Sunday, 27 August 2017


Picture from the bar seating to the super
pleasant window seats that are also suitable
for one. If the brightness intimidates you,
don't wory; the super chic dim mood
lighting is what you get when the sun goes
Another new place I checked out during Winnipeg Fringe was Cordova. It's at the old Across the Board location on Albert Street and is nominally a tapas place. Although it has a more limited selection than, say, Segovia, the small plates are extremely reasonably priced. There is a pretty tiny cocktail menu which, when I was there, was 2/3 based on bubbly; it is clearly more of a beer/wine place. I had a French 75 which was lovely and flavorful and not sweet in a 'cheap girly teen drink' kind of way.

There's loads of solo seating both at the bar and at the window, if you'd like to watch the Exchange District walk by. I ordered a cheese plate since the last place I'd been too had charcuterie but no cheese and I was dying for some schmancy cheeses. Speaking of charcuterie, Cordova also has a half-and-half cheese/charcuterie plate, which is super nice for indecisive types who like eating both animals and dairy fat. The cheese plate was perfect; a bunch of different textures and a mix of North American and European varieties. I am loving loving what seems to be a trend in smoked blue in this city (I've had a couple on different cheese plates in town); the smoke cuts that sharp salty sulfur taste that often overwhelms me and is a major turnoff to a lot of people. I've started to appreciate blues a little since having the smoked version because they no longer make me feel like I'm being punched in the face by a 15-year-old's gym bag.

There were a couple of 'meh' dishes that I can't remember because they were neither amazing nor terrible and also because there is no website for this new-ish place and their Facebook page doesn't list the menu but in general, everything was what I wanted it to be. They had some nice small plates, decent drinks, and a place where I could sit and watch the Fringe happen, by myself, and at a bit of a distance.

Price: $$½
Rating: **½

Saturday, 19 August 2017

PEG Beer Co.

Looks like this one died and went to Winnipeg Restaurant Heaven.

You may have noticed that my last post was on the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. While food trucks are generally the way to go during festivals, I figured it would be a great time to try out some restaurants in the area; you'll likely notice a bit of an Exchange District theme the next couple times I write. Fringe is, admittedly, a time when I tend to be more social in my dining habits, but since I was writing up a few show reviews, I thought I might look cool critiquing theatre while dining alone in a trendy place with classy drinks.

Ok, so maybe this one isn't really a classy drink place, but PEG Beer Co. lured me in with a Fringe Special, which was any one of their amazing flatbreads (or 'pizzas' as us common folk might call it) with a pint of any one of their craft beers. Now, I'm actually totally not into beer at all. It's not a thing I generally enjoy, but I dig places like PEG Beer because I can order a flight and discover which beer I hate least, in the event I find myself in the awkward situation where I have to pretend that I like beer and need to order one and drink it.

This time, since the special included a pint, I found myself in the awkward situation where I needed to order one beer and drink it. Fortunately, the lady at the bar where I was sitting was super proactive at offering me a small sample so I could figure out if I wanted to drink a whole 16 ounces of Guten Tart. I decided that I did. If beer isn't your thing, and you're not persuaded by a lunch/dinner special, there are also a handful of cocktails and wine available. However is IS called PEG Beer Co. so, if you feel obligated to drink the stuff as I often do, you can be non-committal and get a flight of four different ones.

Apparently I was enjoying my flatbread/pizza too much to
remember to take a picture. So here's one of the beer flights
I appreciate so much that I lifted from the CBC.
For the part of the Fringe Special that I knew I was going to like, I got the Bacon & Egg Flatbread (pizza) which was outstanding and available gluten free (there are also vegan cheese options, all those clearly the Bacon & Egg is so non-vegan there'd be little point). PEG Beer has amazing flatbreads due to the super simple toppings that are somehow surprisingly innovative in the world of pizza (or perhaps that's the difference between a flatbread and a pizza? That I feel the topping are interesting and basic all at the same time?).

In addition to the signature flatbreads, I have enjoyed their olive mix and their sandwiches, which are pretty decent with some excellent fillings including a gorgeous variety of cheeses and smoked pike, for a change of pace. the ISA and Aged Cheddar soup is shockingly lacklustre for a place that has beer in it's name and a clear appreciation for cheese and again made me wonder why we can't have salt and pepper on the tables in case of such emergency. Anyway, the soup gives you a reason to order a side salad with your sandwich that isn't trying to be health conscious. Again, if you're looking for pure indulgence for your meal, look to the pizzas. Or flatbreads. Whatever it is that the cool kids are calling it.

There is a lot of solo seating at this one, either at the bar as I did or, uh, randomly facing a wall that is uncomfortably close due to the width of the table. The tables do have cool purse hooks under them though so you don't have to calculate how to sling your bag over your seat, when you're on one of those super tall chairs that usually comes with bar seating/dining alone, to avoid making the trek down when it slips onto the floor. Anyway, like the trendy person I pretend to be, who uses purse hooks and writes online critiques, this is definitely a place that can class up something so ordinary as pizza and beer.

Price: $$
Rating: **