9 Stars: October 4, 2008.
Luda’s Deli. 410 Aberdeen Ave
Hours of operation: Mon – Sat 7 AM – 2 PM
Closed Saturdays; May Long to September Long weekend.
$3.74 before 11am (coffee included)
$4.75 after 11 AM (coffee not included)
Luda’s looks like a hair salon from the outside. I’ve passed by it dozens of times without realizing there was food. I’m surprised I noticed it at all, it’s TINY! Probably the tiniest place we’ve eaten at yet.
Luda is not the name of the owner. Rather, it means “the people” in Ukrainian, according to our fit waitress. “Little Luda” she jokingly called herself, the daughter of the owner. Her mom was cooking in the back and was nice enough to come out and say goodbye when we left. “Big Luda” wasn’t that big, so the size reference must mean her spirit (or something hokey like that).
I called ahead for a table for six and they gave us the only table capable of holding that number, tiny and sequestered. It was rather neat actually. The menu was on the wall, cafeteria-style, but we were given paper versions too. On the menu they spelled it “tomatoe.” It may have been typeset by Dan Quayle. Anyone remember him?
Much like Connie’s Corner Café, Luda’s was rife with tacky pictures of unknown celebrities. I loved it! Not everybody was so unknown (Garth Brooks), but the pictures were all at least a decade old. They proudly presented their City of Winnipeg Community Service Department: Environmental Health awards, from ’94 to’01. Why not since then? I didn’t inquire.
They seemed to be decorating for the two seasons they’re open for, fall and winter. On one side of the restaurant they had an autumnal garland and on the other they had Christmas lights. On the wall by the front door were Aboriginal-looking face masks.
Our food was amazing. The coffee was standard, run-of-the-mill swill, but everything else sparkled. After sampling from many of our meals, I can say that the bacon was thick cut and yummy, the “kubasa” was tasty and the fries were great. Get this: they offered pumpernickel toast! Such a small thing that can make all the difference. Nobody’s offered us pumpernickel before! The potatoes were small, chunky and deliciously fried with onions. I tossed on a little of their Frank’s hot sauce and was very happy.
The service was fast, friendly and the food was great. That being said, it wasn’t spectacular, but it definitely deserves high marks.
Bonus Omelette review by Chantal Guénette
Ham & cheese omelette
Bouquet: There was a lot of ham and cheese in that omelette, I was pleasantly surprised. The cheese was real and not processed, and -brownie points- they had Frank’s Red Hot sauce. I also appreciated the fact that my omelette was the last plate to arrive at the table because it meant that they took the time to cook the omelette throughout. No egg slime in the middle, and the large amount of cheese was well melted.
Boeuf: Deli ham isn’t my favourite thing in the world because of the way it’s processed with preservatives and whatnot, but if you go to a place called Luda’s Deli, I guess you can’t be surprised that you get deli meat.