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.
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243 Lilac Street Winnipeg, MB