One of the favorite places my friend Esther and I like to meet for visiting and sketching is the beautiful Folio Cafe on the Canadian Mennonite University grounds at the corner of Grant and Shaftesbury Avenue. Big windows provide plenty of light. There’s a patio where you can eat on nice days.
The lunch items are delicious. Homemade soups and sandwiches and desserts. Last week when I visited I ordered the beef borscht and a sandwich with goat cheese and marinated tomatoes on crusty fresh bread. For dessert there was a lovely latte and gelato.
After lunch I drew my own versions of portraits of artists Picasso and Tom Thompson. The Folio Cafe is spacious and welcoming and it is easy to spend several hours there visiting and drawing in the comfortable airy space the cafe provides. If you’ve never been to the Folio I suggest you give it a try.
A Blast From the Past Closes
Just in case you haven’t already heard it is Burger Week in Winnipeg. Nearly a hundred restaurants in our city have custom designed burgers for their patrons. We decided to try a burger at Shawarma Khan. It’s a restaurant near our home owned by Obby Khan a retired professional football player who used to be on the roster of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. My husband Dave had read about their burger in the newspaper and it sounded delicious. It was made with lamb, beef and flafel and served on a sweet potato-poppyseed egg bun lined with melted mozzarella cheese. The meat patty was topped with roasted red pepper, seven-bean hummus, pickled turnips, sriracha coleslaw, caramelized onions and garlic sauce. The burger was fabulous as you can see from these photos. I needed lots of napkins to clean all that juicy goodness off my fingers while I ate. I LOVED the fries that came with the burger. They were crispy and spicy and hot. Owner Obby Khan came over to check how we were enjoying our burgers and Dave asked him to pose for a photo with me. Obby was happy to oblige.
We may try another burger in the coming days since Burger Week lasts till Thursday. But the next time we are going to share a burger. I was so full after that Shawarma Khan burger I could barely walk.
Burgers and Blokus
Home Grown in Newfoundland
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.
Hong Kong House Guests
Sculpture Garden Stroll
Introducing Visitors from Hong Kong and India to Mennonites
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.
We 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.
Visit to a Colorado Microbrewery and the Barry Manilow Concert That Wasn’t
He 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. Mr. 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.
We had a nice lunch at a table in the home’s former library. The 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.
I had a spinach salad and Dave had a roast beef sandwich. We ended our meal by sharing a blueberry bread pudding.
After lunch I toured the other rooms in the house which offer different options for dining and the friendly maitre de showed me the patio and offered to take my photo there.
Our forty-three year marriage has a long and interesting history as does the place we chose to celebrate it yesterday.
We are living in a piece of history
A Controversial Wedding Photo
Diamond Anniversary- A Family Affair
I 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.
Apparently 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.
I 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.
The Most Beautiful Bathroom in Winnipeg