As I sat waiting for my husband to arrive for our lunch date, I had a great opportunity to soak up the quaint surroundings of this little place (eight tables and three stools).
Daytime TV was on over the front door — for ambience, perhaps, or to comfort and entertain the diners who were there for a meal on their own.
Two merry old gentlemen walked in with the salutation: "Hi ya girls!"
I soon learned that the "girls" were Kristie and her look-a-like Mom. Kristie handles the tables, while Tracey is in the kitchen and at the till. Shouts go back and forth when someone known to them arrives and in some cases hugs and kisses are exchanged (at least this was the case on the day I was there).
Come noon, the place was full and I observed two finely-dressed businessmen walk in, look at the full room and announce they would try again tomorrow. They were unsurprised and not put out in the least. By this time, I was thinking that Tracey’s home-style cooking must be something else. We were not disappointed!
Coffee and water is self -serve, which is a good thing because Kristie is too busy taking orders and ladling out soup. On this day, the soup choices were bean and bacon or borscht. We sampled the latter and loved that it was chock-full of matchstick-sized beet slices that were the perfect texture.
Kristie’s Clubhouse was a delectable combination of tomato, lettuce, crispy bacon and sliced turkey. The wedge of meat had been put right onto the grill to warm it and to pop up the flavour. The Reuben was as delicious a Reuben as I have ever tasted (and that includes some from Montreal and New York City) The plentiful hand-cut, shoe string fries are also worth noting.
Kristie patiently explained, when I asked if the diner had been named after someone named Luda, that the word is Ukrainian for "the people." In other words, this popular little place represents "the neighbourhood" and there are various menu items named for different real life people. Which made me wonder what’s in a "Kathryne".
Take cash and go early to avoid disappointment.
Kathryne Grisim’s foodmusings.ca blog was named best local blog in Uptown Magazine’s Best of Winnipeg readers’ poll.