Tag Archives: Food

Broadway Bound: The food truck wave finally hits Winnipeg in a big way.

The food truck/cart industry has always been a staple on the Winnipeg summer landscape. From the chip stands of the early 1930’s right up to modern smokie hotdog carts that dot the Winnipeg summer landscape like dandelions on a prairie field. So why all of the interest in what could be called nouveau gourmand food movement of bringing typically high end restaurant fare and serving it curbside out of a mobile trailer?

Hot Dog Cart

Hot Dog carts dot the Winnipeg Landscape

Personally I think it’s about the whole democratization of food, the idea proposed by so many of the crop of new talented cooks and chefs in typically high-end, high pressure jobs. Patrons are starting to suffer from white table-cloth fatigue, the idea of getting dressed up and paying high-end prices for everything but the food is wearing thin. Just think about it, if you go to say 529 Wellington and order a meal you’re not only paying for the food you’re paying for the cost of maintaining the building, the staff, the food supply chain and on and on. Winnipeggers are a fiercely cheap and efficient lot, we brag about how little we paid for something rather than how expensive something is. It only seems to reason that eventually it would filter down to our food choices.

Now I am not saying that Winnipeg invented the high-end food truck, that phenomenon has gone on for years in other enlightened cities having only recently caught on in a big way here due to City Hall’s reluctance to let the inevitable happen.

On any given weekday lunchtime during Winnipeg’s all too brief spring and summer one can wander downtown to Broadway Avenue, the heart of Winnipeg’s open air food scene.  As the office towers break for lunch thousands of hungry men and women emerge ready to see the delights awaiting them where grilled smokies and hamburgers once dominated the dining scene.

One sunny spring day I took an hour out of my day and investigated the food truck landscape of East Broadway; here is what I found.

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Growing Romance – A meal from garden to the plate.

 

As many of you know I, when possible, try to use the freshest and environmentally sustainable produce when cooking.  Last night was a perfect example of eating literally from out my back door.  This year Dar and I have been blessed with an embarrassing abundance of tomatoes and fresh herbs from our garden.

Our tomatoes are taking over the garden. Even the cages cannot contain them!

My quaint little herb patch.

Feeling in a pasta kind of mood I decided to make a super easy but incredibly tasty tomato basil spaghetti sauce that I adapted from a Michael Ruhlman recipe that I learned a few years ago.  Taking a small mountain of cherry tomatoes that had ripened nicely and a few Roma tomatoes I quickly blended them together with a handful of basil, oregano and parsley just picked from the garden, adding a liberal amount of olive oil to emulsify the sauce.

Combine basil, oregano and garlic and blend with olive oil and add it to your tomato base. It really is just that easy!

Then into a pot and on the stove for a gentle heating as not to damage the delicate flavor of the fresh herbs.  Easy peasy!  Pasta in a pot, cooked to a delicious al dente, combine the sauce and pasta in a pan with just a touch of the starchy water and a hit of butter to mellow the flavors then on plate and your off to yummy town!

Ah L’amour

Follow with a nice bottle of wine, some candles, and music with your special someone and there will be more than just pasta on the menu that night!!

Bon Appétit!

 

BBQ Canadian Winter Style.

In a time before I lived with Darlene and Dom, I used to live a pretty swinging lifestyle.  I knew for a fact that I may not be the most athletic, or the best looking, or even the smartest branch on the tree.  But one thing I knew for sure is that if I could get a lady talking, maybe go for a coffee and walk in the park that I had a chance.

Yes winter finally has decended, it's only 5 pm.

Women, let’s face facts you all like men that can cook.  Not only can this Bobby cook but he does a freaking fab ass BBQ and as time went on I’ve become a one woman man and now she gets all the good that I have to give.

Using a 4 grate and two zone set up for my charcoal maximizing air intake.

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Dining in the quarter made easy at Le Garage Café

As my long term readers will know we live in the French quarter of St Boniface, it is an area filled with the heady smells of fresh bread being baked in the morning and the sounds of ringing church bells keeping time in the afternoon.  It is also a place where you can expect to be greeted en Français before a word of English is spoken.

So to many an Anglophone, particularly those visiting from out of town, the French Quarter can be a confusing and intimidating place.  But rest assured travellers English is still readily spoken here even in the most hard-core French establishments.

Le Garage Café

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For fabulously fresh fish n’ chips find Fergies at The Forks.

As you all know I love food, street food, fine food, pick up a fork and stab me food.  So it should be no surprise that I love good fish.  Growing up literally a 5 minute bike ride from Rainy Lake in North Western Ontario I could hold a fishing rod before I learned to tie my own shoes.

Mom and Dad both loved to fish so I grew up with an appreciation for the different flavours that came out of the lake.  It was a funny little rule that my father had when he took the family out for dinner.  We could eat anything on the menu besides freshwater fish.  He reasoned that we had access to a well stocked freezer full of the best fish in the world so why should he have to pay for it when eating out.

Fergies Fish n' Chips at The Forks Market

Having said that I no longer live 5 minutes from Rainy Lake so what’s a poor boy to do when he’s got a hankering for fish.  Well I head down to Fergies Fish n’ Chips at The Forks Market.  The current incarnation of seafood market and fish and chips stand has been open since 2004 and boasts having access to the over five million visitors The Forks Market attracts each year.

Although Manitoba is hardly next to any major seaport we are however a première shipping hub supplying North America with everything from fresh flowers and yes you guessed it fresh fish.  One thing Fergies prides itself on is the freshness and quality of its ingredients.  From the locally grown fresh cut Russet Burbank potato to the “caught yesterday” selection of Cod, Halibut and Lake Manitoba Walleye (Pickerel).

When eating fish freshness is king, and Fergies delivers that in classic style. Each piece is coated in a beer batter moments before it hits the hot oil, protecting the delicate filet and effectively poaching it to give a crispy delicious exterior and a moist flaky interior to the fish.

Simple and delicious fish and chips served in paper

The chips are treated with equal care, freshly cut and blanched in hot oil before being quickly dunked again for a properly cooked fry.  Crispy and hot on the outside and tender on the inside.

Put the two together and an English favourite hits Winnipeg.  A dash of salt and a splash or two of malt vinegar is all you need to complete this after pub classic.

So when you get a craving for an inexpensive but delicious fish treat you know where to go, Fergies Fish n’ Chips at The Forks Market.

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