About Donald McKenzie

About Donald the Priest A priest in the Diocese of Rupert’s Land. Currently serving as Priest at St. Philip’s Norwood Anglican Church. Also serving as Priest Associate at St. Mark’s Anglican Church. About Dining With Donald This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food. I can be found on Twitter as @anglibubs.

Saigon Star Vietnamese Restaurant


One of the culinary features of the part of Winnipeg I live in, is it’s profliferation of Vietnamese restaurants. A quick check of Google Maps lists at least 18 within at most 12 blocks of my house. Some have been there for a very long time, and it seems that there are always new ones popping up. One such restaurant, that if not entirely new, (the restaurants in the are also move around from time to time), is Saigon Star, which recently opened on Sargent Avenue, just east of Arlington Street.

Saigon Star

I ordered the blueberry bubble tea from Saigon Star

This puts the restaurant just across the street from Pho Binh Minh. Some places are known for having multiple Starbucks on one corner. In my neighbourhood you are much more likely to have multiple Vietnamese restaurants on one corner. We definitely have the better end of the deal in this case.

Not only are there two Vietnamese restaurants across the street from each, but I also had to pass two other Vietnamese restaurants before I got to Saigon Star. Continue reading

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Little Goat Food & Drink


Little Goat Food & Drink is the latest restaurant from Chef Alex Svenne and his partner and front of house manager Danielle Carignan Svenne. It’s located out on Portage Avenue, right across the street from Underdogs Sports Bar. Little Goat features French comfort food as the base of it’s menu.

Little Goat Meatballs

My meatball starter from my Little Goat Dinner.

I first visited Little Goat shortly after it opened in December of last year. At the time they were only serving breakfast and so I decided I would wait until they were open for all meals before I would write the place up. A few weeks ago I managed to get in for a lunch service, but decided I wanted to add a dinner visit before I did my review.

Sometimes, when a place is out of my normal area of travel, it takes quite awhile before I get my visit in. Yesterday, though, was Bishop’s day with clergy at St. Andrew’s Woodhaven, which is just across Portage and a couple of blocks west of Little Goat. The afternoon session ended earlier than expected, which gave me plenty of time for supper before I head all the way across to Selkirk Avenue for the launch of a parishioner’s first collection of poetry. Continue reading

Candle Light Indian Restaurant – Sargent


Last year, not long before I ended up moving to my new digs, I visited Nou Eul Tor, a Korean restaurant just round the corner from where I am now living. Over the winter, it appeared the restaurant had closed down, and a few months ago, I noticed signs for a new place called Candle Light Indian Restaurant.

The Lamb Vindaloo was good and spicy

Once I saw the coming soon sign posted, I started checking on a more regular basis for when the opening would be. Finally, seeing the open sign lit up in the window, I was able to make my first visit the next day, which ended up being their second day in business.

Stepping into the restaurant, the decor doesn’t look a whole lot different from when it was Nou Eul Tor. there are new pictures on the wall, and the whole tone of the place seems a little brighter, but the tables and layout are pretty much the same. The one thing that stood out for me was that, unlike a lot of Indian restaurants, Candle Light doesn’t feature a buffet, and least not as of yet.

When I arrived for the first time, it turned out that it was only the owners working, they were both in kitchen, but fortunately, their young child came out and let them know, loudly and clearly, that they had a customer.  Continue reading

Bruno Chief of Police – Martin Walker


When I published my first post around crime fiction and food, way back at the end of last year, I asked for any suggestions for other writers that I may have missed. The one name that came up the most, about 4 or 5 times, was that of Martin Walker and his fictional detective Bruno Courreges, chief of police in the small, fictional town of St. Denis, in the Dordogne region of France.

*If you haven’t read this series there are one or two spoilers during the course of this post. 

Bruno resistance cover

The cover for the Bruno novel: Resistance Man

I started this series from book one and have worked my way through to all but the two most recent books in the series, and they are on hold at the library. I found Bruno an engaging character right from the start. His interest in protecting the way of life of the people in the town of St. Denis, as the EU regulations seek to destroy their way of life. He also has a great deal of compassion in his dealings with the people. He often overlooks, or helps correct, minor violations that can cause the perpetrators outsized trouble, Continue reading

Prairie Voices – Tasting Notes


Spring time is in full swing here in Winnipeg, and with the arrival of spring various arts groups are winding down their seasons and are also entering fundraising event season. Last weekend I attended Theatre by the River’s, Wine and Words, thanks to a ticket from Mel Marginet TBTR’s artistic director. Then, last night I was out at Tasting Notes, the annual dessert concert fundraiser for Prairie Voices.

Before I get into last night’s concert I want to mention to upcoming events. Next Friday and Saturday, Horizon, the other choir in the choir in the Prairie Voices family, will be holding their fundraiser, Lyrics and Lager. I went last year and it was  a lot of fun.

Then, on Saturday, afternoon June 9th, at 3:30 pm, both choirs will be presenting Summersing, a free choral event being held at Coronation Park.

Praire Voices Pistachio

The Pistachio Mousse, one of the many fine desserts available at the Prairie Voices Tasting Notes Dessert concert.

Prairie Voices is an award winning choir for singers between the ages of 18-25(though in typically modest, Winnipeg fashion, none of those awards are listed on their website). The choir was founded in 2000 by Elroy Friesen, who is currently the director of choral music studies at the University of Manitoba. There have been several conductors since then, with the group’s current conductor being Geung Kroeker-Lee.

I’ve known Elroy for years, attended the inaugural Prairie Voices concert and have continued to attend their concerts off and on ever since. I run into Geung every so often at Fools & Horses, my coffee hangout, where his partner Lauren is one of the owners. In the past couple of years I’ve also had another connection to the choir, as St. Philip’s, the parish where I serve as priest, has been used by both Prairie Voices and their alumni choir, Horizon, as a rehearsal space, when they need somewhere to practice, on short notice.  Continue reading

Ivory Restaurant – Donald Street


A few weeks ago, I was walking down the street, and noticed that the former Spice Affair was now Ivory. This surprised me because I didn’t realize that the Main Street location was no longer open. So, I took a stroll down Main Street a couple of days later and sure enough, there was no Ivory there any more.

Ivory buffet plate

My first plate from the Ivory Buffet.

Ivory is now the third Indian restaurant to make a go of it in this location. Prior to Spice Affair it was Dhoom, and going back into the distant past, it was a Pizza Hut. In the days when it was Dhoom, it was a place that I visited several times.

My memories of the Main Street location of Ivory are rather limited. I went once or twice, and not much about the food struck with me, but I do remember it having a larger buffet area, than most other Indian restaurants.

Ivory Buffet

When I walked into the restaurant I noticed that the space had been opened up and instead of two smaller sections there is one larger one. Along one wall, there is a very nice looking bar, with three TVs hung over it, which when I was there, were tuned into news programming. Continue reading

April Reading Roundup


Last month I gave a reading roundup post a first try. I’m going to give it another go this month. Last month my focus seemed to be on books related to French cuisine in the middle of the 20th century. This month most of the books fall into the category of cozy mysteries.

Cozy gourmets and murder.

This book marks the beginning of a really good cozy mystery series.

A Cozy Mystery April:

I started back into reading detective fiction a few months ago. As a result, I discovered this whole sub-genre of detective fiction known as cozy mysteries. The cozy mystery is very much like other mystery, but the violence and the sex is downplayed. In many ways the food related mysteries I’ve been reading could be called a sub-genre of the cozy mystery sub-genre. As I go through these books, I’ll talk a little bit about some of the common elements in these as they relate to various series.

There are some similarities between the books. The one I find the oddest is that so many of the protagonists are redheads. Continue reading