Thursday, September 9, 2010

More market goodness

Over the Labour Day long weekend, I decided to check out a couple of year-round "markets" that have been recommended to me by my ever-helpful coworkers.  These aren't markets in the seasonal, outdoor sense, but more specialized, local shops.  On the docket for Saturday: Tenderloin Meat & Sausage and Gimli Fish Market.  Let the exploration begin!

Tenderloin Meat & Sausage.  Copyright Google Maps.
There's a fun story behind my trip to Tenderloin, aside from my silly rush to get there.  Who closes at 4 pm on a Saturday?! Apparently, Tenderloin does.  Anyway, Shannon suggested this spot in particular for three things: Winnipeg rye bread, locally-made sweet-hot pickles, and something that sounded phonetically like "COO-bah-sah", which was presented as some sort of meat product.  Now, I worked in a deli for six long years.  Never in my life had I heard of such an offering... and yet everyone was looking at me in disbelief.  Shannon then described it as a smoked sausage made with big ham chunks and garlic, a Polish/Ukrainian thing... and then it hit me.  They were talking about KIELBASA.  Or kolbasa, I've seen it spelled both ways.  In ONTARIO.  Apparently, here in the land of the bison, it's spelled "Kubasa" and pronounced as above.  It seemed so very foreign to me! 

Regardless, I like kielbasa/kubasa quite a bit, so I decided to give Tenderloin a go.  As soon as I stepped in, I felt at home... it smelled like the Market Square in Windsor, where my mother would take me as a little girl.  It's a powerful scent memory for me.  The staff was very friendly and patient, even though I rushed in at 15 minutes to close.  I thought the finely-ground sausage looked more like my old favourite, Rudy's kolbasa, but I went for the coarse sausage since the very helpful butcher recommended it as the more popular choice.  I wasn't disappointed.  Lean, smoky, garlicky, and delicious, it went very well with some cheddar and crackers for a quick snack.  Oh, and the PICKLES.... mmm.  I love sweet and hot as a flavour combination, and I love pickles.  Done deal.

A rather crappy view of the Gimli Fish market.  That's what I get for ripping off Google Maps again.
Next up was the fish market.  I was after some Lake Winnipeg pickerel (aka walleye, for you Americans out there).  I'd had lots of the same species from Lake Erie before, and very much enjoyed it.  Again, staff was very helpful, and luckily I was able to buy a single fillet instead of a huge five-pound package of fish.  It's tricky when you're only one person...

The spoils!!
I decided to make dinner out of my findings, along with some steamed new potatoes to add a starch.  Now, I know, it seems strange to eat steamed potatoes, pickles, fish, and kubasa all together.  But think about it.  Sausage + potatoes = no brainer.  Potatoes + fish = hello, extremely common combo if the spuds are in the form of chips/fries.  Fish + pickles = just missing the mayo and you have tarter sauce.  Sausage + pickles = ...well, I don't know.  The kubasa was really just tubular ham, and pickles are a common topping on ham sub/sandwich.  So there.  I managed to tie it all together.  And really, I quite enjoyed mixing and matching all the different portions of my successful food scouting day.  Thanks again for the recommendations, all!!  You're true foodie enablers ;)

I think the wine helped me not care about the oddity of the spread...
I do love dining on the balcony, even if I was harrased by a yellow jacket wasp.  They're frequently confused for bees, but this Honeybee was not at all amused by its advances.
Looking forward to trying some highly-recommended Winnipeg ice cream shops before the weather gets much colder,

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