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

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Mercatino- Upmarket Digs, Downmarket Food


Mercatino is the new restaurant that is open underground at 201 Portage Avenue. It’s part of their renovation and creation of a conference center in the basement.

Over the years I’ve gone through the underground at Portage and Main, hundreds if not thousands of time. I’ve also eaten many times at the various restaurants and food courts. The food court at 201 Portage is the one I’ve visited the least, but I’ve still purchased a few meals there. My favourite food place in that food court would have been Deek’s chicken of 20 years ago. At the time they served a rather nice roast chicken dinner.

Mercatino TV

There’s a really big TV down by Mercatino, where you can catch up on all sorts of sporting news. I’m sure it will be popular when the Winter Olympics start.

When I saw them close the area off and start to renovate I was curious as to what kind of food would be available once the renovations were finished. After the renovations were finished, I noticed that there was only one restaurant, Mercatino, and it looked a lot like Marcello’s. One of the things that also caught my eye was that it had a lot of tubs of candy and chips, etc. such as you would find at a convenience store.

Although I had been waiting to see what the restaurant choices might be, the first thing I noticed was the dining area. Continue reading

Scout – Kid-Friendly Coffee Space


Coffee shops are great gathering places. They’re great for getting together for planning meetings, for small group idea sharing, or just for having some time to spent with a good friend or two. Unfortunately, most of them aren’t designed with children in mind. Scout Coffee + Tea on Portage Avenue has just changed all that.

Scout Coffee trailer.

A child’s camp trailer play structure is only one of many child friendly elements incorporated into the design of Scout Coffee.

Now, let me start of by saying, that in my experience, places such as Fools and Horses, Thom Bargen, Parlour, Strong Badger, and others are very open and welcoming of children. However, despite this openness and the friendliness of the staff, none of these places are particularly physically designed to allow for parents to visit with each other while their children are engaged in other activities. More often than not parental visits will be interrupted more than once or twice. Enter Scout Coffee + Tea.

Owner Katrina Tessier, is a Winnipegger who spent four years living out in Victoria, B.C. While there she became a mother, and during her parental leave spent a good deal of time in a coffee shop that featured a section dedicated to children. Continue reading

Greenish Cafe – Downtown Skywalk System


The rainy weather over the last few weeks has forced me inside more on the occasions that I am out walking. When I’m downtown this means traveling through the Skywalk system. Roughly halfway between Cityplace and Portage Place, lies Greenish Cafe, a Sushi and Salad place. There has been a sushi restaurant there for quite a few years, but I’ve never really been tempted to go in. However, over the last few months there has been a renovating of the space, and Greenish (nb the website only has phone number and email on it, so far) has emerged.

Greenish Cafe Americano

The Greenish Cafe Americano

One aspect of Greenish that caught my attention before I went in is that they have a sign advertising their coffee prices, which include a $2.00 Americano. I thought it would be worth my while to visit the place just to give the Americano a go.

A couple of other factors made me want to stop in at Greenish. One is it’s proximity to Coffee Depot, which I enjoy from time to time, and the other is that it made me think of Sushi June in the Cityplace food court that offers some really good food.

The first thing I noticed when I entered the Greenish location is that it looks more comfortable than it did before. There is a nice bench running the length of one wall, and the the tables and chairs are quite pleasant as well. the renovation has also left the place feeling more cosy as well.  Continue reading

Clementine Cafe – Exchange District


Over the last few days I’ve been blogging primarily about the Fringe Festival. Being in the Exchange for the Fringe, I’ve done a bit of dining in the area. One of the places I’ve visited is Clementine Cafe.

I’ll get to the review of Clementine in a bit, but in case your interested, these are the Fringe shows I’ve reviewed: Wanderlust, Josephine, Vera Lynn-We’ll Meet Again, 4:48 Psychosis, Wooster Sauce, and Time’s Fancy. I recommend any and all of these shows if you’re interested in taking in some of the Fringe in the next few days. There are also lots of other good shows as well.

Clementine Cafe sign

Sidewalk sign for Clementine Cafe

Clementine is located on Princess Avenue, and it’s just a couple of blocks from Old Market Square, the heart of Fringe Country. The cafe itself is in the basement of the building. Continue reading

Fools, Horses, Forks


I’ve made no bones that I’m a big fan of Fools and Horses. As it happens I’m sitting in their Broadway location as I’m writing this post. I probably write about 80 percent of my blog posts at this location. It’s a home away from home. Filled with great beverages and run by great people.

So, I was quite happy when I found out that they were opening a new location at The Forks. There are a lot of things that are the same at both locations and some things that are different.

 

Fools, Horses, Forks

Fools, Horses Feature menu at The Forks

Same but Different

Let’s start off with the things that are the same. The first big things that is the same is the staff. Yes there are some new people who haven’t worked at the Broadway location, but several of the staff from there have moved over and they’ve trained the new staff. Continue reading

Red Lake Coffee Co Truck


Saturday was Canada Day, and as always, I was on the lookout for various food experiences as I traveled through some of the sites during the day. I started off my day with a visit to The Forks, made a brief trip through Osborne Village, back to The Forks, and then ended my day at the St. Norbert Celebration.

Along the way I made a couple of visits to the new Fools and Horses location at The Forks. I also stopped at the BBK Barbeque trailer for my lunch. I’ll be writing up both of those in the next couple of weeks.

The logo on the door of the Red Lake Coffee Co. Step Van.

The main reason I ended my evening out at St. Norbert was that Sweet Alibi was the closing act just before the fireworks. If you are a fan of close harmony singing, this Winnipeg trio is one that you need to check out as soon as you can. Continue reading