State & Main

Just when you thought we had enough big-box restaurants like Moxie’s and Earl’s, another one pops up! This time it’s out in Transcona nuzzle in Kildonan Place shopping mall. If you’ve been to Moxie’s, Earl’s, or Joey’s, you know what to expect from State & Main – if you’ve walked into one, you’ve walked into them all. That being said, I’m never terribly disappointed in the food at these places, and I usually leave satisfied! So, it’s time I take you out to T-cons to see what State & Main is all about.

The reason why State & Main might seem so familiar is because it’s the same owners as Original Joe’s, and they even share the same head office is Calgary. Once you step foot in the door you will be taken away in the sultry mood lighting and feel like you are in a commercial. Ok, maybe not, but that’s what they are going for.

There are a couple things I’d like to point out before we get to the club. 1- the menu is open face, therefore you can’t close it to show you are ready to order. How is the waitress suppose to know!? And 2- whoever thought of the name “Crafty Thursdays” for their Thursday drink special needs to sit long and hard and ask themselves, if that’s the best alliteration they could come up with? It’s like they have the second coming of Jay-Z writing their menu.

ANYWAYS, lets talk club. State & Main surprised me when I saw they offer 3 different clubs. BUT, I could not find a traditional club with bread on the menu. Instead there was the club burger, club wrap, and applewood salmon club. It was a tough choice, but I wasn’t feeling too adventurous and went with the burger club. It came jam packed with fixins, and even had plenty of avocado – a nice touch! Where this club lost me was on the big greezy bun, I simply got tired of eating it. This club wasn’t the worst, but it wasn’t the best, but I don’t think I would order it again. One nice thing was that all meals come with 2 sides, and there are lots of options including….corn bread.

So, State & Main – what’s the final verdict? Meh, could live with it, could live without it. Go to any of these box restaurants for the same food, vibe, and price.

Oh yeah, and this is my 50th post! So, it’s time to celebrate, who wants to go clubbin!?

Price: $13.50

Rating: 6/10

State and Main on Urbanspoon

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Country Porch

When a friend told me there was a restaurant just outside the city with a huge sign that says “best clubhouse,” there was only one thing to do. It was only a matter of time before I made my way out there to put it to the test. I didn’t know the name of the restaurant or where exactly it was, I just knew it was out McPhillips Street past the perimeter. I hopped in the car and drove and drove; well it wasn’t that far, it’s only 2 km outside of the city – but I drove until I saw a big sign claiming they had the best clubhouse sandwich. Once I spotted the sign I took a hard left into the parking lot and voila – I was at Country Porch.

The name of this restaurant speaks for itself. Country Porch did a good job of making me feel far away from the city even though I was only 2 km out of it. It reminded me of the kind of place that you frequent for a bite to eat and an ice cream when you are at the lake. The menu is written in chalk above the counter, but there are also paper menus on the table in case you prefer to sit and decide. When you are ready to order you can get up off your patio chair, go up to the counter, and tell em what you’re feendin for.

Now that’s enough about the patio furniture, let’s dissect the club to see if the sign is lives up to its claim! Country Porch’s club is offered with 3 pieces of bread (white,rye, brown,) or 2 pieces if you decide to go with the thick harvest rye. Even though I’m a 3-piece guy, I went for the 2-piece harvest rye and didn’t turn back.

But here is the biggest twist to the clubhouse; it has both chicken AND turkey. Wow, I didn’t see that coming! This is the only club in my history of clubbing that has done this. The chicken was a grilled piece, and the turkey was processed. Although it was unique, the club was uber salty and just average.

I enjoyed my time at Country Porch as it was a nice break from city life. The atmosphere was relaxing and made me feel at the lake when I was only 4 mins outta the city! But for the moment of truth… is the sign justified!? Absolutely not, stop in for an ice cream cone instead of the club. That said, if you are jonsin’ for a club, it will do the trick.

Until next time,

Rating: 6/10

Price: $9.29 just the sandwich

$11.29 platter

Country Porch on Urbanspoon

Johnny’s

Johnny’s on Marion, fine family dining says the sign…well, let’s find out if it lives up to the hype. I wound up at Johnny’s on a whim as a friend’s dad recommended it claiming it used to serve one of the best breakfasts around. Of course we weren’t there for the breaky, but we pulled up to this fine dining establishment and were welcomed with vomit in the parking lot, how lovely. Quickly disregarding that we stepped inside the restaurant, and I gotta say this place is pretty bizarre. It has a real homey feel to it – which I’m not sure if in this case works in their favor.

We walked by the counter and grabbed a table in the big open room. The first thing I noticed was a big fish tank BOOM right beside our table – very classy. Anyways, the place has that diner feel so I’m not really expecting class – but I’m not really expecting fish tanks either.

The thing is, it’s places like this that usually have the best clubs, and boy was I ready to chow down. When I grabbed the menu I noticed that under the classic clubhouse header there were 3 different versions: turkey, beef, and grilled chicken. A club with beef? I’ll pass; I went for the grilled chicken. I was excited for this one, and to be honest, was quite let down. It was a nice big triple-decker, but the shredded lettuce, bread, mayo, and chicken were all very underwhelming. The chicken tasted like it had been marinating in butter. I think where I went wrong was not going for the traditional turkey.  If I ever make it back, that’s the route ill take.

So, as I continue my search for Winnipeg’s best clubhouse sandwich, I will have to scratch Johnny’s club off the list.

Price:   11.95 turkey

12.45 beef

12.95 grilled chicken

Rating: 4/10

Johnnys Marion Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Pineridge Hollow

Do you every want to just get away from it all? Well, if that sounds like your ideal weekend, I’ve found the place for you. Pineridge Hollow is only 15 minutes out of the city up highway 59, but once you get there you feel much farther away. With a home decor shop, restaurant, petting zoo, and plant shop, PRH is the perfect getaway. It also seems that this is THE place to get married. And I can see why with its elegant, charming, and ambrosial atmosphere. There were 2 weddings on the same day when I was there; luckily they hadn’t showed up yet.

After I checked out the menu online and saw they had a club – it was on. I picked up a buddy and just drove. It’s always fun to go to a new restaurant, especially when you don’t know anything about it and it takes 40 mins to get there. We passed the golf course, then the sand dunes, and then pulled into the PRH parking lot.

We were seated right away, and everything felt right. Within a few minutes I had a club on the way and was ready to chow down. The Country Club is what they call it, and you can either get it with grilled chicken or cut up chicken strips. I went for the grilled chicken, but really contemplated getting both. One thing that stood out on the menu is that it has garlic aioli sauce on it – unfortunately, I couldn’t taste it. This club was fairly small in comparison to some that I have had, and the taste was a little underwhelming. I am not saying it’s BAD, but it wasn’t GOOD. Also, at 16 dollar’s it is overpriced, no doubt about it.

The real stars of the day were the “house-cut Kennebec fries.” I don’t know what Kennebec puts in his fries, but holy shat they are good!

Next time I go back it will be at night – because I would love to see it lit up and take in a meal on the screened-in patio. Although the clubhouse sandy doesn’t make the drive worth it, PRH as a whole makes it worth it. Great getaway, lovely atmosphere, and great fries – check it out.

Also, my pictures don’t do it justice. Check out their website: pineridgehollow.com

Price: $16

Rating: 5.5/10

Pineridge Hollow on Urbanspoon