Scout – Kid-Friendly Coffee Space


Coffee shops are great gathering places. They’re great for getting together for planning meetings, for small group idea sharing, or just for having some time to spent with a good friend or two. Unfortunately, most of them aren’t designed with children in mind. Scout Coffee + Tea on Portage Avenue has just changed all that.

Scout Coffee trailer.

A child’s camp trailer play structure is only one of many child friendly elements incorporated into the design of Scout Coffee.

Now, let me start of by saying, that in my experience, places such as Fools and Horses, Thom Bargen, Parlour, Strong Badger, and others are very open and welcoming of children. However, despite this openness and the friendliness of the staff, none of these places are particularly physically designed to allow for parents to visit with each other while their children are engaged in other activities. More often than not parental visits will be interrupted more than once or twice. Enter Scout Coffee + Tea.

Owner Katrina Tessier, is a Winnipegger who spent four years living out in Victoria, B.C. While there she became a mother, and during her parental leave spent a good deal of time in a coffee shop that featured a section dedicated to children. Continue reading

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Jollibee – Northgate Shopping Centre


It’s been around a year since the first location for Jollibee, the iconic Filipino fast food restaurant, opened in Winnipeg. I was invited to the opening, and it turned out I couldn’t go. Missing the opening didn’t turn out all that badly, as the reason for missing was one of things that led to the Free Press feature on my blog last January.

Jollibee has been called the McDonald’s of the Philippines. Which would be true, if McDonald’s actually produced a product worth eating.

Jollibee pie

Peach Mango Pie, one of the dessert options available at Jollibee

When I heard that a second location had opened, I figured it was time for me to finally paid a visit. I chose the new location on McPhillips. I hopped on the 71, but then made the mistake of getting off to soon, and ended up walking quite a distant. On review this seems like it will be good preparation for when Transit cuts the 71 route.

Jollibee Well Prepared for the Crush

From what I read about the opening of the second location, I suspected that the restaurant would be quite busy even though it was closer to 7 pm when I showed up. Continue reading

Cousin’s Deli, Lounge – South Sherbrook


I never know where my mind will go when it starts to wander. Yesterday I was thinking about Cousin’s Deli, and writing this post, and I started to think about my dad. You see, yesterday marks eight years since my dad died. The reason Cousin’s got me thinking about dad, is that for the first seven years we lived in Winnipeg, we would drive pass Cousin’s on our way down to church at the Salvation Army Winnipeg Citadel.

pasta salad

The pasta salad is quite flavourful, but lacking in vegetables

We never stopped, it was just a marker on the route downtown. Much like the site of Harman’s meant that we were getting close. However, those rides, especially when it was just my dad and me, were times of good conversation, times when I had my dad all to myself. In a family of six boys that wasn’t all that frequent, even as I moved into my teen, university years.

I did have coffee and meal times out with my dad. As things have gone, only one of the three places we would regularly go still are open. Continue reading

Red Ember Common – Forks Market


The Forks has long been one of my favourite places to stop into on my way to work. A Cinnamon bun from Tall Grass Prairie, always makes for a sweet start to the day, and if you hit The Forks at the right time of day, it can be a really quick spot for picking up a meal.

The Forks has been upgrading over the last couple of years, and the second phase of The Forks Market upgrade is in full swing. I am of mixed mind up this second phase. I plan on writing about this in another post. For now I’m going to write about Red Ember Common. I’ve been a fan of Red Ember almost since the truck first hit the streets.

Red Ember Seating

There is bar seating write by the restaurant, and the view is quite good from the Commons seating area.

The production area for Red Ember is quite impressive. The space has been renovated so that you can look in from three different sides and see the staff as they make their creations. This is an upgrade from the truck in that there is more room to be able to watch your pizza being made.

Red Ember Pizza and More

One of the first things I noticed about the menu is that there seem to be a few more non pizza options to go along with a somewhat larger selection of pizzas. I needed to make a trip back to The Forks to check on the names of which pizzas I had ordered, because the Red Ember Commons website isn’t operating. Continue reading

Singyun Chinese Restaurant – Provencher


I find myself going down Provencher Boulevard, both on foot and on bus, quite frequently. One restaurant that has often caught my eye is Singyun Chinese restaurant. Two things about it really catch the eye. The first is the exterior of the building which is a bright, lemon yellow, with signage that looks like it has seen much better days. The second is they advertise a lunch buffet, which for the longest time was $8.99 including a canned drink, but by the time I got around to trying it was $9.75.

Shingyun decor

The upper section of the restaurant looks like it was at one time a Mediterranean restaurant, and the new owners couldn’t afford or be bothered to change the decor.

Stepping inside the interior isn’t that much more inspiring. On the bottom level, where the buffet table is, there are three or four tables up against the window(I didn’t bother to count). Upstairs, which I didn’t visit until my third time here, it looks like you’ve stepped into an attempt to recreate the ambiance of a Mediterranean beach cafe. It appears like something out of the Cognitive Dissonance school of interior design.

Of course, I primarily go to restaurants for the food, and as it turns out, Singyun does that quite well.  Which is also a reminder to not let the decor throw me off. Continue reading