Exchange+Food

by TRH on January 16, 2015

in News and Reviews

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King + Bannatyne

Newly opened (the end of November 2014 I believe) this sandwich shop is easy to miss as you’ll find it snuggled into the brick base of the new parkade at the titular corner. Once inside you’ll find a cozy quasi-industrial interior and wafting smells of fresh roasted meats.  The crew prepares a fresh and local focused menu of sandwiches from scratch.

The standbys of the menu include a sliced brisket, porchetta (slow roast Italian pork) and meatball. There’s also a weekly? Feature and some form of ridiculous grilled cheese option. As I write this their feature of the week is their take on a banh mi and previous weeks have included various pulled pork options (Stir Stick Stout  and Black Cherry Bourbon being two that come to mind.) Grilled cheeses that I have seen include Goat Cheese/Tomato Chutney and Brie/Roasted Garlic Applesauce. As good as those sound you’re missing out if you don’t try the meat. Whole roasts are cut when you order and (at least in my experience at lunch) get onto your bun or bread as juicy as can be as a result. Truth be told on my first two visits I went for the meatball, the first time because I love a good meatball sandwich and not many places in Winnipeg do it well, the second time the very next day with a friend who wanted to try it because it was so great the first time. Big dense meatballs (I’m guessing a pork/beef mix) seasoned delectably and healthily smeared with a kicked up marinara and cheese. I was only able to force myself to try something else on the third visit. My dining companions on one visit added a soup on the side (a delicious smelling curried carrot that day) but quickly realized I’d meant what I said when I told them the sandwich was enough on its own. Soup and a grilled cheese would likely be a fantastic lunch combo though and next time the soup is something I like I will try it.

If you’re taking out everything’s fine but it’s a tiny space so arrive a bit early or late if you’re planning on having a seat Friday lunch. Water is served in repurposed liquor bottles and beer/good sodas are available. Vegetarians take note the only non salad Veggie option is the current decadent grilled cheese feature.


 

Deer + Almond

I’ve never had an entirely satisfactory trip to Deer+Almond. On my first visit one of my pieces of chicken was dangerously undercooked, another time a requested appetizer never actually came. While the space is interesting it’s incredibly loud when full and not someplace I’d take someone on a first date. Lately I’ve been going more for lunch and they are ridiculously slow even when ¾ empty and on occasion a friend and I waited for an hour and twenty minutes only to be served nothing that we’d actually ordered. You might be asking yourself why I keep going back…

…the food is simply phenomenal. That chicken? It was one piece of three and the other two were among the best pieces of fried chicken I’ve ever had. The missing appetizer? No biggy because the flavours of everything else were too busy blowing my mind. That completely random lunch that came to my table? It was a melt in your mouth slow roasted lamb sandwich with a crème fraiche and slightly spicy sauce. As we both had our first bites our eyes met and I could tell we both were thinking ‘I would have ordered this had I known about it.’ On top of which not only did they comp us that lunch and give us a free drink, they gave us a twenty dollar gift cert for our next visit.

It’s certainly not someplace you can go when you’re in a hurry (my most recent lunch visit clocked in at an hour and ten minutes despite the place only being 1/3 full) but the lunch menu has a number of great options at a quite reasonable price. $10-12 will get you a nice sandwich/entrée with a healthy side of either salad or soup of the day. Both of their burger week iterations are now on the lunch menu (at least semi) permanently, I have yet to sample the Royale with Cheese but the Chicken Fried Chicken burger was one of my favourites of Burger Week 2014. The special is often worth trying as well as in addition to the Lamb mentioned above I recently had a chopped brisket melt sandwich with fontina served with a mustard laced jus for dipping. It was probably the most decadent beef dip I’ve ever had.

Though I don’t indulge at lunch their cocktail choices have been interesting and tasty on the occasions I’ve gone in the evening. Reservations are more or less required at peak times as it doesn’t seat a ton of people.

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