Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Sip, sup and stroll on new Exchange tour

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Stefano Grande, executive director of the Downtown BIZ, poses beside a Winnipeg Trolley Company vehicle to announce new tours.

WAYNE GLOWACKI/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Stefano Grande, executive director of the Downtown BIZ, poses beside a Winnipeg Trolley Company vehicle to announce new tours. Photo Store

You've done the art walk. You've taken the architecture, the ghost, the Winnipeg General Strike, and the death and debauchery guided walking tours.

Now it's time to put your money where your mouth is and Devour the District.

That's the name of a new restaurant walking tour being offered by the Exchange District BIZ, in conjunction with Peg City Grub, Tourism Winnipeg's official culinary blog.

Part local history lesson and part moveable feast, the three-hour tour gives visitors a taste of the diverse and delectable grub being served at popular eateries in the 20-block historic neighbourhood.

While participants sip wine and specialty cocktails and nosh on the likes of house-cured charcuterie and West Coast kale caesar salad, tour guides will share the rich history of the century-old warehouses, factories and storefronts that have been transformed into some of the city's trendiest dining spots. Diners will also get a chance to chat with the chefs and restaurateurs about their gastronomic vision.

Billed as a "feast on foot," each Devour the District tour includes seven tasting and sipping stops. Registration will be capped at 20 people per tour.

During a media preview this week to officially launch the tour, and kick off National Tourism Week (June 9-15), a handful of reporters and bloggers visited three of the haute cuisine hotspots.

First stop was the Underground Cafe (70 Arthur St.), where we sampled a slider-sized version of the famous Fabulous Sun Burger -- a vegetarian compilation of toasted sesame and sunflower seeds, vegetable protein, mozza and cheddar cheeses, rice, eggs and assorted spices.

From there it was over to Deer + Almond (85 Princess St.), where owner/chef Mandel Hitzer presented his creative twist on the classic caesar salad -- kale instead of romaine lettuce, with Granny Smith apples and sunflower seeds.

Our last stop was Peasant Cookery, where we were treated to house-cured, locally sourced charcuterie, complemented by a light ros© from the south of France. Dessert, a chocolate cakette and a miniature Imperial cookie, was courtesy of boutique bakery Cake-ology (85 Arthur St.).

Devour the District summer walking tours are offered Tuesdays (2 p.m. to 5 p.m.) and Thursdays (5 p.m. to 8 p.m.) until Aug. 31. Cost is $58 per person, which includes two alcoholic beverages. Call 942-6716 to arrange a tour.

carolin.vesely@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 15, 2013 G3

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