New York Burgers

New York Burgers, Winnipeg

Update June 2011: I stopped in at lunchtime while I was on a ride. Lo and behold, Onof just happened to be on the premises, so we had a bit of a chat. No shirts though. He doesn’t keep them on-site. The burgers are as good as ever, and the parking lot is still full.

*     *     *

No, not the Big Apple.

It’s in Winnipeg. At the end of Weston Street where it meets Notre Dame.

Fifteen years ago, it was a pretty good spot for a burger at lunch – hold the chili for me, thanks. A good bun, fresh ingredients and a clean building.

It still is.

A bit of trivia: The two young guys who first went into the business had their original location near a high school. It wasn’t long before their young age and the local color got the better of them, so they sold the place and relocated to where they are now. Added bonus: they got to keep more cash in their pockets.

One of the partners sold out, and Onof became the sole owner. He’s a pretty good guy, but he’s only there during lunch. Stop by and say hello for me, and see if he has any shirts yet.

Waiting for parts

July 25 – 27, 2006

The road has been good to me so far on this trip – only a downpour after disembarking the Tobermory ferry on the Bruce Peninsula while headed east, and a warm shower when almost in Maryland. There have been no close calls with vehicles; no freezing temperatures to fight in the early mornings; no fierce winds.

As luck would have it, I discovered a cracked header pipe, and I must wait for a new one to be shipped in. I’ve picked up a loaner bike from the Harley dealer, an ’04 FLSTC. It has apehangers on it, but the hand controls haven’t been set up for riding it comfortably. I made a simple adjustment to the clutch and brake lever positions, helping my wrists to overcome an uncomfortable and twisted position. It never ceases to amaze me what some will put up with to look cool.

Over the next few days I do the tourist thing in this city of 750,000, visiting the Forks and a couple of other places. There is now a nice walking bridge — the Esplanade Riel — over the Red River with a Salisbury House Restaurant located mid-span. I stop to check out the bridge and to have my Nip & Chips fix.

I head out to Lac du Bonnet to visit a friend that I haven’t seen for seven years, and to see a couple of acquaintances from a former life. We talk over old times and have a few laughs at the expense of others who I used to work with. It seems that things haven’t changed with my former place of employment. I was so happy to be done with the place back then, and it is now a lifetime away.

When my header finally arrives and gets installed it is mid-afternoon. As I head out on the road, the clouds and fog begin, and the rain starts on the west end of the city. It only lasts for a couple of hours and then the sun finally pops out and warms the rest of the day. It’s a boring ride to Moosomin and my overnight stop. At least the highway has been twinned in a lot of places now. I suspect it will be completed across Saskatchewan next year.

Places to eat – Winnipeg, Manitoba

Updated Below

The Salsbury HouseAt any Salisbury House

Hours: Some are open 24 hours, others have limited hours.

You can’t go wrong with the Mr. Big Nip and Chips. Trust me on this. It’s one of the best burgers in North America. Eat at the counter or at a table.

And, for those of you who can’t exist without that staple known as Canadian bacon – whatever that is – you can have it with the breakfast special.

Update July 2010: I had the Sweet Potato Fries. They were excellent! The Mr. Big Nip was pretty good too.

Update July 2008: Since my last visit to a Salisbury House in July of 2007, I’m not certain that these places are maintaining their quality. The chef turned out a burger pattie that was pink on the inside. When I pointed it out to the waitress, she shrugged and said that there would be no charge for the burger or the drink. No offer to have a fresh pattie, nada.

What kind of a way is that to run a restaurant?

Needless to say, I rode off without waving.

Winterpeg

Field of dreamsA gorgeous city in the summer turns into a nightmare in winter. It can go to -40F here in January for three weeks. A blizzard can and does shut town the city for three or four days, three times each winter. With the wind the snow can pile up in drifts up to a garage roof if your home happens to face in the wrong direction. It’s horrible. Ask me how I know!

Esplanade Riel

Esplanade Riel

Spring is no bonus, for the Red River can flood it’s banks and make a mess too. Oh, and don’t forget about the mosquitoes that make it quite unpleasant to go outside in the mornings and evenings. West Nile Virus never had such a pleasing home.

A growing native population from northern reserves has helped to contribute to burgeoning crime, street gangs, and high unemployment.

Ask a resident and he’ll tell you that it’s the best place in the world, but remember, he probably grew up on a farm and couldn’t wait to get out of the farmhouse and away to someplace else.

It’s just a good place to be from, and I’m happy I no longer live here.