worth your while to make sure your trip includes a visit to the basement of St. John’s College for a meal at Daily Bread. Also, given the college’s location on Dysart Road, it’s only a short walk from the Stadium on days when the Bombers are playing.