Shaba Thai – Portage Avenue.


Shaba Thai is one of the most inconspicuous restaurants on Portage Avenue. Located at 561 Portage Avenue, just down from the University of Winnipeg. It only seats about 10 people. There have been other restaurants in the location but none of them seemed to promise anything remotely promising. If they didn’t put signs out on the street you would likely walk by without a second glance. Fortunately they did put signs out on the street and I was curious enough that I decided to go in.

The restaurant is a mom and pop style of operation, and offers a menu of Thai and Shawarma. Yep, you read that correctly, Thai and Shawarma. The main emphasis in on the Thai Food so I decided on my first visit to give that a try.

Shaba Thai Samosas

Samosas from Shaba Thai restaurant.

Green Curry Soup and Satay

On my first visit I opted for a bowl of Green Curry Soup and an order of Satay. I ate the Pork Satay, and they meat was quite tender. The peanut sauce was all right, but not one of the better ones I’ve tried. the Green Curry Soup was quite delicious. Continue reading

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Long Island Cafe – Portage Avenue


I recently decided to visit the Long Island Cafe on Portage Avenue just across from the University of Winnipeg. It’s been quite a few years since I last visited the cafe. At the time it was largely a coffee and dessert sort of place. Since then it’s become more of a lunch/early supper place with an emphasis on Vietnamese cuisine.

The prices are quite good and there is a good bit of variety on the menu. The cafe does a lot of takeout. As a result a lot of the dishes are pre-made, and the freshness tends to vary. If you are regularly in the neighbourhood it seems like the sort of place where you could find out the best days for certain dishes.

The fried rice from Long Island Cafe. A somewhat disappointing dish.

The cafe is an interesting place to walk into. There are coolers and freezers all over the place, It gives the vibe of being coffee shop, restaurant and tuck shop all rolled into one Continue reading

Banh Mi King – Portage Avenue


I rather stumbled across Banh Mi King the other day, even though it’s smack dab in the middle of Portage Avenue across from the University of Winnipeg. I found myself wandering down there on my way home a few days ago and decided to stop in.

Banh Mi King untensils

Utensils and condiments

I don’t know who designed it, but the interior reminds me of King + Bannatyne and Chosabi. While a pleasant style with the window bar seating and one large table, the design seems to be getting repeated a fair bit. Ordering is done at the counter in a fast casual style. The only problems I have with that is, although the cutlery is all on the table, you have to remember to pick up your napkins when you place your order. Continue reading

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