My family moved to Winnipeg in 1980. This was just as I was starting high school. We lived in River Heights and Grant Park was my high school. Being situated next to Grant Park Mall, the mall also became something of a hangout. I didn’t go out to eat much in those days, but Pizza Place with it’s all you can eat Monday Spaghetti nights, was visited a few more times than others. Much has changed in the last 35 years, but some things haven’t really changed. Pizza Place is gone, but AutumnBee Pizza has taken it’s place in the same store front.
Other than being a little bit brighter AutumnBee doesn’t feel all that much different than Pizza Place. The menu doesn’t seem all that much different either. AutumnBee would have been just as much in place in the 80’s as it is today. Make no mistake, this is not a fine dining experience, but it’s pretty good if you’re in a hurry at lunchtime.
AutumnBee in the Afternoon:
Both trips I made to Autumnbee were later in the afternoon before the supper rush. Boxing Day sales seemed to have lost their steam, so the mall was quite quiet. As a result, there were only two or three people in the restaurant during each visit. This was perhaps a good thing as the servers, while make a good effort seemed to be new employees still not sure of the menu and what was available.
My first time I opted to go with a variety of small portioned dishes. I had a bowl of French Onion Soup, A half Garden Salad, and a small portion of Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce and the additions of onions. The Onion soup was quite good, but appeared to have been made without wine, or with so little that it didn’t affect the flavour, which while pleasant, was not quite as rich as a lot of onions soups I’ve had. I was pleased that the salad featured Romaine rather than Iceberg. I would have liked the option of a balsamic or basic oil and vinegar and dressing. The spaghetti was just all right, but plenty of mushrooms and a good value at $8.95
I topped this meal off with a bowl of chocolate ice cream. It was a simple and sweet conclusion to the meal.
Given that pizza is in the name, on my second visit to AutumnBee I decided I should include my pizza in my order. I started off with the chicken soup that they advertise on the sandwich board outside the restaurant. Much like the Onion soup the Chicken Soup was quite good. The soup was certainly the best item I had on each visit. They are homemade, and taste like it.
The pizza on the other hand was a disappointment. I ordered Italian Sausage and Bacon a my toppings. They did at least deliver a good quantity of the two toppings. The crust though was too thin. As a result it was overcooked and had something close to a gritty texture.
There’s nothing particularly special about AutumnBee. However, it’s not a bad choice for a quick meal. Especially if you go for the soups or salads.