Vereniki — those cottage-cheese-stuffed pillowy delights, covered in rich cream gravy — do not photograph well.
But who cares, when they taste so good? Especially at the Livery Barn Restaurant on the grounds of the Mennonite Heritage Village in Steinbach.
Social distancing and other protocols are in place everywhere, but I’m delighted that these seasonal eateries are still able to open and provide us with such tasty morsels.
Andrew and I waited prudently for one full day before visiting the newly re-opened MHV for lunch. Thursday is their famous all-you-can-eat soup and bread day. The difference this year is that you must tell them ahead of time how much soup and pie you plan to eat. That’s the safety rule. Andrew went for the soup and bread, but I can’t help myself — I like to have the vereniki at the Livery Barn as often as I can. So, what you see there is just a portion of the Sampler Plate… but of course I had to add a cinnamon bun to my order because LOOK AT IT. I have a weakness for the Livery Barn cinnamon buns. (Alongside their vereniki, obviously.)
It’s true, visiting the Livery Barn feels a little different these days, with the safety barriers in place and hand sanitization stations located absolutely everywhere. BUT those changes haven’t altered the experience for me. For the most part it feels much the same — just no squishing in with strangers at a table anymore. When we were dining at the MHV the other day, social distancing was easy to do because the pavilion is wide open with fresh air and spaced out tables, plus there are picnic tables everywhere behind the Blacksmith Shop, by the trees, in view of the windmill. I’m just excited the restaurant is open again and we’re already planning a return visit!