Category Archives: Restaurants

Wined and Dined at a New Restaurant

At the Chaise Lounge with my friend Meena.

We’ve had house guests for the last two weeks and before they left Winnipeg they wanted to treat us to dinner at a restaurant of our choice.  We decided to pick a restaurant we had driven by hundreds of times and always thought we would like to try.

The Chaise Lounge has a beautiful walkway lined with plants and flowers.  We ate on the porch, but a peek inside showed it was a little more elegant.  The food was good and we had an enjoyable time visiting with our guests one last time.  

Meena is to the far left in this photo with my teaching colleagues in the English department in Hong Kong

We got to know Meena and Anil when we lived in Hong Kong and Meena was our colleague 

Meena far right was a member of our Hong Kong book club

and a member of our book club.  Meena and Anil now have children living in Winnipeg so they make visits here several times a year and stay with us. It has been such a treat to maintain our connection with these Hong Kong friends.

For some reason Dave was playing hide and seek.

We all had different entrees at the restaurant and received a bonus dessert because service had been a little slow.  Not that we minded. It gave us more time to visit. 

Other posts………….

Hong Kong House Guests

Sculpture Garden Stroll 

Introducing Visitors from Hong Kong and India to Mennonites

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A Blast From the Past Closes

On Monday the Winnipeg Free Press carried a story about the closing of The Windmill Restaurant.  It is right across the street from the MCC Thrift store where I volunteer and so I’ve had lunch there several times.

It might be the juke boxes, the formica tables or the red vinyl leather booth seats …
it might be the bar stools or old-fashioned milk shake machine…

but when you step into the friendly atmosphere at the Windmill Restaurant at 518 Selkirk Avenue  you’ll think you’re back in the 1950s. 
The menu is basic and economical. The perogies are to die for but when I visited I usually opted for a hearty homemade soup and toasted tomato sandwich. 
The decor is kitschy a display of Mexican sombreros

A hand carved welcome plaque
and this fellow guarding the salad menu.
A mural painted on the side of the restaurant gives a glimpse of a street car and Selkirk Avenue’s glory days in the 1930s -1950sand another mural takes us back even 
further to the late 1800s and ox cart days. Scenes from the movies Capote and Shall We Dance were filmed in the Windmill. How’s that for a claim to fame? The restaurant has hosted the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Richard Gere, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener. The Windmill Restaurant offered a blast from the past along with good food. Many people will be sad to see its doors close. 

Other posts…….

A Manitoba Boy Learns to Brew Beer in Korea

Gender Neutral Washrooms

The Real Meal Deal

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A Manitoba Boy Learns to Brew Beer in Korea

peg city co.Scott Sawatsky was a young man teaching English in Korea when he met a German brewmaster living there who taught Scott everything he needed to know about making beer.   That’s the story we heard when Scott gave us an interesting tour of the beer making process at the Peg Beer Co.  just down the street from our home. Scott really did learn to make beer while teaching in Korea and now works as a brewmaster himself here in Winnipeg. See the bags of rye malt used in some of the beers beside Scott?  It comes from Bamberg Germany.  Dave and I spent Christmas Day in 2010 in Bamberg.  One of the things we did was sample beer from the nine different breweries in Bamberg. 

peg city co. breweryWe had a fun Monday night at the Peg Beer Co. with three other couples.  First we took a tour of the brewing facility and learned so many interesting things from Scott about how the beer at Peg Beer Co. is made.  One fascinating thing I remember is that after the barley has served its purpose flavoring the water for the beer, a Manitoba farmer comes and picks up the mashed barley to feed to his pigs. The kitchen at Peg City Beer Co.  buys some of those pigs back from that same farmer to use for the pork items on the Peg City Beer Co. menu. Talk about recycling!  

We learned from Scott that the different craft brewers in Winnipeg help each other out and share information and expertise with one another, even though in some ways they are competitors.   Isn’t that great? 

After our tour we enjoyed some of the excellent items on the Peg Beer Co.  menu.  You can go to the establishment any time for the food and craft beers, but if you want a tour they are offered on Mondays.  

Other posts………

Visit to a Colorado Microbrewery and the Barry Manilow Concert That Wasn’t

Tasting Toronto


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Celebrating Our Marriage History in a Historical Building

529 WellingtonHe owned our home! Yesterday we celebrated our anniversary by having lunch at 529 Wellington. We had never been there before. I’d always wanted to visit though, because the restaurant is located in the former home of Mr. James Henry Ashdown a Winnipeg mayor who once owned the warehouse where our condo is located. ashdown warehouseMr. Ashdown who immigrated to Canada from England in the late 1800s sold hardware at a store on the corner of Main Street and Bannatyne and housed his stock of merchandise a block away in a warehouse that has now been converted into a hundred condo units. 

James and his wife Susan and their five children moved into a grand mansion at 529 Wellington in 1913. Their former home now houses one of the city’s landmark restaurants.  

library ashdown houseWe had a nice lunch at a table in the home’s former library. wallpaper 529 wellingtonThe wallpaper in the room intrigued me. It featured an old-fashioned illustrated alphabet. The border had words adapted from the Biblical book of Isaiah 35: 1.  The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. But perhaps because the wallpaper is in a home it was chosen because the exact phrase on the wallpaper is used in a poem by Christina Rossetti called From House to Home

spinach salad 529 WellingtonI had a spinach salad roast beef sandwich 529 Wellingtonand Dave had a roast beef sandwich. blueberry bread pudding 529 wellingtonWe ended our meal by sharing a blueberry bread pudding. 

sun room ashdown houseAfter lunch I toured the other rooms in the house which offer different options for dining patio ashdown houseand the friendly maitre de showed me the patio and offered to take my photo there. 

43 anniversaryOur forty-three year marriage has a long and interesting history as does the place we chose to celebrate it yesterday.

Other posts…….

We are living in a piece of history 

A Controversial Wedding Photo 

Diamond Anniversary- A Family Affair


Filed under Food, Restaurants, Winnipeg

Gender Neutral Washrooms

stellas washroomI had lunch at the new Stellas restaurant on Pembina Highway yesterday. I used the gender neutral washroom and really didn’t think about the fact that it was gender neutral till I came out of my private stall and a man was washing his hands at the sink. Sure it seemed a little strange because it’s not something I’m used to.  But I had no problem with it.  It made me wonder how segregated bathrooms had started in the first place.

gender neutral bathroomApparently  there never used to be public washrooms for women since they weren’t encouraged to ‘go out’ in the world of men.  Their place was in the home. “How archaic,” we think now. So in the early 1900s when laws requiring public restrooms for both men and women came into effect it was really a step forward for women.  

co-ed bathroomI suspect my great-grandchildren will read one day about gender specific bathrooms in public places and say, “How archaic!”  Many newly constructed public places are installing gender neutral washrooms and as older buildings are renovated their owners are making the change too.  Within a generation or two gender specific bathrooms will be a thing of the past. As we continue to learn more about the science and sociology of gender identity, gender neutral bathrooms make sense and besides they save space and are more practical for families with young children. 

Other posts…….

Eatons Catalogue

The Most Beautiful Bathroom in Winnipeg



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Filed under New Experiences, Reflections, Restaurants, Winnipeg

Miss Browns

blues night poster for residents of the exchangeWe visited a new restaurant last week along with other members of the Residents of the Exchange Association.   Miss Browns hosted a special evening to introduce people who live in our neighborhood to their unique menu.

blue noise jazz trioWe were entertained throughout the evening by trio from a group called Blue Noise who bill themselves as the hottest new blues band in Winnipeg.  sliders at Miss BrownsWe started out with a fabulous array of appetizers- smoked salmon mini bagels, fried pickerel on toast with avocado, brisket sliders and smoked chicken wings.owner Miss Browns

Jenny Tyrell and her husband Steve are the owners of Miss Browns. Jenny and Steve were doing catering at his mother’s boutique vineyard in Sydney Australia when Jenny who is originally from Winnipeg got the bright idea they should move back here and open a sandwich shop featuring meats they smoked on site. They’ve named their restaurant for their daughter who they playfully nicknamed Miss Brown when she was a baby. main course miss browns winnipegThis was our main course- BBQ pulled-pork, smoked brisket, baby back ribs and a selection of side condiments and sauces. The meat at Miss Browns comes from All Natural Meats in Carmen, Manitoba and other food items are also locally sourced. miss browns dinnerWe had a nice visit with a couple who live just a couple blocks away from us that Dave had connected with previously at his part-time job. miss brownsThere are always new eating spots offering unique cuisine opening their doors in the Exchange District.  It’s one of the things that makes living here so interesting. 

Other posts……..

David Bowie In My Neighbourhood

The Most Beautiful Bathroom in Winnipeg

Meeting Wayan From Eat, Pray Love


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Breakfast on Marion Street

marion hotel winnipegMy husband asked me out on a breakfast date yesterday morning to celebrate the birth of our new grandson. I have to admit from the parking lot, the place he chose, didn’t look like much.  What kind of breakfast would we get there? interior marion street hotelWhen we walked inside the Marion Street Eatery it was clean, bright, warm and charming. patio marion streetThere was a morning chill in the air so we opted to eat inside but our table looked out over the sunny patio which had a nice view of an architecturally interesting old church across the street.
art marion hotel

The service was prompt and friendly and it wasn’t long before we had piping hot coffee in front of us and had given our orders. There was some interesting art on the walls including this intriguing painting of three bison.breakfast marion street eatery

The Marion Street Eatery promises you food that’s delicious but simple.  Comfort food.  My  breakfast was exactly that!marion street eatery

We had a nice visit before heading off.  Dave was on his way to the slow pitch ball diamond where he was playing in the second day of a tournament and I was going to the art gallery to give a tour to kindergarten kids and then headed to a final meeting about my students at the University of Winnipeg. 

We’ll go back to the Marion Street Eatery.  It’s a nice homey place for breakfast. 

Other posts…..

A Feast for Breakfast

Fools and Horses


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