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Apr 21, 2009 08:14 PM

Moved To Winnipeg

Hello fellow hounds....I have recently moved to Winnipeg after living in Calgary for 15 years. Lots of great chowish memories from my time there, but life changes, and I am now a proud Winnipegger.

The best thing is that I have a new city to explore and TASTE. So......if there are any Winnipeg Chowhounds out there, please tell me your thoughts on this place...your faves, gems, musts, to be avoided spots, etc etc.

And while I am on the subject, I will make a pitch to all readers from The Peg....let's get this board rockin with posts about our city. I am excited to be here and I will be posting my discoveries. I hope there are some out there who will be reading them and dialoguing (sp.?) with me. Thanks!!

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  1. Hi FF,

    I'm actually a Winnipegger who moved to Calgary 3 years ago. Hehehe. So I'll give you the low down about Winnipeg "Taste". Now, by no means am I a food critic, but here are my favourite spots that I go to when I'm there.

    1) Sun Fortune Restaurant :
    - 15-2077 Pembina Highway
    Winnipeg, MB R3T 5J9, Canada
    (204) 269-6868
    - This place is great for their HK style cafe, probably one of the only authentic one in Winnipeg. They have a good selection individiual and family style dishes as well as roast duck and pork you can get for take out. It's really popular with a lot of the University students who live around that area, and in the winter, they have Chinese Hot Pot which is like a huge fondue.

    2) Nhu Quynh
    510 Sargent 786-1182
    - Now, I think Calgary has one of the best Vietnamese restaurants here, but in Winnipeg Nhu Quynh is a local favourite with the Vietnamese community. They have everything from your typical pho to individual rice dishes and family style sharing as well.

    3) Edohei
    A-355 Ellice 943-0427
    - This place I believe was probably the first Japanese restaurant in Winnipeg, or at least I know a few people who worked here before and afterwards started their own Japanese restaurants. The owners are authentically Japanese and the food is always at good quality. They are more expensive then Sushi Train, but like I said, quality is there.

    4) Kum Koon Garden
    257 King St. 943-4655
    - This place is a great place for dim sum. They are located in Chinatown and are always busy on the weekends for dim sum. They also use the push carts as well so you can see what you're getting. They also cater a lot of weddings as well and if you want to have a big get together with friends and family, they have huge round tables that can seat 12 easily. Food here is fresh and authentic.

    5) Gasthaus Gutenberger
    2583 Portage Ave. 888-3133
    - This is one of my personal favourites in Winnipeg. They are a German restaurant that bake their own bread that you can have unlimited off as well as they make their own type of butter/spread which is divine. The service there is fantastic and they have an accordion player, I want to say on weekends....but they do have one there that plays music and walks around to tables. Their food is delicious and portions are at a good size.

    6) Baked Expectations
    161 Osborne St. 452-5176
    - Great place for desserts, period. Well and if you want coffee or hot chocolate, that kind of stuff. They have a glass display of all the cakes they serve and is really popular with locals. But I know a lot of my friends say that they're dessert is better than their savory meal options. So, just go for cake. :)

    7) Young's Trading Co
    388 Elgin Ave, Winnipeg, MB R3A 0K6.
    - This is the place where if you want roast or soya duck, go here for it. Well they also have roast pork and bbq pork and all sorts of Asian bbq goodies, but the star of this place is the duck. Go there, get a nice roast duck (last time I was there they were about $16.00/each), and you won't regret it. :)

    OK, I'm gonna stop it there, but I really do hope more Winnipeggers do post on this board. Even though there has been a lot of negativity towards Winnipeg, but Winnipeg is a really great city, for it's size it is quite multicultural and at least in Winnipeg you can get from one end of the city to another in less than 1/2 hour. :)

    2 Replies
    1. re: pasaker

      Hey! Those are all the places I go to, as well! Except for the first number 5 ;-). I've never been there.

      To add to the restaurant list (I've posted these in another Winnipeg thread somewhere on Chow--I'd suggest searching for it--lots of recs there, too).

      Bistro Dansk--always consistent. Excellent pate, chicken livers, and schniztel. Their hazelnut pie is always a "must have" with every visit, and you can buy their bread to take home, too!

      I actually prefer the Chinese roast meat place at Sun Wah.

      Bistro 7 1/4
      Casual atmosphere, excellent moules et frites (though they're not traditional frites, but more like shoestring fries).

      i think they're appetizers out-do the mains, but it's still a great place for a nice dinner (do they do lunches now, too?)

      Siam Thai Cuisine
      Definitely the best Thai of the old-guard restaurants, and the most like the food you'll get in Thailand. Even the cooks at other restaurants prefer to eat there. i haven't tried some of the new Thai places, though, and there's one in particular that I think has potential (can't remember the name off-hand, but I'll write something up after I go there).

      My stand-by Filipino breakfast place has changed hands, so I'm on the look-out for a new one.

      Le Croissant for French baked goods.

      Piazza di Nardi or its older sibling La Grotta for Italian baked breads. I used to like their cakes, too, but after they remodelled something happened to the cakes--not as well stored, so they take on an off-flavour rather quickly. They've also got not only Italian specialty ingredients, but other hard-to-find imported goods.

      I'm still looking for a good Italian (not North American-style Italian) restaurant now that Tre Visi has disappointed me. They still have good carpaccio, though.

      North Garden--excellent Chinese. Some dishes at Sun Fortune are better, but some at North Garden are better. The two places (within a 5 minute walk from each other) are interchangeable amongst the Chinese student community.

      Kam Ho also does good dim sum, but is inconsistent and sorely understaffed.

      There are other good Vietnamese places, too, but we also usually go to Nhu Quynh, too.

      Taste of India is excellent Indian food. If you do the buffet, all the foods actually have different flavours (unlike some Indian buffets), and they have very good samosas.

      It's teeny tiny, but I used to love going to the St. Norbert Farmers Market when the season is on (usually starts the last Saturday in June, I think). It lost its lustre for me when Pembina Valley Meats quit (I went there every Saturday for a Farmers Burger!!!), but there's still a lot of great stuff that's worth going for. I just really miss my Farmers Burger, and it almost hurts going to the market not being able to get one! (I've tried some of the other farmer burgers, and they just don't compare!)

      Regarding restaurants, Winnipeg really does cheap ethnic food well, but it suffers in the fine dining department. Most of what Winnipegers may consider fine dining, like Mise and Bistro 7 1/4, are really not.

      There are other places I've forgotten for now. But I'll add more later.

      1. re: pasaker

        8) Right There
        Osbourne Village
        - I had my first Korean experience here and I really liked it. They call themselves a Tea House/ Museum. It's a very small, but friendly and clean restaurant. They have a good selection of dishes you can choose from and the owners are a very cute couple, the husband is the chef and the wife is in the front, she's very personable. I also believe that they try to promote themselves as a "health conscious" restaurant.

      2. I will be moving to 'the Peg' and would love all your suggestions, too. I am also interested in Farmer's Markets and places to purchase 'interesting' ingredients for home cooking. I truly believe the Winnipeg group is too modest to share the gems that I'm sure are available.

        2 Replies
        1. re: sarah galvin

          Home cooking ingredients:

          Asian- I like Young's on McPhillips, Van Loi is also on McPhillips'. Sun Wah is on King.
          Inde - Dino's on Notre Dame
          Superstore usually has a good selection of produce but Vic's on Pembina highway has nice stuff if you are willing to pay the price.

          Korean/sushi making- I can't recall the name but there is a Korean store just west of Metro route 90 on Portage ave.

          Italian- Deluca's on Portage ave or Piazza de Nardi on Taylor, La Grotta on Sargent

          Fish- Gimli Fish on Dufferin or also at the corner of Pembina and Grant.
          Superstore also carries lots of live shell fish.

          Bulkbarn is great for spices and any baking/cake making needs.

          Organza market at confusion corner is good for Organic food but expensive.

          1. re: sarah galvin

            Depending on what your definition of "interesting" is, Sun Wah for Chinese and other non-South Asian ingredients,

            Dino's for West Indian/Caribbean and South Indian

            Across from Dino's is Dong Thai. Smaller selection of non-South Asian stuff, but they also (oddly) have some Mexican things, as well.

            In the south end of town on Pembina, there's another small store--India Spice House maybe? Or it used to be India Spice House but now they have a different name--in the strip mall behind the A&W on the west side of Pembina near University Crescent. They've got a good selection of South Indian and West Indian/Caribbean stuff, plus some good take-out samosas and Indian sweets.

            Banfield and Jones is way over-priced, but they've got some hard-to-find non-Asian foods.

            La Grotta and Piazza di Nardi, mentioned in my earlier post, for Italian and some other non-Asian foods.

            Greek Market for Greek stuff (great take-out stuff, too).

            Balkan Market for Central/Eastern European stuff

            Superstore has quite a lot of ethnic stuff for a supermarket, and they can be cheaper than the specialty stores. It's always best to buy local, though!

            St. Norbert's Farmers Market for meats--free-range organic chicken, bison, etc. etc. Plus the Chinese farmers have great vegetables (they're also the ones who supply most of the Chinese grocery stores in the city). The market is only open a few months every year, but most of the vendors operated year-round, so you can contact them later for purchases.

            There are other farmers markets around town--in downtown at Old Market Square (very small), on the west side at/near Assiniboia Downs, etc. I think St. Norbert is supposed to be the best, though.

            Oh, at Fort Whyte Center they've got a little market with vegetables they grow and chickens they raise. I think they've got honey, too. The prices are a little on the high side, but the products are a result of a great program to help at-risk youth learn about farming,e tc.

            And Crampton's Market is a little place Waverly (the south part near Bishop Grandin) that sells good quality vegetables and fruits during summer.

            And Vic's on Pembina sort of near Stafford--the only place I could find blackberries one summer. Expensive, though.

          2. A few of my favorites:

            Definately Edohei on Ellice if you like sushi.

            Sydney's at the Forks is good for a tasting menu.

            I had an enjoyable meal at Oui bistro on King st.

            Lots of good Vietnamese places, I like the one at the corner of William and Arlington-the name escapes me.

            Breads and Circuses on Liliac(near Corydon) is good for lunch and baked goods.

            If you're craving good beef, go to Rae and Jerry's on Portage ave near Polo Park. If you have money to burn try 529 Wellington.

            Ukranian food- Alycia's on McGregor.

            Quite a few good Indian and Thai places but I'm allergic to chili, so I never go to any of them.

            My Chinese favs:
            Dim Sum- Kum Koon Garden on King st.
            Hung's Garden (Regent ave)
            North Garden (University cres)
            Sun Fortune (Pembina )
            Logan Corner (Logan and King)

            Italian- Bombolini (Broadway)
            Mona Lisa on Corydon is good too but I have had issues with the servicel.

            Bernstein's in Corydon Village mall.

            VJ's near the corner of Main and Broadway.\

            Ducky's Fish and Chips on Notre Dame.

            If you want good Bagels, go to Gunns on Selkirk ave.
            City Bread makes really good rye bread and they are located on Dufferin

            Stella's is good for breakfast- there is one on Grant and I saw one on Sherbrooke.

            I'm sure more will come to mind......

            3 Replies
            1. re: salsailsa

              I ate at 529 Wellington. By far, the best beef I have had in my life. So I politely asked, "Is the Manitoba beef?" The waiter proudly replied, "No, it is Alberta beef." I don't give a hoot. It was far better than any beef I have ever had in Calgary.

              I really appreciate all your suggestions. I will definitely be exploring them when I move. Keep 'em coming!

              1. re: sarah galvin

                LOL, I believe that 529 Wellington is the place where Brad Pitt ate while he was filming there a few years back!!!!!!

                1. re: pasaker

                  Brad Pitt was also in Wpg. I didn't realize that. I know that, was it Renee Zelleweger, was filming there last winter and she had to wear two pairs of panty hose and still froze! But she was still there! Must be something worth being there for, eh!

            2. As born and raised Winnipegger transplanted to Alberta 6 years ago, there are gems that I miss here in Calgary that I try to make an effort to get to when going home to visit.

              Stella's -- great lunches (love the egg salad sandwich) and breakfast. There's also a location in Osborne Villiage. The osborne location also has a bigger and better selection of baked goods compared to the Grant location.

              I second Deluca's for Italian basics (great olive and cured meats) and they make excellent ready to go pizza dough (in whole wheat too!). Denardi's is good too but I prefer Deluca's.

              Costa Brava (i think it's called something else now) is a seafood/fish shop on Ellice. Great fresh seafood and a good frozen fish selection. Next door is a little Portuguese bakery (Lisbon Bakery) that makes excellent water bread to soak up your mussel broth that you've made from the mussels you bought at Costa Brava.

              Viva Vietnamese on Sargeant is a good place for Vietnamese food.

              For sushi, it's been a while but Masa on Pembina used to be a good spot. No frills, good quality.

              Bellissimo's -- similar to Mona Lisa's is on Waverley. Decent.

              Scoop and Weigh -- awesome selection of herbs, spices, grains (those hard to find grains like triticale) on Taylor Ave.

              Falafel Place on Corydon. Yummy yam fries and goood falafel.

              Fresh Cafe -- good breakfast and coffee place on Corydon beside the 711 at Arbuthnot.

              Greek Market -- i think on Corydon. Their marinated squid salad and hummus are to die for!

              That's all i can think of now.
              Happy taste exploring!

              7 Replies
              1. re: Dr. J

                OP here again.....great suggestions all....thanks so much. I have been busily eating my way through town...a few early favorites: Baked Expectations, Dairywip, 7 and a 1/4, Salisbury House!!! I know, it's not really nice or good for that matter, but I still have found myself there on numerous occasions when I want a cheap and cheerful breaky from nice people and I just want to sit and sip brewed coffee and read the Free Press. There. Do I sound local yet? LOL

                1. re: formerlyfingers

                  HAHAHA Sailsbury House....... ohh do I miss the ' Peg. Sailsbury House has a fantastic breaky menu for super super cheap. I think they used to have one for like $2 back in the day. But I'm glad you are exploring Winnipeg ff, you'll notice the longer you live there- how nice the people are in Winnipeg. If you get stuck in a ditch, no worries! A Winnipegger will immediately help you when you're stuck.... unlike some other cities... :(

                  1. re: formerlyfingers

                    Speaking of burgers, you should try the Sun Burger at the Underground Cafe in the Exchange District! It's a vegetarian burger, but it's really good.

                    Salisbury House definitely has its place the 'Peg. There's something very comforting about a Cheese Nip. I think I'll have to get one the next time I'm in town.

                    Regarding Deluca's--they used to have very good fergasa bread, but I haven't had it in a few years, so I don't know what it's like now. But if you buy canned/jarred goods there, make sure you check the expiry dates. I once almost bought a jar of tahini there, but when I looked it was about a year past its "best before" date. Piazza di Nardi seems to keep track of their stock better.

                    1. re: formerlyfingers

                      You are doing great.. You almost spelled the Burger Joint name right.. it's Dairi-Wip ... believe it or not. Great burgers. I always ask for extra Chili
                      Don't tell anyone about Sun Fortune on Pembina..can hardly get a table there now. Recently discovered their Deep fried pork chop with spicy salt (#73??) It's addictive.
                      Been back 3 times in 10 days now for it.
                      Always enjoy Park Tower on Portage. Great breakfasts. Crowded on the weekends .
                      Good greek dishes.
                      I've been told Santorini on Portage is a great little spot..haven't made it there yet (Greek)
                      If you are looking to try a local Eastern European Meat market in town...try Karpaty on McGregor in the North End (Across the street from Alycia's) THey are one hopping spot. Their smokies just fly out of there...all glistening and juicy. Good coarse Garlic sausage, onion meatloaf etc etc. Take a number and prepare to wait. There are a few grocery items to browse.

                      1. re: easily amused

                        We usually get the shrimp with spicy salt at Sun Fortune. They leave the shell on, but if you're squeamish, you can ask for it without the shell.

                        They'll also do off-the-menu items like beef with gailan ho fun (pretty common, I thought, but not on the menu for some reason) and steamed chicken (with bones) with ginger soy.

                        Actually, most of the good Chinese places will do stuff off-the-menu for you if you ask, and if you know what you're talking about.

                        We like SF's chicken with salted fish fried rice, too, but it's not something most non-Asians order.

                        1. re: easily amused

                          Is Karpaty on McGregor or Bannerman? I looked it up, and the one I found is on Bannerman, while Alycia's is on Cathedral.

                          There used to be a great eastern european meat market on North Main somewhere. They had excellent spicy sausages--like pepperoni sticks, not the kind you have to cook. They closed some time ago, I think.

                          1. re: prasantrin

                   the address of Karpaty is technically on Bannerman ..but for all things practical it is on Mc Gregor At Bannerman. parking Lot on Mc Gregor(If you can find a spot)
                            I can't leave Karpaty without some of their Smokies.
                            If your talking Great fresh?dried have to drive over to Striker's Deli (832 Burrows) just about a block west of Arlington (Someone stay with the car..Joking ...I think..)
                            Some rave about their homemade beef jerky.. Pretty good..can get it spicy or not. But the their pepperoni is the best. I usually buy the fresh(Top of the counter) then let it dry out for a couple of days on the counter at home. terrific.
                            They do sell it dry as well... priced accordingly.

                    2. If you want a pretty good steak at a place that the Rat Pack would have felt at home in, where poleyester and Naugahyde still rull, go to Rae and Jerrys. I'm not a 'pegger but this is one of my favourite steakhouses anywhere, feels like you've just had a ride in the Way-Back-Machine.