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


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

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

Hildegard’s Bakery Will Have you Bingi(e)n’

For the last two or three years I’ve been having people ask me if I was familiar with the pizza nights put on by Integrity Foods. Only by people talking about them (one thing about not driving, rural events are mainly missed). Then one day I was talking with my friend Travis Unger. Travis and his wife Stephanie, run a small property management firm in the Spence Nieghbourhood, and are friends of mine from my days back at St. Vital Evangelical Mennonite Church.

Hildegards Oven

The wood-fired oven that is the heart of Hildegards Bakery.

On this occasion he told me that the son of the owners of Integrity Foods was looking at opening a bakery in town, including offering pizzas. As time went by I started to more about this new bakery, as the owners also have connections to some of the people I know at St. Margaret’s.

Over the last few months I’ve watched the southwest corner of Portage Avenue and Maryland Street. During this time I’ve had some contact with Dave Newsom one of the owner’s of Hildegard’s, and have anxiously awaited it’s opening. Continue reading