Pembina Hall has been long reviled by those living in residence at the University of Manitoba, so we entered cautiously. But thanks to a number of menu enhancements introduced last fall, we were pleasantly surprised.
Dinner was all you can eat for $11.99. The sandwich and wrap bar offered fresh tomatoes, peppers and pineapple, among the many other toppings for your wrap or sandwich. There was a choice of lean meats, and the salad bar offered a dozen or so ingredients ranging from your standard carrots and cucumbers to the slightly more exotic chickpeas and kidney beans. Both the romaine and iceberg lettuce were green and crunchy.
The stir-fry was pan-fried to order, in a Thai and oyster sauce. The slices of chicken breast were adequately tender, though the sauce was over-reduced, leaving the bed of rice especially dry and nearly inedible.
Pembina Hall has become better and healthier; unfortunately for those (like myself) looking to fulfill more debased appetites, the old Pembina Hall is alive and well. The pizza had been under the heat lamp for hours, leaving the cheese hardened and congealed. The macaroni and cheese was runny and flavourless, and only slightly surpassed the quality of the frozen variety.
The roast beef was a bit overdone, though cut to order. Choice of sides included vegetables (slightly undercooked), potato wedges (hashbrown-esque), rice (but no soya sauce) and tofu (decent consistency) soaked in a sweet and sour sauce that lessened the blow of actually eating tofu.
Dessert was mixed. Lemon meringue pie had an odd texture and an odder aftertaste; the Jell-O was runny. But the brownie —perfect consistency chocolate mousse atop a chewy chocolate crust—was delightfully rich.