Chilean Corner, Forks Market

I wrote yesterday that I was working my way through the food court at The Forks. Today, I’m writing about Chilean Corner. Chilean Corner is located across the hall from Bindy’s, but I don’t remember ever having order from them.

Chilean Corner Sign

Sign for the Chilean Corner restaurant

The centerpiece dish at Chilean Corner is the Empanada. It is available in several varieties and served in a variety of combination plates.  There are also several stews on order. In addition the restaurant has a couple of desserts available. They also carry some packaged treats Finally, along with the regular collection of Coke, etc. they also carry Jarritos. Jarritos are a line of soda from Mexico. They are sweetened with cane sugar and I find them to generally be noticeably less sweet than your typical North American sodas.

Chilean Corner Beef Stew

Chilean Corner Beef Stew. Tender Beef.

Chilean Corner Stew:

My first time at Chilean Corner I went with the Beef Stew that came with Coleslaw, Sopapilla(fry bread) and drink. I went for the combo because it was the best deal. This is the kind of stew that will remind you of family dinner at home. The one thing that I would have preferred would be crispier vegetables, but the beef was good and tender. The coleslaw was quite crispy and not overly dressed. The surprise for me was the Sopapilla. It appeared to be a little overdone, but when I ate it, it was crispy on the outside without being overcooked on the inside.

Chilean Corner Sopapilla

My Sopapilla. Crispy with a really good chew.

Empanada:

Much like the Sopapilla, my visual impression of the Empanada was that it would likely be quite doughy and heavy. Again, the pastry turned out really well. Given the size, I was worried that it would be all pastry and no filling. While it wasn’t stuffed to the gills, there was still plenty of filling, including a good amount of chicken. It was like a chicken stew wrapped in pastry.

Chilean Corner Empanada

The Empanada.

I also ordered this in combo form.  This time the salad was a mix of tomato and onions. I’m a big onion fan, especially in marinated from. The sharpness of the salad set the stew off nicely.

Chilean Corner Meringue

The outside crumbled, but the flavour was terrific.

For dessert I went for a caramel filled meringue. It proved a little fragile as the picture shows, but the flavours were good, and the meringue proved to be good and chewy in the middle.
The Chilean Corner on Urbanspoon

Bindy’s Caribbean Delights

Working, as I do, just south of the Assiniboine River, The Forks makes a great place to take a break and stop for lunch. It’s also home to Espresso Junction, so there’s a good coffee place on site to add a finishing touch to my meal.

The Forks has been in the news of late with the planned upgrades to their food court. I’ve been working my way through the various fast food options that are in the current food court. I’ve been to two or three recently, and the first on my list to write up is Bindy’s Caribbean Delight.Bindy's SignI’m not sure how long Bindy’s has been part of the Forks, but it seems to have been there almost from the beginning. It’s been a number of years since I’ve been there. Regular readers will know by now that I have a great love of Caribbean Food, and particularly like the hot sauces. Continue reading

New Year, New Power Rankings

Spring has arrived. Thanks to the early warm weather, many of the Food Trucks have already hit the streets. More exciting then this is the arrival of even more new food trucks.

This is my third annual Power Rankings post for the Winnipeg Food Truck scene. In 2013 when they were new, I wrote an explanation of power rankings as part of that post. With the early arrival of spring, I’ve had a chance to get out and try several of the new trucks along with some of the old ones. I plan to include all the trucks I’ve tried in this rankings.

As the summer progresses, some trucks will be in for a re-visit.

Last year, I tied my power rankings to Manyfest. As a result, I didn’t include several trucks. This time around I’m going to add them in.

Please remember, that although a truck may land on the bottom of the power rankings, you should still give it a try. This is not like the NHL or NBA. None of these trucks are tanking in the hopes of signing a bright young chef. Also, given how tough the food truck business is, nobody is overpaying an executive chef in the hopes of ending decades of mismanagement. This is meant to be fun. Plus, it’s skewed towards my favourites.

2015 means New Rankings

1.) Poutine King

While the rankings are new, the top spot is still the same. Great food, and sets the standard for being on the street, somewhere or other. This year the truck is at the Forks as well as on Broadway.  Also in addition to great food, makes good use of Social Media to promote the truck.

There's no new champ. The Poutine King still reigns.

2.) Red Ember

Dividing time between Broadway and the St. Norbert’s Farmers Market. Red Ember has quickly become a fan favourite. Also, North America’s biggest food truck. Continue reading

Churro Stop, Sweet Stop

As Winnipeg’s food truck scene continues to evolve, one area that is still a little under represented is the dessert area. There are a couple of ice cream trucks, and of course the ice cream bikes. However, other than Tokyo Rabbit, and these ice cream vendors, dessert is still a little hard to find. The entrance of The Churro Stop into the field helps to change this, and in the frozen treat area, Pop Cart sounds like they wish to raise the bar in treats on a stick.

Churro Stop explanation

Churro Stop has included information on what a Churro is for people, like me, who are unfamiliar with them.

I wasn’t particularly familiar with churros when I made my first visit to Churro Stop. Fortunately they provide information on the side of the truck for the culinary challenged like me. What I did learn, as I did some reading around is that Churros are popular across South America in particular. Also they seem to be more of a crispy treat than the doughnuts of North America.

Sometimes, when I try a new food, it doesn’t necessarily come acr4oss as I expect it to. That’s why I like to check around and find out whether that’s a lack of knowledge on my part or if the dish varies a lot from the tradition. Varying from tradition isn’t alsways a bad thing, but I like to know if that’s the case. With the Churro Stop Churros it was my understanding that needed correcting.

Basic Churro Stop churro.

The Churro Stop’s basic Churro. No filling or glaze but lots of sugar. The ridges do a great job of trapping the sugar.

The Churro Stop has generally been at the Forks, but they have also been out of Broadway.

Value:

The Churro Stop has two prices. 5 plain for $5.00 or 3 filled for $5.00. They are reasonably sized, and adequately filled. This makes for a good meal topper, or a mid-morning coffee snack. Drinks are available for $1.50. 4/5

Selection:

Selection is still somewhat a work in progress. So far, they have the plain, and two filled churros, Bavarian Creme and dolce Du leche. They are also working on a chocolate dip that they hope to have on the menu in the next few days. 4/5

Quality:

I liked the crunchiness of the churros, and they have been golden brown on the outside. I’m not generally a fan of Bavarian Creme, but Churro Stop has created a really good one. It is smooth and sweet without being cloying and thick like so many doughnut shop ones are. The dulce De leche has a nice caramel texture and taste and again manages to be sweet without overwhelming the taste of the Churro. 4.5/5

Churro Stop Bavarian Creme Churro

The creme in the Bavarian Creme oozes out nicely.

Portability:

The churros come in paper bags which are up to the job of holding them. The first time I went I ordered a double order and they gave me a larger paper bag to place them in. 4.5/5

Service:

The owner of The Churro Stop is very friendly and engaging. He’s working hard to get people interested in his product. Everytime I’ve been the service has been quick as well as friendly 5/5Stop Sign

The Churro Stop Overall:

This is a truck that does one thing. As it is still only the first week out, you can expect the odd glitch along the way. However, I think long term this will be a truck that does one thing, and does it extremely well. 4.5/5

Churro Stop on Urbanspoon

Juice Me Juice Truck

The ever expanding world of Winnipeg food trucks has a new entry. Juice Me Juice brings to the food truck scene cold-pressed juices. Juices are nothing new, Booster Juice is all over the city and Obby Khan own Green Carrot Juice Company in addition to his shawarma joints. So it was only a matter of time before the juice craze hit the road.

Juice Me

The Juice Me Juice van

In writing about this truck, I’ll say right at the start that my belief in the benefits of juicing isn’t particularly strong. However, if you take the time to Google, there is plenty of information out there on both sides of the argument. I’ll leave it to you to read up and judge for yourselves. With that out of the way, here are a few of my thoughts on Juice Me Juice. Continue reading

Royal Punjab Sweet House

Royal Punjab Sweet House & Restaurant was the most recent destination for the Why Cook Wednesday Supper Club. Royal Punjab is located out in Fort Richmond, and on an evening like this I’m quite happy with the BRT. It’s just a short jaunt from St. Philip’s to the entrance to the transitway, and I’m able to get down to the south end of Pembina in quite good time.

Royal Punjab sign

The Royal Punjab sign is one you won’t miss as you are traveling down the road.

The Royal Punjab has gone through several iterations over the years. Included in these are a couple of Chinese restaurants and a Mongolian restaurant. You can still see the exhaust piping from the big Mongolian cooking pit as you enter the restaurant. The main seating area is really large, and we were seated off in a side room that could hold 30-40 if necessary. The ceilings are high and there is a general feeling of roominess in the building.

Royal Punjab seating area.

The main seating area of Royal Punjab Sweet House.

The prices were good, but the buffet was really well priced. It was $13.99. It’s not the largest buffet, but the dishes that were there were really good. In many ways it reminded me of the buffet at Dhoom on Donald, but with 2 or 3 extra dishes. The buffet choice was so popular that I was the only one in the group who didn’t go for it. One good feature of the buffet is that when they came around with the Naan bread, there was plenty to go around. There was no need to flag down a server later to get a refill.

Royal Punjab Buffet Plate

A buffet filled plate. The club members are patient and kind in their willingness to let me photograph their dishes.

Royal Punjab a la Carte:

I decided to go for the Lamb Vindaloo with rice. The menu made it appear as the rice was an add-on, but when I went to pay at the evening I discovered that it was included in the base price of the dish. As I was eating it seemed that all I was going to get was bone on lamb, but there were several nice boneless chunks of lamb as well. The Vindaloo was reasonably hot and spicy. It left me on the edge of the, making me sweat, level of heat. To wash it down I enjoyed a Kingfisher Beer. It’s light, crisp flavour went well with the spicy food.

Royal Punjab Lamb Vindaloo

The Royal Punjab Lamb Vindaloo packs a decent spicy punch.

A good helping of Basmati.

A good helping of Basmati.

Royal Punjab Beer

A light, crisp beer that went well with a spicy dish

As always the conversation and company is the best part of these evenings. I was seated next to my friend Gerry Bowler. A recently retired U of M history prof, Gerry is also a renowned scholar on the subjects of Christmas and Santa Claus . Although, this evening the discussions revolved around British Panel shows as well as the world of education.
Royal Punjab Sweet House on Urbanspoon
One of the other features I liked about this place, is that we were in no way rushed. The service was good, and they came around to make sure our water was topped up, but otherwise we were left in peace to enjoy each others company.