Jaillan Yehia

Best Places To Eat In Brandon Manitoba

Written by Jaillan Yehia

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Caesar Salad, not to be confused with Caesar cocktails

Caesar Salad, not to be confused with Caesar Cocktails

I discover two of the top places to eat in Brandon Manitoba  – from Canadian-themed grill Joe Beeverz to sophisticated dining at lounge-bar Blu Kitchen

Joe Beeverz

Joe Beeverz

North Americans cover your ears now, because you’ll be shocked to hear I had never tried s’mores before coming to Canada – but then I’d never been camping either, and the two usually go hand-in-hand.

This alfresco summertime treat consisting of toasted marshmallow and chocolate sandwiched by your own fair hands between Graham crackers, usually over a roaring fire, has been turned into an indoor year-round affair by the inventive folks at Canadian-themed bar and grill Joe Beeverz, who bring a mini fire pit to your table with all the fixings to the surprise/jealousy of your fellow diners.

Make your own S'mores at Joe Beeverz

Make your own S’mores at Joe Beeverz

The only hard part about this is that by the time dessert rolls round despite endless vows to save enough room, the tasty Perogy Poutine had done me in; this is a combination of two more dishes that I confess had passed me by before my travels first brought me to British Columbia and which, like s’mores, may not be winning any prizes from Weight Watchers but I’d plump for them again anytime, quite literally.

Perogy Poutine

Pace yourself with the Perogy Poutine

The rest of the menu is a tribute to good old Canadian classics including the signature poutines (for the uninitiated that’s a combination of french fries, gravy and cheese curds, far tastier than those ingredients smushed together have any right to be) of which 14 varieties are on offer, including a Chicken Pot Pie version which triumphed in a customer competition and snagged the inventor free poutine for life.

Hail Caeser

Hail Caeser

This is also the place to try a Caesar cocktail, Canadians are said to down 350 million of these a year, but, you guessed it, as it’s virtually unheard of outside Canada, like the rest of the world the closest I’d previously got was a Bloody Mary, which isn’t the same thing at all – the difference is the clamato juice and spices, and in the case of Joe Beeverz amazing garnishes like pepperoni sticks and squeezy cheez whiz.

DSC_1614

The decor here, fittingly, is a combination of hockey memorabilia and Canadiana with a tongue-in-cheek twist, but in typically Canadian fashion there’s nothing ironic about the service, it’s just completely, overwhelmingly, smilingly nice – which takes some getting used to for someone used to UK-style service, but if you don’t think you can get used to people being incredibly nice, Canada is no place for you anyway.

Blu Kitchen

Blu Kitchen & Bar, Brandon Manitoba

Blu Kitchen & Bar, Brandon Manitoba

At the completely other end of the spectrum on the Brandon dining scene is the newly opened Blu Kitchen and Bar, a contemporary lounge-style eatery serving a classic and enticing menu of fresh ‘made-from-scratch’ food including focaccia bread baked daily on site.

The menu at Blu

The menu at Blu

I visited on a weekday lunchtime when the clever marketers behind the new venture for the town offer a selection of their 12 most popular menu items for just $12 – a steal for the quality of the food and the generous portion sizes.

Smoked Gouda Burger

Smoked Gouda Burger

The burger, along with a selection of other items on the menu is served with fries, but it’s a nice touch to be able to swap half your fries for a caesar salad, which makes the meal more varied and a touch lighter.

Caesar salad is an option instead of fries

Caesar salad is an option instead of fries

Having devoured the signature appy of seafood stuffed bacon wrapped prawns with my dining companions’ able assistance it was still a real challenge to finish my main, but I imagine come dinner time or with a man-sized appetite this would be a non-issue, and even it was it falls firmly in the category of First World Problems.

Seafood Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Prawns

Seafood Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Prawns at Blue; seriously moreish

The spacious interior at Blu allows for a separation between the dining and the bar area, and the bar has its own specials including $5 Bellinis and glasses of wine on Tuesdays as part of their series of promotions designed to introduce the newcomers to their concept.

Blu's bar area

Blu’s bar area

Incredibly for me I didn’t partake in the cocktails; not only was it lunchtime but I had little ones in tow, who are catered for very well at Blu; kids’ meals are preceded by a mini craft kit to keep them entertained and despite being little in price ($8), portion-control is just as generous as it was for us big kids.

Little kids and big meals, big kids and craft kits

Little kids and big meals, big kids modelling glasses made with craft kits

 

More Info

brandon restaurants

Joe Beeverz has branches in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the Brandon branch is at:

20 – 1300 18th St.
Brandon, MB
R7A 6X7
Tel: 204-726-JOES (5637)

Blu Kitchen and Bar is at:

1630 Park Ave
Brandon, MB
R7A 1J5

Tel: (204) – 728 – 5930

 

 


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