Cafe Bella – Best Western Downtown

Cafe Bella is a hotel restaurant. It’s located in the Best Western on Hargrave street in downtown Winnipeg. As a general rule, hotel restaurants aren’t high on my list of places to visit. Generally, because they tend to be relatively expensive relative to quality. Although, sometimes a hotel has an independent restaurant such as the Marion Street Eatery, in the Marion Hotel, that is worth visiting.

Bella Cafe Breakfast Omelet
A Denver Omelet from Bella Cafe.

However, my recent job change has me spending a couple of days a week downtown. As that develops I expect to spend more time eating with the people who visit the church over lunchtime. For now though, I like to find places that are nearby and quick.

Breakfast at Bella Cafe

This September in Winnipeg is really rainy. A couple of weeks ago, a heavy rainfall revealed some leaky  patches in the flat roof of Holy Trinity’s Parish Hall. This leak found it’s way into my office, right over the spot where my chair sits. This is not a good way to start your day. So, while the roofers were being called, I decided to head out for a late breakfast.

Toast on a plate
The toast came on a separate plate from the omelet and pan fries.

I walk by the Best Western quite frequently, and noticed a breakfast buffet. I went in, but realized that the buffet time had ended. However I grabbed a menu, and the breakfast offerings looked pretty reasonable as far as pricing goes. I ordered the Denver Omelet, pictured at top, and a coffee to drink.

Bella Cafe Jam Caddy
The jam caddy came with six choices, including blueberry my favourite fruit flavour.

The Omelet was well cooked and came with a good mixture of ham, onion, and cheese. The one thing it didn’t have was much seasoning. Eggs are one thing that really need salt and pepper. While the omelet is under seasoned, the pan fires are well seasoned, hot, crisp, and evenly sized. There were two slices of toast, and it was great that it came with a caddy featuring six choices of spreads. All in all it was a decent breakfast.

Coffee at Cafe Bella
My coffee was kept filled at breakfast time.

Lunch Hour Buffet

My first visit missed the breakfast buffet. My second visit, though, caught the lunch time buffet. Again, at $14.00 this is a reasonably priced buffet. It’s even better if you like salads, because it features a good sized salad bar.

Chicken Noodle Soup
The soup available at the buffet was one of the better items.

On the whole, other than the salad, not much stands out here. The chicken noodle soup is quite good. I liked the fact that the vegetable mixture of carrots and broccoli had a bit of crispness to it. On the other hand there were a couple of disappointments. The first were the spring rolls, which were quite watery, and the second was the carvery, which was overcooked. Although, they didn’t trim the fat off the edge, which somewhat compensated for the overcooked quality.

Over my three visits I found the service to be generally good. They do a good job of making your order is taken promptly and that your coffee, soft drink, or water is kept full. The exception was on my lunch visit. It was my day off, so I was planning on having a beer with my lunch. Unfortunately when I asked my server about local beers he didn’t think they carried any, and there was no bartender at the moment. I ordered a coke with the buffet.

When the bartender showed up later, I had a chat with him. He told me that they carried about four different local beers. I told him what had happened and he said that he would make sure the server was informed.

Dinner at Cafe Bella

Wednesday I went to my first Jets game. I knew that by the time I finished work I wouldn’t have much time for a meal before meeting a friend for the game. I decided this might be a could time to make a dinner time visit to Cafe Bella. It certainly was. I arrived at about 5:20 pm and there weren’t that many people in the restaurant.

chicken dinner
Chicken dinner to fuel up before a Jets game.
Cafe Bella Potato and Leek Soup
A cup of the quite enjoyable potato and leek soup.

I also ordered a cup of soup to go with the meal, along with a Farmery beer to drink. The soup, a potato and leek, is quite enjoyable. The chicken dinner itself is also quite good. The chicken is well-cooked and there is a flavourful gravy to go along with it. I would like a little more gravy to enjoy with the rice. Like the vegetables in the lunch buffet, the vegetables in this entree still had a bit of crunch to them.

Generally, there is nothing particularly outstanding here. However, the prices are quite good. The portion sizes are satisfying, and you will be served in a friendly and efficient manner. This is definitely a place worth checking out if you are in a hurry and looking for a quick, decent meal.

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