Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 6/10/2016 (1142 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Sherbrook Street from Wolseley to Broadway is one of the main thoroughfares of a vibrant, changing neighbourhood, where thrift stores and repair shops mix it up with trendy boutiques and barbershops, and new housing stands near turn-of-the-last-century apartments. Its cafés and eateries reflect this eclectic feel, combining old standbys with some cool upstarts.
There are a lot of food options on Sherbrook, from a classic diner breakfast at the Nook, a favourite family-run restaurant, to a friendly lunch at Cousin’s Deli & Lounge.
Charisma of India serves up a budget-wise Indian buffet, while Boon Burger slings burgers for vegans, vegetarians and fellow travellers. Stella’s on Sherbrook is a recently renovated outpost of the popular Winnipeg chain.
Here are a few more hot spots for eating your way up and down the street and all through the day.
You know that clean-lined, semi-industrial coffee-house look? Thom Bargen (64 Sherbrook St.) has it down, and it offers the java to match.
I fuelled up — and celebrated International Coffee Day! — with a lovely latte and a house-baked Danish.
BREAKFAST (OR ANY TIME, REALLY)
Mention the Tallest Poppy (103 Sherbrook St.) and people will start spontaneously rhapsodizing about the peppery, crisped-up fried chicken served on Belgian waffles and finished with spiced maple syrup.
That’s just the start at this easygoing all-day joint, with its eccentric fittings and art-covered walls. Lunchtime offers a perfect Cobb salad, with smoky bacon, just-right avocado, zippy buttermilk dressing and roast chicken that is good in its own right, not just the usual "place-holder protein" you find dropped haphazardly onto salads.
This attention to detail continues into the evening with old-fashioned dinner classics such as meat loaf and mashed potatoes, pork chops and collard greens. Tallest Poppy also offers the rare blessing of reliably good pie.
The Sherbrook Street Deli (102 Sherbrook St.) serves up a 21st-century take on traditional Jewish food with dishes such as house-cured smoked meat, beef tongue and gribenes, and crackling-crisp chicken skin super-fried into shards and cut with a sharp horseradish sauce.
Chopped liver is velvety and thickly spread on good rye bread and chicken soup is also good — much improved over the deli’s early days and now ready for a matzo ball soup-off with the across-the-street competition at Tallest Poppy.
Highly recommended is the egg cream, an old-style New York deli and soda fountain classic that I associate with the children’s book Harriet the Spy. For the record, the drink contains neither eggs nor cream and tastes like fizzy chocolate heaven.
At Bistro Dansk (63 Sherbrook St.), members of the same family have been serving up Danish and Middle European cuisine for 39 years.
With its knotty pine walls and wagon-wheel light fixtures, the reassuringly unchanged interior seems to embody the Danish quality of "hygge," a hard-to-translate term that connotes the comfortable, the warm and the welcoming.
There is some great cold-weather food here. Pork schnitzel — moist inside, crisp outside — is served with subtle sweet-and-sour cabbage and a heap of homey potatoes.
Portions are so generous they almost overwhelm the common-sense guideline to "never eat anything bigger than your head." (I noticed there was a lot of "boxing up" going on, with customers taking home enough leftovers for a whole other supper.)
SWEETS FOR THE SWEET
Decadence Chocolates (70 Sherbrook St.) sells small-batch artisanal chocolates with intriguing and unexpected flavour profiles — Manitoba honey and thyme or mango, coriander and mint.
There are small, white chocolate polar bears almost too elegant to eat. (Almost.) And for cacao purists, the nicely appointed shop also offers house-made bean-to-bar chocolate.
The Handsome Daughter (61 Sherbrook St.), a self-proclaimed dive bar, is a popular music and event venue that also serves bar snacks and small plates for a mostly young clientele.
The menu shifts, with the compact kitchen turning out lots of carb-o-licious, relatively cheap student food. Tasty mac and cheese is topped with cauliflower, crisped onions and egg. (You can get small or large and even the small is pretty big.)
Pulled pork and black bean quesadillas are also good, sparked by peppy house-made salsa, and watch for pork-belly baos and tricked-out hotdogs.
Studying at the University of Winnipeg and later Toronto’s York University, Alison Gillmor planned to become an art historian. She ended up catching the journalism bug when she started as visual arts reviewer at the Winnipeg Free Press in 1992.