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

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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

ERA Bistro – Human Rights Museum


I have yet to visit the Canadian Museum of Human Rights. I have however managed to make a couple of visits to ERA Bistro, the restaurant housed inside. The first of these visits I made during Le Burger Week Last year, and then I went again a few weeks ago.

The first thing you notice when you walk into ERA Bistro is how wide-open and airy it feels. It contains an interesting mix of tables for small groups along with a very large communal table. One nice touch is when you get to your table, if you ask for water they bring you your own jug. As someone who drinks a lot of water during the course of the day I really appreciate this. Continue reading

Ukrainian Comfort Food – Estellia’s


Last weekend was ManyFest. This year the weekend was a busy one for me. As a result I didn’t get to take much of the festival in. Of course, I visited some trucks for Food Truck Wars.  Although I tried several dishes, Estellia’s Ukrainian Comfort Food was the only truck I managed to visit a second time.

Based out of Dugald, MB, Estellia’s is offering traditional Ukrainian Comfort food. The location in Dugald is a retail store, and they also have a cart along with the trailer they brought to ManyFest. The business is named in honour of the owners’s mother. You can read more of her story on their website.

The trailer’s paint job features the colours of the Ukrainian flag. This makes it stand out from many of the trucks on the street. Unfortunately, the picture of the truck I took didn’t turn out the way I hoped it would. Here’s my experience of Estellia’s.

Estellias messy cabbage roles.

Estaellias messy cabbage roles are a real treat.

Value:

Most of the main dishes cost $8.00 for vegetarian or $9.00 with meat. When I ordered the Messy Cabbages rolls I was a little disappointed when I saw the container I was about to be handed. Then I took hold of it, and my hand dropped about 2 feet. The container is stuffed to the gills. The perogies are a good size, and they come with piles of onions and loads of butter. There are also a sort of mini perogie, that is $9.00 for 10 or $18.00 for 20. Drinks are reasonably priced. 4.5/5

Selection:

Not a huge selection, though having both vegetarian and meat options is good. It would nice to find Kulbassa on offer at the trailer.  4/5

Quality:

I found everything here well prepared. The tomato sauce is quite good. I understand there are some arguments about whether or not perogies should ever be deep-fried, but I really enjoyed the golden crisp pastry on my perogies. Plus, they drench the perogies in real butter. 4/5

Estellia's Deep-fried Perogies

Translucent onions on Deep-fried Perogies

Portability:

Estellia’s Ukrainian Comfort Food scores really well here. The perogies come in a deep dish container. The Messy Cabbage Rolls come in a container with a closeable lid. Plus they appear to be compostable. 5/5

Service:

I happened to visit twice when the lineups weren’t very long. Both times the service was friendly and I received my food quickly. They advertise that good food takes time, but they seem to have the process down quite well. 4/5

Estellia’s Ukrainian Comfort Food Overall:

I quite like this truck. It is certainly a good truck to visit if you wish a really filling meal. This food will definitely leave you feeling comforted, and perhaps a little comfortable as in needing an after lunch nap. 4.5/5

Estellia's Ukrainian Comfort Foods Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Johnny’s Marion Street


When I started working at St. Philip’s I also started to explore the neighbourhood restaurants. One of the first was the Marion Street Eatery. At the time I noticed there were a couple of other restaurants. Dairy Wip and Johnny’s, close by. I made a mental note of this, but unfortunately  my memory isn’t what it once was, so I forgot my intention.

Then, a couple of months go, the owners of Johnny’s happened to show up at St. Philip’s one Sunday, and I was reminded about the restaurant.

Johnny’s is a Greek-Canadian restaurant. One of the things about visiting Johnny’s is that it took me back to when I first moved into the West End. There was a similar restaurant called Minerva’s on Sargent Avenue. It was a favourite place for breakfast with a group of guys from church. Minerva’s closed and the group has moved to various parts of the city but we still keep in touch from time to time.

Johnny's Pancakes

Pancakes from Johnny’s

Continue reading