Today it isn’t about the lovely plates that Terry Hildebrand makes but what is on them. It was damp and grey in Winnipeg, -4 or so. One of those days when you feel a little colder close to the bone than the temperature outside would make you think. In fact, it reminded me of when we moved to England so I could do my PhD. We almost came back to Canada! You simply could not get warm. But…I had promised a long time friend that we would go for ice cream and the day we decided on, weeks ago, was today. I can hear the moans already … what was she thinking? Ice cream in Winnipeg in November! But you see, die-hard ice cream fans can enjoy Chaeban any day of the week unless you are watching the calories, which I am, so this treat is once every several months.
But today we were in for a surprise. There sitting next to the brand new coffee machines was a small tray of handmade sweets. The baklava, if you look close, is bursting with nuts but it is the other date coconut and pistachio roll that takes the word ‘treat’ to a whole different level. The flavours are fresh and what could have been overpowered by the strong flavour of dates, wasn’t. They complimented the coconut perfectly. The pistachios were held together ever so slightly with what I think is local honey…again, not too sweet.
So, if you aren’t in the mood for ice cream but you are looking for a beautiful spot to have coffee with a friend and a sweet treat, check out Chaeban. They are located at 690 S Osborne in Winnipeg. If you try the date coconut roll and like it as much as I did, tell them – and then smile and tell someone else. As a neighborhood, we are so happy to have Chaeban with us.
And next week, I plan to check out another new hangout just down the street, the new coffee shop at the corner of Morley and Osborne in the old BMO building. There are people drinking coffee and working on their laptops in the morning and even more in the evening. Looks inviting.
It also looks like there will be two other shops opening up soon…well done, South Osborne. And no…I didn’t get paid to say these things…but I will be going back for more date, coconut and pistachio rolls…yummy.
I am embarrassed. We have lived in South Osborne for two decades. We got tired of the hassle of the St Norbert Market with the paid parking, the lineups and sometimes wondering if the veggies were local or coming out a box from the suppliers. We wanted something a little simpler. The fact that it was a short walk away from our house is why the head is held in shame today…but never again.
There is free parking. That is a plus. Mind you, it was busy. You might have to walk a half block. Several stalls selling fresh local veggies – corn, every kind of beet, beans, tomatoes, lettuce, broccoli (and more). A stall with nothing but Artisan bread. After your shopping, you can sit down and listen to the free music with a pint from one of Winnipeg’s microbreweries, Half Pint. There is also fresh lemonade. If you are hungry, check out the Salvadorean food truck with its tamales, tacos, empanadas, etc. I say ‘etc’ because I can’t remember everything on their blackboard. Next time, I will take a photo. There are the usual soft drinks and hot dogs, speciality coffees, a few jewellers stalls, and one that had ceramics. I apologize if I really missed anyone. But, you have to have a favourite and the young lady who has the bees on Beresford and produces South Osborne Honey gets my vote. I hope that the bees who come to visit our Cosmos are hers! And, by the way, this South Osborne honey is a lovely yellow with a delicate flavour reminding me of lavender.
If you headed to my site today wanting to know what is going on in the world of ceramics, I am sorry. It is summer and after watching a glaze kiln all day I needed a bit of a treat and what better than ice cream.
We are so lucky in the South Osborne area. Chaeban opened in the winter and even then there were lineups for their handmade ice cream. Read their story on their website. It is heart warming. And, as Canadians, it is a positive sign that we welcome refugees from the war-torn Middle East into our country and our lives by visiting this local shop which, by the way, brings a bunch of happiness into its customers lives (like mine).
The flavour of the week is Louis Riel Lavender, a blend of luscious infused lavender with the freshest of Saskatoons. It is seriously amazing.
If you haven’t been to Chaeban, you need to go. It reminds me of the old-fashioned ice cream parlours that we had when I was growing up in Oklahoma. Everything is white and clean. You stand in line inside in the cool. The place is full of children with big smiles digging into their bowls. It is just a happy place. And now it even has free wifi.
You can’t buy the flavours at the local supermarket but they do have containers to take home. If you are Vegan, no problem. There is at least one flavour on hand just for you. One day it was a deep dark chocolate with avocado. The Plain Jane is anything but your old boring vanilla. It is sweetened with local honey and is full of sour cream giving it a tang that you don’t find elsewhere.
Now…if they only had handmade pottery bowls…………………..Back to ceramics tomorrow but for now remember that ice cream is a wonderful way to cool down from the summer heat we have been experiencing.