"Devour the District" is a restaurant walking tour offered by the Exchange District BIZ in partnership with Tourism Winnipeg’s Peg City Grub blog.
The first stop on our "mini" tour was the Underground Café. We learned a bit about the history of the Silpit Building which is home to the café (down a flight of basement stairs at 70 Albert St., hence its name).
I think that I first sampled the Café’s Spicy Tuna Melt about 20 years ago, which has become a family favourite. Wendy, the chef and owner, confirmed that is how long they have been around.
This recent sampling was of their famous "Sun-Burger", said to be so popular because it doesn’t "pretend to be meat". Only the shape is the same as a burger.
The compilation of toasted sesame and sunflower seeds, two kinds of cheese, jasmine rice, eggs and various spices is delicious even it wasn’t packed with nutritious ingredients. Wendy describes her menu offerings as "comfort food with a twist."
Next up was Deer + Almond where we were met by the vibrant owner and chef Mandel who embraces the "new twist" on traditional dishes, too. His inventive West Coast Caesar Salad was made with marinated kale, tangy granny smith apple slices and big, salty shards of parmesan cheese.
He guessed correctly when he thought that we might be sampling charcuterie at our last stop and chose the refreshing and nutritious salad to complement our last course.
At the Peasant Cookery, we were greeted by two staff members and award winning chef Tristan. The Peasant takes "from-scratch" to a whole new level and is the only restaurant in Winnipeg where they do their own smoking, hanging, curing and drying of the meats on their charcuterie board.
We sampled Berkshire pork smoked salami, a Spanish-style chorizo sausage and a spicy pepperoni. My favourite was the buttery paté, with meats still chucky rather than emulsified, so that individual flavours shone out individually if you selected a small nibble, or beautifully melded if you took a larger chomp.
A daytime Devour the District tour takes place on Tuesdays from 2 to 5 p.m. and the evening tour steps out from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays.
The cost for each is $58 per person which is a very economical package. The tours are a unique opportunity to learn some of the colourful history of the Exchange District and sample tastes from the best bites that Exchange restaurants have to offer. The results is a "progressive" dinner like no other.
Recommend the tour to visitors, or take one yourself and enjoy all the historic and culinary adventures that our beautiful city has to offer.
Devour the District
Commences from Old Market Square at 133 Albert St.
Call 204-942-6716 to arrange a tour
Kathryne Grisim’s foodmusings.ca blog was named best local blog in Uptown Magazine’s Best of Winnipeg readers’ poll.