Review: Best bites Summer 2014

Cornish Game Hen and roasted vegetables at Prairie 360˚. (Photo by Robin Summerfield.)

Cornish Game Hen and roasted vegetables at Prairie 360˚. (Photos by Robin Summerfield.)

Hey Winnipeg food lovers! It’s time to reveal some of the most memorable and tasty bites I’ve had so far this year.

Personally, I like to reflect about every six months or so about the most memorable meals or dishes I’ve had.

Here’s a photo gallery of some of the fantastic foods I’ve eaten recently. They include bites from: Prairie 360˚ Skyline Restaurant and Lounge; In Ferno’s; Marion Street Eatery; Banana Boat; Danny’s BBQ & Smokehouse; Market BurgerCarbone Coal Fired Pizza; DeLuca’s; East India Company: and Shut yer Pie Hole.

Moroccan chicken crepe at InFerno's Bistro.

Moroccan chicken crepe at In Ferno’s Bistro.

The Cuban, Marion Street Eatery. (photo by robin summerfield)

The Cuban, Marion Street Eatery.

Blue liquorice ice cream at Banana Boat.

Blue liquorice ice cream at Banana Boat.

Shore lunch—pickerel and fries—by Danny 's BBQ & Smokehouse.

Shore lunch—pickerel and fries—by Danny ‘s BBQ & Smokehouse.

Bacon peanut butter burger (middle) at Market Burger.

Bacon peanut butter burger (middle) at Market Burger.

New White pizza at Carbone's Coal-Fired Pizza.

New White pizza at Carbone’s Coal-Fired Pizza.

Limoncello cookie at DeLuca's.

Limoncello cookie at DeLuca’s.

Mango chutney (top), tamarind sauce (middle) and spicy cilantro sauce at East India Company.

Mango chutney (top), tamarind sauce (middle) and spicy cilantro sauce at East India Company.

Saskatoon berry pie by Shut yer Pie Hole.

Saskatoon berry pie by Shut yer Pie Hole.

Summer fair favourites: cinnamon-sugar mini donuts (top) and a churro.

Summer fair favourites: cinnamon-sugar mini donuts (top) and a churro.

Peg City Grub is your ultimate source for food in Winnipeg. From the hottest chefs to the best new restaurants to the most delicious events, we’ve got you covered. Follow us on Twitter @pegcitygrub and visit www.tourismwinnipeg.com for more on the city’s fabulous dining options.

Peg City Grub is a Tourism Winnipeg culinary initiative.

 

 

New & Noteable: Intimate dining at Fort Gibraltar

Costumed servers entertain at the tables and lend an authentic touch at Fort Gibraltar.

Costumed servers entertain at the tables and lend an authentic touch at Fort Gibraltar.

Fort Gibraltar
866 St. Joseph Street 
204-233-9470
Neighbourhood: St. Boniface 
Website: fortgibraltar.com
Facebook: facebook.com/FortGibraltar
Twitter: twitter.com/FortGibraltar

 

Ask any Winnipegger to name a popular wedding venue in the city and Fort Gibraltar is bound to come up in the conversation.

This circa 1815 replica trading fort oozes rustic charm. The Great Hall aka the Maison du Bourgeois—and its clapboard wood floors, wrap-around porch and stone fireplace—has been a longtime favourite amongst brides and grooms. Set on the banks of the Red River, the Fort and its environs provide a picture-perfect setting for getting hitched. (In 2013, Wedding Bells magazine named Fort Gibraltar one of Canada’s top-10 most beautiful wedding venues.)

And the menu—a modern and historical homage to Manitoba’s food heritage—is varied and fantastic. Ingredients are local, fresh and everything is made from scratch. Some tasty dishes include: Grilled bison striploin, organic tomato salad, campfire Caesar salad, parmesan risotto balls, mushroom perogies and Manitoba pork tenderloin with John Russell wildflower honey.

The setting, the food and history come to life all adds up to memorable celebrations at Fort Gibraltar. Case in point: Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, throughout summer 2014, The Great Hall is booked for weddings; 82 in total.

But if you had your heart set on a charming party set in the past, you’re still in luck. The Maison Chaboillez is a smaller but no less charming log cabin at Fort Gibraltar. Guests can choose from the same menu. Like the Great Hall, costumed servers can host your event and historical recreations—complete with faux gunfights—can be staged on the fort’s walls or river banks by soldiers in historically accurate uniforms.

“Rustic is a big thing right now. We basically own 1815 voyageur,” says Shawn Brandson, co-owner of Gibraltar Dining Corporation.

The cabin holds 48 people for dinner or 60 for a stand-up reception. The cabin is ideal for family reunions, birthday parties, bridal and baby showers, Brandson says.

The cabin has also been a popular ceremony and reception spot for smaller weddings, he says. That’s thanks to the park-like setting, complete with an enormous shade tree just outside the cabin, says Brandson.

While the Great Hall may be booked for the summer, there’s still room at the cabin, he says.

And there’s still time to find out why 82 brides- and grooms-to-be have booked their magical day at this magical place.

“There are many places you can host events but many of them are hotel rooms or square boxes that you have to add ambiance too,” Brandson says. “Fort Gibraltar oozes ambiance, it oozes atmosphere, it oozes history.”

Inside the Maison Chaboillez at Fort Gibraltar.

Inside the Maison Chaboillez at Fort Gibraltar.

Maison Chaboillez at Fort Gibraltar.

Maison Chaboillez at Fort Gibraltar.

Tables set for service inside Maison Chaboillez at Fort Gibraltar.

Tables set for service inside Maison Chaboillez at Fort Gibraltar.

Peg City Grub is your ultimate source for food in Winnipeg. From the hottest chefs to the best new restaurants to the most delicious events, we’ve got you covered. Follow us on Twitter @pegcitygrub and visit www.tourismwinnipeg.com for more on the city’s fabulous dining options.

Peg City Grub is a Tourism Winnipeg culinary initiative.

New & Noteable: Manyfest Food Truck Wars

Hungry crowds at Habanero Sombrero on Broadway

Food truck mania. (Photos by Robin Summerfield.)

There’s nothing like a little friendly rivalry to push people to do great things.

Come September 5, food lovers will taste the fruits of that struggle during Manyfest’s Food Truck Wars.

This is the second year for the dust-up, which drew thousands upon thousands of eaters to Winnipeg’s Memorial Drive in 2013.

The three-day competition is the work of Downtown Winnipeg BIZ and is just one element in an all encompassing street festival.

Like last year, trucks will be parked on Memorial Drive, north of Broadway. If you’ve been keen to try some of the city’s street eats but have had trouble tracking the trucks down, the ‘war’ brings them all together in one place.

This food-fight is a perfect opportunity to sample bites from a few trucks and then vote on your favourite. The top vote getter will win the People’s Choice award.

Last year’s fight was so popular vendors ran out of food and line-ups stretched back for up to 45 minutes. This year, abbreviated menus will help keep lines shorter and service faster.

Last year, I was thrilled to offer my stomach, senses and judging skill to the competition. Along with two other food-loving judges, we picked three winners.

Best presentation: Vilai’s Spice Box for her Ninja Burger.
Best bang for your buck: Pimp My Rice’s Adobo Chicken Wing
Most original dish: On a Roll Sandwich Truck’s Morden Special.

This year, the competition looks fierce too. Seventeen trucks will vie for bragging rights and a nice trophy. We eaters get to enjoy the taste of competition.

Here’s the roster of the 2014 food trucks:

A Little Pizza Heaven

Barbie & Gabi’s Specialteez

Burgers R’ Us

Falafel Queen

Fired Up

Grass Fed Grill

Habanero Sombrero

Healthy Eats

Iggy’s Family Doener

Lovey’s BBQ & Smokehouse

The Poutine King

The Red Ember

Simba Safari Grill

Up South BBQ

Vilai’s Spice Box

Stuff It Foods

Tot Wheels

Meanwhile, Winnipeg’s food truck and trailer scene continues to grow in size and diversity. Over the past few years, Manitoba’s capital city has seen a dramatic spike in the number of mobile kitchens. Not content to serve hot dogs and fries and other street-friendly food, local food truck owners have pushed the definition of street eats. Filipino food, wood-fired pizza, sushi, artisanal ice cream, Japanese sweets and Southern barbecue have all hit the streets.

For a list of 2014 Winnipeg Food Trucks check out Peg City Grub’s guide here.

Pimp My Rice

Food trucks Winnipeg

Peg City Grub is your ultimate source for food in Winnipeg. From the hottest chefs to the best new restaurants to the most delicious events, we’ve got you covered. Follow us on Twitter @pegcitygrub and visit www.tourismwinnipeg.com for more on the city’s fabulous dining options.

Peg City Grub is a Tourism Winnipeg culinary initiative.