I like fine dining as much as anyone. Even though I am considered a cheap Mennonite. It doesn’t’ get much cheaper. But I also like plain simple good food. The most reliable place in Winnipeg to get that is The Dairi-Whip, on Marion Street, or as we aficionados call it, “The Greeks.” The food simple but effective, the service impeccable, and the ambiance modest.
I have been dining here for more than 40 years. I don’t know if the menu has ever changed. If ain’t broke don’t fix it. Pretty good advice. The menu is small. Basically burgers and fries, with or without chili. Hot dogs if you insist. Great milk shakes. Try the lime shake. I kid you not. Food does not get much better. My brother-in-law lives in Gatineau Quebec. He is a little whacky. Whenever he comes to Winnipeg he heads straight for the Greeks. Whenever his brother comes to visit him from Winnipeg, the brother brings a box of fries and a burger. This is not crazy. It is wise!
The ambiance has always consisted of an old faded print of John and Robert F. Kennedy. Nothing else. Because nothing else is needed. It is perfect. Old clean picnic tables. Nothing else. Nothing else needed.
For years the restaurant was famous for the fact that the man who took the orders would listen patiently and quietly for the orders. He could take an improbable number of orders at the same time with everyone’s idiosyncratic preferences. No pickle. Relish. No onions. Gravy. Inside or outside. Rarely, he would ask for clarification. Then the orders would be relayed to the 2 cooks in back. Those orders were never repeated. And they were never wrong. Never.
The only errors ever were miscommunications between customer and front line server. And these are extremely rare. This happened today. I thought the server got it wrong. He thought I wanted Fries withChili. I thought I had ordered no chili. I suspect I might have fouled it up. Chris was convinced I fouled it up. No surprise there. I got fries with chili. As soon as the server noticed I was slightly unhappy he asked, “What was the problem?” When I asked for fries without chili he immediately brought them. “No charge,” he said. I replied, “No I should pay. I probably got it wrong.” “No, no charge,” he repeated. End of conversation.
I remember once years ago when the Senior cook saw me scraping relish off my burger he asked “What’s wrong?” “I forgot to say no relish,” I replied. My fault. There was no question. The burger was replaced with one without relish. Again “No charge.” Right then my undying loyalty was purchased.
Everyone has to leave this small Chip and Burger stand satisfied. Satisfaction guaranteed. Yes, this is the best restaurant in Winnipeg.