I recently discovered Pastrami & Things, a restaurant about five blocks down Tache from St. Philip’s. I made the discovery because I hadn’t really noticed any restaurants around St. Boniface Hospital.
As a priest, hospital visits are recurring events. Yet, despite having made many visits to St. Boniface, I’ve never been all that aware of what’s surrounding it. That’s because generally when I’m heading to the hospital, it means I’m meeting with someone whose life is in some sort of distress. As a result I’m focused on the encounter ahead and the surrounding area tends to fade into the background.
Located in the Family Medical Centre, 400 Tache, Pastrami & Things offers a classic deli menu. It runs from breakfast to late lunch. In 2014 it was awarded the title of “Best Deli in Winnipeg,” by the Winnipeg Sun. Both times that I visited there was a steady stream of customers coming through for dine-in or take-out.
Divided into two sections and with paintings representing various pop culture areas, Pastrami & Things has an old time community restaurant feeling despite being located in a fairly large office building.
Pastrami & Things Lunches
Although Pastrami & Things offers breakfast, both of my trips were during lunch service. Orders are placed at the counter and then brought to the table when ready. Each time I went there were a few people in line in front of me. Each time the orders were taken quickly, efficiently and the food arrived quickly.
On my first visit I ordered the Corned Beef reuben. This is one of the premium sandwiches. Premium meaning it’s about a dollar more than the regular sandwiches. Worth every penny too. Thickly stacked with two layers of corned beef with a good layer of cabbage in between, this is comfort food at it’s finest. In addition to the sandwich I added a cup of chicken noodle soup. Again, great homemade flavour. As well plenty of chicken and other ingredients.
On my second visit, I decided that I would go for soup with a side order of salad. For the salad I went with the coleslaw. This was a good mix of creamy and vinegary. For the soup I went for the African Peanut Soup. Like the Chicken Noodle this was also homemade. It was quite creamy with plenty of yam or sweet potato chunks(I always have trouble telling those two apart). The one thing I would have liked more of was a sense of peanut flavour.
There were plenty of St. Boniface staff in the restaurant when I visited, but Pastrami & Things is still a nice place to visit if you are spending time at the hospital and need a nearby place to get away to for a few minutes. It’s also a great place to go simply if you are looking for a great lunch.