• Over 20 of the province’s food trucks will square off at Assiniboia Downs on May 28 and 29 as part of Manitoba Food Truck Battles. The event, which runs from noon to 11 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, will also feature live music, a beer garden, activities for kids and more. Admission is $5 (kids five and under are free).
• During the first two weeks of May, local eateries served up all manner of pies as part of the national La Pizza Week campaign, and the winners of the event have now been announced. The judges’ choice for top pizza in Winnipeg went to Shorty’s on Maryland Street for its Shorty’s Deluxe, while two pies — the Netflix and Chili from Tommy’s Pizzeria and the Mama Sara Primavera from Pasquale’s — landed in the top five of the national people’s choice category. (The latter also took “best in the west” award in the Saputo’s choice category.) For all the results click here.
• Caesars — the polarizing savoury cocktail made with clam juice and garnished with a menagerie of pickles, meats and vegetables — are finally getting their 15 minutes in the spotlight. Caesar Week is the latest themed drink event to hit Winnipeg. The weeklong celebration kicked off last Sunday and wraps up May 22, so get ‘em while you can. Interesting submissions include the El Picante from La Roca, which comes with a taquito, and the Viajero Cansado from Peasant Cookery, which is bright green thanks to a house-made tomatillo and clam mix.
Ben: Two new albums have been in very high rotation over here. The Smile is a new trio featuring singer Thom Yorke and guitarist Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead, and fans of the band (of which I count myself a big one) will love their new record, A Light for Attracting Attention. Hear the song Thin Thing here. Irish quintet Fontaines D.C. (now based in London) has released its third record, Skinty Fia, which infuses a brand of brash post-punk energy with more thoughtful, melodic elements. The group recently did a Tiny Desk session for NPR which is fantastic — check it out here.
I’ve mentioned YenKitchen before, but clearly we’re creatures of habit over here because we keep circling around to order from the Vietnamese eatery located in St. James on Portage Avenue. On a recent rainy day (pick one — there have been so many) we reckoned it was soup weather and took their vegan wonton soup for a test drive; it was quite possibly the best example of the dish I’ve ever had, meatless or otherwise. For the veg crew out there, I can also confirm both their vegan banh mi and vermicelli bowls are fantastic. Their full menu (meatless and otherwise) is here.
Joey and Dave Landreth. (thebroslandreth.com)
Eva: Winnipeg darlings The Bros. Landreth put out a new album last week. Come Morning is the first full-length release from siblings Joey and Dave Landreth since 2019 and it’s oh, so sweet. What in the World is a fresh take on a love song and, so far, one of my top tracks.
I recently finished reading Jesse Thistle’s difficult memoir From the Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way. The York University professor writes in painstaking detail and straightforward prose about the trauma of growing up in a fractured family and the circumstances that led to him living on streets in the throes of addiction. It’s a difficult read with a truly happy ending.
Ben: I headed out to the Morden/Winkler area this past weekend to get a sneak peek at the new tasting room at Dead Horse Cider. They’re opening the space up to the public starting this Saturday, and to crib the Steinbach slogan, it’s worth the trip.
In celebration of its 150th anniversary, the Free Press is making a community cookbook. Submit a recipe and be entered into a draw to win a copy of the cookbook and other prizes. You can also join our Facebook group.
This week’s recipe for an easy taco dip comes from Michelle Trudeau, which you can read more about in this Saturday’s paper.