Kitchen Counter Cooking School


The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, by Kathleen Flinn, is one of those books that I picked up from the discount bin, read the first few pages and then promptly forgot about. Then, about a week or so ago, I was looking for something to read while I ate my supper and decided to pick it up again. I’m glad I did.

The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices Into Fearless Home Cooks, begins with an encounter between the author and a shopper in a grocery store. The shopper has a cart filled with ultraprocessed foods. Flinn, gives her some guidance on ways to better shop and prepare foods. This encounter also starts the author out on a journey.

Kitchen Counter Cover

Cover shot of Kitchen Counter Cooking School

As a recent graduate from the Cordon Bleu School of cooking in Paris, Flinn still hadn’t found her place in the culinary world. Following this grocery store tutorial, she makes an appearance on a radio show where she talks about the encounter, and this in turn lead her into teaching a group of people how to shop and cook better. Continue reading

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Underdogs Sports Bar – NFL Opener


The Sports Bar is an interesting type of place. On game day it’s a hive of activity. Fans fixated on the screens hanging all over the walls, cheering, booing, or groaning as they follow along with their favourite teams. Other times, when there’s nothing of significance happening in the sports world, they can be almost tomb like. I’ve experienced both ends of the spectrum when visiting Underdogs Sports Bar on Portage Avenue.

Underdogs sign

I don’t think it’s fair to compare the two groups. After all one group is incredibly childish, and the other is simply under the legal drinking age.

Underdogs in the Afternoon

My first visit to Underdogs came after I had been at a clergy gathering at St. Andrew’s Woodhaven. I wandered down Portage Avenue afterwards trying to decide where I wanted to stop for supper. I passed by a few options, a couple of which were closed and ended up at Underdogs. I knew I wouldn’t have to wait long for my meal, because there were only about four other people in a space that holds a couple of hundred. (kinda of like some Anglican Churches on a Sunday morning). Continue reading

The Fyxx – Espresso Bar


Winnipeg’s coffee scene has changed quite a bit over the last few years. However, it’s not that long ago that there wasn’t much beyond the chains when it came to coffee choices in the town. Late night coffee and dessert choices seemed to be limited mainly to Osborne Village and the odd place here and there.

The Fyxx Greek Salad

Greek Salad from The Fyxx

I remember when The Fyxx first opened on Broadway and Donald. It quickly became the place where groups gathered for a taste of higher end coffee and desserts. At one point it was so successful that there were three locations in town. The cafe seemed to ultimately be a victim of it’s own success as both of the other locations no longer exist and only the Broadway location is still open. ┬áIt’s status as a no longer happening kind of place is further emphasized by the fact that it closes at 6 pm Friday through Sunday. Continue reading

Nou Eul Tor – Korean Restaurant


I’m not really a make a reservation type of person. I tend to show up and hope that I’ll find myself a seat. Sometimes this works out well, and sometimes it means I have to go visit a restaurant a few times before I complete two visits. Still other times, it leads me to trying places I wasn’t expecting to try, One such reason place is Nou Eul Tor, a Korean Restaurant on Sargent Avenue.

I’ve actually walked past this restaurant on several occasions, but there has always been something about it that made me hesitate to enter. However, the other night, the Emerald Palace told me there would be a 45 minute to one hour wait before I would get a seat and my order taken, so I decided I would head a little farther west on Sargent. Nou Eul Tor was the first restaurant I came across. I saw from their posted hours that they would be open long enough to enjoy a meal so I headed on in.

Nou Dul Tor Kimchi

Kimchi from Nou Eul Tor.

The main body of the restaurant is long and narrow, with most of the tables against one wall, and a few on the kitchen side. There is also a room with a table for a larger group. The tables are dark wood and brown and white are the other dominant colours, giving the place a rather subdued feel. Continue reading

Melt”wich” Food Co – CityPlace


About a week and a half ago I wrote about build your own pizzas. Today I’m writing about Melt”wich” Food Co, which could best be described as build your own grilled cheese sandwich. It appears that the Subway model is taking over the food courts of the world. Perhaps it’s a nefarious ploy to get us to eat more vegetables. Whatever the reason I think a trend is emerging.

Melt"wich" grilled cheese

Basic Melt”wich” grilled cheese with all the toppings.

Melt”wich” Lunch:

My first visit was the day after the place opened. It was clear that the staff will need more time and training before the place begins to run smoothly. I asked what a combo was and if there was a combo deal was. None of the people working knew, and there was no manager around to ask. Continue reading