Park Café: Dining room with a view
The Park Café's $6.25 hot dog comes with a million dollar view.
Located in Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park inside the Qualico Family Centre, the Park Café overlooks the duck pond and verdant lawns of the city's largest park. With floor to ceiling windows, it's a view most restauranteurs would kill for. In the winter, the pond transforms into a free public skating rink. The summer brings ducks and geese and loads of moms with strollers, runners, families and dog walkers.
The menu is loaded with North American favourites and a few Manitoba specialties. Prices are reasonable and affordable. You don't have to be a millionaire (or even well off) to have a meal at this family friendly eatery.
The breakfast and lunch spot includes a host of burgers, wraps, classic sandwiches and salads. Breakfast includes all the favourites along with a $4.99 eggs, toast, hash browns and bacon plate.
For an authentic taste of Manitoba, try the pickerel burger. Golden brown, crispy coated fillets load a generous sesame seed bun smeared with house made lemon-dill aioli. Lettuce and tomato slices complete this generous burger. It's a serious handful.
A 7" all-beef hot dog loaded with shredded cheese and bacon was also impossible to resist. This upscale bacon-laden monster, called Western Dog, satisfied a serious hot-dog craving. It also killed any urge to ever eat a hot dog from a cart again.
Under the direction of Chef Heiko Duehrsen, the former kitchen king at The Gates on Roblin, the Park Café has become a popular daytime destination for Winnipeggers from all four corners of the city.
The café is one of three restaurants at the park. Terrace in the Park is a seafood heavy, fine dining establishment inside the Pavillion at the park. Meanwhile, the Tundra Grill, a 150-seat family-friendly restaurant inside the zoo, is expected to open in 2013. It will offer a view like none other. A 150-foot long bank of nine-foot-high windows overlooks Hudson the polar bear's enclosure. (Hudson is one of the newest residents at the zoo and has already generated lots of buzz for the city zoo.)
For the time being, take a seat inside the Park Café, a picturesque spot perfect for families. The food hits the spot and the view is unparalleled.
Insider's tip: Park Café is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and doesn't take reservations.
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