Buffalo Stone Café: Naturally Delicious
Buffalo Stone Cafe at FortWhyte Alive specializes in upscale comfort food using tons of local ingredients. The grilled chicken sandwich with melted Bothwell cheese, lettuce and perfectly ripe avocado delivers creamy decadence. A generous smear of chill-lime aoili adds zip.
Sunlight streams into an airy, wood-framed dining room through enormous south-facing windows.
Outside, migrating geese have made a pit stop on the nearby pond, fattening up for a few days before fleeing for warmer winter climes.
Along the walking trails across the way, an explosion of fall colour, with robust reds, burnt oranges and sunny yellows have begun to turn on the poplar, elm and birch trees.
It’s in this bucolic setting that diners at Buffalo Stone Café are treated to food that comforts the body. This bright café lives inside the main Alloway Centre (the visitor’s centre) at FortWhyte Alive, a 600-acre nature preserve in southwest Winnipeg.
At the east end of the building you’ll find Buffalo Stone Cafe. Don’t let its counter-service fool you—the food is fantastic.
Local ingredients like Manitoba-raised bison, made-in-Manitoba Bothwell cheese and in-season vegetables and herbs are found throughout the menu. Here you’ll find lean bison burgers, grilled chicken wraps and sandwiches, beef short ribs and playful salads finished with Saskatoon berry, sea buckthorn (flowering berry bush) or fig balsamic vinaigrettes. The menu changes with the seasons so you may not find the same thing twice.
Buffalo Stone’s grilled chicken sandwich with avocado, Bothwell cheddar, lettuce and chili-lime aoili is a warm blanket for your tummy. You won’t want to share even a bite of this hefty sandwich with its thick slices of grilled chicken breast and a creamy, finger-licking mélange of ripe avocados and bright citrusy aoili. A large bowl of accompanying coleslaw delivers bright crunch and is loaded with julienned carrots, chunks of rough-cut cabbage and a tangy dressing.
Clientele at Buffalo Stone is a mixed bag with moms and strollers, families and seniors. Its location in a vast nature preserve makes it a perfect place to escape the speed of urban life. After you’ve fed your body, wander the trails criss-crossing this nature preserve and feed your soul.
Of note: FortWhyte Alive hosts its Family Fall Festival Sunday September 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Entrance to the park costs $3 per person or $10 per family. The event features a farmers' market, bannock bake, guided walks, face painting and carnival games, among other activities.