Reviews and Such Restaurants

Simon’s Cuisine – Forks Market

It’s only been three years since I wrote my original Simon’s post but during the time there has been a fairly significant change in the approach the restaurant has taken. Rather than focusing on Empanadas, they have moved their focus to steak, and now are calling themselves Simon’s Steaks. They offer it a variety of forms, from sandwiches to rib and strip loins.

The Buzzer says it all. SImons Steaks
Like many of The Forks restaurants Simons is using a buzzer system to let you know when your order is ready.

I hadn’t been since they made the change, but a family visit today, gave me reason to try the new menu for the first time. My oldest brother Ian, and his wife Glenda are in town for a few days from their home in Whitehorse. So, today, they picked up my mom and brought here along to The Forks. The Forks makes a great meeting place when you visit Winnipeg, and there are a lot of places to stop for food.
We spent the first little while wandering on the second floor, where many of the shops are located. We didn’t buy anything, just did a little bit of window shop. Along the way we ran into ex-premier Greg Selinger. In addition to being premier, Selinger had represented St. Boniface in the provincial legislature. When I introduced him to my brother, it turns out they have a mutual acquaintance in Whitehorse. The connection is that both the friend and my brother are involved in promoting strategies for poverty reduction.
My mom and Glenda both opted for tea from Fools & Horses, and a cinnamon bun from Tall Grass Prairie. Ian and I wandered off separately to decide on what we wanted for lunch, but somehow or another ended up at Simon’s, placing our orders right after each other. Despite the steak in the name, I was hoping for something a little bit lighter, and went with the Piri-Piri chicken. My brother though, decided to go with the steak and ordered the lomito sandwich.

Simons cuisine Piri-Piri chicken
I ordered the quarter chicken version of the Piri-Piri chicken. There was still plenty to the portion.

The chicken was certainly crispy as well as moist. The piri-piri sauce gave it a nice flavour with a bit of acidity to it. When I reviewed the old Simon’s I noted how moist the chicken was. The big difference between that chicken and this is that the more recent one has better flavour. The fries are lightly coated in breading. This helps them to maintain their crispiness throughout the whole meal.

Lomito sandwich
The Lomito is a tasty but a little on the messy side.

Ian’s Lomito was well prepared. He told me that the meat was good and tender. He certainly enjoyed the flavour, but did find it a little on the messy side.
After lunch we wandered over to the Johnston Terminal. We took little stroll through the antique mall. The rest of the family stayed a little longer, but I needed to get back to St. Philip’s so that’s where we parted company. I hope to get back to Simon’s to try a few more of their steak offers.
Argentinean cuisine is the order of the day at this restaurant, and they prepare it very well.

Simon's Cuisine sign
Simon’s Cuisine sign

Along with Simon’s The Fork’s has added Fusian Sushi, and the Common craft beer and wine stall. This makes for a more upscale food court. A nice change of pace when dining out there.

Simon’s Lunch:

My first visit to Simon’s I decided to try a  couple of à la carte items for my lunch. I chose a Spicy Beef Empanada, and then added a large order of Fries Provençal. The empanadas hereare a fair bit smaller than the one’s at Chilean Corner, and also a little cheaper. However, the quality is superior. The shell was crunchy and light, and the Spicy Beef filling was very good, without any fatty or greasy feeling to it. The Fries Provençal were hot, crispy and the combination of herbes Provençal and bits of garlic make for a great alternative to regularly seasoned chips. You might want to make sure you have some gum with you if you are meeting someone after enjoying the fries though, because the garlic certainly makes itself known.

Simon's baked Empanada empanada-filling fries-provencalReturn for Dinner:

hibiscus Yerba Mate Beverage from Simon's
Simon’s Yerba Mate

I enjoyed my lunch so much that I returned later that evening for dinner. This time I went with one of the dinner options choosing the quarter boneless chicken. This is one item where you will notice the difference in price vs quantity compared to a lot of other kiosks at the fork. That said, the chicken was delicious. I wrote a few months back that the chicken I had eaten at Peasant Cookery was the best I had ever had. While not up to that level, the Pollo Deshuesado featured an extremely well seasoned, moist and tender chicken breast. This is one first rate chicken dinner.
Simon's chicken and fries. For a beverage I chose an hibiscus flavoured Yerba Mate drink. This was quite refreshing, with the hibiscus adding a delicate flavour to the fizzy drink. Simon’s is definitely going to be a place that I return to regularly when I visit The Forks. One reason to go back will be the Argentinean desserts which I haven’t tried yet.

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.