LITTLE CURRENT— Shirley Mandoshkin is taking a tray of apple turnovers out of her oven, the crust deftly braided to form the upper crust, browned to perfection.
“I love to bake and I am not ready to retire,” she smiles as she sets the confections down on a rack to cool. “This gives me a chance to do something I love doing.”
Ms. Mandoshkin opened Marie’s Kitchen as a simple soup and sandwich shop in mid-May. The restaurant is named after her youngest daughter. “She helps out a little bit now and then,” she said. “She is learning how to bake and cook at home.”
Ms. Mandoshkin is likely familiar to Little Current diners as the former owner of Griffin’s Fish and Chips (now The Port and under new ownership); after selling that business, she decided to also locate her new venture in downtown Little Current. “It is a great place to be located,” she said. “It is centrally located and there are a lot of great customers.”
The menu at Marie’s Kitchen sticks close to simple and solid fair, with specials shaking things up a bit. Ms. Mandoshin said that, unlike the seasonal fish and chip stand, she intends to keep Marie’s Kitchen open “seven days a week.” The hours are starting out 9 am to 5 pm in the spring shoulder season, but she will “see how it develops as the season picks up.”
“I think people would like a nice hot bowl of soup and a sandwich for lunch in the winter months. Who wouldn’t?” she smiles.
Behind the counter apprentices Tina Francis (manager-in-training) and Logan Esquimaux are prepping food. “I am teaching my apprentices cooking skills,” said Ms. Mandoshkin. “They are very eager and are picking things up very quickly.”
“Everything is made here fresh every day,” said Ms. Mandoshkin. The menu items come from her own recipes, she notes, adding that the portions are “very healthy.”
“I wanted to create an atmosphere of coming into mom’s kitchen,” said Ms. Mandoshkin. “It is wonderful to come in to the smell of fresh baking,” she added. “I don’t at all mind going home smelling of fresh-baked bread.”
The restaurant smokes its own turkey and roast beef for the menu items and there are daily specials on the board to shake the menu up a bit. In addition to the soup and sandwich combinations, Marie’s Kitchen has slushies, ice cappuccino and ice cream by the bowl.
“I would like to invite people to come and try our menu,” said Ms. Mandoshkin. “I don’t think anyone will be disappointed.”
Marie’s Kitchen is located across from the LCBO on Manitowaning Road. Just follow the scent of fresh baking on the ramp up past the new Buddy’s location.