Oct/Nov 2015 Aug/Sept 2015 - Page 25

Winnipeg is a multicultural paragon, and the city's ever-shifting demographics are indicated by a wealth of fantastic places to eat with cuisines that span the globe. Ciao! reviews always aim to broaden our readers' repetoire of the city's good eats. This issue ventures past chef-driven hotspots to neighbourhoods and suburbs decidedly off the trendy path. In these no-fuss and no-frills environments, recipes that have migrated to Winnipeg with families merge tradition and new ingredients, once again revealing how thinking global and acting local enriches the culinary landscape. GOHE Neighbourhood . ...West End Address . .... 533 Sargent Ave Phone . ......204-414-1529 Entrées . ..........$12-$15 The mural on the outside of Gohe restaurant – one of the West End’s many al fresco artworks – declares Ethiopia the land of “13 months of sunshine”. Inside, when served with a table-spanning platter of stews and curries, it is easy to agree. Vibrant, acidic, tangy, and hot, the Ethiopian specialties at Gohe provide surpassingly sunny flavour. The sparse dining room gains the cozy vibe of a neighbourhood haunt in the evening, when the space fills with a diverse cross-section of diners gathering to chatter while scooping saucy entrées into torn-off shreds of injera. This spongy sourdough bread traditionally acts as both cutlery and plate, sopping up the main dishes’ flavourful oils and juices. Clarified, spice-infused butter and chile-laced berberé are the basis for stews like doro wat, a rich, longsimmered dish packed with morsels of tender chicken and topped with a ciao! reviews hard boiled egg. Tibs, tender cubes of meat sautéed with vegetables, hot peppers, and spices are available with lamb, chicken, or beef. The fiery mix gets an acidic hit from bits of tomato peppered throughout, while a hint of rosemary lingers, adding an herbal, fragrant note. A crisp salad slick with vinaigrette arrives with the dish, a refreshing complement. Vegetarians are spoiled for choice as well. Spice-laden shiro wat, made from ground chickpeas, and kik alicha, a vibrant yellow split pea stew, are filling and flavourful highlights. Finish the meal with a diminuative but powerful cup of coffee. For those looking to put a little hair on their chest, the dark, rich brew is the perfect jolt to follow an African feast. Gohe is open Tue-Sun 1 pm-9:30 pm, closed Monday. LA FIESTA CAFECITO Neighbourhood ..... St Vital Address . ....730 St Anne's Rd Phone . ...... 204-257-7108 Entrées . ..........$15-$20 Like many hidden gems in this restaurant city, La Fiesta Cafecito conceals its charm behind a nondescript strip mall front. In reality only a short jaunt down St Anne’s road is required to visit this outpost of El Salvador, but the warm-climate hospitality of this family-owned spot transports diners way south of the border. Meals are comforting and filling, rich flavours balanced with flourishes of lemon, fresh corn, and sparing spiciness as bright as the yellow and green walls popping with vividly coloured artwork. Salvadoran signatures are impeccably executed, like papusas, pan fried until smoky and perfectly charred. Spicy jalapeño filling oozes gooey cheese. Flaky cassava (or yuca) is served fried or steamed under a pile of chicharrones – salty, crispyfried shreds of pork – while tamales' dessert-like sweetness arrives twisted in a corn husk. Mexican influence can be spied in cheesy quesadillas and the massive burrito poderoso (that’s ‘powerful burrito’), but enchiladas here are far from Tex-Mex. Fried masa-dough rounds topped with savoury black bean purée, tomato-sauced beef, guacamole, or coleslaw, and scattered with cheese, give addictive crunch. Offerings of fresh juice and housemade soup change daily, though if the server says the words “chipotle chicken”, don’t hesitate – rich in the way only long-simmered broth can be, the slurp-able soup is laden with shreds of chicken, rice, and bright rounds of green onion. Any juice is a safe bet, though rice-based horchata is a top notch refresher, cool and creamy with a tinge of cinnamon. The menu calls for diner interaction, offering individual and share-able combination plates that encourage taste-testing. It only seems right at a location that fits the very definition of ‘family style’. La Fiesta Cafecito is open Tue-Thu 4:30-9 pm, Fri-Sat 4:30-10 pm, closed Sun & Mon. FUSIAN EXPERIENCE Neighbourhood . . Academy Rd Address . .... 612 Academy Rd Phone . ......204-691-9334 Entrées . ......... $10-$40 Fusian Experience crushes the influx of sushi joints popping up in the city. Artful dishes are executed with quality and creativity by seasoned pros. There's no flashy exterior, but the tiny restaurant on Academy Road is dressed in chic décor. An inventive selection of fanciful creations delivers seafood stunners and raw marvels. ciao! / aug/sep / two thousand fifteen 23