Falling In Love With Charley B’s

Andrew and I recently enjoyed a little West-Reserve-getaway. And, after exploring the site upon which my foremothers and forefathers had spent time in the distant past, there was only one thing on my mind: FOOD.

More specifically, Charley B’s Classic Grill & Ice Cream Parlour.

We were pretty hungry by the time we rolled into Winkler mid-afternoon. This was precisely what we needed.

“How did you know about this place?” inquired Andrew with a tone of wonder, as he perused the impressive menu.

Well. I may be a yantzied-er to Winklerites, but I have my ways. More specifically, I knew about Charley B’s because of Prairie Oils & Vinegars… a Steinbach shop I visit on the regular. PO&V had a Winkler store a while back, and they know good food. And, they love love LOVED Charley B’s. So I knew I had to go.

First, the freshly-squeezed lemonades were HUGE. Which was perfect, because we were parched.

The cups looked familiar. I was charmed to realize these are the same containers in which you can buy delicious soups-to-go from various main street locations back home. “These aren’t supposed to be cups!” I exclaimed to Andrew. “These are soup containers!” I love that combination of creative innovation and generosity.

Then our order was called. I was so excited to finally at long last enjoy some good old Charley B’s chow.

Obviously. OBVIOUSLY we ordered the Mennonite poutine.

I love a good Mennonite poutine, and I’d say this is one of the best.┬áThe schmauntfat is deliciously flavourful, and I really appreciate the carmelized onions in there.

Do you see the person in the background? I love the colour of her dress.

Here’s a pic of Andrew’s burger again.

There is no pic of my burger. I ordered the Great White Mushroom and I ate it too fast. Wait. “Ate” is too polite a word for what happened here. Devoured. I devoured it. No pics. I remember the amount of mushrooms was phenomenal, the sauce was ridiculous(ly good) and I was so happy in devouring the burger that I was also doing a happy wiggle that I think many hungry people do. Little kids for sure do this, and some grown adults still do, too.

For me, a big part of a great culinary experience is all about the story behind the food, and in this I believe Charley B’s delivers, too. They clearly love local, they love knowing where their food comes from, and this translates directly into a quality experience. There’s a circle of respect there — for the farmers, the product, their clientele, and each other. I didn’t meet them. I just sense it. These people care, and take the initiative to know what they’re feeding people. And I also felt there was a real sense of joy infusing the place.

Even though we were full, I felt that we couldn’t dine at Charley B’s and not have ice cream. It’s a gourmet ice cream parlour, for Pete’s sake! I really appreciate that they offer “munchkin” sizes of ice cream. This allowed us to get two to share, even though we’re full.

I’d really had a hankering for the charcoal honey ice cream I’d read about online… but because every batch is a small batch, it’s kind of luck-of-the-draw in that regard. The selections probably rotate pretty quickly. The white chocolate raspberry cheesecake “quake” was fantastic.

There’s so much more on the menu, that we know we’re simply going to have to return another time.

I love Charley B’s!