Peg City Grub: The best of 2012 eats
Tiny morsels pack a punch of flavor with perfectly-seared scallops served with bacon jam and nestled on a bed of creamed corn.
Winnipeg is home to about 1,100 restaurants. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, getting to every single one is likely a pipe dream or a bucket list that will take years to finish. Over the past year, Peg City Grub has done a lot of eating (a.k.a. the heavy lifting) for you. The result? A carefully curated and eclectic list of Winnipeg’s most outstanding eats and drinks. While this list isn’t exhaustive, it’s a small sampling of Winnipeg’s best bites.
Here are some of Peg City’s Grub’s top food finds of 2012:
Dish worth ordering every visit: Bistro 7 1/4‘s seared scallops and bacon jam resting on a bed of creamed corn. This small plate delivers big flavours in tiny packages.
Best liquor-infused treat: Tequila is the not-so-secret ingredient in La Bamba’s housemade tequila ice cream. This sweet and seductive treat comes in three versions: strawberry, mango and tequila only. It brings the cold and the heat--and a smooth kick all at once.
Who knew a pile of onions could taste so good: Inside Corrientes Argentine Pizzeria, one of the east Exchange District’s newest eateries, the bancheros pizza is a pie worth crowing about. This massive pizza cum calzone is stuffed with heaps of melted mozzarella and nothing else. Simple, sautéd onions piled on top deliver slight tang (with no oniony aftertaste) with just the right crunch and juiciness. The secret is divine, perfectly baked dough and simple preparation.
Best dessert in a mug: Dessert Sinsations’ Chili Hot Chocolate is a Mayan volcano topped with real whipped cream that bubbles over top in a silky chocolate infused lava. A kick of chili spice makes this heavenly dessert-in-a-mug a bit devilish. If the world is going this week, this is the drink to go down with.
Most epiphanies in one meal: In September, chefs Aaron Epp and Chef Ben Kramer of Diversity Foods and Elements restaurant served a seven course fall feast to 100 guests in the middle of a farmers’ field. Grazing in the Field, held on the Hueging Family Dairy Farm in Woodlands, northwest of Winnipeg, was a memorable made-in-Manitoba feast celebrating the province’s food and its producers. Between the cheese brûlée, the table-smoked pickerel and the butter-knife tender grass-fed beef, it was impossible to choose a favourite course. Here’s hoping Grazing in the Field is here to stay.
Can’t just order one: Arkadash’s Pumpkin Divine is a cocktail divine. This smooth and silky concoction, made with Grey Goose pear vodka, Triple Sec, house made pumpkin butter and lemon juice sneaks up and gives a warm hug from the inside out.
Food trend we’re most excited about: Winnipeg is in the midst of a Mexican food invasion. Modern Taco Company, JC’s Tacos and More, Burrito Splendido and La Bamba have all opened new locations in 2012. Lucky for us, authentic, house made salsas and sauces and real corn tortillas are a given inside Winnipeg’s top Mexican joints.
Summer can’t come soon enough: Wolseley Farmers’ Market will celebrate its second year in existence in 2013. This small, yet charming twice-a-week market, stocks loads of fresh veggies, artisan breads, cordials, gluten-free baked goods and a small selection of arts and crafts. It doesn’t have the crowds or selection like St. Norbert Farmers’ Market and that’s just fine with everyone.
And the Twitterer’s choice awards for Winnipeg’s top eats of 2012 are:
- Bistro 7 1/4: Mussels and frites, hammer chop, duck confit
- The Tallest Poppy: Weekend breakfasts
- Lobby on York: Sweet potato fries
- Deer + Almond: Chicken with goat cheese and peaches, Benny and the Jets
- KG Saigon: Pho
- Arkadash Bistro: Moroccan stew, beet salad, pork tenderloin
- Unburger: Drunken Aussie burger
- InFerno’s Bistro: French onion soup and crab cakes
- The Burger Place: Deluxe burger
- Chez Sophie’s: Salade chèvre chaude
- Resto Gare: Sandwiche au poulet Waldorf
- Casa Burrito: Fish tacos
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