An historic walking tour of Winnipeg called, “Devour the District Tour” is definitely a feast on foot!
I had the pleasure of sharing this tour with nine other folks last Thursday evening at a cost of $58 per person. You may think that’s too much, until you hear all that we consumed.
Our motley, diversified group meets promptly at 5:00 p.m. in front of The Exchange Biz, 133 Albert Street, www.exchangedistrict.org/tours
Erica Joynt, a Political Science student at St. Boniface University, is our evening tour guide and provides us with all the facts and history of the Exchange District as our dinner tour progresses and covers six unique restaurants in the Exchange.
The Peasant Cookery, www.peasantcookery.com, is located on the main floor of the historic Salesman Building at the corner of King and Bannatyne and directly across from Old Market Square. This historic building is famous for housing all the salesman at the turn of the century and originally had a large Turkish bath in the basement up until the 1920’s. The management and staff welcome us immediately with a glass of white wine as they proudly explain that their restaurant uses only local suppliers for their French-inspired cuisine.
The chef delights us with samples of one of the house appetizers, their famous beet salad served with a warm, creamy goat cheese base, arugula, beets, toasted seeds and caramelized honey vinaigrette. Yummy! We also indulge in their homemade pickles and are told the restaurant is now making their own homemade jams. I’m impressed!
I’m taking the husband (who usually eats “Whoppers”) back to this delightful place. I highly recommend it!
A short walk later we are at The Blufish Restaurant, www.blufish.ca. Upon initially entering the smell of fresh seafood fills your nostrils and our expectations are high. We are not disappointed. The Blufish is famous for their innovative signature seafood plates and sushi. We sample several different dishes and all the while, Erica educates us on the history of Winnipeg’s original Warehouse District and shows us historical black and white photos on her iPad. For those who love seafood, this is the place to go.
Just next door and our 3rd stop of the evening is Hermanos, www.hermanos.ca, a South American Grill and Tapas Bar. The group is already full by this time, but it doesn’t stop any of us from picking up our forks and indulging in chorizo, a spiced sausage with green peppers and basil, served with grilled bread. Zingy! This was followed by mussels with a touch of curry. Are we having fun yet? You bet! Even the big guy is patting his tummy.
Erica tells us that Winnipeg has more restaurants per capita than any other city in Canada. Apparently true. But we already know that Manitobans love to eat, and with the wonderful eclectic mix of cultures in this town, we’re pretty lucky.
Next up and half-a-block down the street is Corrientes Argentinian Pizzeria, www.corrientes.ca. And what’s better with pizza than a good beer, says this Winnipegger. As the beer flowed we got to know our tour companions even better.
I love the atmosphere of this little gem as they serve us bruchetta with tomatoes, garlic, basil and pesto, followed by samples of four of their pizzas. I have never eaten pizza like this before. It is fantastic. The crust is not too thin, not too thick, deliciously baked and has just the right amount of salt and oil. Very filling. My favorite is the Meatlover’s Pizza and I know I’d have to fight the husband over the last piece on this one! Two thumbs up on this adorable pizzeria.
Stuffed like woodticks our group waddles to number five on the tour, the Brooklynn’s Bistro www.brooklynnsbistro.ca located directly across from the north doors of the Richardson Building.
The waiter immediately brings us a variety of cocktails and highballs and the chef personally comes out to serve the light, whipped dessert of chocolate pannacotta and nutella, with toasted ground chestnuts and whipped marshmallows. Fabulous! But what ever happened to the enormous picture of Grace Jones hanging on the wall? Loved that picture! I guess it tells you how long it’s been since I’ve visited the Exchange District.
We have some darn good restaurants in Winnipeg folks. Right under our noses.
Last, but not least, our final destination is the Sensi Wine Lounge, 2nd floor , 173 McDermot Avenue. www.sensiwinelounge.com
After we ascend the stairs (remember I’m in my 60’s O.K?) I am surprised to find a cosmopolitan styled lounge offering wines from every origin. Our waiter pours full champagne glasses and offers us complimentary desserts from Cake-ology www.cake-ology.ca
We are all stuffed to the gills, but continue enjoying the ambience, the chatter of our tour group, and more wine. What a fabulously wonderful adventure this evening was! Hats off to The Biz “Devour the District Tour!
So get off the sofa you Winnipeg couch potatoes, call up The Biz @ 204-942-6716, surprise the wife with a fun date and save the “Whoppers” for the kids.
A sincere ‘thank you’ to our guide Erica and all the best in your continued studies.
The $58 spent was well worth it, but I’m not sharing my pizza again with anyone!