A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how I made a trip along North Main, and used the opportunity to check in to some of the restaurants along the way. Newcastle restaurant was one of the places that I had paid a first visit to that day. Since then I’ve been back a couple of more times to try a broader sampling of their menu.
Newcastle is right on Main Street, between Manitoba and Pritchard Avenues. Out front there is a large metal sign overhanging the sidewalk that announces the location.
When you enter it’s clear that you are entering a diner type restaurant. there are a couple of tables to the left of the entrance, and then a bit of lobby space before you reach the ordering counter, with the stretching to the back, and washrooms down a hallway.
Then there is a doorway leading into the main seating area where there are about another 12 tables, mainly designed to seat four. Most of the tables feature, a hard bench on each side of the table, but a couple of them have chairs spread around the tables.
The menu is located up on the wall to the left, as you enter the restaurant. A couple of things stand out. They offer an all-day breakfast. Also, in the midst of the burgers, fries, etc. you notice that there is a Bulgogi burger and Galbi with fried rice. Newcastle is a family restaurant, and that family is Korean. It’s an interesting mix of cuisines.
On my first visit to Newcastle, it was fairly early in the morning and so I was in the mood for a gustatory challenge. With that in mind, I ordered the King Breakfast. this consists of three strips bacon, three sausages, three eggs, a pile of potatoes(when it arrived it seemed like it may have been three potatoes as well), and toast(three pieces).
The coffee is a little bit different here, as it’s serve yourself and sits in the corner of the counter, and if you’re not paying attention you may not realize that you need to serve yourself.
When the breakfast came it was indeed a huge pile of food. The bacon, eggs, and potatoes were all quite good. The sausage however, was of the really cheap, greasy variety and not very pleasant.
Spending so much time in third wave style coffee shops I’d forgotten what typical diner coffee flavour is like. However, that sort of adds to the experience. On the plus side, they are constantly putting on new pots of coffee and it was very hot.
Orders are placed at the counter and then your food is brought to the table. The restaurant was about half full and my food arrived hot and in quite good time. The restaurant is not equipped with wi-fi so I picked up one of their complimentary copies of the Winnipeg Sun, which given it’s news content killed at least 90 seconds of my breakfast.
When I stopped in to Newcastle for the first time, it was the last week of December, and they were playing Christmas music, and when I stopped in the second time, it was the Twelfth Day of Christmas, and they were still playing Christmas music. That does my liturgical heart good. The sign below is just one of many that you can find on the walls of the restaurant. There is a wide variety of pictures and other decor features to help keep you occupied when dining alone.
Since the owners of the restaurant are Korean, I figured I’d go ahead and order one of the Korean dishes on the menu. I chose the Galbi with fried rice. Galbi are short ribs done in a sweet pepper sauce. The ribs are sliced quite thin, and then grilled. These ribs had a nice char to them. There was a substantial amount of meat attached to each bone. They were a really succulent taste treat.
The rice was nothing to right home about, but the serving was plentiful and they brought Sriracha to the table so you could add a nice little spicy kick to your meal.
I decided to make one more visit to try something from the lunch/dinner menu. I showed up this morning just around 11 am. I wasn’t sure whether or not I was going to be able to order lunch, but when I inquired at the counter they said that was no problem. One thing worth noting about the menu is that there are no platter options. The burgers and sandwiches are listed as is. In this case I ordered the King Burger. Plus I ordered onion rings, and a small potato soup. Having learned my coffee lesson, I had a can of root beer to drink.
The restaurant was quite full when I arrived. On a light Saturday morning it was living up to the idea of being a family restaurant as most of the tables were full, largely with families enjoying a late Saturday breakfast. With all the people in, and a few had ordered just when I was arriving, my food, which came in two parts arrived in pretty good time. One odd thing was that I was brought my soup and onion rings together and my burger came later.
The onion rings were good and crispy, but with a little too much dough surrounding the onion. The soup was pleasant, and while not the most filling potato soup I had , it like the coffee, was good and hot.
When it came time to order my burger, I was torn between the Double Bacon Cheeseburger and the King Burger. In the end I chose the King Burger. It doesn’t come with bacon, but it does come with three beef patties.
These are large patties. This is a burger where the burger to bun ratio is definitely in favour of the burger as each patty hung out over the edge of the bun. Even after squishing it down, I found that it was hard to wrap my mouth around the burger. The burgers were nice and beefy although somewhat over salted. Still this is a really good burger.
As always the staff at Newcastle was very friendly and welcoming. Despite it being counter service, they do come around during the course of the meal to make sure water and coffee are filled. Newcastle is a good place to go if you are looking for home cooked style meals at reasonable price without a lot of pretense. The music is also generally interesting if off the beaten track. Today at one point, I definitely heard the classic hymn Great is They Faithfulness, playing in the restaurant.