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New & Noteable: Lunch Bell Bistro - A hearty caesar salad tossed beside the veggie toast, smothered with melted Mozza.

A hearty caesar salad tossed beside the veggie toast, smothered with melted Mozza.

By: PegCity GrubNovember 11, 2014 // Bistro

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Lunch Bell Bistro
662 Main Street
Neighbourhood: Downtown
204-691-7701
Website: lunchbellbistro.ca
Facebook: facebook.com/pages/Lunch-Bell-Bistro
Twitter: twitter.com/BellBistro
Hours: Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A new Winnipeg bistro—located in the heart of downtown—is serving more than just customers.

Lunch Bell Bistro, a Monday to Friday lunch spot, is staffed with intellectually and developmentally delayed people training for careers in the hospitality industry.

Trainees work for about eight weeks—in both front and back of the house—with help from a handful of permanent staff, including executive chef Chris Tascona, former owner of La Trattoria in St. Boniface.

The menu is a cheery melange of soups, sandwiches and salads. Nothing deep-fried here. Tower Hill Turkey Club, Basil Street Roasted Chicken, Hyde Park pulled pork and a curry infused East India Station Tuna all satisfy. For a bigger appetite settle in with a Baron's Court burger and don't forget to add on the cheddar and bacon for extra heft.

House-made sweets like cinnamon buns, butter tarts and hand-crafted pies are impressive too.

The bistro is bright and modern and is flooded with natural light from large windows along one wall and an all-glass store front. Grab a sandwich to go from an upright fridge at the back of the cozy dining room or stay for table service and meet some of the staff in training.

The new bistro is the work of Centre Venture Development Corporation in collaboration with the federal government's Homeless Partnering Strategy. Changes—a Winnipeg-based organization helping connecting adults with special needs to housing, training and work.

The bistro sits on a section of Winnipeg's Main Street with an edgy reputation. The bistro is a welcome addition to the neighbourhood and adds new life to Winnipeg's downtown streets.

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Lunch Bell Bistro's Baron Court Burger with all the trimmings.
Lunch Bell Bistro's Baron Court Burger with all the trimmings.

Tower Hill Turkey on rye.
Tower Hill Turkey Club on toasted rye.

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