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Dishing out diversity

Garden City, West Kildonan home to cuisine with fusion of creativity and culture

This week we head to West Kildonan and Garden City, neighbourhoods full of quiet residential streets, lots of small businesses and layers of Winnipeg history. This area has been shaped by waves of immigration, and that makes for a richly diverse restaurant scene.

 

THE BIG BREAKFAST:

Family-run Pares Bistro is your destination for a big breakfast at a bargain price.</p></p>

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Family-run Pares Bistro is your destination for a big breakfast at a bargain price.

Pares Bistro (675 Jefferson Ave., 204-334-0793) is a modest, family-run resto focusing on Filipino favourites, including breakfast dishes — served all day — that will really set you up.

The longsilog, which features two sweet longganisa sausages, two eggs cooked your way, and a huge — I mean, huge! — mound of garlicky, sticky fried rice, is a tasty bargain at $6.99. Other breakfast options swap in pork chops, chicken legs or crispy fried fish.

This small venue is currently offering reduced-capacity dine-in, as well as delivery through DoorDash.

 


 

MIDDLE EASTERN TO GO:

A mix (beef and chicken) shawarma order is prepared at Baraka.</p></p>

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

A mix (beef and chicken) shawarma order is prepared at Baraka.

Baraka Pita Bakery and Restaurant (1783 Main St., 204-334-2004) isn’t offering dine-in right now, only takeout, and the lineup during the lunch rush might stretch outside. Service is brisk, though, and the terrific Lebanese food makes it worth the short wait.

A tray of baklava is ready for the the display case at Baraka Pita Bakery and Restaurant.</p>

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

A tray of baklava is ready for the the display case at Baraka Pita Bakery and Restaurant.

There are beef donair, chicken shawarma, lamb kabob and falafel wraps, packed with multi-layered harissa hot sauce, lots of garlic sauce and small sour pickled wild cucumbers, as well as pita pies cooked in a wood-fired oven.

For afters, choose from the selection of house-baked pastries, including baklava, honey-drenched semolina cake and moist, date-filled maamoul cookies.

Baraka also stocks grocery staples such as lentils, bulgur and tahini if you’re cooking at home.

 


 

GO BIG OR GO HOME:

Blondie’s Burgers owner Sandy Doyle shows off a nine-pound burger, one of the Main Street restaurant’s signatures.</p></p>

RUTH BONNEVILLE / FREE PRESS FILES

Blondie’s Burgers owner Sandy Doyle shows off a nine-pound burger, one of the Main Street restaurant’s signatures.

Blondie’s Burgers (1969 Main St., 204-338-0185) has been slinging burgers, fries and shakes since 1990, along with a lot of give-and-take attitude.

The wall behind the register at this quirky corner joint affectionately announces, "Come up here to pay, you hooligans!" in black paint, and the wall decor consists mostly of photographs and scrawled messages and drawings from loyal regulars.

Scale is big here: Blondie’s famously offers massive one-litre milkshakes, as well as an I-dare-you nine-pound burger, a beefy behemoth that requires booking ahead and a damage deposit. Even the comparatively humble one-eighth-pounder is decidedly meaty, combining a juicy beef patty with a thick slice of cheese (cheddar or mozza), onions (raw or fried) and all the fixings.

Blondie’s currently offers dine-in, takeout or delivery through DoorDash.

 


 

THE SWEET LIFE:

Stephane Falieres prepares a sponge cake at Main Street bakery A l’Epi de Blé.</p></p>

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / FREE PRESS FILES

Stephane Falieres prepares a sponge cake at Main Street bakery A l’Epi de Blé.

A l’Epi de Blé (1757 Main St., 204-334-2526, thefrenchbakerywpg.com) specializes in classic French baking made with care and premium ingredients: rustic breads, flaky croissants, savoury pastries and quiches, and delicate macarons.

A l’Epi de Blé specializes in classic French baking made with care.</p></p>

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

A l’Epi de Blé specializes in classic French baking made with care.

Dessert standouts include a little lemon tartlet, lovely in its simplicity, and a mini tarte tatin, taken home and eaten that night, warmed up and with a little vanilla ice cream.

The sweet, buttery heart of A l’Epi is baking, but there’s also a small selection of luxe pantry goods, such as rillettes, pâtés, jams and preserves.

In-person service is very cheerful — and bilingual, if you like — and you can order for pickup or delivery.

 


 

A DINING ROOM WITH A VIEW:

Coffee braised lamb shank, parsnip puree, date mustard and coffee lamb juice at Prairie’s Edge in Kildonan Park.</p></p>

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Coffee braised lamb shank, parsnip puree, date mustard and coffee lamb juice at Prairie’s Edge in Kildonan Park.

Wow, what a setting. Prairie’s Edge (2015 Main St., 204-284-7275, prairiesedgewpg.ca) is located in a sleek modernist building whose floor-to-ceiling windows look out onto the curving paths of Kildonan Park, with all its ducks and dogs and walking Winnipeggers enjoying the last days of a very strange summer.

The resto specializes in bistro dishes that get a little twist from local ingredients and neighbourhood history. Think eggs benny with a nice dilled latke taking the place of the standard English muffin and dishes that highlight Prairie foods like beets and pickerel.

The restaurant is clear and careful about COVID-19 protocols for the dining room, and with a patio as well as a takeout window, there are good outdoor options. Delivery is available through DoorDash.

alison.gillmor@freepress.mb.ca

Alison Gillmor

Alison Gillmor
Writer

Studying at the University of Winnipeg and later Toronto’s York University, Alison Gillmor planned to become an art historian. She ended up catching the journalism bug when she started as visual arts reviewer at the Winnipeg Free Press in 1992.

   Read full biography

History

Updated on Tuesday, September 8, 2020 at 11:51 AM CDT: Removes reference to dish that is no longer served at Prairie's Edge.

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