Weekend Away // Winnipeg, MB, Canada

My husband and I took a last minute trip to Winnipeg to spend some time with his Grandpa who had fallen quite ill and was in the hospital. Jordan is very close with him so it was tough knowing he was in pain and almost all the family was there but him. Luckily, he was well enough to leave the hospital the day after we arrived, and the good news on his health has poured in ever since - praise the Lord! Because this trip was not planned, and it wasn't during a major holiday as it is when we usually visit, it gave us a chance to explore and try out some new places to eat and drink. My husband grew up there, but a lot has changed and some great locally owned places have popped up since we last visited. If you ever find yourself in the center of North America, here a few places to check out!

DINNER & COCKTAILS:

The Grove Pub & Restaurant

This menu has a bit of something for everyone, but not in an overwhelming way. We split the poutine, which was great, but the crowning glory was the duck breast tacos. Out of this world! The layers of flavor were surprising and perfectly assembled to create a dish unlike any other I've tasted - I mean, there was duck crackling on the top people!! 

Duck Tacos

They also have seasonal drink specials, a great beer & wine list, and happy hour! I sipped on a melon mojito; it was delightful, not too sweet as some tend to be.

COFFEE:

Thom Bargen Coffee & Tea {Fun fact: The name comes from a combination of the co-owners names}

One of the first of its kind in Winnipeg, Thom Bargen offers a curated craft coffee menu, a few locally made pastry items, and a minimalist atmosphere with white walls, large windows, and wood & steel furnishings.

TB Latte

It also houses a leather shop called Wilder in the back that sells its beautifully crafted wares, along with some small batch body care products from a company, Northlore.

Northlore

Little Sister Coffee Maker

The name alone has a special place in my heart because I am a little sister to three of the best siblings out there. This adorable shop is accented with a mint green painted brick wall and matching ceramics for in-house coffee drinkers.

Little Sister

It’s set just below street level but has a great vintage street lamp with a coffee sign to alert the passerby. The owner, Vanessa, is kind and outgoing and really puts her passion into the place! She even has a branded bike rack out front so her customers can lock up and come in for a treat - if you’re ever in the neighborhood, I highly recommend it!

Little Sister Bike Rack

The thing I love most about these two coffee shops is that they are both owned and operated by people my husband grew up with and you just can’t beat supporting young entrepreneurs!

BRUNCH:

The Tallest Poppy and The Osborne Village Cafe

I’m not going to lie, you will be inclined to walk right by both of these places if you judge by looks alone, but once you get their vibe it all makes sense. These two places are not connected in any way, but they both provided amazing, creative, and fresh food in an unassuming atmosphere.

The Tallest Poppy has mismatched everything and wild paint colors, but it also boasts a huge front window and tall ceilings. I highly recommend the breakfast corndogs (what?!) and Jordan said his chicken & waffles were the best he’s ever had - and that’s saying something since we have some pretty great places here in Brooklyn.

The Osborne Village Cafe is set in an old motor inn and we never would have thought of it without the recommendation from a friend. From the outside, you might think it’s your average greasy spoon, but upon walking in, you see their house-grown microgreens and herbs and an ever-changing chalkboard menu of specials that highlight the season’s bounty, local eggs and potatoes and the enticing combinations that the chef is whipping up.

Jordan and Katie

Now, I know that you’re probably not headed to Winnipeg anytime soon, but I wanted to share this little adventure as a reminder to explore your own town, or somewhere close you thought you knew, to see what culinary gems might be hiding out there. It’s so important to support local businesses, whether they are your local or just local to the place you happen to be at the time - you can’t beat the heart & soul these folks put in!

With a full heart and an empty plate,

Katie

Comment

Weekend Away // San Francisco {coffee edition}

I’m not going to lie, I pretty much drove six hours for great coffee. Jordan had the pleasure of a 4-day weekend so we planned a little road trip for an early anniversary celebration, and so I could show him around that great city! I planned every part around where I wanted to stop in for coffee - no word of a lie. Luckily, he loves coffee too so we were all good. Although I didn’t get to all of the places I wanted to, I did hit a lot of my favorites, and a new place, thanks to the recommendation of my brother.

SF Coffee Bags

Ritual Coffee Roasters- I bought two bags of their coffee, one for us and one for my other brother, who shares my obsession and went on a coffee pilgrimage with me in SanFran last year. I enjoyed their cold brew when I popped in this time, and the whole bean made for some excellent French press when I got home! They have several locations, but we visited the one in the Mission.

Sightglass - In terms of atmosphere, their shop on 20th is my favorite of all the coffee shops I have visited. I love the records they play and their loft-style seating area and Top Bar upstairs. I went to their shop on 7th this time and tried the vanilla toddy and I was in heaven. As someone who drinks her coffee black, I only dabble in the flavors or creams when it comes highly recommended and this one hit the mark was totally worth it.

Sightglass Coffee

FourBarrel- I have only been to the Valencia St location and only tasted the iced coffee (I am always walking a ton when there and craving iced!) but it was great, rich and bold and served from a seemingly endless jug. Also, some of the nicest people in the coffee business working there! You’ll know this place when you see it - there is a great iron structure out front that is a combination bike rack/seating area and the perfect place to enjoy your brew.

Blue Bottle Coffee - A favorite from New York that we miss dearly and it got two visits from us in SF, one at the Ferry Building and the other in SoMa. The lines are always crazy, but it’s always worth it, from the pour-over to the New Orleans iced. And some fabulous news, a location just moved into the Arts district in LA!!

Our last stop was Front Cafe, and we hit it on our way out of the city. We were quite taken with the interior, branding, and the nondescript location, so my husband snapped a few shots to share. 

Front Cafe

They share the space with artists who create the glassware that is used for serving and displays and sell it too. Very, very cool and excellent coffee. 

Front Cafe Counter

We had the cold brew to go - and got it in a mason jar - which locals bring back for a refill, but we got to keep since we were headed back to LA. I never would have found it just wandering the streets in my go-to areas, so do yourself a favor and make the trip over!

Iced Coffee

Next time you are in San Francisco, or are in a city that one of these shops has a location, check them out; you will not regret it. Not only is the coffee phenomenal, but each location has it’s own special features that make it memorable. Happy caffinating!

With a full heart and an empty plate,

Katie