Inglis Grain Elevators – Inglis, Manitoba

We took a short detour off our drive to Saskatoon from Riding Mountain National Park to visit Inglis, Manitoba. Why Inglis? Because my non-prairie urban Torontonian husband is fascinated with Grain Elevators, and I’m always pretty excited about National Historic Sites, so it seemed like the perfect stop to visit along the way, it wasn’t that far off the highway, and it’s a very worthwhile piece of history. If you don’t care about grain elevators, best just skip this post, because that’s all I’m going to talk about. I took so many photos and random shots in Inglis and near the elevators, but it’s hard to decide which angle of a Grain Elevator will be particularly compelling.  I find these buildings fascinating, and still historically significant in terms of how people transported, contained, and processed part of their food. If you’re interested, Inglis has an outside walking tour guide available online where you can read through and see the different buildings and their importance. What I found quite interesting about this place, and checking their website, is that you can see the amount of restoration that this town and probably Parks Canada has put into rehabilitating these old grain elevators. I will link to the older photos for each corresponding elevator, the differences are often pretty significant. N.M.Patterson & CO Ltd.  (this is the old N.M.Paterson & Co elevator) The Paterson Elevator, at the very north end of the row, was built in 1922 by N.M. Paterson and Sons.  Paterson…

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Riding Mountain National Park – Manitoba

After Winnipeg, and before Saskatoon we took a trip to visit Riding Mountain National Park for a few days. It would be the second time we camped so far on our little adventure (the first was at a Michigan State Park,) but it would remain as one of the highlights of the trip. As I reflect on the entire trip through Canada and the USA, I realize that most of my highlights and favourite places  are all in National Parks or places where we had an opportunity to see natural beauty and surprisingly did not generally include all the wonderful food places we visited (although that was nice too.) Loading The adventure continues. Goodbye Winnipeg. On to Riding Mountain National Park. View on Instagram One thing we weren’t ready for – mosquitos. People said there were mosquitos. But we didn’t really believe them until we saw the swarms in person. But that’s not fun. Let’s start at the beginning. We woke up fairly early and started driving westward toward the park. I had booked a nice looking site online, through the parks Canada booking system, in Wasagaming. We had a tent and equipment with us, but I was really tempted to book one of the oTentik sites, because they’re kind of like cabins, but also still let you sleep in the wilderness. We decided to save the oTentik camping for another time. Spoilers: during the remainder of our camping visits, we never ended up near a National Park with an…

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A revolving restaurant in Winnipeg? – Prairie 360

On our last evening in Winnipeg, we had to check out Prairie 360, a revolving restaurant in downtown Winnipeg. Yes, a revolving restaurant in downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba. We went to Prairie 360 as a part of July 2014’s Ciao Winnipeg organized Eat Winnipeg prix fixe special. Prairie 360 does have other vegan food on their regular menu, but the special dishes narrowed it down, and it was a pretty great deal too. First of all, you have to get up there, in a elevator that doesn’t quit, we were seated near the window, with lots of room and comfortable seating, and probably one of the best views of Winnipeg – facing the new (and increasingly controversial) Canadian Human Rights Museum. It’s a beautiful and weird looking building, and we had a great view of it, and all of Winnipeg from up on high. I’ve had some negative experiences with revolving restaurants before, so I was a bit nervous about seating  – but we were arranged thoughtfully, and it wasn’t packed, so we got to enjoy the view and our own little private zone. They start with bread and butter (but brought us a dish of olive oil when we asked.) The appetizers on special were both vegan by default and there was one I was especially excited about – Yellow Tomato Gazpacho, with grilled scallion vinagrette. Because folks, I love gazpacho and this one was delicious. The plating was a bit messed up after our server zoomed to our table…

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Stella’s For Brunch in Winnipeg

In Winnipeg and want vegan brunch bright and early? Stella’s has you covered. If you’re a local, or lived in Winnipeg at any point, you’ll recognize Stella’s as an institution in the city. There are locations around the city, they make their own bread, and offer a whole bunch of clearly labelled vegan options – including brunch. So one morning JC and I met up with a friend that recently moved back to Winnipeg from Toronto, over at the Stella’s cafe and bakery location on Sherbrooke. It was busy, but not packed. We got a table near the front and ordered a round of vegan brunch items – well, one of each. There are two vegan breakfast/brunch items on menu over at Stella’s. But also a few more options for other times of the day (but we didn’t try any of those). JC and I shared the Tofu Scramble and the “Vegan Mexican”. Both were great, but I think the Vegan Mexican plate was my favourite. I was glad both plates had seasoned fried potatoes included too because they were delicious. Tofu Scramble – Sautéed seasoned tofu, tomato, onion & red pepper on fresh arugula. Served with salsa, hash browns, with dry sourdough toast & Stella’s jam. Vegan Mexican – Corn tortillas, refried beans, breakfast patties, spinach, mushrooms, green onion & tomato. Served with salsa, guacamole & hash browns. The thing I liked about this visit, besides the vegan brunch was catching up with a friend, and hanging out at this…

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Vegan Roadtrip – Boon Burger in Winnipeg

I think the problem with reminiscing about these things a month later is that we went back several times, and part of me wants to go in order, and part of me doesn’t care. So I’m just going to put our visits together – we went to both Winnipeg Boon Burger locations (& eventually the new one in Barrie too, but I’ll save that for another post) and a great time was had by all. The first Boon Burger we visited was the newest Winnipeg location on Bannatyne, and if you’re into The Guess Who, you might notice that one of their albums is named after this avenue (So Long, Bannatyne). It’s in an upscale, urban feeling place, and the restaurant is huge, spacious, with high ceilings and lots of beam and post, and beautiful solid wood. Plus booths! It’s incredible to me that Canada’s first all vegan burger place opened in Winnipeg, but like I said before, it’s a place where awesome things can happen. You have a couple of options for ordering – Boon Burger has an app for iPhone and Android you can use to place to go or to stay orders (and get a discount), or you can talk to the friendly folks at the cash and order that way. Pick what you want, from their fabulous menu (pdf), pay, and you’ll get a plastic animal and a receipt to take to your table so they can find you, and bring out your order. They have four different burger…

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The Forks in Winnipeg

After a brief stop at the Vegetarian Food Festival, my tale of Road-tripping around North America can continue! I’m finding myself at a mental roadblocks when writing about our trip or just writing in general. At certain points there is one place or one area that just stops me in my tracks. And it’s not usually that it was an unpleasant experience or I don’t have anything nice to say, it’s just… for reasons unknown, I can’t really get it together about where ever it is we were (which then complete derails everything until I pick it up again). So here it goes anyway, micro steps. Right after we visited Jonnie’s Sticky Buns, we went over to The Forks market to take a look around and see if the Canadian Museum for Human Rights was open yet (it wasn’t – but it is opening Sept 20-21.) The Forks is a National Historic Site, and I was completely unfamiliar with it before visiting. We were trying to figure out why it was considered a National Historic site when it seemed to just be a really nice looking market building, and a place with a weekly farmers market BUT as we found out, it’s actually a lot more than that. The Forks is a junction point of the Red and Assiniboine rivers, and was used as a major transportation, trade, and settlement area, and was a historically important meeting place as both of those rivers are connected to an intercontinental network of water…

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Minnesota – Hard Times Cafe

So continues our VeganMoFo cross country road trip adventure! Ever feel so incredibly out of place, and yet feel a pull from some nostalgic core about a place? Well, that’s how I felt about Hard Times Cafe the moment I walked in. I’ve never been much of a punk. I lived in a punk house, and we had punk shows in our living room, but I never really fit in. At least aesthetically. Still don’t. Luckily, it didn’t really matter. As we walked a little further into the lounge at the Hard Times Cafe there were a whole bunch of different people in there. From entire families, to college kids, to a mad scientist looking type reading a big book, and then there was us. Canadian tourists fresh out of visiting the Mall of America. Don’t worry about fitting in, come in for the food. I ordered a Jolt Cola when I walked in and took a menu for JC and I to look at. What happens is you look at the menu, write down your order (except for drinks) on a piece of paper (per person – write your name on it), tell the cashier your drink order, and pay for it at the cash register (p.s. they are cash only). Then someone calls your name, and you pick up your food from the back at the kitchen. Service was friendly, and straightforward, and generally better than some of the spots we’ve visited in Toronto that I wont mention. It also didn’t take our orders very…

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Minnesota – When Pizza is Exciting.

We arrived in Minneapolis, Minnesota super late at night after driving up from Chicago, via Madison, Wisconsin.  After a frenzied search for a hotel, while parked in the Mall of America parkade (we went to the Arizona level) having a hard time finding wireless signal, we eventually settled in for the night at one of my least favourite hotel chains. So, I’ll say I’m not usually excited about pizza. For me, it often turns into food for the sake of eating something, which I don’t like doing most of the time, but JC actually likes pizza, and found a pizza place I hadn’t heard of with lots of vegan options, and gave them a call: Pizza Luce. So I shrugged and said whatever. Well, I was wrong to not be excited, and probably tired, and hangry at the time, because this pizza was tasty, with a great crust. Another nice thing about Pizza Luce is that they also make their own nut based vegan cheese called Rinotta, that we got on our pizza. It’s not really like cheese, and sort of reminded me a tiny bit of Maniocheese, but it was nice to have a daiya and dairy alternative to try. They do delivery, but JC went and picked up. On their website you can organize things by “vegan or vegan by request” (and also by gluten free or gluten free by request” if that’s your scene) In addition to pizzas they also had hoagies (the Mock Muffeletta sounded interesting),…

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Madison, Wisconsin – The Green Owl

Our last morning in Chicago was spent running around the city going to REI (a US version of Mountain Equipment Coop) to get some last minute camping equipment we noticed we needed after our time in Michigan, and then we were on the road again – next stop Madison, Wisconsin. We stuck to I-90 most of the way from Chicago, and the drive was a little under 3 hours. Driving up was lovely, and as we came into the city we could get why it was called the City of Four Lakes (though I only noticed two…), the greenspace near the lakes and the reflecting cityscape were beautiful as we travelled up John Nolen Drive. The thing I find kind of funny about Wisconsin, is that most of their license plates say “America’s Dairyland” and here we were planning a stop, and planning to find something vegan to eat besides buying a bunch of vegetables from a market. But, no, much like my beloved Prairies in Canada, Madison has a lot of awesome stuff going on, and it’s not even that hard to find. Madison is named after the USA’s fourth president, James Madison, and is the state capital. It’s also the second largest city in Wisconsin (second to Milwaukee) and home to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. If we didn’t have a schedule to keep, it would have been nice to stay in Madison a bit longer and explore the area, but we only really had time for lunch so we visited The Green…

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Things I Love Thursday. Oh The Places You’ll Go

JC and I have just come back from driving around North America for around 7 weeks, and I’m full of feelings of gratitude and awe at having such a wonderful opportunity this summer, and trying to take stock of all the incredible things and places and people we’ve had the privilege to visit. When we started planning our trip, I titled our shared Google doc – “Oh the Places You’ll Go, ” and 19,000 km later, we sure did. I feel a little more aware of the diverse and unique beauty and history that’s all over our continent and the parts of it we’ve been able to see so far. I’m looking forward to seeing more in the future, but what we’ve seen so far, has been pretty wonderful. So we’ve travelled from Toronto, to Chicago, then north through Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota, across through the colourful Canadian prairies, including a stop at Riding Mountain National Park, east west across Canada to Alberta, through the yellow, green, and tan fields stretching through Manitoba and Saskatchewan. We went south through an International Peace Park (a collaboration of Glacier National Park in USA and Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada), and kept going through Montana and Wyoming (Yellowstone National Park), barely a stop in Idaho (I didn’t even buy any potatoes), delicious food and huge temples in Utah, a hacker convention in Nevada, blending together our love of natural beauty, history, delicious vegan food, and ridiculous/awesome random delightful nerdery along the way. We explored several beautiful mountain ranges…

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