As a priest, Saturday’s are generally a semi day off. Generally this means I catch up on my sleep in the mornings. However there are some things that will get me moving early on a Saturday, and the annual brunch at Raw:Almond is definitely one of them. Last year, unfortunately I didn’t manage to get there, but this year I was determined to get back on track.
This year with the warmer winter, Raw:Almond had to be moved off of the river and onto the railroad bridge at The Forks. This meant a change in the space and layout. I quite liked the change, as it is a little smaller and combined with the warmer weather, a little easier to keep warm while dining.
Saturday Dream Team:
Although the brunch this week was headlined by Talia Syrie of The Tallest Poppy, she had plenty of help including Chef Ben Kramer, and Pam from Cake-ology. Saturday morning is for super heroes and these chefs are among Winnipeg culinary super heroes.
I arrived a little early for the 9:00 am start time, and so I walked over to the Johnston Terminal to get a coffee from Espresso Junction. I headed back just after 9:00 and took my seat. After having a brief chat with Ben, I was headed back to my seat, when I was stopped by the other diners. It was Primrose MK. Primrose is a Winnipeg playwright and novelist who I had the pleasure of first meeting at the 2014 brunch. So, I joined her, and later a co-worker of hers and the co-workers mother and aunt also joined us. It was good being able to catch up with a little of what Primrose has been up to.
As expected, the food was fantastic. We started out with Red River Cereal with a Berry Sauce. Unlike a lot of people, I didn’t eat Red River Cereal when I was young. We were an oatmeal for winter breakfast kind of family. Somehow though, if left to my own devices I don’t think I could prepare the cereal this well. This is a dish I could easily start every morning with. The fruit adds a great little touch of sweetness to the dish.
The next dish was our main course, A Mexican Hash. One of the things I like best about The Tallest Poppy is their free range eggs. The yolks are a brilliant orange which adds a wonderful dash of colour to their dishes. There was little bit of kick to the salsa, and I liked the mini potatoes in place of regular hash-browns.
The main course was followed up by a Saturday brunch classic with a twist. There was a Belgian Waffle with cranberries and apples in a sauce, along with whipped creamed. The twist was that it was served with duck along side. The waffle itself was terrific. Crispy when you bite into, and moist when you chew it. I’ve often found Belgian waffles a little on the dry side. Not this one. The duck was also very moist and offered a contrast to the sweet of the waffle and the tart of the sauce.
I thought that was the last item to come, but found out there was dessert. I thought the waffle was dessert, but hey if one dessert is good, two are better. The final item to come out was a Berry Crumble Cake with a Nutmeg Whipped Cream. I’m not a huge Nutmeg fan, but this was done exceptionally well, with a rather mild Nutmeg flavouring that didn’t overwhelm the whipped cream.
One of the other things I love about the Raw:Almond brunch is that it wasn’t rushed. It started at 9:00 and we had a good hour and a half to enjoy our brunch and the conversations that went with it. Also, the coffee cups were kept refilled on a regular basis during the brunch. The service throughout was friendly and relaxed, just like the brunch.
The brunch is running again tomorrow, and Saturday and Sunday next week. If you have the chance, plunk down the $30.00 and take in this brunch. You’ll be glad you did.