For many years the White Star Diner was a mainstay of Winnipeg’s Exchange District. The diner was a little hole in the wall on Albert Street. It was mainly a takeout joint, with a limited number of seats. I had only been on one occasion and that hadn’t been enough to convince me to go back.
A few months ago, I heard that it was closing. Then a few months after that I heard that it would be reopening, this time on Kennedy Street. The location it took over had once housed a Greek restaurant, which was then turned into a combination Greek-Ethiopian restaurant. This seemed as odd as the Thai-Shawarma combo at Shaba Thai.
Lunch at White Star Diner
There hasn’t been a lot of change put into the new location since converting it to the White Star. The main difference is that it’s been repainted and the booths are neater and tidier than they had been. The other main difference with the former restaurant is the pictures of ocean liners and copies of books on the Titanic.
I hadn’t realized until visiting the new location that the restaurant’s name was inspired by the White Star line of ships. In between the pictures of ships that are also a few retro signs.
On my first visit I decided to order the Pulled Pork Sandwich. The soup of the day was a Mushroom Barley that was one of the choice of sides available with the meal. I also ordered a side of onion rings.
I chose the Pulled Pork Sandwich because that was what I had the first time I had visited the White Star, and I hadn’t been particularly impressed. That may have been due to watching my portion being pulled out of the fridge and stuck in the microwave before it was served to me. My second time with the Pulled Pork Sandwich didn’t change my mind. It’s not a bad sandwich, the pork is moist, but it lacks any kind of pizzazz as far as the flavour goes.
The onion rings, on the other hand, were among the better ones I’ve had. While thin, without a great deal of onion inside, the coating is crispy and the onion doesn’t all fall out on your first bite. I also really enjoyed the soup. It was a good, rib-sticker Mushroom Barley. (pictured above).
White Star Diner Return
My first visit had been in the middle of the lunch hour. The place wasn’t overly full, but it was pretty busy and service was good and efficient. On my return visit I was there after the post lunch rush, and there was only one other table occupied.
This time I decided I would take their menu claim at their word, and try one of their hamburgers. I went with the Bacon-Cheeseburger and fries. A classic burger with classic side. I also added gravy.
In my last post I tried the burger at Canada Fries. The burger at White Star Diner is also homemade with a sizable patty. Two big differences that work in favour of the White Star. The burger is moister and chewier, and in addition to the bacon and cheese, there are several other toppings. It would rank close to the top of the burgers that I’ve had in Winnipeg. The Burger Club liked it too.
The fries were also very good. Cooked nice and crispy on the outside, and not turned to mush on the inside. There’s a good plateful in the serving as well. The gravy is nice, meaty, and thick. Although, and it may sound strange coming from me, it could use a little more salt.
Not being to anxious to head out into Wednesday afternoon’s downpour, I went for a Chocolate, Raspberry, and Balsamic milkshake to finish off my meal. This is a good, thick milkshake, although the Balsamic didn’t really come through all that well.
The service on my second visit was even better on the first. The burger is quite sloppy, and my server noticed that I would need another napkin and brought an extra without a request. The White Star Diner will most certainly be a place I visit again.