Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Winnipeg Brunch Spots

Breakfast

  • Please log in to reply
21 replies to this topic

#1 Pam R

Pam R
  • manager
  • 6,839 posts
  • Location:Winnipeg, Canada

Posted 25 November 2007 - 10:13 AM

We do brunch on the weekends a lot. Depending on who is in town, the spot changes.

For casual brunch, Pancake House, Stella's, Cora's (about once a year) and dim sum.

For a not-so-casual brunch, Tavern in the Park or Fort Garry.

Are we missing out on any other good spots? I'd like to have a few more options.

#2 Dejah

Dejah
  • participating member
  • 3,318 posts
  • Location:Brandon, Manitoba

Posted 26 November 2007 - 03:39 PM

Are there any other eGulleteers in Winnipeg besides you and Rona?

I only do dim sum when I do brunch in Wpg - and that's not often enough!

I have heard that Mother's Day brunch at Fort Garry is excellent/ True?
Dejah
www.hillmanweb.com

#3 Pam R

Pam R
  • manager
  • 6,839 posts
  • Location:Winnipeg, Canada

Posted 26 November 2007 - 03:50 PM

We aren't alone. . no. :wink:

Dim sum is great, and we go often. But I have at least one group of relatives that visit at least once a year and don't like it (well, didn't like it - one of them has been living in Beijing for the last couple of years -- we'll have to see what she thinks next time they're in town). And we usually do brunch with them a couple of times each visit.

I think I've been to the Mother's Day brunch there once (I'm not 100% sure - it may have been another holiday) and it was excellent. I've always enjoyed it -- except for the last time I was there. There was less variety, and what sticks out is that the desserts were not as good as usual.

Tavern is nice because the food is usually good (also had some issues when I was last there - in May) and I love the room.

Do you have a Pancake House in Brandon? When you're in Winnipeg, you should stop in and have an apple pancake if you don't.

#4 prasantrin

prasantrin
  • legacy participant
  • 5,468 posts

Posted 26 November 2007 - 05:46 PM

My mother and I have a thing for hotel brunches. Our favourite is the Fort Garry, with Tavern being a very distant second. The Fairmont was OK when we went (that was several years ago), but I've not heard good things about it recently. We were at the York?? or Sheraton?? last Christmas, and it was just OK.

Are you looking for nice places where you can sit and linger? I haven't found many brunch places other than hotels where you can do that in Winnipeg. Falafel Place on Corydon does breakfasts on Sunday, and they're OK (but when I went, I thought their sweet potato fries sucked--I've definitely had better), as does Bread and Circuses on Lilac and Corydon. But these places aren't really sit and linger places, because they get quite busy. We don't like Cora's or Pancake House.

While not really a nice brunch place, Tall Grass Prairie at the Forks has an excellent savoury bread pudding. Some days it's better than others, but it's always good! :wub: But then you'll be having brunch while sitting in plastic chairs at a plastic table. Don't know if that's the vibe you're looking for!

According to Tabitha, btw, the recipe for their bread pudding is going to be in the next Ciao magazine. I wonder if it's out, yet! Hopefully my mother can snag a copy in the next week, while she's still in YWG.

#5 Pam R

Pam R
  • manager
  • 6,839 posts
  • Location:Winnipeg, Canada

Posted 28 November 2007 - 04:09 PM

I haven't been to the Fairmont for brunch in years. We used to take our catering staff (most of them were war brides) there every Christmas for brunch. I've been there for a couple of special dinners this year (kosher events) that were outstanding, but that's a different thing.

Yes, mostly I'm looking for places where you aren't rushed out. I love the Falafel Place, but if it's busy (and it usually is), it's not conducive to visiting.

Nobody ever wants to go to the Forks, unless they've never been here before. Though I just remembered that I was at the new hotel this summer for a birthday lunch (private room, set meal) and it wasn't bad. I wonder how the restaurant does.

I'll keep an eye out for the next Ciao. I don't think it's been delivered yet.

#6 prasantrin

prasantrin
  • legacy participant
  • 5,468 posts

Posted 28 November 2007 - 07:54 PM

I haven't been to the Fairmont for brunch in years.  We used to take our catering staff (most of them were war brides) there every Christmas for brunch.  I've been there for a couple of special dinners this year (kosher events) that were outstanding, but that's a different thing.

Yes, mostly I'm looking for places where you aren't rushed out. I love the Falafel Place, but if it's busy (and it usually is), it's not conducive to visiting.

Nobody ever wants to go to the Forks, unless they've never been here before.  Though I just remembered that I was at the new hotel this summer for a birthday lunch (private room, set meal) and it wasn't bad.  I wonder how the restaurant does.

I'll keep an eye out for the next Ciao. I don't think it's been delivered yet.

View Post


The Forks is pretty ugly and depressing. But that bread pudding is really worth the trip! It usually isn't ready till about 9--it's especially good fresh out of the oven, so we usually try to go around that time. It's quite slow there Sunday mornings, so you can linger for as long as you can stand sitting on plastic lawn chairs!

I've heard mixed reviews about the restaurant at the hotel, but haven't tried it, yet. I just realized that I lumped Tavern in with hotel brunches. Oops. It's not a hotel, but their brunch is kind of like a hotel brunch. They have a really good variety of foods, but most are kind of flavourless. My mother was there recently for a seniors lunch, and there were mostly complaints about the food. I think dinners are probably better, or perhaps the food is better for groups who tip more than $1 per person...

#7 Dejah

Dejah
  • participating member
  • 3,318 posts
  • Location:Brandon, Manitoba

Posted 30 November 2007 - 10:06 PM

Pam: We don't have a Pancake House in Bdn. Haven't been to one in Wpg for years, so I will try the apple pancakes next chance I get.

Speaking of Ciao, do you have back issues? I'm looking for either Ciao or Flavour? from about 3 years ago. It featured the chef from Kum Koon, and he shared his recipe for Phoenix shrimp - the ones served at dim sum with the feathery coating. I would love to have that recipe. I can't find my copy that a friend brought out.
Dejah
www.hillmanweb.com

#8 prasantrin

prasantrin
  • legacy participant
  • 5,468 posts

Posted 01 December 2007 - 03:47 AM

I can't believe I forgot one of my favourite brunch places--Cafe Kohler! I love their grilled goat cheese and tapenade sandwich! It's small, though, with a limited menu, so if you have a large group (more than 4 people), you're better of going to Saucers down the street. They do a decent brunch, but I'd rather go to Cafe Kohler.

Cafe Kohler also has very nice desserts.

Marion Warhaft recently reviewed two possible brunch places--Fresh Cafe on Corydon and Promenade Bistro on Provencher. Unfortunately, I find her to be one of the least reliable restaurant reviewers I've ever come across, but I'd still give them a try--particularly the latter one as it's owned by the former chef from Dubrovnik's.

And if you ever do brunch/lunch on Saturdays (probably not, since you're probably working), I love Bistro Dansk. They're always reliable, and I love their hazelnut pie!

Edited by prasantrin, 01 December 2007 - 03:53 AM.


#9 Pam R

Pam R
  • manager
  • 6,839 posts
  • Location:Winnipeg, Canada

Posted 01 December 2007 - 09:57 PM

Dejah - I don't keep the back issues unless there's something in them that I want to keep. Sorry!

Rona - I haven't had anything at Cafe Kohler that I really loved. But, I'll go back -- in June, when I can sit out front. :wink:

I will read the reviews (since they switched from the Friday paper to the Saturday paper, I always forget to read them). Fresh Cafe sounds very interesting -- and a good location for me. Thanks!

#10 Pam R

Pam R
  • manager
  • 6,839 posts
  • Location:Winnipeg, Canada

Posted 28 May 2008 - 08:19 AM

This weekend was the Pancake House one day and Stella's on Grant the next. The P.H. was fine.

All I have to say is that Stella's multi-grain toast with their 'jam' may be one of the happiness inducing things around. It seems to me that I could probably make a similar 'jam' pretty simply, but this is much easier and it's a convenient location for me -- though the wait to be seated can be long. And the omelet I had was pretty good too.

Has anybody been to Fresh Cafe? I've heard really good things about it.

#11 Zucchini Mama

Zucchini Mama
  • participating member
  • 701 posts
  • Location:Vancouver

Posted 02 June 2008 - 04:54 AM

Has anybody been to Fresh Cafe?  I've heard really good things about it.

View Post


We went to Fresh Café last month and the food was pretty good. They have a fun juice menu and make their own sausages. My son's crepes with lemon curd were a favorite. However they are having trouble regulating the temperature upstairs and it was sweltering on a cool day. So if you can, snag a table outside.

The chocolate festival was on when we were in The Peg and we tasted some awesome chocolate bread pudding at Grass Roots at The Forks that was outstanding. The savory bread pudding at Tall Grass is good too.

Edited by Zucchini Mama, 02 June 2008 - 04:55 AM.

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."
--Mae West

#12 prasantrin

prasantrin
  • legacy participant
  • 5,468 posts

Posted 13 July 2008 - 05:34 PM

Today my mother, a friend, and I went to Promenade Bistro for brunch. We walked in, and were prepared to be disappointed. I expected the place to have a little bit of panache, but it was more like a refurbished Red Lobster. The front dining area was very much like a diner, and the back area (where we sat) was a bit nicer--we had a table with chairs (as opposed to fast-food restaurant-like benches), and tablecloths. But the space was dark--all the blinds were down, and though some were open, not all were, and most of the overhead lights (all flourescent panel-type lights) were off. It seemed cheap to me.

We really had breakfast, not brunch, since between 7 and 12 (on weekends, 11:30 on weekdays according to Marion Warhaft's review, but she got the address wrong, too, so take her word with a grain of salt :rolleyes: ) they only have a breakfast menu available, with very breakfast-y foods (omelets, bacon and eggs, etc.). It's quite a small menu, and nothing seemed particularly interesting to us.

I ordered eggs benedict. I always order eggs benedict apprehensively because in my opinion, the best EB are from Al's Breakfast in MSP, and I can't imagine any others could live up to those. I still order them at other places, because I always have hope I'll find a good version closer to home. In my experience, however, they're never as good, and these were no exception.

Posted Image

I had requested runny yolks, but I could tell as soon as the plate was placed in front of me that I would not be having runny yolks. These were clearly eggs that hadn't been poached, but eggs placed in one of those metal "poachers" and cooked. To me they're a very different animal, and not one I like. The yolks were not completely hard, but definitely weren't runny. The hollandaise sauce was very thick and barely warm. There was no lemon-flavour to it at all, and very little flavour period. The potatoes were moist, though they could have used more salt (easily added at the table, but I think they should have added more salt to the water they used to boil the potatoes, so it could permeate them better). I liked the English muffins, though.

Both my mother and friend ordered the crepes with hazelnut spread (which I assume is Nutella, but I don't know if they do, in fact, use Nutella)' my mother ordered it with strawberries and my friend ordered it with bananas (both fruits were an additional 45 cents--quite reasonable, I thought). You can't really tell from the innards picture, but the strawberries were in the crepe, not added as a topping.

Posted Image
Posted Image

I'm not 100% sure, but I suspect the crepes are made ahead and perhaps microwaved before being filled. Regardless, they were good, but how can anything with hazelnut spread be bad? I would order these again...if I ever go there again, that is.

Service was friendly, but I wouldn't say satisfactory. My friend ordered coffee, and was not asked if she wanted a refill until after we had finished our food and our plates were being cleared (and the clearing of plates didn't happen for 10-15 minutes after we finished eating). None of our water glasses were refilled. When my mother ordered her crepe, she was asked if she wanted fruit. She then asked if the strawberries were sweet (we had just purchased some very tart strawberries from the farmer's market the day before, so she was wary of them). The server told her, "You know, I don't know, but they're mixed into the filling, and it's so sweet I don't think it matters if they're sour."

Ahem. Ever eat something sour after having just eaten something super sweet? It definitely matters. She did say it in a friendly way, though.

Clearly, I was disappointed with today's brunch. I had high hopes since I've had Gojko Bodiroga's food before, and thought it was very very good. I don't think he's there at breakfast (I didn't see him), but since the place is associated with his name, I think the quality control should be better.

Edited by prasantrin, 13 July 2008 - 05:37 PM.


#13 prasantrin

prasantrin
  • legacy participant
  • 5,468 posts

Posted 22 August 2008 - 09:17 AM

I was at Fresh for lunch yesterday.

My mother had "eggs benny" with smoked salmon, and I had the roast turkey sandwich. The smoked salmon was flavourless, and the hollandaise wasn't hollandaise. I think the eggs were microwave poached or "poached" in one of those gizmos for poaching eggs (so the eggs never really touch the water and are, in my opinion, not really poached), and the potatoes were flavourless and had an odd chewiness to the exteriors. I liked the biscuit used, but my mother thought it was too tough.

The roast turkey was plentiful but very thinly sliced and dry. I liked the cranberry relish, but would have liked more, and the rye bread was moist and not too dense. The mixed fruit juices about which I've heard raves are served at room temperature. Is that usual? I expected at least an ice cube or two, but no such luck. I just had some kind of citrus combo. It was fine, but nothing terribly interesting, especially since it was warm.

The service was slow to start and sparse (we helped ourselves to menus after sitting for 5 or so minutes), but efficient when you could get a hold of someone. If you want to actually hear your dining companion speak, don't sit on the second floor, at least not when it's really busy.

It wasn't bad, but it wasn't as good as I had thought it would be. It's fine for the occasional meal, but it's nothing I would rush out for, and it certainly will not become a regular brunch or lunch spot for us. Breakfast is served all day, which is great, and sandwiches are served from 11.

On the other hand, we're having brunch at the Fort Garry Hotel this Sunday... :smile:

Edited by prasantrin, 22 August 2008 - 09:36 AM.


#14 Pam R

Pam R
  • manager
  • 6,839 posts
  • Location:Winnipeg, Canada

Posted 22 August 2008 - 09:20 AM

Rona, was that at Fresh?

I can't wait for your take on the Fort Garry. I used to love the Sunday brunch, but I haven't been in a couple of years, and the last time I went was not great (but again, that was about 2 years ago).

#15 prasantrin

prasantrin
  • legacy participant
  • 5,468 posts

Posted 22 August 2008 - 09:35 AM

Rona, was that at Fresh?

I can't wait for your take on the Fort Garry.  I used to love the Sunday brunch, but I haven't been in a couple of years, and the last time I went was not great (but again, that was about 2 years ago).

View Post


Sorry, it was Fresh. I'll go back and add that in.

I haven't been to the FG in a couple of years, either. We didn't make it last year, so my last visit was the year before that. I like to go early because I find the food to be fresher, although the variety may not be as great.

I mostly go for the financier and madeleine--they're hard to find in Winnipeg!

#16 prasantrin

prasantrin
  • legacy participant
  • 5,468 posts

Posted 27 August 2008 - 08:32 AM

On Saturday, I had brunch with a friend. Our first choice was surprisingly closed (Bistro Dansk--how dare they close, didn't they know we were coming? :angry: :biggrin:), and she had never been to Fresh, so... despite my comment that it would never be a regular spot for me, we went there for the second time in just a few days.

We arrived almost at noon. There weren't that many people waiting ahead of us, but we still ended up waiting for about half an hour. One of the problems with Fresh is that the main seating area is on the second floor, while the waiting area is on the first floor. This is great for people who are actually seated, because they feel they can linger for as long as they want since they can't see anyone waiting. But for people waiting, it sucks because people who are seated can linger for as long as they want. For example, once we were seated, we noticed the table next to us was finished, but they still lingered while they selected and ordered a smoothie to-go, and then sat at the table for another 15 minutes while they drank their smoothies (to-go), then for another 10 minutes or so after that. If they had been able to see the very long line of people waiting, I doubt they would have lingered for quite so long (maybe they'd have actually left once they received their smoothie to-go). Coupled with slow service does not make for happy customers.

This time we all ordered the same (more or less) things. We all had eggs, toast, and hash browns, and I had some buffalo sausage.

The hash browns (which are really large cubed potatoes), were much better this time. When they're fresh, they're right from the grill or pan. But the potatoes we had the other day were reheated in the oven (or so we think), and that is what gave them that strange chewiness I mentioned in my first review. Unfortunately, our potatoes were not all fresh from the grill, but were mixed with some older oven-heated potatoes. I hate getting obviously reheated leftovers, especially when I'm paying for something "Fresh". This is something they really need to work on, or perhaps they should think of changing their name to "Mostly Fresh".

My poached eggs were suitably runny (I asked for them very runny, and they obliged) and they were much more like poached eggs than the ones on the eggs benedict the day before. No plasticky-looking whites on these babies.

I still like the bread.

Homemade strawberry (strawberry rhubarb?) jam was very runny. It took 3 tries with 3 different staff members for my friend to get some peanut butter.

My opinion hasn't changed much. It's still really loud, the service is still too slow (though it's friendly), and the food is good, but nothing to rush over for. I'd still go back, but again, I'm not in any rush to do so.

#17 prasantrin

prasantrin
  • legacy participant
  • 5,468 posts

Posted 03 September 2008 - 03:35 PM

Fort Garry Hotel is supposed to be the best brunch in Winnipeg. It's certainly the most expensive ($40/person, more on holidays), but it is all-you-can-eat, so if you can eat a lot, it can be a bargain.

One thing I've noticed about the FGH brunch is that the hot items are not often the best choices, and so I stay away from most of them. I usually eat my fill from the cold seafood table and the cheeses and pates. I guess this means I don't get my $40 worth of food, but I always leave full.

On this occasion, the cold seafoods were oysters (poorly shucked and rather limp), poached salmon, and some nice plump shrimp. I ate a lot of shrimp, and had a bit of poached salmon (it was very dry). There were only three cheeses, and they were boring ones at that--I think there was a smoked gouda, pecorino, and some kind of cheddar. Snooze. The pates were flavourful--one was rabbit and I can't remember the other. What I really filled up on, however, were the figs. They had delicious fresh figs and luckily, most people who were brunching that day didn't seem to appreciate them, so I had the equivalent to 6 whole figs. Yum!

They had their usual ham and roast beef at the carving station, an omelet station, some pre-made (i.e. soggy) waffles and pancakes. I did have some ham, and it was rather dry. Once I added a good load of maple syrup to it, though, it was scrumptious.

On the hot table, they had some kind of Asian-inspired fish (my mother said it was salty and not very interesting), some kind of salmon with dill (my mother said it was tasty, but dry), vegetarian and non-vegetarian eggs benedict, sauteed zucchini, some kind of chicken, bacon, sausage, french fries...there was more, but I can't remember what they had. The only things I ate were the bacon and sausage--both very non-descript, but I like non-descript bacon and sausage (and once again, a good dose of maple syrup makes everything interesting).

I didn't try any of the pastries, but I did have some very good dense multi-grain bread. We only shared a couple of desserts--a very nice chocolate walnut cake and a too sweet and too tart lemon tart. There were no financier or madeleine, but they did have a kind of dense macaroon--more madeleine-like than coconut-y, and very delicious. We were going to try to sneak some home, but we couldn't figure out how to do it discretely. :sad:

Even though most of the food served at FGH brunches really aren't that well-prepared, I still enjoy the experience. If you choose your foods wisely, you can have a great brunch there.

#18 Pam R

Pam R
  • manager
  • 6,839 posts
  • Location:Winnipeg, Canada

Posted 03 September 2008 - 03:52 PM

That's a shame. It used to be the best place for brunch, but I don't think it's as good as it was.

Have you ever been to Tavern for their Sunday brunch? I've had a few good ones there . . though, of course, that will probably be changing now with the management switch.

#19 prasantrin

prasantrin
  • legacy participant
  • 5,468 posts

Posted 03 September 2008 - 04:26 PM

I've only been to Tavern once for brunch, and I wasn't that impressed. Although the food was fresh (not so much of the heating trays that wilts food as much as keeps it warm), most of what we had was flavourless. That was several years ago, though (maybe as far back as 2002 or 2003).

I do think of the buffet brunch options, FGH is still the best of the bunch if you don't consider the price. I'm not sure it's the best value unless you really eat a lot. Most of the time I'd rather go to dim sum, but I'd love to find a breakfast place in Winnipeg along the likes of Al's Breakfast in MSP. One that I wouldn't mind going back to again and again, with no reservations (both in the literal and figurative sense).

#20 prasantrin

prasantrin
  • legacy participant
  • 5,468 posts

Posted 08 September 2009 - 06:34 PM

The Tallest Poppy has received a lot of buzz since it opened, not least because it's in a seedy-ish area of town right next to a seedy hotel. On Sundays they have brunch served family-style. It's $25 including taxes and the service charge, and you've pretty much got no choice in what you get. The theme the day we went was "Pancake Surprise" or something like that.

Cornbread.
Posted Image

Latke on the left, "surprise pancake" on the right. I think the surprise was sweet potato, or perhaps that it was undercooked. I think we had smoothies served at this point, but I cant' remember.
Posted Image

Main course--two types of sausage, bacon, overcooked poached eggs, bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, and challah. This is enough for three people. The bacon was like ordinary cheap-quality supermarket bacon, and one of the sausages was very dry (I liked the spiciness of the other one, though). I thought the challah was really dry, too.
Posted Image

Unfortunately, one of my party didn't eat meat products from animals with legs and she forgot to mention it to the waitstaff. Oops. She was OK with just eating the egg and part of the challah that didn't touch meat, but they very kindly made her a vegetable dish, and my mother and I got to eat her share of the meat. :smile:
Posted Image

Dessert was a fabulous fruit crisp served with ordinary supermarket ice cream from a carton. No picture.

Everything above was included in the price, along with coffee (unlimited refills) or juice (I'm not sure if you get refills of that). They may have tea, but they didn't offer any, so I don't know for sure.

The food was decent. Nothing to rave about, but I'd probably return, though not very often.

#21 prasantrin

prasantrin
  • legacy participant
  • 5,468 posts

Posted 06 March 2011 - 06:06 PM

It's a shame the activity on the board about Winnipeg has fallen off so much. I just came by to offer one recommendation for brunches--Prairie Ink in the McNalley Robinson at Grant Park. It's smaller than some of the other brunches, but there's a fair selection of foods that should suit all tastes, including some of their housemade croissants (made with pure butter, I was told!), eggs benedict made to order, and an excellently prepared cold-smoked salmon. It's only $20, and reservations are necessary unless you want to wait an hour or so for a table. Also, the restaurant is quite small, so line-ups for food can be long.

One of the reasons I'm mentioning it is because I went for a special occasion (small 75th surprise party for my mother), and I requested a special cake. They were able to make an 8" hazelnut dacquoise (with buttercream made from real butter) for only $20!!! A steal to be sure!

We'll be going back for brunch, and I think they've also become our go-to bakery for special occasion cakes (except carrot--we'll still go to Tall Grass for that).

#22 Cmd2012

Cmd2012
  • participating member
  • 3 posts

Posted 04 March 2012 - 09:40 AM

I've liked The Currant at the Forks. Not necessarily for their Sunday brunch (I'm not that much of a buffet person), but the a la carte breakfasts are good on every other day of the week. Stella's is good too (again, not a buffet),but you have to go early or it's a zoo. Lots of the mom and pop diners also do pretty good breakfasts. Star Grill at the conservatory was ok too (maybe more for the location than for the food), but I heard that it may have closed. While I've found the food at Coras to be reasonably tasty, the crowds keep me away. I've liked Prairie Ink too.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Breakfast