Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Hungry?... Head for the Porkway

A buffet of new themed-eateries planned for city

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If you're excited by the prospect of eating at the new restaurant on Esplanade Riel, you're going to love what the City of Winnipeg is planning next.

Once Chez Sophie is up and running in the middle of the downtown pedestrian bridge, the city's new Culinary Services Special Operating Agency plans to install more theme-appropriate restaurants on other pieces of public infrastructure.

Funding for the new agency was hidden in the fine print of the 2013 operating budget, using cash originally set aside to build a water park. But thanks to a freedom-of-information request, here's a sneak peek at what the city is planning to do with your hard-earned tax dollars, now that Esplanade Riel is finally going to be a success:

Cole Slaw Rebchuk

Welcome yourself to the North End by driving up the bridge over the CPR Winnipeg Yards and stopping in the middle for the finest Ukrainian feast you'll find on any side of the tracks. Start with a bowl of Arlington Bridge Borscht, which will only be served until 2020, then move on to a plate of pigeon perogies, featuring free-range rock dove captured right in the heart of industrial Winnipeg. If you still have room, you'll go cuckoo for Cole Slaw Rebchuk's kubasa, ground up at the foot of the bridge and kept fresh at nearby Winnipeg Cold Storage.

The Charleswood Porkway

Satisfy your cravings for public subsidies and southern U.S. cuisine simultaneously by visiting this outrageous new barbecue joint in the very centre of the 12-lane intersection of Kenaston Boulevard and Sterling Lyon Parkway.

Hidden in the middle of a traffic circle, The Charleswood Porkway offers low-and-slow cooking in the deepest pit ever cooked up by any level of government. The signature dish of pulled pork is marinated in our patented $22-million Infrastructure Sauce, a secret ingredient capable of making any development - or sandwich - palatable to the public.

You can also get half a side of smoked chicken, barbecue brisket and ribs, but unfortunately, no horse meatballs. Winnipeg just isn't ready to be world-class.

Red River Cereal

Never mind that three-week pop-up restaurant that operated at The Forks earlier this winter. The hottest breakfast joint in town is actually the coolest ever created -- a temporary cereal bar perched on an ice jam that will pile up at the base of the Redwood Bridge for precisely two hours, 17 minutes and four seconds on the morning of Monday, April 8.

Worldwide leaders in the field of molecular gastronomy will be pleased to serve you, and up to one other customer, a wide array of breakfast cereals created entirely out of gelatin globules that look just like corn flakes but are actually an indigestible variety of agar-agar, topped with Red Bull foam.

All patrons will be required to sign waivers, wear insulated drysuits and be willing to dine while wearing a safety harness tethered to a flotation device. Restaurant hours are subject to ice conditions and the availability of an amphibex.

Once you try it, you will agree: There is no taste like the Red River.

Chief Peguis Trail Mix

The next time you're in North Kildonan, stop below the Rothesay Avenue underpass, east of Henderson Highway, for a indigenous-themed meal of pemmican, pemmican and... well, pemmican.

The chefs combine blueberries and bison fat into a treat that will sustain you and your people through the leanest of winters and the worst of summer floods. Quantities are unlimited until the arrival of a neighbouring kiosk: The Northeast Pioneers' All-You-Can-Eat Greenway.

St. Mary's Roadkill

Cut down on calories while doing your part to combat Winnipeg's pest population at this innovative new co-operative venture between Animal Services Special Operating Agency and the folks at Eat Street.

Canada geese clogging up your favourite park? White-tailed deer dilly-dallying in driveway? Raccoons racing around your back lane? Run 'em over, scrape 'em up and bring 'em down to St. Mary's Roadkill, where a team of specially trained taxidermist-chefs will prepare your game just the way you like it.

Venison loin and roast goose are the most popular choices, but don't be afraid to try the pancakes, which are crispy on the outside but still fork-tender on the inside. Bring in enough carcasses, and they'll pay you.

Royal Canadian Mints

With the penny out of circulation, Canada's Treasury Board found themselves with too much office space, especially at the Winnipeg branch plant. But seeing as these people literally know how to print money, they've come up with a candy-store concept no kid could refuse.

Drop by the Fermor Avenue location for a chocolate-and-sea-salt toonie, a caramel-nougat loonie or quarters carved from a block of maple syrup. The dimes are made from honeycomb and the nickels are congealed out of raspberry syrup.

Interac or credit card only.

Sturgeon Creek

Why eat over the river when you can eat below the surface of the fifth-largest of Winnipeg's eight official waterways. A decommissioned Russian submarine houses a freshwater-seafood restaurant serving up the finest creatures from the city's rivers: walleye, sauger, pike and burbot, deep-fried in canola oil and served in discarded Tim Hortons cups, the latter collected fresh every morning from the banks of the Assiniboine.

Potage Avenue Eats

On your way to Shaw Park for a ball game? Uncertain where to eat on the east side of downtown? Stop in the centre of Portage Avenue for a bowl of soup served in a pothole - the definitive Winnipeg treat!

The helpful staff at Potage Avenue Eats know you don't have time to get out of your car between work and the game. So point your axles into their pothole and let gravity take you away. Don't worry about a parking spot: the city doesn't issue tickets inside potholes. Besides, nobody will notice your vehicle - either during your meal, or ever again.

On Wednesdays, you get a bread bowl.

The Brady Road Manfill

You will never get hungry again at Winnipeg's most generous all-you-can-eat buffet, conveniently located several kilometres away from anything on the south side of the Perimeter Highway.

Every hour of every day, the trucks never stop coming to Brady Road, a never-ending buffet of delights you can not possibly imagine. It's like the old adage: If you see a lot of trucks, you know the food is something special.

Seagulls eat for free. Offer not available on wing night.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 3, 2013 ??65535

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About Bartley Kives

Bartley Kives wants you to know his last name rhymes with Beavis, as in Beavis and Butthead. He aspires to match the wit, grace and intelligence of the 1990s cartoon series.

Bartley joined the Free Press in 1998 as a music critic. He spent the ensuing 7.5 years interviewing the likes of Neil Young and David Bowie and trying to stay out of trouble at the Winnipeg Folk Festival before deciding it was far more exciting to sit through zoning-variance appeals at city hall.

In 2006, Bartley followed Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz from the music business into civic politics. He spent seven years covering city hall from a windowless basement office.

He is now reporter-at-large for the Free Press and also writes an outdoor-recreation column called Offroad for the Outdoors page.

A canoeist, backpacker and food geek, Bartley is fond of conventional and wilderness travel. He is the author of A Daytripper’s Guide to Manitoba: Exploring Canada’s Undiscovered Province, the only comprehensive travel guidebook for Manitoba – and a Canadian bestseller, to boot. He is also co-author of Stuck In The Middle: Dissenting Views of Winnipeg, a collaboration with photographer Bryan Scott and the winner of the 2014 Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award.

Bartley’s work has also appeared on CBC Radio and Citytv as well as in publications such as The Guardian, explore magazine and National Geographic Traveler. He sits on the board of PEN Canada, which promotes freedom of expression.

Born in Winnipeg, he has an arts degree from the University of Winnipeg and a master’s degree in journalism from Ottawa’s Carleton University. He is the proud owner of a blender.

On Twitter: @bkives


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