My husband’s family once resided in Transcona and every time we drove to his family’s home, he would observe and remark about all the changes along Regent Avenue. Now that the family has dispersed all over Canada and the U.S., we rarely make the trek.
Somehow though, "downtown" Transcona has retained its small town charm. Right in the centre of it all is L’Arche Tova, a special café that will captivate you. Upon arrival, a number of servers came over in turn, to ensure that we had whatever we needed. We were introduced to one "assistant" in particular. He is a participant in L’Arche’s alternate Day Program and his smile and enthusiasm was contagious. He is one of the reasons that the café exists. You may be familiar with the incredible work of L’Arche Winnipeg. Their mission is "to create homes with people who have an intellectual disability."
My lunch date had visited the café before and could attest to the quality of the Double Decker sandwich, and the "made on premise" strudel and cheesecake. The latter, she exclaimed, was "amazing!" We asked our server to help us decide what to order. He immediately recommended the Savoury Crepe and so my selection was made. Crepe-making is a fine art and these were delicate and yet sturdy enough to be stuffed full of a hearty bacon, ham and cheese blend.
The burger my companion ordered, and I tasted, comprised of a hand-formed patty that had been pressed while cooking on a flat-top grill. I appreciate this extra touch, because I enjoy a patty with a crunchy exterior. The salad that accompanied it was topped with a house dressing that was light and lemony. We loved every morsel and were certainly satisfied to go on our way, but my lunch date mentioned that I should really try the German potato salad the next time that I visited. Not knowing when that might be, we decided to order it for dessert!
The kitchen is adeptly staffed by members of the Kildonan East Culinary Arts program. The food is of such high quality that you cannot imagine what additional training will produce.
L’Arche Tova Café
119 Regent Ave. West
Street parking is available
Breakfast and lunch menu available Monday-Saturday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Will be closed for staff holidays from Aug. 18 to 31.
Kathryne Grisim’s foodmusings.ca blog was named best local blog in Uptown Magazine’s Best of Winnipeg readers’ poll.