Backdoor Burgers – Velvet Glove

Every so often surprise invitations show up in my inbox. A couple of days ago I received one from the Fairmont Hotel with a complimentary offer to try one their Backdoor Burgers. The Backdoor Burgers idea was first run in 2013 and the hotel, through it’s restaurant the Velvet Glove, has decided to bring it back again this year.

Backdoor Burgers

Sign for the Backdoor Burgers.

The Backdoor Burgers concept allows an indoor restaurant the opportunity to offer al fresco dining to their patrons. It also gives them the chance to bring in new customers who may never otherwise enter the hotel. The service area is at the back of the hotel between the hotel and the CIBC tower. There are a few planters with ledges that allow for sitting room.

Backdoor Burgers and Tacos;

The Backdoor Burgers offer is going to run simultaneously with Taco Tuesday throughout the rest of the summer. They are available from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm.

Backdoor Burgers burger

My Backdoor Burgers, burger came with 7 oz of beef and Bacon Jam along with an aioli and many other extras.

The burger deal comes in at $13.00, tax inclusive. At that price it’s a really good deal. The patty was 7oz and was fresh and homemade. On top of that there was a good spoonful of Bacon Jam and a grainy style aioli. This was addition to traditional burger fixings of onion, tomato, pickle, along with some greens. Flavour wise this was as good a burger as I’ve had. Also, there was a nice touch of sloppiness to the burger, making it a fun challenge to eat.

The order included fries. They were good and crispy and well salted but not too salty. I had the chance to ask Chef Eraj how they prepared them. He said they use a coated fry, with just a bit of sea salt. This helps them stay crispy throughout.

As I mentioned earlier the Backdoor Burgers and Taco Tuesdays will run through the rest of the summer. The burgers and tacos will change, so you won’t get the same one every time. Chef Eraj was behind one of my favourite dishes at the Taste of the Nation event I went to earlier this year. I’m sure he will be equally inventive with the burgers and tacos.

If you’re in the Exchange District this is a good way to enjoy the outdoors without having to search out the food trucks. Or perhaps, you’re simply looking for something different. Either way you want to make sure you get down to the Fairmont for Backdoor Burgers and Taco Tuesdays before summer ends.

On Thursdays if you are in the mood, there is music at 201 Portage. So, you can pick up your burger from the backdoor and head over to enjoy some tunes while you eat.

Muddy Waters Smokehouse

Throughout the spring I’ve been checking out the various food outlets at The Fork’s Market. I’m continuing this as we enter into the warmth of summer. When the weather get’s really hot, The Forks is a great place to be. There are several places to enjoy the sun and several to escape the heat. Muddy Waters Smokehouse is one of those places.

Featuring a good sized patio along with a fair bit of inside seating, Muddy Waters allows you to enjoy a beverage or meal while enjoying the sun, or cooling down with a little air conditioning.

The name Winnipeg is derived from the Cree for Muddy Waters, so a restaurant down where two rivers come together is well named. Muddy Waters is also the name of one of the great bluesmen of all time. Blues and BBQ are inseparable, so it’s another reason why the name for the restaurant is good.

While you read the rest of the post, here’s a little Muddy Waters to listen to get you in the appropriate mood.

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Knox Outdoor Community Cafe

Last April I was wandering down Edmonton and noticed the Knox Community Kitchen was open. This was just a couple of months after it started up. As the months have progressed the reach of this kitchen has continued to increase. Earlier this year I was there as part of a soup making contest in support of SoupBee. Then yesterday, I was invited to visit the market for the launch of the Knox Outdoor Community Cafe.

Knox Outdoor Community Cafe

The Knox Outdoor Community Cafe from a distance.

Right from the start, the Knox market has been about building community as well as giving entrepreneurs a place to build their skills and perfect their products. The Knox Outdoor Cafe takes this idea and brings it to the street. The market will be running every second Friday, from 11-1:30, during the summer months. While the food is great, it can be easy to overlook the other aspects that put the community into Community Cafe. As the sign below shows, there are other ways to enjoy the market than simply eating.

Knox Outdoor Community Cafe Sign

The sign for the Knox Outdoor Community Cafe details what’s on offer.

Among the things the cafe offers is a variety of table games provided by Knox United Church. Opposite the vendors there are also several tables under canopies where people can play games or sit down and join their food purchases. They also provide shade which is a benefit when the days are as hot as yesterday. Continue reading

Free Press News Cafe

For the last 10 days I’ve been on holidays. Mainly I was taking in the Jazz Winnipeg Festival. I’ll have a couple of more posts to write on that in the next day or two. A lot of the venues are real close to each other, and several make food available as part of the Club Pass shows. One of the venues that I’ve visited several times in the past but never written about is the Free Press News Cafe.

Free Press News Cafe

Free Press News Cafe Sign with specials and announcement for show.

The Winnipeg Free Press News Cafe came online, so to speak, around the time I first got serious about blogging and social media. Over the years I’ve visited for discussions on social media, elections, and book launches among other things. Several of these events involved food supplied by the Cafe, but I’ve never really sat down to find out about their food. Continue reading

Memories on the Midway

I got an email invitation from Ron Cantiveros of the Filipino Journal to check out some of the new food offerings at the Red River Ex this week.  I’ve done this before, and it always makes for a good afternoon. Exhibitions are places of childhood memories. They are places where families go to have a good time together.

It was raining when I first got to the Ex, so rather than heading out to get something to eat right away, I hit the Exhibition Hall. Among the first things that caught my attention was a model railway set up. I went over and started watching the trains go around. As I did I found myself thinking about my dad.

Sunday is Father’s Day. It’s been close to six years since my dad died. Trains always held a great fascination for my dad. Especially model trains. He possessed many different models over the years. In his last years his train set was a Z Gauge unit that fit into a small wooden suitcase. Even as children, if we ever got separated from dad and there were trains around, we’d know where we could find him.  It was nice recalling some pleasant memories of my dad while enjoying the model railway setup.

When I was a child though, there weren’t a lot of food offerings at the Ex. I spent my elementary school days in Prince Albert Sask, and that was where my first exhibition memories were formed. These two also involved my dad. He was a member of the Kiwanis Club that ran a small Candy Floss stand every year. Candy Floss was one of those things, that like the Ex only came around once a year. Continue reading