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Restaurants Reviews and Such

Langside Grocery 164 Langside Street

Langside Grocery is a restaurant and cocktail bar, in the West Broadway neighbourhood of Winnipeg. This is a place I first visited about 3.5 years ago, as I celebrated the celebrated the 10th anniversary of my ordination.

Langside Grocery falls into the treat restaurant category. It’s the sort of restaurant that I will likely visit for special occasions. Many of these are treats because I dine alone. If you go as a group, you can enjoy quite a lot of food, for much less than it costs a single diner.

Langside Grocery mocktail
Cucumber and Pineapple mocktail from Lansgide Grocery.

Recently, I attended a couple of fundraisers in support of the various choirs that make up Prairie Voices. These were held at Young United Church.

Given that the location of these events was so close to the Langside Grocery, I decided I would visit there before attending these events. You can read about past versions of the fundraisers here.

Langside Grocery Patio Experience

Two Fridays ago, on the first of my recent visits, I made my reservation via email. I booked a table for one, but when I arrived they asked if I wanted to be seated indoors or on the patio. The patio seating is all shared table, but I ended up with space by myself for the start of my meal.

The patio is also enclosed, so you don’t really notice any of the street traffic that is going by. By the time my meal was over, the patio was quite full, but I didn’t in any way feel the other diners crowding in on me.

There is a substantial list of wines, beer, cocktails, etc. I noticed that they offer an Izeta Basque Apple Cider. I enjoy Apple Cider, and like to try new ones whenever I can. When I ordered it, the server, who appears also to be the manager, said it was a good choice, and a beverage he also liked.

Izeta Basque Apple Cider.
An Izeta Basque Apple Cider.

I’ve been on a bit of an olive kick recently. So, I started off my meal with an order of olives. The olives served at Langside Grocery are very much the same variety as served at Two Hands on Sherbrook. The olives here were slightly warmed, which makes the initial bite a little less acidic.

A dish of olives
A bowlful of olives from Langside Grocery.

Much like when I dined at Two Hands, I skipped around the menu at Langside Grocery. After the Olives, I ordered the Braised Short Rib. This would be my favourite dish of the various ones I have ordered.

You’ll notice that it arrives with a spoon. That is all you need. The beef is so tender it comes apart at a slight touch. The parsnip is good and creamy, and the pomegranate seeds mixed through the Radicchio give a nice bit of crunch.

Short Ribs.
Braised Short Ribs with a Parsnip Puree.

As the fundraiser I was heading out to was a dessert fundraiser, I decided to skip dessert at Langside Grocery. I still wanted something to finish off the meal. I went back up to the top of the menu and ordered the Spiced Marcona Almonds. These are seasoned with Brown Sugar, Fennel, and Chili. This leaves you with a bit of heat, a bit of sweet, and a bit of liquorice. All in all a great combo of flavours.

I forgot to take a picture of that dish. Along with the almonds, at my server’s recommendation, I ordered a glass of Chardonnay from Chile. The cold, white wine was a great complement to the nuts.

Along with providing good pairing suggestions, the service at Langside Grocery, was prompt and attentive, without being intrusive. The best combination of service you can get. Having enjoyed that visit so much, it was only natural to want to visit again the following Friday.

Dine in With Dessert

Yesterday’s choral fundraiser was Lyrics N Lager, hosted by Horizon, the Prairie Voice’s Alumni Choir. Just like on my last visit to Langside Grocery I avoided dessert, on this visit I avoided the alcohol. No point going to a concert just to sleep through it all.

On this visit I just dropped by and was able to get a table without a reservation(it pays to show up early before the evening dinner crowd). A nice little touch, they moved the tables, so that there were four seats between myself and the other people dining in the corner. The tables are set up as two seaters, so it was a fairly easy move.

This time around, the fundraiser I was intending involved lager, rather than dessert, so I asked if they had anything available in the form of a mocktail. They did, and the first one I had was a JinJa. It involved ginger, several citurs fruits, and egg white foam.

Ginjah mocktail
A citrusy Ginjah mocktail

I really enjoyed this mocktail. The egg white foam adds an element of sweetness when you drink through it. If you drink from a spot where the foam has already gone, the citrus qualities come through a little stronger.

Langside Grocery Cheese Dip
A stringy, tasty cheese dip. A great shareable plate from the Langside Grocery.

For my first dish I chose the Langside Grocery’s Cheesy Caramelized Onion Dip, served with Crostini. This is a rich, but not heavy cheese dip. It’s good and string, and also easy to spread on the Crostini. The onion is noticeable but doesn’t dominate.

Broccolini with Togarashi Mayo, Ginger Soy Sauce, and Sesame seeds
The Langside Grocery Broccolini is a salt lover’s dream.

My next dish was the Broccolini. This dish is a salt lover’s dream. The Ginger Soy sauce, along with the Togarashi Mayo add variety of flavour and textures to the dish, as do the Sesame Seeds scattered throughout.

Before dessert, I ordered the Beef Tartare, which is served with Sourdough. I really liked the sourdough in that it is soft enough to bite through easily. The Tartare gives out a real beefiness. The Cornichons add a nice little bit of crunch, and the horseradish pops through, but doesn’t overwhelm.

At the same time I ordered another mocktail. My server asked if I wanted a repeat, but I said to let the bartender decide. This time I got a cucumber-pineapple beverage(pictured at top of post). I really enjoyed this one, as the two flavours took turns standing out.

Cistrus Creme Brulee
Creme Brulee to finish off my Langside Grocery meal.

For dessert, I finished off my meal with an Orange Crème Brulée. It had that great crack on the sugar that you want. The custard was smooth throughout, and the flavours were just right.

Both of my meals at Langside Grocery were really, really good. The atmosphere is relaxed. There is no rush placed on you as a diner., The staff is well-informed, friendly, and do a good job making sure that you are looked after throughout the whole meal. Definitely a worthwhile experience.

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.