Advent Potluck & Church Dinners


Church meals are of great interest to me. I think they are one of the most important activities a church community can engage in. I’m fortunate that I’m part of two groups that regularly feature a meal as part of their gathering time. As well, St. Philip’s. where I’m incumbent has weekly coffee time along with BBQs and occasional other dinners.

One of those dinners is our annual Advent Potluck which we hold each year on the Third Sunday of Advent. This year the potluck occurred the Sunday after I was scheduled to make supper for the Saint Magaret’s Saturday evening service. Then, the four o’clock “Kid’s Church” that meets at St. Philip’s was having a service followed by the usual soup and bread supper.

Advent weekend breakfast

French Toast with grilled pears, blackberries, caramel sauce, and creme fraiche, from Little Goat Food & Drink

Needless to say, such a weekend requires a great deal of fortitude, both to cook and to eat. So, I figured that I needed to start my Saturday off with a bit of stretching. Stomach stretching that is. I figured a good, solid breakfast would ensure that I would be prepared to consume large amounts of food throughout the weekend.

Fortunately, Little Goat Food & Drink has recently opened. Continue reading

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Village Diner – Sargent Avenue


Last year I started hearing about the restaurant inside the Osborne Hotel, and that it was a great place for home-style comfort foods. Before I got a chance to visit, it was closed down as part of the changes that are coming to the hotel. I didn’t really think about it again, until I saw that it had popped up again on Sargent Avenue.

The new location once housed an Indian restaurant. Truth be told I wasn’t even aware that the Indian restaurant had closed.

Village Diner coffee

Coffee from The Village Diner

If you read Dining with Donald with regularity you know that service is important to me. One of the things that caught my eye about Village Diner was the presence of Mallory Letkeman as front of house manager. Continue reading

Holy Eucharist Fall Supper


Despite diligently listing as many Winnipeg Fall Suppers as I can, I hadn’t attended any of them until yesterday. However I finally managed to enjoy one yesterday afternoon. I traveled up to the Holy Eucharist Fall Supper on Monroe at Watt Street. This is the second fall supper that Holy Eucharist hosts. Each year they also host a Fish Fry in September. I really enjoyed the Fish Fry last year, and so I figured the fall supper should be really good as well.

Holy Eucharist centerpiece

Holy Eucharist table centrerpiece

Welcoming at the Holy Eucharist Fall Supper

The Holy Eucharist Hall is quite large. After paying for and picking up my ticket I went in to find a place to sit. While I was wandering around, I noticed that several of the tables featured reserved signs. 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

Better than Baba’s


We’re half way into spring in Winnipeg. It seems that just when the warm temps are about to stay, they take a little downward plunge. The food truck scene has been kind of the same way. This week it looks like we’re in for a run of warm weather and it also looks like the food trucks will be hanging around for the summer. A lot of the old favourite are back. There are also a couple of new ones. I saw the Basil Stone pizza truck early in the week on Main, and today visited Better than Baba’s on Broadway.

Better than Baba's

The Better than Baba’s truck before they opened for the day.

The menu for Better than Baba’s focuses on perogies and other Ukranian comfort foods such as cabbage rolls and borscht. It’s menu is similar to that of Baba’s Tall Grass Pantry, in The Forks. Given that my day was split up around the lunch hour, I decide I would make two visits. Yes, I ate two lunches in one day. So, here are my thoughts using my usual food truck formula.

Value:

Prices here range from $5.50 for four vegetarian cabbage rolls to $15.00 for the meat perogie combo. Continue reading