For the last 10 days I’ve been on holidays. Mainly I was taking in the Jazz Winnipeg Festival. I’ll have a couple of more posts to write on that in the next day or two. A lot of the venues are real close to each other, and several make food available as part of the Club Pass shows. One of the venues that I’ve visited several times in the past but never written about is the Free Press News Cafe.
The Winnipeg Free Press News Cafe came online, so to speak, around the time I first got serious about blogging and social media. Over the years I’ve visited for discussions on social media, elections, and book launches among other things. Several of these events involved food supplied by the Cafe, but I’ve never really sat down to find out about their food.
Being in the area, I thought I’d make the effort to try a wider sampling of their menu. Also, the cafe has recently brought in a new chef, so that also made it seem like a good time to try it out.
Free Press Cafe: Snacks, Soups, and Supper
My first visit over JazzFest, was to hear the Aaron Shorr Quartet. Being later at night I decided that I would go for dessert. I opted for an Apple Jack. One of my favourite dessert type snacks. The one they served at the Free Press Cafe was large and was filled with plenty of apple to go along with the crispy pastry.
My next visit was after taking in Gysophilia at The Cube in Old Market Square during their lunch hour set. Being lunch I decided to opt for a light choice and went for their in store advertised soup. I went for the version with the Udon Noodles. I went with the chicken which added a bit of cost, but still made for a reasonably priced deal. The soup was had a real good broth and the noodles were well cooked and not in any way pasty as Udon noodles can sometimes get.. I went back and grabbed a couple of triple chocolate cookies to finish off the meal.
My third visit during the week was just before I went to see my friend Luke Sellick at Cinematheque. I wanted to get in line early to present my club pass, so I went with a Cobb Salad to go. This was definitely what one would call a meal salad. I was particularly happy that there was plenty of bacon and chicken among the ingredients.
Each time I went, I found the service to be very good. The staff make you feel welcome and make sure to come around filling water, etc. One of the nice touches is that when you place your order, your table card comes with a blow up of a section and page number from the Free Press. Where there aren’t windows, the walls are decorated with old photos from the Free Press.
In addition to being a great place to grab a treat or a meal, the cafe also makes a great location for small shows or events. The stage area is not that large, but it does help to bring band members closer together and I think, helps to tighten the sound. If you are in the Exchange take the opportunity to drop in. You’ll find a good meal and you may even find something to listen to as well.