Santa Lucia Pizza – St. Mary’s Road

One place on my daily journey’s to work that I’ve bypassed is Santa Lucia Pizza. I’m not sure why. Some of it is that I’m not the world’s biggest pizza lover. Some of it is simply that I am generally crossing the street just as I get there.

Santa Lucia patio.

The patio at Santa Lucia offers a great view of the blue skies.

A couple of weeks ago I decided that  I should remedy that situation. So, I made a point of including visits to the restaurant in my routine.

Santa Lucia Late Lunch:

On my first visit I showed up at the end of the lunch service. I was given the choice of dining room, patio, or lounge. The dining room was my choice. I ended seated at what appeared to be the only two top in the room. The menu is divided into Greek and Italian choices. I decided I was more in the mood for the Greek. I started off with the Avgolemono soup. Then I added a Greek Salad with Souvlaki. When the bowl of soup came the biggest surprise was the amount of chicken. There seemed to be a whole chicken breast cut up into the bowl. It’s always a pleasure when chicken or another protein doesn’t get finished in the first couple of spoonfuls. The soup comes with a good lemon flavouring. Continue reading

Bob Watts Trio – Holy Trinity

You’ll notice if you read my Fall Suppers post, that the Holy Trinity Fall Supper is cancelled. Instead, on October 16th, Holy Trinity is holding a fundraising concert featuring the Bob Watts Trio. There is however, a food connection to this event. Money raised from this concert is going to the Holy Trinity’s Mission Ministry.

Bob Watts Trio

The Bob Watts Trio is bringing a Latin Themed Fundraising Concert to Holy Trinity.

The Mission Ministry engages with the broader community in many ways. Most notably by providing lunches to roughly 150 visitors off of the street Monday to Friday of every week. Under the leadership of Father Henry Falconer and the Kitchen Angels, the lunch service offers soup, sandwiches, and usually a pastry. Along with that conversations and smiles are also being served.

Over the last couple of years the circle of people involved has grown. Members of the Downtown Biz Patrol often serve the soup, as do employees from downtown businesses, most notably Scotiabank. It’s a big job and they can always use more help.

Bob Watts Trio

Bob Watts is a drummer who for many years led his trio here in Winnipeg. I’ve known Bob for around 25 years dating back to our days at Church of the Way. I met up with him again when I began attending Holy Trinity. For several years we were both members of Hearts Refuge, the band that leads the singing at Holy Trinity’s 9:45 am service.

The Bob Watts Trio now operates primarily out of Victoria, where he and his family live. However, Bob still has many ties to Winnipeg and returns two or three times in the year. When in Winnipeg he frequently plays at Prairie Ink at McNally Robinson Booksellers. Sometimes he arrives with the trio and sometimes he collaborates with a few of the many musicians he is connected to here. Bob is a versatile drummer. He plays with a sense of enthusiasm and abandonment. He’s always swinging hard behind his kit

CD Launch

The concert will mark the release of his third CD. The first two were Christmas CDs. I know there are a few available, so bring along a little extra cash. As the poster says, the new release is entitled, Kick off Your Shoes.

The piano player for the trip and CD is Cuban born Pablo Cardenas. Mr. Cardenas has been busy making a name for himself on Vancouver Island for several years now. He brings a great deal of verve and elan to his playing. I don’t know who the third member of the trio will be. (A little suspense is a good thing).

Here is a little sample of Pablo Cardenas’s solo piano work.

Refreshments are being served during this concert. A reminder that tickets are $20.00. So, mark the 16th of October on your calendar. Buy your tickets and come out to enjoy a great concert in support of a great cause.

If jazz isn’t particularly your thing, on October 11, 12:10 pm Holy Trinity is also featuring Pipes Alive for Thanksgiving. This features Holy Trinity organist Richard Greig. These are always enjoyable recitals.

Ukrainian Comfort Food – Estellia’s

Last weekend was ManyFest. This year the weekend was a busy one for me. As a result I didn’t get to take much of the festival in. Of course, I visited some trucks for Food Truck Wars.  Although I tried several dishes, Estellia’s Ukrainian Comfort Food was the only truck I managed to visit a second time.

Based out of Dugald, MB, Estellia’s is offering traditional Ukrainian Comfort food. The location in Dugald is a retail store, and they also have a cart along with the trailer they brought to ManyFest. The business is named in honour of the owners’s mother. You can read more of her story on their website.

The trailer’s paint job features the colours of the Ukrainian flag. This makes it stand out from many of the trucks on the street. Unfortunately, the picture of the truck I took didn’t turn out the way I hoped it would. Here’s my experience of Estellia’s.

Ukrainian Cabbage Rolls

Estelli’as Ukrainian Comfor Foods really stuffs the messy cabbage rolls into the container.

Value:

Most of the main dishes cost $8.00 for vegetarian or $9.00 with meat. When I ordered the Messy Cabbages rolls I was a little disappointed when I saw the container I was about to be handed. Then I took hold of it, and my hand dropped about 2 feet. The container is stuffed to the gills. The perogies are a good size, and they come with piles of onions and loads of butter. There are also a sort of mini perogie, that is $9.00 for 10 or $18.00 for 20. Drinks are reasonably priced. 4.5/5

Selection:

Not a huge selection, though having both vegetarian and meat options is good. It would nice to find Kulbassa on offer at the trailer.  4/5

Quality:

I found everything here well prepared. The tomato sauce is quite good. I understand there are some arguments about whether or not perogies should ever be deep-fried, but I really enjoyed the golden crisp pastry on my perogies. Plus, they drench the perogies in real butter. 4/5

Traditional Ukrainian perogies.

Translucent onions on top of golden fried perogies for Estellia’s food truck.

Portability:

Estellia’s Ukrainian Comfort Food scores really well here. The perogies come in a deep dish container. The Messy Cabbage Rolls come in a container with a closeable lid. Plus they appear to be compostable. 5/5

Service:

I happened to visit twice when the lineups weren’t very long. Both times the service was friendly and I received my food quickly. They advertise that good food takes time, but they seem to have the process down quite well. 4/5

Estellia’s Ukrainian Comfort Food Overall:

I quite like this truck. It is certainly a good truck to visit if you wish a really filling meal. This food will definitely leave you feeling comforted, and perhaps a little comfortable as in needing an after lunch nap. 4.5/5

Estellia's Ukrainian Comfort Foods Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

J Curry – Japanese Food Truck

Yesterday marked the beginning of ManyFest. The highlight of ManyFest is the Food Trucks war. I’ll be writing more on the trucks I tried in the next few days. One truck I didn’t see was J Curry. J Curry, short for Japanese Curry, is a new truck that is out on the streets in the last few weeks. I first encountered this truck when it parked at the MB Hydro Farmers Market.

J Curry beverages

Japanese beverages on offer at J Curry.

Then it seemed to disappear off the streets. Fortunately I took a wander down Provencher last Friday. It turns out that one of the places J Curry has been is at the Provencher Farmers Market. Without further ado, here’s my thoughts.

Value:

The prices here are pretty good. It’s $8.50 for vegetarian curry and $9.00 for the Chicken version. The sizes are also quite good. Although, I think I’d rather pay a little more and get a little more of the substance to go with the curry. The Edamame at $2.50 is a good portion. 4/5 Continue reading

Peg Beer Co Burgers, Beer

My first trip for Le Burger Week took me to Deer + Almond. I thoroughly enjoyed that trip. So, for my second trip I wandered into the East Exchange to pay a visit to Peg Beer Co. This of course means trying to navigate my through the City of Winnipeg’s Construction Obstacle course. I swear the city must have someone whose job it is to look for promising new businesses opening and then to order roadworks out in front of them.

The restaurant space is divided into two sections along with patio. Despite the number of seats, you might want to make a reservation, because the place is likely to be very busy. My first visit I went with a friend and colleague, We enjoyed a couple of drinks while discussing our lives as priests.

Peg Beer Co Charcuterie

My first visit was an early evening visit. Not eating beforehand, I was in the mood for something somewhat substantial. I ordered the charcuterie. I ordered a half order figuring I could add a little something along the way if that wasn’t quite enough. It turns out that the half charcuterie order is plenty for one person. Not only was there plenty of variety, but the quantities made for a good meal.

The deli meats are terrific, including a spicy salami with plenty of spice. The homemade pickles were wonderful, and the choice of bread great too. Top it off with some Smak Dab mustard to dip it in, and you’ll never go wrong with one of these.

Peg Beer Charcuterie

The half order Charcuterie board from Peg Beer Co. There is good variety and wonderful tastes on the board.

Continue reading

Deer + Almond Feat. Le Burger Week

As Le Burger Week is upon us, I decided to visit a couple of restaurants that needed a second visit. These two are also participating in Le Burger Week. The first of these is Deer + Almond. The second is PegBeerCo, of which more another day. My main experience of Deer + Almond is through chef Mandel Hitzer’s involvement in Raw:Almond. A few months back I paid a visit over a lunch hour. I did the same this week taking in Le Burger Week special.

Deer + Almond Soup

Soups at Deer+ Almond are always spectacular.

One of the things you often hear about Deer + Almond is that being a tapas restaurant, you don’t get much for what you pay. After two visits I would say that is definitely not true. My first visit I ordered on this assumption. I chose a slider, which I believe isn’t one the current menu, or may have been a special. I added an order of Borscht, show above, and then went with the French Fries with truffle oil, chives and manchego.

The order came to just over $20.00. However, there was almost more food than I could eat. Small plates are meant to be shared. I could easily share such a meal and still feel reasonably satisfied. Then there is the quality.  Continue reading