THE EATBEAT: Sals on the Bridge offers a scenic view of Red River
WINNIPEG -- There's a Salisbury House restaurant smack dab in the middle of the Esplanade Riel/- Provencher Bridge on the Red River here. It is right in the center of the city, near the Forks, where visitors and Canadians mingle to shop and enjoy...
WINNIPEG -- There's a Salisbury House restaurant smack dab in the middle of the Esplanade Riel/- Provencher Bridge on the Red River here. It is right in the center of the city, near the Forks, where visitors and Canadians mingle to shop and enjoy the river.
Sals on the Bridge will be closing soon for the winter, but it will be up and running in the spring, welcoming loyal Manitobans as well as visitors from the States. And there is a string of other Salisbury House restaurants in the city open year-round.
As I looked down on the Red River, my imagination went wild. What, I wondered, would East Grand Forks Mayor Dale Stauss think of having a restaurant on the Sorlie Bridge. And I wondered how would Mayor Mike Brown feel about a restaurant with big glass windows suspended over the Red? Well, maybe it wouldn't work.
The restaurant is unique and has the red roof that is seen on all Salisbury House restaurants. They give you the feel of Canada. There, the hamburgers have been traditionally known as "nips," and french fries with gravy and cheese are "poutines."
It was a cloudy morning in September when I was learning all about the Salisbury House restaurants. I was with a friend, Marilyn Alexander (MA), who has spent most of her life in Winnipeg. We had a table near the big windows.
As I gazed down on the Red, I was amazed at its size and beauty. It is two to three times as wide as it is when it flows through Grand Forks-East Grand Forks. Its shoreline is covered with trees that were turning to autumn shades of gold and orange.
People who find Sals on the Bridge too much of a hike can take a shuttle car to the middle. But the walk is not much more than a city block or two as we know it.
We found plenty of tables open about 9 a.m. I studied the bright and shiny menu and learned from MA about Canadian food traditions.
Breakfast is served anytime, and prices are moderate. The Sals Silver Menu has discount meals for those 55 and older. An omelet with two slices of toast is $5.29.
The menu features Salisbury Nips, named after Lord Salisbury's ground steak, first introduced in 1931 in Winnipeg's original Salisbury restaurant -- just as the newfound hamburger craze hit town. Now, the legendary nip with lots of grilled onions still anchors Salisbury House menus. Menus say the original nip has grown 33 percent larger and now is available in the quarter-pound versions.
There are double and triple nips on the red, white and blue menu as well as sandwiches, soups and salads, with the food somewhat reminiscent of Perkins restaurants in the U.S.
A history of Salisbury House restaurants goes back to the "house under the Little Red Roof" on Fourth Street, which was the vision of Ralph Erwin. And it has grown into two dozen locations. Nips continue to anchor the full menu along with back bacon and egg breakfasts. Other trademarks are Salisbury steaks, wafer pie and chocolate-iced donuts (79 cents).
Salisbury House restaurants have moved with the the times. They were first in Canada to offer Silex coffee and drive-in carhop service. They also have seen the need to become trans fat-free.
Reach Hagerty at email@example.com or call (701) 772-1055.