Reviews and Such Restaurants

Gaberniks – Winnipeg Square

It’s time for another revisit post, and this time around it’s Gaberniks in Winnipeg Square. My original post was in 2015, so seven years later seems like a good time for an update.

I noticed, when reading through my original review, found below, that I hadn’t really said much about the café itself. Located in the basement of the RBC building at Portage and Main, the service area is set off in the corner of an area that serves as both a dining space for patrons, and a throughway for underground pedestrian traffic. 

You order at a counter in front of the beverage area. The kitchen is partially blocked off by an area holding coffee pots, etc. Scattered around the lobby space are several tables for patrons wanting to dine in. The lobby area is mainly done up in black and greys. It makes for a reasonably pleasant dining area.

The first of my two visits was a breakfast visit. I must not have been thinking of the blog when I visited, because I took no picture. I ordered a deluxe breakfast sandwich, coffee and a pastry. It made for a filling breakfast and even after tax and tip, it came to just over $10.00. A pretty good deal all the way around.

Gaberniks smoked meat sandwich
The Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich from Gaberniks.

On my second, recent visit, I ordered a Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich, a Beer and Cheddar Soup, a Peanut Butter Marshmallow Slice, and a can of Coke to drink.

Beer and Cheddar Soup
A cup sized serving of a rich and creamy beer and cheddar soup.

I really enjoyed the soup. Gaberniks serves up a good and thick Beer and Cheddar soup. The addition of the croutons gives a nice bit of chew to the bowl. Looking back on my comments about the Pea Soup, this is definitely an upgrade in quality. It’s also quite filling. 

The sandwich is made to order. I got mine with lettuce and tomato, along with mustard and mayo. The picture above doesn’t quite do justice as to how well filled the sandwich was, as there was more meat on the left side than on the right.

Gaberniks Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Square.
A nice sized peanut butte and marshmallow square.

I finished off my lunch with a slice of Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Square. I like this one, because the slice is big, but not too big, and has a good ratio of Peanut Butter to Marshmallow. I suppose some people just can’t get enough Peanut Butter, but I find a lot of these slices to have too much of the stuff.

Again, the price is pretty good for all this. It came out to about $17.00 after tax and tip. Looking back it may seem like a fair hike from 7 years ago. However, I added both a beverage and the square to my meal. Given the way prices have gone up, I’d say the prices have stayed quite reasonable.

I also notice I didn’t make much mention of service last time. Both times I went in the last few weeks, I found the service to be quite quick, friendly and efficient. If you are underground at Portage and Main, Gaberniks makes for a nice, quick stop.

Original Gaberniks Review

As the weather in the city has been turning colder, I once again find myself using the downtown skywalk and underground walkway system more frequently. I was looking for a quick lunch the other day, and as I entered the underground mall complex by the RBC building on Portage Avenue, I spotted Gaberniks at the bottom of the escalators, and figured I’d give it a try.

I had tried the above ground Gaberniks location a few years back, but didn’t really remember it. The underground location focuses on soup, salads, sandwiches, etc. I noticed a soup and sandwich combo on offer and chose that. This combo is available in lunch size and full size. As you might expect if you are familiar with my dining habits from reading the blog, I went with the full size.

Pea soup from Gaberniks.

There were two or three soups on offer. I went with the Pea Soup. For the sandwich I went with a Denver. The sandwich choice was partly a matter of nostalgia. Many years ago, when I was a business student at the Notre Dame RRC campus, the Denver sandwich they served at the Buffalo Cafeteria was my go to breakfast choice. The Denver from Gaberniks isn’t good enough to compete with the memory, but it was still a good sandwich.

The filling was more frittata shaped, so there wasn’t quite full coverage under the toast.  The Pea Soup was thinner than I like. I prefer mine closer to porridge in texture. Still, the flavour was quite good and the there was plenty in the bowl. At $7.75 before taxes this made for a filling meal.

Gabernik's Denver
Gabernik’s offers a pretty good Denver sandwich

Gaberniks Grab and Go Lunch

Cobb Salad from Gabernik's
The Gabernik’s Cobb Salad is big on quantity, but not so much on quality.

The next time I went to Gaberniks my schedule was a little tighter, so I simply grabbed a Cobb Salad to go. There was a short wait in getting it, which was a good thing as the salad was being constructed after I ordered it.

Again, the salad was well priced, but I’d rather pay a little bit more and get some better quality ingredients. Neither the ham or the chicken was of particularly high quality. I did like the fact that the salad came with the dressing on the side. That meant nothing getting soggy while I walked back to work. There was also a good portion of dressing, well matched to the size of the salad.

Gaberniks is certainly not high end lunch dining. However, if you are a looking for something that is fresh and fast, it’s a good place to stop by. Also, I found the service both times to be fast and friendly.

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.