Red River College's Culinary Exchange: Lunch Spot
Red River College
Exchange District Campus
Address: 160 Princess Street
Neighbourhood: Exchange District
In any city, there can never be enough great casual lunch spots. In Winnipeg, add Culinary Exchange to the list.
This daytime-only eatery also serves as a cafeteria for Red River College students studying at the Exchange District campus.
Other than its on-campus location, this eatery is nothing like a cafeteria. Located inside a completely renovated and modernized heritage building, the dining room is flooded with natural light through floor to ceiling, south-facing windows. Not a fluorescent light to be found anywhere.
While students are the eatery's primary guests, you'll spot locals, business folk and other non-studious types. Everyone is welcome, and frankly, you won't feel out of place no matter what demographic you represent.
Culinary students, under the guidance and direction of ever-present instructors, man the kitchen. This on-the-job training is all part of Red River's Culinary Arts Program. (This program has churned out many outstanding chefs over the years including top-Canadian chefs Eric Lee of Pizzeria Gusto and Segovia's Adam Donnelly, to name just two.)
Back inside the Culinary Exchange, lunch is ordered at the counter from a menu that changes every day. Soups, salads, sandwiches and burgers are standard fare but nothing feels standard. (House-cut french fries deserve a mention here for their crispy potatoey greatness.)
On a recent visit, grilled cheese was the temptress. March weather calls for grilled cheese. Extra brie and crisp asparagus added oomph to this classic lunch favourite. A lightly dressed Caesar salad hit the spot, too.
Meanwhile, a friend opted for pulled pork on her version. Tender, moist and sweet morsels of pork added extra heft. Spicy marinara sauce on the side delivered a nice warm hit of heat in every dipped bite.
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