I’m back with another St. James restaurant. This time it’s Silver Heights Restaurant. Silver Heights Restaurant & Lounge is a family steakhouse located on Portage Avenue. A couple of things about this place caught my eye as I was traveling in St. James over the last little while. The first is that the restaurant has a large black awning that really stands out against the building. The second is they advertise themselves as having the best BBQ ribs in town,
This wasn’t long after I had enjoyed the ribs at Alycia’s , and I thought it would be to see whether or not these ones would live up to the claim.
Despite being such a large building, the restaurant has a real neighbourhood eatery vibe to it. While there weren’t a lot of customers in the dining room during my visits, those that were gave the impression that they had been eating there regularly for a long time. Silver Heights also features a lot of promotions that emphasize their connection to the community, including hosting a golf tournament each year.
Silver Heights Ribs for Supper
Entering the front door, you find that the restaurant is divided into two parts, with the servers station in the middle, and the kitchen behind that station. On your left is the lounge. The lounge has a half-door that allows you to take a bit of a peek inside, but shuts it off from the rest of the restaurant. On the right there is a small room, that is big enough to hold a reasonably substantial private dining party, and then further right is the main dining room.
I was seated at a two top table by the window, and although offered a menu, I said I didn’t need one because the BBQ Ribs were the reason that I had come in. Along with the ribs was an option of soup or salad. I chose the soup which was a very pleasant cream of mushroom with parmesan cheese. The soup came before The entree, so I had a chance to enjoy it a nice, leisurely pace.
When the ribs came, I was pleased with the size of the portion. I was also a little amused that the piece was so long that they had to cut a couple of bones off and place them on top so that the whole rack would fit on the plate. The ribs were also served with mashed potatoes and garden vegetables. The vegetables were well seasoned and tender-crisp. The mashed potatoes were a little bit of a disappointment, as it was quite a small portion, and the gravy wasn’t all that great.
However, the main attraction of this order was the ribs, and they certainly lived up to their billing. They were good and meaty, along with being falling off the bone tender. They were also very well sauced, being messy, but not overly messy. I haven’t yet tried enough different rib dinners in Winnipeg to say whether or not they live up to their boast of being the best in the city, but they most definitely deserve to be in the conversation.
For a beverage I decided to try one of their summer cocktail offers. I chose the Southern Lemonade featuring Old Camp Peach Pecan Whiskey. I’m not a connoisseur of cocktails by any stretch of the imagination, but I really enjoyed the peach flavour and the somewhat gentle whiskey burn that this beverage features.
I went for the early dinner and there was almost no one in the dining room area. However, the service I received was prompt and there was good follow up on water, etc.
Returning to Silver Heights
It was a few days before I got back to the restaurant and again it was early supper time. This time the restaurant had a few more customers, but it still wasn’t overly busy. Again, I sat in the dining room, but this time, instead of a window seat, I sat by the wall that separates the large dining room from the smaller one. As you can see by the photo at the top of this post, I was joined by the “Long Tramp,” who apparently is still making his way to Portage La Prairie.
I found the rib dinner to be quite filling so this time around I decided I would order something a little on the lighter side. I chose the chili with rye toast, and an order of onion rings.
The menu describes the chili this way:
Hearty Chili andToast
Spicy,thick chili (like really thick),baked with
mozza-ched and a big slice of rye toast 7
On the whole I found the thickness bit a reasonably accurate description. It’s certainly one of the thicker chilis I’ve tried. It wasn’t overly spicy, but it had a bit of kick to it. It was on the whole though, a very satisfying dish.
The onion rings were also quite good. One good thing about them was that they didn’t all stick together as they often do. The rings were all filled with onion(I find that some only have a little bit of onion in them), and the Chipotle Aioli dipping sauce had good, smoky flavour. There was also more than enough sauce for dipping.
Once again I decided to try one of the summer cocktails. This time I went for the Coconut Crusher. I enjoyed it, but I definitely prefer the Lemonade that I tried on my first visit.
Silver Heights is definitely a restaurant that I will try and make my way back to when I am out in St, James. The food is very good, especially the ribs, and the staff offer great service.