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

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Pancakes, Pancakes, Pancakes.


It’s just about that time of year again. Tuesday, February 13th, is Shrove Tuesday, otherwise known as Pancake Day. As I have done in the past with my Fall Suppers posts, I am creating a list of pancake meals in the upcoming couple of weeks or so.

Pancake day waffles.

Waffles will work just as well as pancakes.

One difference between this and the fall suppers, is that this is open to community groups inside and outside of Winnipeg. So, if you are having a pancake supper, please feel free to get in contact with me. My email is macbubs13 at gmail dot com.

On a related note, if as a parish you hold fish fries during Lent, pass that on to me as well, and I will make a separate list of those.

February 3rd, 2018 Canadian Celiac Association, Manitoba Chapter

The information for this event can be found on the poster. The tickets are $5.00 for adults, and children under 12 eat free. The heading says that all affected by gluten are invited. So this may be something new for you if you have issues with gluten in your diet.

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February 10th, 2018, All Saints Anglican Church

Address: 175 Colony Street

As you may have heard, All Saints is the process of undergoing major changes. This will be one of the final events in the old church hall. It’s Mardi Gras themed, and the poster with all the details can be found here.

February 13th, 2018, Saint Margaret’s Anglican Church

160 Ethelbert Street.

This dinner runs from 5 to 7 pm, and there will be pancakes, sausages, fruit, other toppings along with coffee, tea, and juice. I will be at this one, making sure that the sausage are well cooked and browned. Ticket info in a day or two.

Continue reading

Joe Average Buys Groceries


The New Year is upon us, and I am starting it off with a post inspired by activity in the Manitoba Food Bloggers group at the very end of last year. Group moderator and organizer and generally all-round terrific person Shel Zolkewich, posted a poll which stated that according to Stats Canada, the average Manitoba family spent $241.00 per person per month on food.

Now, I eat out a lot, but I thought this might be an interesting experiment to attempt. This is not my first attempt at some sort of budgeted eating. I did a $20.00 a week Lenten challenge a few years back, and more recently I did the Winnipeg Harvest poverty pledge.

Average Joe Grocery bill

ill $51.11 is the total of my first shop for the month.

So, on one level, I know how easy it is to live off of $241.00 for groceries for a month. However both of those other times were based on the idea of restriction. Limiting myself to a certain amount of calories. Giving myself a small, almost infinitesimal idea of what it is like to live daily with the bare minimum or even less.

This, on the other hand, Continue reading

Red Ember Common – Forks Market


The Forks has long been one of my favourite places to stop into on my way to work. A Cinnamon bun from Tall Grass Prairie, always makes for a sweet start to the day, and if you hit The Forks at the right time of day, it can be a really quick spot for picking up a meal.

The Forks has been upgrading over the last couple of years, and the second phase of The Forks Market upgrade is in full swing. I am of mixed mind up this second phase. I plan on writing about this in another post. For now I’m going to write about Red Ember Common. I’ve been a fan of Red Ember almost since the truck first hit the streets.

Red Ember Seating

There is bar seating write by the restaurant, and the view is quite good from the Commons seating area.

The production area for Red Ember is quite impressive. The space has been renovated so that you can look in from three different sides and see the staff as they make their creations. This is an upgrade from the truck in that there is more room to be able to watch your pizza being made.

Red Ember Pizza and More

One of the first things I noticed about the menu is that there seem to be a few more non pizza options to go along with a somewhat larger selection of pizzas. I needed to make a trip back to The Forks to check on the names of which pizzas I had ordered, because the Red Ember Commons website isn’t operating. 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