I’m getting back into writing more reviews, even though I am not able to visit many places for in person dining. Today, I’m writing about The Merchant Kitchen. This restaurant is located on the ground floor of Winnipeg’s Alt Hotel. It’s also just around the corner from Brown’s Socialhouse. As I made my two visits over the last few days, I did one via delivery and one via pickup.
I first came into contact with The Merchant Kitchen five years ago. They were set up in the beer tent during ManyFest. ManyFest is one of the main things I have missed with the pandemic shutting things down. I liked their food, but did not make an effort to get over to the restaurant. In the intervening years, it seemed that the few times I attempted to visit they were closed. I did go earlier this year, before everything shut down, but it is so long ago, I decided to do two more visits.
The Merchant Kitchen for Delivery
The Merchant Kitchen is just down the street from Holy Trinity, where I work. One of the reasons I recently chose the place is that they operate their own delivery website, no third party. I was placing a lunch order and did not want anything to big. I order the Pozole Verde Soup and the Yucca fries. As it turns out, the Yucca fries is a quite substantial order, and more filling than a similar quantity of French Fries. Given that restaurants are allowed to add beer to food deliveries during Corona times, I added a can of Lake of the Woods, Nautical Disaster, Dry Hopped IPA.
Both of the dishes are top notch The soup is rich and nourishing. The Merchant Kitchen makes great Yucca Fries that are good and crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. One of the things I really like about the Yucca Fries is how crispy they stay even after sitting for a few minutes. The chips are served with a red chimichurri aoili, which makes for a nice break from ketchup. While the Nautical Disaster was enjoyable, it will not be going to the top of my list when it comes to beers I will order more than once.
Picking Up My Dinner
Yesterday was a bit of a celebration for me. At the end of May my time at St. Philip came to an end. So for the last six months I have been in a half-time position. However, as things have been busy trying to help Holy Trinity to pivot to embrace Covid church life, I am now working there full-time. So, to celebrate I decided I would pick up my dinner from The Merchant Kitchen.
I again used the Merchant Kitchen website, and placed my order to be picked up between 5 and 5:15 pm. Once again the meal was ready on time. The only thing they need to work on, is sending the confirmation, which I never received. However, since the food was ready on time, that is just a minor inconvenience. For my food choices I ordered the Dan Dan noodles, and the Nagoya Wings. For a beverage I chose the No Boats on Sunday Cider.
Again, both dishes are excellent. The wings are crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. The seasoning is spot on, leaving the wings with a good, sweet finish. When I placed the order, I asked that the Dan Dan noodles be extra spicy. I think they did a pretty good job of achieving this. One thing I like about the heat is that eat lingers for a bit. Plus, the heat itself does not overwhelm the other flavours in the dish. Instead, it enhances and heighten them. Both of these dishes would be ones I would want to order again.
I really enjoyed the cider as well. It came cold, crisp, and clean. Perhaps cliched as well. However, this is a cider that I will be on the lookout for as I visit various restaurants in the future. If you have not tried The Merchant Kitchen yet, I suggest you add it to your list of restaurants to try in the very near future. I hope to be able to dine in there soon, but in the meantime, it’s a great place for pick up or delivery.