Izakaya Edokko – Downtown Winnipeg


I’ve been making more use of the Millennium Library in the last little while, so I find myself traveling up and down the streets in that area a little bit more than usual. Recently, I saw signs for Izakaya Edokko, a new Japanese restaurant.

Izakaya Edokko salad

A delightful little salad served as a starter each time I visited Izakaya Edokko.

Located on the main floor of Place Louis Riel. Place Louis Riel was formerly a hotel, but now is a combo hotel-apartment building, and has closed it’s in-house restaurant. That space is what Izakaya Edokko has taken over. The space has been nicely redecorated. There main space contains a sushi bar, a few four seat tables, and along one wall a series of tables that can easily be turned into one long table for a large party. In the back there is another room with a bar and several more tables. I haven’t ventured into that section on any of my visits.

The restaurant is a new project for Chef Masa Sugita, the man behind Masa on Pembina, and Yujiro on Grant. Continue reading

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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

Bargen Coffee – Downtown


Back when I wrote about Forth coffee, I also mentioned that Thom Bargen Coffee and Tea was in the process of opening a new location in the downtown. Located at the corner of Kennedy Street and Graham Avenue, the new Thom Bargen fills a space that most recently housed an eyewear shop.

The corner space has allowed Bargen’s to create an L-shaped interior with a variety of table types and a long counter for seating. As a corner building there is also lots of natural light streaming in to the cafe. The south wall features a painting by artist Gabrielle Funk.

Thom Bargen Decoration

this painting decorates the south wall of the Kennedy Street location of Thom Bargen.

Continue reading

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

Coffee Depot-Downtown Skywalk


Back in January I wrote a post on Café Asante. In it I explained how a fall had caused me to spend more time walking indoors. While it has it’s critics, I really appreciated the downtown walkway system. Especially during the real cold months. With the weather warming up I’m sure I’ll be spending more time outdoors when I walk. Still, it’s nice to know the walkway is there. That could also describe Coffee Depot, a little hole-in-the-wall café located in the walkway.

Coffee Depot Sign

The sign advertising Coffee Depot’s specialty the Fava Mudammas

The Beautiful Game at Coffee Depot:

I first discovered Coffee Depot during Euro 2012. I’m not a massive footie fan, but am generally aware of what is going on in the sport. The TV in the place isn’t the biggest screen, but I knew the game would always be on. On top of that I knew the owner wouldn’t object if I sat there and watch almost the entire game while nursing one cup of coffee. Continue reading