That's one of many things that I will say about Cafe Carlo...is that for as long as it's been around, it never fails to disappoint. It's been with me through several past lives... husband number one... baby number two... contractions for baby number two...bad date number (not sure about this one)...and last but not least a wonderful quiet lunch on my own. Joel and his staff never disappoint.
I was there the other day ... for a few of reasons:
1. I was starving. In fact I was either going to faint or bite my own arm off in hunger.
2. I had to add a tag to a piece of art that is hanging in the restaurant
(Let me add, very talented artist, Cindy Davidson, has her collection there for another month or so)
3. I hadn't eaten there for some time so figured while I was there I would give it the old CharisOnFood review.
4. I also was meeting the Corydon Times founder for a coffee later to discuss doing some work together
By the way, I will tell you right now, I did not take a picture of the most delicious food I ate because I inhaled it so fast, there just wasn't time to take a picture...at all. I kid you not...inhaled. I will just tell you that the presentation was amazing as per usual.
Okay so back to my history with Cafe Carlo...Contractions...yes... Child number two. I, in fact ate the same meal the other day that I did twenty-four long years ago. The THAI SPRING ROLLS and the MANGO CHICKEN SALAD, I know what you're thinking...this sounds familiar. Okay... so I like spring rolls and mango salad...love them. I digress...So I'm sitting there in the very lovely atmosphere at Carlo realizing that all I can think about are the contractions and the impending birth (that made Maclean's magazine February 1991) from ages ago. In fact, I remember the taste of the spring rolls like it was yesterday. That's a good thing. There is a very distinctive flavor in the Cafe Carlo spring rolls, that you don't get anywhere else. SO.... delicious. Good thing the waitress was busy, she might have seen me wince a few times thinking back to those damn contractions... yup... right in the restaurant.
The waitress... no, I don't know her name, was perfectly wonderful, service impeccable as always. Joel came out to say hi and I ate my mango salad in the quiet of 2 pm in the afternoon. Bless them, they still let me order although I was cutting it close. So... the mango salad. Why do I love it so? The same reasons why everyone else does and why it's a staple on the menu....It's FULL of chicken curry goodness, mango chutney, cashews, raisins and that honey-poppy seed yogurt dressing. My favorite thing is seriously mixing it all together so that the curry and mango and yogurt are everywhere... try it next time. I noticed something the other day that I seem to be paying more attention to nowadays...the size of the lettuce pieces. Yup... they were all pretty consistently bite size, love them for that! There's nothing worse than getting several large lettuce leaves on your plate and then try to cut them up elegantly.
The atmosphere there as I mentioned always gets a good rating, as the CharisOnDesign guru; colour palette, fixtures, lighting and tableware are all really important. It's warm and inviting, the art as I mentioned is a beautiful addition and adds both charm and culture. Joel is pretty great at featuring local artists, kudos to him for that!
The CharisOnDating rating is going to suffer just slightly as there will be no hanky-panky, googly eyes or footsie at Cafe Carlo, the tables, although a good distance apart are really meant for polite conversation and nothing to controversial, or steamy for that matter. Wouldn't want your neighbours gasping for air as you are trying to flirt with your date. (Although I never recommend having your phone out during a date, you might need to use it for the more steamy conversations ;) It is perfect for a date in many other ways, it's classy, unpretentious, remarkable food, and great service. If you are looking to impress your date, or mate...this one is always a winner.
#cafeCarlo #restaurant #WinnipegRestaurant #PegGrub #foodie #foodreview #GoodEats #TastyTreats #SpringRolls #MangoSalad #Thai #corydon #Winnipeg #Manitoba #Canada #tripAdvisor #UrbanSpoon #WinnipegFreePress #WinnipegSun
243 Lilac Street Winnipeg, MB
This little gem is hidden in the St.Vital suburbia...although I've lived here in the area for the past ten years...I had never made it here. What an idiot I am ... I could have been a regular ages ago. It might have been just the basic fact it is located at the end of a strip mall, kind of obscure and out of the way...it just hadn't really caught my eye. I have been whizzing by their location on my way here or there, music lessons, Home Depot, who knows ... but I missed it.
Let me just say that it's St.Vital's best kept secret for "Lip Delish" enjoyment. I can't say enough about what a great evening we had ... believe it or not, my 14 year old son was the one that told me I needed to go. He had been there previously and has been raving about the GREEN MANGO SALAD for years. I know...a child raving about vegetables...it's a shock. Now I know why ... it was a mixture of a yummy taste explosion and heaven all at once. The mixture of the lime, chili, peanuts and unripe mango is brilliant. If it were a man, I would marry it, not joking...pure enjoyment.
He also recommended a great standby everyone likes to order and these babies are worth it! We ordered 10 pieces of mixed pork and chicken of deep fried SPRINGROLL perfection. The mouthwatering fillings a mixture of mungbean noodles, bean sprouts, shredded cabbage and carrots. I am a connoisseur of spring rolls, and these rank up there. We made sure we ordered enough to bring home so we can have them for breaky.
We must have been hungry ... we ordered two more dishes! The CALAMARI AND SHRIMP in tempura, (very tasty but the calamari was cut a bit too large for my liking) and the GREEN CHICKEN CURRY with coconut rice. Green coconut curry is one of my faves and let me tell you it didn't disappoint. Flavourful, vegetables still slightly crunchy, not overcooked and perfect chunks of chicken.
There seriously was enough food for an army, portion sizes were right on, we just ordered a swack of food...yes we were hungry... (Nothing up my sleeve...no cooking tomorrow...tee hee)
The service there was impeccable, very friendly, seated immediately, orders taken right away and the food was delivered to the table in a masterful sequence that kept us dining at an even pace and never an empty plate. We didn't wait for ANYTHING. It was FABULOUS! Kudos to the cool dude, Angkul, for the most excellent service.
The CharisOnDesign review for atmosphere would definitely knock up the romance factor, nice white linens and I would set the tables with wine glasses to start off with. Just so that it doesn't look too bare. I might add some track lighting along the walls just so that we could enjoy the artwork more...soft lighting but just accent lighting.
Okay... the moment we all have been waiting for... the "CharisOnDating Rating":
It's a big restaurant, but decorated nicely, dimly lit (perfect for footsie and hand holding or an occasional smooch). It's quiet so you can actually have a conversation which is rare in restaurants these days ... so if you happen to be with someone that actually want to get to know, ask them some questions and can hear the answers, this is a great spot. The tables are far enough apart that the other diners aren't breathing down your back or adding smart ass quips into your conversation. It does lend itself to being a great date spot... it just needs a little romance...candles in hurricane lanterns and a unique touch in flowers (nothing ordinary) would be a bonus. Yes... add candles.
I would recommend Siam Thai Cuisine to anyone for whatever reason they might be looking to head out. I know that many of my friends also order and pick up. Please check them out and mention that I sent you over...don't tell them I said it was okay to go smooching all over the place though!!!
Siam Thai Cuisine
587 St Anne's Rd, Winnipeg, MB R2M 2S3, Canada