plonq: (Entertain Me)
One of the things I plan to do after I retire is explore local restaurants. My goal is to venture out at least a couple of times a week to sample a wide variety of breakfast and lunch places, hopefully hitting a different one each time. A good friend of mine is retiring later this year, and when I mentioned this plan to him, he immediately said, "Sign me up!"

Ultimately I want to walk or cycle to as many of them as I can, or walk there and take the bus home again; the idea is to get exercise as well as a meal. My plan for my retirement years does not consist of sitting on my butt as I slowly fade away.

I know it's not a unique or new idea, but I am also planning to BLOG about the places as I visit them. I am torn between creating a public BLOG for it (maybe see if I can coax my dear wife to give me some space on one that she has already created), or just post it here.

I may experiment with a few formats before I settle on something consistent, so please bear with me. Also, don't expect a lot of entries on this until I'm actually retired in a year.

Relli's Breakfast & More
Home Style Cooking

Attached to the Green Brier Inn, North Main St, Winnipeg

August 11, 2017

[personal profile] atara and I spotted this new place when we were walking down Main Street a couple of weeks ago to hit up a local butcher shop. There have been a couple of other restaurants that have set up shop in the front of the Green Brier over the years, but each has looked sketchier than the one before.

At this point I should probably give some background on the Green Brier itself. This is a pub located in the north part of Winnipeg, with an attached liquor vendor, and (as I mentioned above) a succession of restaurants occupying the other street-front portion of the building. In fairness to the pub, I have only been in there once, and it was long before its renovations a few years ago. At the time when I visited, it radiated an unwelcoming, stabby kind of vibe that caused my friend and I to exchange an uneasy glance before we wheeled and walked out again by unspoken, mutual agreement.

The fact that there was drunken, off-key karaoke taking place at the time did not hurt our decision process.

When we passed this new restaurant (New as of June this year, as I later learned from the owner), I told [personal profile] atara of my plan to walk down there for breakfast at some point during my week of vacation. Yesterday I followed through on that.

Between the gaily painted window - which features a smiling portrait of (who I presume to be) the self-same Relli taking an order, and a grinning cup of coffee holding a breakfast sandwich - and the Venetian blinds inside, I could not see into the restaurant from the street. I dithered outside for a minute, trying to find a write-up about the restaurant on my phone before I finally admitted to myself that I was just procrastinating.

I opened the door and ventured into a rather pleasant, homey little diner. It had five tables in total, one of which was occupied by a family of four, and another by a young woman who was drinking coffee and reading the paper. It did not take me long to figure out that she is the owner's daughter, first when she offered me a menu and told me to help myself to coffee, and again later when I heard her complain, "Mom, I'm not even supposed to be working today."

Mother and daughter were both very friendly, and quickly defused any hesitation I may have felt about trying the new restaurant.

The menu selection was fairly limited - if memory serves me, they offered a maximum of five or six breakfast selections. I glanced over the options quickly before choosing the pork chop and eggs, as pictured below.


The coffee was fine, but not extraordinary. It tended toward the lighter and thinner end of the spectrum for my liking, but it was fresh thanks to the high throughput. If one was looking solely for coffee, I would steer them toward other outlooks first, but I would not actively discourage them from coming here.

I ordered the eggs with my meal sunny-side-up, and they were cooked to near perfection. Most place are pretty good when it comes to eggs, but it is nevertheless a nice treat when they nail it. The potatoes were also handled well. The breakfast potatoes are usually the things I dread most when I try a new place, but these had just a nice amount of crunch where they were browned, and just enough onion mixed in to give them a good flavour. It's possible that they were cooked from frozen, but I'd still rate them around the same level as what you will usually get from one of those family-style chain restaurants.

The rye toast could have been left in the toaster for another minute in my opinion, but I will take slightly light toast over burnt any day. The toast was buttered, but not saturated as some places are wont to do. When I say buttered, I think it is more likely that it was margarined - at least, that's the impression I was left with from the taste and texture of the spread. They offered no sides (jam, jelly, peanut butter), and I did not see any readily available for patrons. They probably would have brought some if I had asked, but I was satisfied to dip the toast ends into the egg yolks and enjoyed it that way. Still, next time I will ask for peanut butter.

The only real disappointment with the breakfast was the pork chop. I have seen some thin cuts of meat in my time, but it takes real skill to shave off a chop this thin. It's not like I think the breakfast needed a thick chop - it was quite filling, and the chop was more for flavour than anything else, and I understand that a thin chop cuts the cooking time during the busy breakfast hours. It was well-seasoned and flavourful. My issue with the pork chop was that it was overcooked. It was not quite reduced to jerky, but it was tough and chewy. One does not want to serve raw pork, but this one would have benefited from a minute or two less on the griddle.

The slice of strawberry and summer melon were a nice finish, but in a small enough portion that I would almost classify them as garnish rather than as part of a meal.

Overall, I would rate the meal as good, but not great. The diner was clean, and the atmosphere was friendly. The food was about on par with what you would expect from a little family-run diner.

I won't actually give a review-style rating for the place since I have only been there once, and I like to return and try other dishes before I actually do a review, so I'll finish with a tentative rating of will return.


Jul. 13th, 2014 09:31 am
plonq: (Disapproving Luna Mood)
A theme that comes up between [ profile] atara and I on occasion is how easily we fall into a rut in our lives. One of the symptoms of such a rut is when our dine-out choices begin to narrow to one of about three restaurants that we really like. It is not that either of us are adverse to change, nor to trying something new or different, but it can be disturbingly easy to fall into a comfortable pattern. I brought it up the other day when making plans on our drive home, and these plans amounted to "stop at our usual sushi restaurant for dinner and then buy cat food at our usual pet store".

I joked about how we were falling into our usual patterns again, in spite of making repeated vows to try and mix things up now and then. I guess my comments must have struck home, because the next thing I knew, [ profile] atara was talking about doing a free walking tour of the Exchange District. The tour actually sounded interesting; it was a scheduled 90-minute architectural tour of terracotta buildings erected early last century. The weather was a little ominous through the entire walk, but the rain held off until the tour was over. I gained a new appreciation for some of the old buildings around the city as I learned about their history, and had my attention called to details that I had long overlooked.

This building was not one of the ones featured on the tour, but we passed it near the end of the walk. I quietly disengaged from the crowd and wandered back to get a shot of this doorway. As far as I know, this place has not been open since I moved here, but this sketchy little entranceway with its painfully hand-painted signs has always intrigued me.

Obviously I ran this through a few bit of photo editing after the fact, but I rather like the way it turned out. It has that certain, grungy look that says, "Somebody had some photo editing software and too much free time on his hands."


Jun. 29th, 2014 01:00 am
plonq: (Wait!)
Today's drive was as bad as I had been anticipating - worse if you include the fact that it alternately rained and poured between Regina and Brandon.

We arrived home after fifteen(ish) hours on the road to a house that smells of cat pee, three cats who are ecstatic to see us, and 70 KM/H winds. All of the clocks are blinking, but they are blinking about the right time, so I am just going to leave them for tomorrow. Right now it is time to collapse into bed and see if the cats will let us sleep.
plonq: (Saddled With Questions)
20130115 by Plonq
20130115, a photo by Plonq on Flickr.

While I generally want to steer clear of applying kitschy filters to my pictures for my YIP set, I rather liked the effect of this one that I applied on a whim. even though it warmed the colours, by blowing out the detail in the buildings in the background, it brought the focus more to the dessert in the foreground, and if possible, made it look even colder outside.

Via Flickr:
One could almost call this comfort food. It was good, but erring on the side of inoffensive, and tasted like it was toeing the line on almost being healthy. In short, it was the perfect dessert for a cold, blustery day like this.

Kudos to Flickr for still having LJ as one of their social media sites that you can automatically post an image to, but it would be nice if it allowed a few of the options (like even carrying over your Flickr tags to LJ).
plonq: (Perplexed Mood)
The fountain in front of our building has been fucking with my brain all summer, and I finally have photographic evidence to show that it's not just my brain playing me for a fool.

I don't often pay attention to the fountain out front, but some days as I've been heading home I've looked at the deep blue-green water in the fountain and thought, "Wait, wasn't that almost the colour of mushy peas when I was heading in to work this morning?" While my memory for colours is far from flawless, I was pretty sure that it's not quite that bad.

Last week when I was heading out to meet [ profile] atara for lunch, I happened to notice that the fountain was pea green, so I snapped a picture with my phone and promptly forgot about it. Today as I was leaving I remembered to get a mid-afternoon picture for comparison. As you can see, the two pictures are quite markedly different.

There are other times when the colour is closer to teal. I'm sure that part of it is lighting, and part of it is algae growth, but I haven't ruled out the possibility that they painted it with light, or heat sensitive paint that changes colour as the sun moves over the course of the day.

Anyway, the upper picture was taken at 16:30 today, and the lower one was taken around 11:45 last Friday.
Fountain Colours
plonq: (Grawky Mood)
We wandered down to The Forks today for their $5 charity pasta lunch. After lunch we went for a short walk, first along the Assiniboine river, and then up to the red. The Red is largely ice-free and flowing very quickly, while the Assiniboine still had a fair bit of ice cover, and was moving very sluggishly.

On the other hand, both rivers are running very high.

We stopped midway over the old rail bridge on the Assiniboine when the last traces of the river trail caught our eye. Trying to curl on this set-up would add some interesting twists to the game.

Curling Away
plonq: (Fark Off Again)
We bundled up and braved the cold this afternoon with three goals in mind. The first was to get some lunch, since we were both pretty hungry. The second was to check out an organic food market at the south end of town, and the third was to grab a handful of groceries on our way home. The food market was closed today, but we managed to score some good tacos and burritos for lunch, and hit up Safeway on the way home.

This is our second trip to Burrito Del Rio Taqueria, and it won't be our last. It occurred to me after I started to eat that I had ordered the same meal as the previous time, with the exception that I got black beans rather than refried beans on the burrito. The drink was different this time, and I got the medium salsa rather than the hot salsa, so I guess it wasn't quite an identical meal.


It was all good with the exception of the salsa. I found the green tomato base to be almost overpowering in the medium salsa, and to be honest it didn't have a lot of bite to it. [ profile] atara ordered the mild salsa, and handed it to me after she had only eaten a bit. After I added about a teaspoon of the generic hot sauce I found on the table, it was pretty good. Next time I'll get the hot salsa again though.
plonq: (Contemplative mood)
We woke to a freezing fog and hoar frost this morning; all you warm climate folk are missing out.

Or not. Sure is pretty though.


One of the benefits of this picture a day project I am doing is that I take my camera with me everywhere, bulky and unwieldy as it can be at times. If this frost had hit at this time last year I probably would not have captured any pictures of it. By noon it had all dissipated.

I took a bunch of other pictures while I was at it. )

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