As you have probably figured out by now, I love food. Eating it, thinking about it, reading about it, and writing about it. A couple months ago I was approached by Carly Peters of LocalFare Magazine, published by the Manitoba Restaurant and Foodservices Association, to be part of a spotlight on local food bloggers. “But I’m not a food blogger!” I protested. Nevertheless, I guess because I talk enough about food here at WoMH, they were kind enough to include me alongside the lovely Kathryne Grisim of Food Musings (whom I recently met in person for the first time!) and Ben Benton of Savour Winnipeg. Check it out – the article starts on page 18.
So, in honour of being mentioned in such esteemed company, I am devoting this entire post to local food-related topics that have been on my mind lately! It’ll be random, but here goes!
In pursuit of the highly sought-after locally produced “5 ingredient” ice cream, Cornell Creme, I recently took my first visit to Local Meats & Frozen Treats on St. Mary’s Rd. Wow! What a gem. I spoke at length with the super-friendly owners, who clearly love what they do. As the store’s name suggests, they stock a wide variety of local meats (many raised without growth hormones or antibiotics by All Natural Meats), fish, and free run eggs, along with lots of made-in-Manitoba foodstuffs such as pasta, barbecue sauces, grains, frozen sweet and savoury baked goods, and of course… Cornell Creme ice cream! I snagged one of the last buckets of the Malty Ale Pail and pretty much licked the container clear. So good! I will be going back to this wonderful small business, not just for the ice cream and tasty nitrite-free bacon, but for the marvellous customer service and selection.
Okay: time for a confession. I’m coming up on 5 years in the ‘Peg, but have never been to Crampton’s Market. But I now have it on good authority that it is indeed awesome. Upon hearing they are carrying Cornell Creme, my neighbour made her first trek there this past weekend and told me that they carry all kinds of meat and have an amazing selection of Manitoba produce. She writes, “The asparagus was from a Manitoba greenhouse and probably the best I have ever tried! I bought two bunches b/c they were sampling it raw… never had raw asparagus so good!!” and reports that they also have in-house baked bread and lots of other local treats. Needless to say, I can’t wait to check out Crampton’s one of these days.
Not strictly food news, but have you ever noticed how incredibly awesome Manitoba Liquor Marts (@liquormarts) is at Twitter? Seriously – they are so responsive to client requests and they consistently post about sales, events, and new products in a friendly and engaging way. Not too often you see a company getting it so right – so well done, Liquor Marts!!
Did you see the article in the Metro about Kalynn Spain, aka the Freelance Farmer? This interesting gal is blogging her way through visits to 60 Manitoba farms, with the goal of compiling a comprehensive database of local and sustainable food sources. Very cool. I’m so excited that it’s finally farmers’ market season! St. Norbert is now open and I have heard rumours that the Main St. market will be expanding this summer – anyone got the scoop? Check out when all the local farmers’ markets open with this guide from Tourism Winnipeg.
After a few years of restaurant meals being rare, in the last couple months I’ve had the pleasure of trying a few new-to-me restaurants. My sister-in-law and I celebrated her birthday with a lovely evening of tapas at Segovia and discovered it absolutely lives up to the hype. I tried rabbit for the first time, and am still dreaming of the sheep feta, pistachio, chili honey, and cracker plate. Our server was very knowledgeable about wine pairings and enthusiastic about all the food. My Crampton’s-loving neighbour took me out to Boon Burger in the Exchange a few nights ago and I’ve already lined up another date at the Wolseley location with some other friends… will I get the scrumptious spicy Boon buffalo burger again, or try something new? It’s too hard to decide! And I recently lunched with two dear friends (whom I made through this blog!) at the Frenchway on Lilac; I had a delicious spinach salad with apricots and pineapple and couldn’t resist a couple of macarons for dessert. Lemon for the win! Mmmm.
On my list of other places to try very soon: Thom Bargen (I hear their mochas are to die for) and Binh An, which is actually quite close to my house and comes with rave reviews from Food Musings and also Robyn, my massage therapist extraordinaire. Also on my list of places to finally check out: The Scoop n’ Weigh. I can’t remember why, but a while ago I signed up for their email newsletter, and I’ve been intrigued ever since. With the slogan “The Candy Store for Grownups”, it just seems like a good place to be familiar with, especially considering my love affair with Bulk Barn. Have you been to this place? Is it as wonderful as it appears to be?
Some exciting things happening on Provencher Blvd this summer: Cafe Postal has extended their hours, making it slightly more likely that I will eventually make it there one of these days! Constance Popp is moving onto the Boulevard soon (check out her special Father’s Day chocolates – made with Fort Garry and Half Pints beers! – I may have to take a trip out to her current shop just for those!). I’ve also heard rumblings about a new shop called Marché Terre à Table Market, which sounds like it will be devoted to specialty and local foods. Very nice. I’m also intrigued by the newly-opened and cleverly-named Chaise Café and Lounge, recently profiled on the Peg City Grub blog. This is all fantastic news for Provencher… lots of reasons to head over the Esplanade and poke around Old St. B.
Okay, one last thing. My beloved Frigs Natural Meats has had a bit of a facelift in recent weeks. They’ve expanded their grocery section and improved the layout of the store – it’s better than ever and always worth the drive. Their kubi smokies are one key component of the insanely delicious concoction I indulge in once a year at the lake: the Pizza Pop Dog (a grilled kubi dog stuffed inside a barbequed pizza pop. 100% evil genius!). Mmm, lake food.
Enough from me. What about you? What food-y things are you looking forward to in Manitoba this summer? Please share!