Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Impromptu Lunch Out

I'm usually not a spur-of-the-moment kind of person.  I like to have things figured out or planned in advance, even if only for a day, but this past weekend was pock-marked with a few spur-of-the-moment events.  One of them was having a couple of friends crashing at my place Friday night after they went for drinks at a bar near my apartment.  By the time we were all awake the following morning it was brunch/lunch time, and my fridge was not properly stocked for a homemade breakfast (chiefly, no eggs).  However, one of my friends and I learned that our other friend had never before been to Lady of the Lake, so we agreed to go there for lunch.

I'd gone to this café/pub once before during Mother's Day weekend 2010, but at that time I committed a cardinal foodie error by forgetting to bring my camera with me.  This time around I'd almost committed the same error again, but I'd caught myself in time and made sure I could take pictures of the food I ate there.  Lady of the Lake actually has two components.  The first one is the café/pub, morphing from a more restaurant-like setting in the day and evening to a place where people could be entertained by live music, DJ's and even an occasional dance lesson; the other component is an eclectically styled home furnishing store.
Carrot ginger soup at Lady of the Lake.
I was in the mood for a fuller meal, and knowing that the upcoming potluck dinner that night was later than my usual dinner time, I decided to go for a soup and main course for lunch.  Apparently the soups change each day, and between a hearty beef and a carrot ginger soup, I opted for a cup of the latter.  Topped with a bit of cream, it was a delightful start, the sweetness of the carrots going very well with the slight zing of the ginger.
Chipotle Chicken Club, with a side of tortilla corn chips and salsa, from Lady of the Lake.
A closer look at Lady of the Lake's Chipotle Chicken Club sandwich.
For my main course I had the Chipotle Chicken Club Sandwich.  Filled with slices of herbed roast chicken breast, tomato, bacon, cheddar and chipotle mayo between slices of multigrain bread, it was a neat little treat.  Real cheddar, not processed cheddar, was used, and the texture of the chicken breast made it clear that Lady of the Lake used authentic and unprocessed meat.  One of the sides offered, and one I chose, was tortilla corn chips with homemade salsa.  The tortilla chips were light to the bite, and the salsa, with pieces of tomato and onion and some (fortunately spare) cilantro, had the right level of acidity, spiciness and sweetness for my liking.

One thing I really like about Lady of the Lake is that it serves homemade food and homestyle cooking that is still presented well and in a classy manner.  In a small city that is heavily dominated by franchises and restaurants that serve passable fare, this place is a beacon for foodies living in, visiting or passing through Brandon.  If there's one regret I have about visiting this place, it would be that I still have yet to find room in my stomach to try one of the homemade desserts there.  Hopefully I'll have the opportunity on my third visit, whenever that may be.


Name: Lady of the Lake
Address: 135-B 17th St. N., Brandon, MB
Cuisine: Café, Pub
Price Range: Lunch $10-$20; Dinner $15-$45
Accessible: Yes

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