Restaurants Reviews and Such

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
Fino Deli wine bar and delicatessen...
Fino Deli wine bar and delicatessen visit | Michael's Hut

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.That’s Homers restaurant on Ellice Avenue. The other two places, were the restaurant at the Mall Hotel, and the Salisbury House in the bus depot. Neither the Sal’s or the bus depot are there anymore.
Once I moved out on my own, for many years I never really though about Cousin’s. Even after I moved into the West End I didn’t really get up that end of Sherbrook all that often. Then I got involved at St. Margaret’s, and discovered that Cousin’s was a popular evening spot among many of the younger members. This didn’t get me going there as I have long since passed the date by which I’m considered one of the younger members.
Eventually I said to myself: I’m going to have to make a special effort, to take in this restaurant.  This made reviewing this restaurant a little more challenging than I had hoped. As most readers know, I like to make two visits to a restaurant before I write my reviews. In this case, the first and second visits came a little while apart, and when I went back to look at the photographic evidence of those two visits discovered that I had ordered the same items each times. This ended up prompting a third visit.
Along with having memory issues, I also have organization issues. Which means that I have a habit of losing or misplacing things. One of the things I hope I have only misplaced, is the thumb drive that contained some of the older pictures related to this restaurant. So, for the moment there are only two pictures, but I hope to track down the thumb drive and located the remainder. I will upload them once that occurs.

The building on the outside, looks like it has seen better days. The green and white siding looks like it could use with replacing. Inside though, the place is nice and cozy. there are two sections. The first, which has some tables and if not entirely a booth, a wall separating some of the tables, feels quite intimate and offers some privacy. The other section is ore open with rows of table and chairs. One nice touch that the restaurant features is a decent number of green plants sitting on ledges by the Sherbrook street window.
Located as it is on the East Side of Sherbrook, Cousin’s seems to fit in well as a business that sits on the edge of the West Broadway Neighbourhood, and the Woselely Neighbourhood. Being downscale enough to belong to the first and trendy enough to fit in with the second (broad generalizations, I realize).
Food is ordered up at the counter. The menu and specials are posted on various boards at the front. One thing to note about Cousin’s is that you can order your meal and have it ready when you take your table. This happened to me on one of my visits, when I arrived, and placed my order, and then having to wait while half a dozen people who pre-ordered, came in after me and all received their meals before me. As there is only one person working behind the counter this can throw your lunch plans for a bit of a loop.

Cousin's cream of mushroom soup.
Cream of mushroom soup. This was the full sized serving.

Chicken Korma:

So, the dish that I ordered on both my first and second visits to Cousin’s was their Chicken Korma.  This comes served on a bed of rice. There was plenty of chicken in the dish, and the dish was reasonably spicy. The portion size was also quite substantial, making this a good meal sized dish. I’ve looked around elsewhere and it seems that this may be prepared off site.

Soup and Pasta Salad at Cousin’s

The third time I went in I opted for soup and salad. I didn’t order this as a special lunch combo, but rather order the full portion of each. The soup was a mushroom soup. It was good and creamy and it contained a lot of mushrooms. I added the bread to my order and wound up with a three nice sized pieces.
The pasta salad on the other hand, was a bit of a disappointment. On the plus side, like all the dishes I ate here, the portion size was quite good. The downside is that it isn’t really much of a salad. As the only vegetable ingredients to go with it, were a couple of thin slices of cucumber that had been sliced to form small strips, and four or five banana pepper rings. Still, between the two dishes it made for a satisfactory lunch.
I mentioned above that Cousin’s is cozy, it is also quite relaxed. With generally only one person running the whole show, you can expect some wait before your food arrives. On the plus side, there is no rushing you out the door once your food arrives. You can eat and digest at a leisurely pace.

By Donald McKenzie

Anglican priest, and food blogger. 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.