Canada is a go-to fishing destination, with many rivers and lakes to excite even the most experienced of fishermen. People from around the world travel to stay in Winnipeg hotels and wake up bright and early or stay up late into the night to catch that prime selection. One of the most sought-after species is the walleye, also known as pickerel in some areas. Easy to clean and plentiful with protein-rich meat, this succulent fish makes a delicious lunch or dinner. Here are a few Winnipeg spots that do it up right, preparing amazing crave-worthy dishes you’re sure to come back for again and again.
A unique fact about pickerel is that unlike many other species, the cheeks are edible (and very good). Fusion Grill offers Chips & Cheeks for lunch, consisting of panko-crusted pickerel cheeks with a side of crispy yam frites and pickled lentil tartar sauce for dipping. For dinner, they fancy up the cheeks with kelp caviar, crème fraiche and beet slaw with citrus vinaigrette.
Craving spicy? Jane’s has a rotating menu, but you’re likely to find pickerel on it often. Most recently, customers have raved over blackened pickerel and Pad Thai distinctively prepared with pickerel cheeks. Also featuring a seasonally changing menu, Chew has been one of Winnipeg’s essential dining experiences since its opening, with notoriously fresh pickerel to boot.
The popular Winnipeg eatery Peasant Cookery features a traditional dish with a twist. Their Fish & Sticks plate has caper coleslaw and smoked paprika atop beer-battered pickerel, accompanied by hickory sticks and piquillo pepper aioli for a flavor explosion.
Located in the Winnipeg Forks Market, Fergies Fish and Chips offers freshly prepared battered walleye for a local, down home delight. Although fried, the way in which Fergies cooks their fish results in light, moist flavor that exudes freshness. Their Manitoba-grown fresh-cut fries are double fried for extra crunch. We recommend a side of curry gravy or poutine for an authentic Canadian experience.
The Smith Restaurant keeps it simple yet mouth-watering with their pan-fried Manitoba pickerel, complimented by lemon, ginger, chive, and butter. A perfect combination to pair with one of their signature cocktails like the Sage Berry Hibiscus or Smith Billionaire.
Prairie 360 is unique for many reasons, and not only that it physically revolves for a rotating, glamorous view of the city. It features a locally-inspired menu with walleye generally in rotation (no pun intended). Currently, you can try the Pickerel Ceviche, featuring citrus filet with pickled red onions and orange-infused sea salt.
While these are just a few spots to find one of The Peg’s staple foods, because the city has so many delicious, locally-inspired restaurants, the options are quite endless. Just be sure to try pickerel or walleye when you see it on a menu for a sure-to-be scrumptious meal.
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