Where can one find non-Mennonite food around here? Here’s where we go when we diverge from our generally steady diet of kielke and vereneki:
Viet House. It’s hard to find, as their storefront faces an alley. You know the building that has Little Caesar’s, next to Snap Fitness? Viet House is around the back. We love their pho, though I tend to order the lotus salad with a milkshake to dull the burning from the chilies. LOVE the salad rolls. Their wontons are ridiculously good. The service here is top-notch, best in Steinbach, easily. Come around supper time and the place is bursting at the seams. It’s awesome.
Irori. This is a Korean barbecue place in Victoria Plaza… though I don’t think I’ve ever ordered the Korean barbecue here. My favourite is the Zi-Zi Rice, which comes to you in a sizzling hot stone bowl, topped with a sunny-side-up egg. Sometimes I order the Crazy Roll… which is tempura-battered and deep-fried and amazing. And I love the compartmentalized variety of their bento boxes. A quirk of this place is that the food comes a little sporadically, so just be prepared for that and you should be okay. FYI, they have a take-out counter where you can order amazing-sounding burgers. But we’ve always eaten in.
Sawney Beans. Every small town must and should have a “local”. The downtown British-style pub. A place you can walk to for a pint with friends. For us, that place is Sawney Beans in Steinbach. Every once in a while, I’ll encounter someone who says with disgust: “Did you know it’s named after a cannibal?” Listen. I’ve been aware of that legend for years, ever since Sawney Beans opened in Steinbach. In fact… I think I read it on the back of the menu when SB first opened its doors! So anyway, yeah, I know about the cannibal legend. It will not stop me from going to SB. It’s one of the only places in town to get local craft beer on tap and I appreciate their wings, burgers, and Irish nachos. I like the fireplace indoors in the winter, and the patio in summer. It’s a good place.
Ste. Anne’s Chinese Food. For years — YEARS! — we’ve heard about how you’ll find the best Canadian-Chinese food in Ste. Anne. But we didn’t go until recently. And we very quickly have ended up returning again and again. Their food tastes so fresh! The flavours are distinct, which surprised me the first time we ate here. The ginger beef is our favourite. Be warned, this restaurant is always packed.
The Flour Connection. This is downtown Steinbach, by the clocktower. It’s a Filipino bakery run by Aimee, who used to work in a French bakery in Manila. She knows her stuff, loves to experiment, and her baked goods are delicious. Her butter tarts are spectacular… and just today I tried an “ice cream sandwich” — except it’s not ice cream, it’s buttercream… I forget the name of this delight, but it was over-the-top good, just trust me, go there and get one. Aimee’s pandesal (a subtly sweet Filipino bun) are always fresh and plentiful. And I LOVE getting pancit from The Flour Connection, which is only available on Friday’s at lunch. (Pancit is rice noodles stir fried with cabbage, carrots, and chicken/pork/shrimp.) You can’t eat in, you can only take out. One order is good for two people to share. In summertime, look for the colourful Halo-Halo treat here!
Did I overlook something? What’s YOUR favourite? Let me know!