Hildegard’s Bakery Will Have you Bingi(e)n’


For the last two or three years I’ve been having people ask me if I was familiar with the pizza nights put on by Integrity Foods. Only by people talking about them (one thing about not driving, rural events are mainly missed). Then one day I was talking with my friend Travis Unger. Travis and his wife Stephanie, run a small property management firm in the Spence Nieghbourhood, and are friends of mine from my days back at St. Vital Evangelical Mennonite Church.

Hildegards Oven

The wood-fired oven that is the heart of Hildegards Bakery.

On this occasion he told me that the son of the owners of Integrity Foods was looking at opening a bakery in town, including offering pizzas. As time went by I started to more about this new bakery, as the owners also have connections to some of the people I know at St. Margaret’s.

Over the last few months I’ve watched the southwest corner of Portage Avenue and Maryland Street. During this time I’ve had some contact with Dave Newsom one of the owner’s of Hildegard’s, and have anxiously awaited it’s opening. Continue reading

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Flight Club – Richardson International Airport


Last night I headed out to a social media event sponsored by Flight Club, a new restaurant at the James Richardson International Airport. It’s been quite a while since I last went to the airport, and it certainly has built up in the intervening period of time.

Flight Club will be holding it’s grand opening, next Thursday, April 26th. It will be more of a finger food style event.

The last time I was out there, I wasn’t taking a plane, but rather getting on a Greyhound. I arrived early, so after checking out the Flight Club location, I decided to see if the bus depot is every bit as dismal and depressing as I remembered. It is. Think of a hospital waiting room with only slightly less human misery.

Flight Club Cocktail

Welcoming cocktail from the Flight Club. Flight Deck Cocktail featuring gin, vermouth, pineapple juice, and angostura bitters

After doing that I was quite happy to head back to the Flight Deck to await the arrival of the rest of the group. The first thing I noted about the space is that it gives off a sense of being comfortable. Continue reading

Pastry Castle – Edmonton Street


A couple of months ago, I was walking down Edmonton Street, and noticed that the storefront next door to the Magic Room had brown paper up on the windows and that there writing suggesting that the Pastry Castle would be opening soon. After I posted a picture of this, I discovered that it was a new location for the cafe, as it had originally existed in St. Vital.

I kept my eyes open, and one evening I was walking by the building and noticed that the open sign was lit. I walked in, and couldn’t see anyone around. I thought maybe I had walked in a couple of minutes after closing time, and that they just hadn’t turned out the lights and locked the door.

Pastry Castle Biscotti.

An almond biscotti from Pastry Castle. How it got the green colour I’m not quite sure, but the flavour wasn’t affected.

I waited for 4 or 5 minutes and still no one showed. So, I looked up the number on the website, and phoned. The phoned was answered and when I said I was in the cafe and wondering whether or not it was open, It turned out it was and a woman came out of the back area of the store to serve me.

Pastry Castle Oatmeal Date Cookie

A date filled oatmeal cookie. The top view doesn’t show the date, but it was nicely filled.

On subsequent visits, I noticed there is an electronic announcement that informs the staff that someone has entered the building. I guess it wasn’t working on my first visit.

I decided to stay and so I took a look at what was on display. There is a good variety of baked goods in the cabinet. One of the things that I noticed was there was a good selection of little cookies, which I really liked. Continue reading

Carbone Coal Fired Pizza – Downtown


While downtown Winnipeg is changing and there are many new buildings and new restaurants popping up, it’s still a bit of a desert around lunch time on Saturday’s. Hopefully when the new True North Square and other projects get completed enough people will be down early on the weekends to get more places open for lunch.

However, it’s not all bad. First of all, it made me do a little more walking, and given the amount of food I consume as part of writing this blog, the extra exercise is never a bad thing. Second, it took me back to Carbone Coal Fired Pizza on St. Mary Avenue.

Carbone Soup

The soup of the day from my first visit to Carbone Coal Fired Pizza.

My first experience of Carbone was about 10 months ago, when I visited as part of the Downtown Biz 2017 Patio tour. On that tour we had the opportunity to taste the White and the Tyrol pizzas. Both were excellent. This time around I would try some of the other dishes they offered.

Carbone Soup and Salad

Carbone opens at 1:00 pm on Saturday, and it was an hour or so after that when I wandered in. There is a dining and a bar area in the restaurant. Continue reading

March Reading Roundup


I’ve been doing a fair bit of reading over the last little while. Much of it revolves around food, but there are books of theology and detective fiction. As I’ve been reading I’m discovering that not everything I’ve read, allows for the longer-form posts that I’m trying to write. So beginning this month, I plan on doing a reading roundup.

March book Bound to the Fire

Another fascinating book on the slave era roots of Southern Cooking and Hospitality.

I still intend on doing some of the longer posts such as finishing of the trilogy of posts that I began with Holy Hungry, and I will in the next week or so be posting my thoughts on Martin Walker’s Bruno, Chief of Policeseries. However, I hope at the end of each month to post some reflections on the various books I’ve completed in that month.

Bound to the Fire: Kelley Fanto Deetz

Bound to the Fire is one of the more recent publications that examines the complicated and tangled roots of Southern cuisine and culture, and the role that slaves played in creating that cuisine and culture. Continue reading

Chaeban Ice Cream – From Cow to Cone


Chaeban Ice Cream, open now in the spot where the old Banana Boat used to be has created quite a stir since it opened. Not the least was the audacity to open an ice cream story in the middle of the cold of a Winnipeg winter.

Yesterday I attended a social media event to which I had been invited by the Chaeban social media coordinator Kristi Nikkel. It was a chance to learn a little about the ice cream store’s story. To learn a little bit about how they make their ice cream and to sample some of the product.

Chaeban Sundae with toppings.

My Sundae. Lots of toppings, in small quantities of each.

Chaeban (pronounced Shay-ban) is owned by Joseph Chaeban and his wife Zainab Ali. Joseph was born in Lebanon and came to Canada with his family when he was still quite young. Zainab is Syrian, and while she came to Canada with Joseph, more members of her family arrived as refugees. Their story is very compelling and you can read more of it here and here.

However, as compelling as their personal story is, and I do encourage you to look up more of their story, I’m here to write about the ice cream. As I mentioned at the top,

Continue reading

Pho Hoang Sargent Avenue


A few weeks ago I was wandering down Portage Avenue and noticed that the site that formerly had housed Kim Long Restaurant was soon to be the new location For Phô’ Hoàng restaurant. This got to wondering, because I like to wonder as I wander, whether or not the Phô Hoàng location on Sargent Avenue was going to be closing.

Pho Hoang House Special Pho

This is the house special Pho from Pho Hoang. I really appreciated the fact that the rare beef was in fact rare.

A couple of weeks later I trundled down the road from my house to the little mall that holds the original site of the restaurant. I figured that even if they weren’t open, that I might finally get in a visit to Banh Mi Go, which has been just about to open since August of 2017.* Fortunately such is not the case with Phô Hoàng, They were certainly still open for business when I went by, and so I decided that it would make a great stop for a meal.

*They still are on the verge of opening. I don’t know what the hold up is, but I hope that it will be worth the wait. 

the restaurant is relatively large, and one of the good things about it is that it has several two tops among the variety of the dark wooden table tops. It was later in the supper hour that I went, yet the restaurant was still about half full. In addition, like many restaurants, they were doing a brisk trade in Skip the Dishes orders.

Continue reading