Celebrating Saint Andrew and Ordination

Today, November 30th, is Saint Andrew’s day. It is the last major feast in the church calendar before the beginning of Advent. Among other things, Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland. If you click on the link above you will find how that came about.

Andrew is one of the twelve apostles. He is the younger brother of Peter. A figure in the background of his older, more visible brother. As the youngest of six boys, I can relate to the idea of being in the shadow of older, more voluble, brothers.

Saint Andrew's oatmeal

I kicked off my Saint Andrew’s day celebration with a good, hearty bowl of oatmeal.

Not surprisingly, as a guy named McKenzie, I have an affinity with the patron saint of Scotland. My great-great-grandfather on my dad’s side emigrated from Biggar, Scotland. My great-grandfather, Fighting Mac, made his reputation as an Australian, and my grandfather, Gordon, migrated to Canada, where my dad was born.

So, that’s the ancestral connection to Saint Andrew. I have another connection as well. Continue reading


Saturday Morning Raw:Almond

As a priest, Saturday’s are generally a semi day off. Generally this means I catch up on my sleep in the mornings. However there are some things that will get me moving early on a Saturday, and the annual brunch at Raw:Almond is definitely one of them. Last year, unfortunately I didn’t manage to get there, but this year I was determined to get back on track.

Saturday greenery.

A little greenery in a Winnipeg winter.

This year with the warmer winter, Raw:Almond had to be moved off of the river and onto the railroad bridge at The Forks. This meant a change in the space and layout. I quite liked the change, as it is a little smaller and combined with the warmer weather, a little easier to keep warm while dining.

Saturday Dream Team:

Although the brunch this week was headlined by Talia Syrie of The Tallest Poppy, she had plenty of help including Chef Ben Kramer, and Pam from Cake-ology. Saturday morning is for super heroes and these chefs are among Winnipeg culinary super heroes.

I arrived a little early for the 9:00 am start time, and so I walked over to the Johnston Terminal to get a coffee from Espresso Junction. I headed back just after 9:00 and took my seat. Continue reading

Sherbrook Street Delicatessen

I’m thinking of starting a new category of post here on Dining with Donald. I think I would call it: “Restos replacing Restos.” First I did the Palm Tree (Rasoi), then it was Nick’s on Broadway(selFISH Sushi), and now it’s Sherbrook Street Delicatessen(Fitzroy). Plus Clay Oven(Fresh Cafe) is soon to be opening in the Hydro Building downtown.

Like Palm Tree, Sherbrook Street Delicatessen is a restaurant where I hadn’t tried the previous tenant’s food. I had heard a lot of buzz surrounding Fitzroy, but had never made it in. So, I can’t lament what was lost, only praise what is there now.

Now, not all the buzz I had heard about the Sherbrook Street Delicatessen was entirely positive. I heard that it was a place that just sold expensive sandwiches. The sandwiches are indeed not cheap, but they are good value. Plus the food is fantastic.

Sherbrook Street Deli history.

A bit of Winnipeg’s history on the walls of the Sherbrook Street Deli.

I went in for the first time late Saturday morning. My intention was to order myself one of the sandwich platters. However, when my server came by she asked if I was aware of their breakfast special. This special consists of a choice of one of their deli meat options, 2 eggs, 2 potato pancakes and rye toast. Being a breakfast lover I decided to go with the special. I chose the smoked meat option. Continue reading

Stone Soup Fundraiser

Every so often as I wander through downtown I see posters up for events. Quite often I look at the poster and then immediately forget what it was about. Such was the case for the Stone Soup Fundraiser.  This was held yesterday at the Manitoba Hydro Building. I’d read the Stone Soup poster a couple of times, but not really made note of it.

Stone Soup Fundraiser bowl of soup

There are lots of tasty soups available at the Stone Soup Fundraiser.

As I was walking down Edmonton on my way to a cup of coffee, I noticed a CBC van parked across from the Hydro building. I wondered what might be happening and then suddenly I remembered the fundraiser.

Yesterday’s fundraiser was in support of the Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba. This organization is dedicated to making sure that all children have access to health and nutritious food. This is largely done through school programs. It’s hard to learn on an empty stomach.  Continue reading

Tallest Poppy, Sherbrook Street

For several years, The Tallest Poppy bloomed on North Main. A popular breakfast and lunch spot under the ownership of Talia Syrie, the original location was closed when Ms. Syrie took the opportunity to help start up Come ‘N Eat Cafe at the Neechi Commons. Having seen that enterprise successfully get on it’s feet, she decided to return to operating her own restaurant.

While the restaurant is still called The Tallest Poppy, and there are many of the same dishes that are associated with the original, there are some significant changes. First, this time around Ms. Syrie has a partner. His name is Steve Akerman, and in addition to being partner he serves as The Tallest Poppy’s bartender. Second the location has significantly more seating. Third, the hours have expanded to add dinner service to the breakfast and lunch.

Tallest Poppy breakfast.

The poppy breakfast from Tallest Poppy.

I had been to The Tallest Poppy on one occasion at it’s old location on Main Street. I went for brunch and enjoyed the open-faced omelet. Quite simply the best omelet I’ve ever had. I’ve also had the opportunity to enjoy Ms. Syrie’s cooking at the brunches that have been a part of the river pop-up restaurants. This has given me the chance to try several other items on the breakfast menu. Each has been fantastic. Continue reading