Cook the Story

The Pittmans’ Restaurants

The following text appears on the cover of the Pittman’s on 44 menu. I wrote it a few years ago when my brother and his wife took over the restaurant from my parents. (Items in parentheses are my added comments and do not appear on their menu.)

Pittman’s

At the Perogy Patch and Deli: My Baba, My Mom, My Dad (he had just been in a car accident), a Kielbassa and Some Pyrisky Buns

On 44 is where it all began 20 years ago when Barry and Phyllis Pittman opened the Perogy Patch and Deli in Lockport on the corner of Highways 44 and 9. They began their family business making and serving the wholesome foods that Phyllis had been eating and helping to cook since childhood. After establishing the Perogy Patch and Deli, Barry and Phyllis opened the Perogy Patch Café on Main and St. John in Winnipeg. At that point, Barry decided to retire from his job as a Federal Meat Inspector and join in with the restaurant business full-time by taking over the Parkside Ford Cafeteria. (This cafeteria was later purchased and managed by my cousin Cheryl).

My Dad (on his 60th) with My Son J (on his first visit to Falcon Lake, Manitoba)

In 1995 Barry and Phyllis bought a cottage in Manitoba’s beautiful Whiteshell Provincial Park. In order to better appreciate their summers at the lake, they decided to scale down their food businesses and turn to the seasonal enterprise of running the West Kildonan Curling Club Cafeteria. But, as they spent more time in this wondrous section of the Canadian Shield, the Pittmans found themselves with the opportunity to bring their delicious food to the region. Their Falcon Lake Deli opened in 1999 serving hearty artisanal sandwiches, salads, and homemade soup. The Pittmans then expanded their business by taking on the Falcon Nest Café where they also served fabulous breakfasts, juicy burgers, and tasty ice cream treats.

My Son with Mike and Ange in The Nest's Kitchen

The Pittman restaurants have always been true family businesses. Both of the Pittman children, Mike and Christi, worked with their parents part-time and summers throughout their teens and early adulthood.

Embarking on Grandparenthood

The influence this has had on their lives has been enormous. Christi still loves to cook and to develop recipes for her own family while Mike has become a restauranteur in his own right. He worked alongside his Dad at the Parkside Ford Cafeteria and he owned and operated Meteor Mike’s in West Hawk. (Meteor Mike’s now belongs to my aunt and her family). More recently, Mike, alongside his wife Angela, has run the Falcon Winter Deli and has co-managed the Falcon restaurants with his parents. Now, as Barry and Phyllis embark on grandparenthood and potentially even retirement, it is Mike and Ange who own and operate the newest Pittman family restaurant, Pittman’s on 44. (This new restaurant is about 100 miles down Highway 44 from the original Perogy Patch).

As the Pittmans begin their new adventures in food and in life they thank you wholeheartedly for your patronage over the years and they welcome you to continue to enjoy the wholesome food, courteous service, and true family experience that has always characterized the Pittmans’ restaurants.

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Above I’ve mentioned all of my family’s restaurants, including those of my extended family. Additionally, my cousin Peter owns The Oakwood Café on Osborne Street in Winnipeg. Pete and I used to wait tables at the Oakwood back when it was owned by my and Pete’s aunt and uncle. Do I EVER remember the weekend breakfast line-ups  (and scarfing down the awesome eggs benny between pouring coffee!). Wow!

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Stay tuned: Next week I’m bringing you two of my mom’s restaurant recipes, one for her homemade Pepper Jack Soup and one for The Mediterranean Sandwich, a staple from the Falcon Deli menu.

Check out the other posts in My Family’s Food and Restaurant History:

Find out what the upcoming themes will be on Cook the Story and check out which themes I’ve covered in the past.

Comments
17 Responses to “The Pittmans’ Restaurants”
  1. Charlotte says:

    Hi. Wow, what a great story.

    I loved the sign welcoming Jeremy and your design for Pittmans on 44.

    I never had the opportunity to visit any of these restaurants mentioned but I do know of people who have and they had great raves about the food and hospitality.

    This is on my Bucket List, to visit Pittman”s on 44.

    • cookthestory says:

      Thanks Charlotte! Mike and Ange would be happy to see you and I’m positive you would enjoy your meal. Have you been to West Hawk before? It’s a massively deep lake that was formed when a Meteor hit the earth. Pretty cool!

    • cookthestory says:

      Oh, I can’t take credit for Jeremy’s welcome sign (Mike did that!) or the Pittman’s on 44 design (it was done by an artist/restauranteur we hired in Toronto).

  2. Barry says:

    It is an interesting history. We sound like a band of gypsies.

    • cookthestory says:

      lol! Food-lovin’, food-cookin gypsies. Yup! It does seem like a lot of moving around. But don’t forget that a lot of the time there was more than one business going on at once so there was more staying put than moving around. You had the Perogy Patch and Deli FOREVER (10+ years?). And the Falcon Deli was for a really really long time too (9 years?). There were just lots of other things always going on at the same time. It was a fun ride!

  3. Kimberly says:

    Pepper Jack Soup….I’m comin’ back to read that one….yum!

  4. Alan says:

    Interesting history, Christi, but that would be the corner of Hwy 44 and Hwy 9. Must be more interesting stories from the cafe in the north end?

  5. Mike Pittman says:

    Wow that is memory lane. Don’t really miss those nest days though! :)

  6. cookthestory says:

    Back when I wrote this, how did I not notice the extreme overuse of the word “operate”. Yikes!

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