Thursday, October 8, 2015

Celebrate the glory of fresh hop beers at the Lantern Tap House this weekend

Posted By on Thu, Oct 8, 2015 at 4:14 PM


There's this trend in the craft beer world that's been going on for a while now, but just seems to have caught the attention of the mainstream beer consumer and that's fresh hop beers. These are beers brewed with, as the name implies, hops that are freshly picked and dropped into the brewing process before given a chance to dry out, making for a floral, aromatic and overall delectable beer. The downside? The beers are typically made in small quantities and don't last as long due to the brewing process.

So when something like the Lantern Tap House's Third Annual Fresh Hop Festival rolls around, you should hop (pun!) on the opportunity to taste as many as you can. The festival, which is now underway until 10 pm and runs again tomorrow (4 to 10 pm) and Saturday (noon to 10 pm), is housed in a tent outside the South Perry Street pub and features an impressive 29 beers from 23 different breweries on tap. Here's the list the Lantern provided us with.

Iron Goat, River City, 12 String, Laughing Dog, NoLi, Double Mountain, Paradise Creek, Ninkasi, Perry Street Brewing, Hale’s Brewery, Ecliptic, Breakside, Beer Valley, Wallace Brewing, Trickster Brewing, Laurelwood, Oakshire, Hopworks Urban Brewery, Full Sail, Sockeye, Payette, Big Sky, and Base Camp.

And, remember, this is probably your only chance to taste the bulk of these beers. I've tasted a half dozen or so fresh hop beers from Northwest breweries so far this season and — let me tell ya, kids — it was a good year for hops.

There's live music tonight and Friday night, in case the beer along wasn't reason enough to get your tastebuds down to the festival. 

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Skywalk this way: Newly renovated Twigs Bistro at River Park Square is open

Posted By on Tue, Oct 6, 2015 at 3:40 PM

Twigs Bistro at River Park Square re-opened Tuesday - MAX CARTER
  • Max Carter
  • Twigs Bistro at River Park Square re-opened Tuesday

After an extensive renovation Twigs Bistro in River Park Square has re-opened, boasting a 1,200 square foot "landing" that overlooks Post Street and the mall atrium. Interestingly, the far end of the landing connects with the part of the food court where Twigs was originally located in River Park Square

According to the bistro and martini bar's Director of Operations Casey Curtis, the new landing provides guests
The view of the new "landing" at Twigs Bistro at River Park Square - MAX CARTER
  • Max Carter
  • The view of the new "landing" at Twigs Bistro at River Park Square
 with a fantastic dining experience and great views of the mall and the city of Spokane.

"The biggest change is the different sight lines and the views," Curtis said. "There are things that we're not used to seeing at Twigs, and now there are plenty of different spots you can sit in, not just on the landing. You can view into the mall, you can view out into downtown Spokane, and then as the holidays roll around, the tree will be right here as well."

The renovation also included significant improvements to the bar and lounge areas, Curis said.

"A lot of people are really excited about the lounge. It's very inviting, there are TVs and it's cozier than our previous lounge was," he said. "We expanded the bar as well. There used to only be six tables in the lounge and about 12 seats at the bar, and now there are 19 tables in the lounge and 20 seats at the bar top."

Already a popular place to get a bite or have a drink, Twigs at River Park Square just stepped up their game big time. The restaurant is now open and fully operational, and the landing is available for seating on a first come, first serve basis. 
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Monday, October 5, 2015

Meet your barista: Promise Boutelle at Caffé Affogato

Posted By on Mon, Oct 5, 2015 at 11:00 AM

  • Kailee Haong

Caffé Affogato, located in the front of the quirky, open-market downtown venue called the Saranac Commons, is an Italian-style cafe, making its debut early this year. Stylistically simple and occupying a small area, the cafe serves a wide variety of beverages, including affogatos, tea and even ice creams. Eastern Washington University junior, Promise Boutelle, has lived in Spokane since she was a child, and has had an inclination toward coffee since the age of 15. You can head downtown and find Promise behind the counter, chatting with customers and making drinks.

INLANDER: How did you end up at Caffé Affogato?
BOUTELLE: We opened in February, and I think I was hired at the end of April. It’s a pretty new cafe still. So, this girl that I actually went to school with, Syd, she worked here from like the very beginning, before it was even a shop because she knew the owner. So I knew Syd, and I saw her posting on Instagram all the time of this cute little cafe and I was so jealous, so I would go in there and get coffee and I kind of just talked my way into it, basically. They happened to be needing a floater, someone who covers shifts every once in awhile, and so I did that and I got the job. I did that for a while, and then the manager at the time had to quit, and then I basically got all of his hours. It worked out pretty nicely.

Do you have any jobs aside from being a barista?
For a long time I was working the espresso stand at Eastern [Washington University], since I go to school there. I’ve worked many barista jobs, but right now this is the only job, and I only want this job because I love it so much.

Do you want to stay in Spokane after you graduate?
No. I mean, don’t get me wrong, this year I’ve actually really learned to love Spokane. I like it way more now than I liked it in high school. In high school, I hated Spokane. I don’t know, I see myself everywhere because I want to travel. I plan on moving to Denmark, I want to live in Canada, I want to live on the West Side — anywhere. That’s the only reason I say ‘no.’ But maybe later down the road.

  • Kailee Haong

What are your hobbies?
I love listening to music, I love going to concerts, I’m going to a concert tomorrow, actually. Purity Ring, it’s at the Knitting Factory. I like going to music festivals like Sasquatch, it’s my thing. I go every year. I love holistic medicine type of stuff; I like plants, gardening. I love like, I don’t know, I love nurturing my body. I love listening to my body, like ‘what does it need?’ or how to I heal it — oh, yoga. I love doing yoga. I’m that typical hippie girl.

Are there any current coffee trends going on right now?
Yeah, that frickin’ latte art stuff. We actually just held a competition, it’s a latte throwdown, I think it was like a week ago. Yeah, latte art is like a huge thing right now. I mean, it’s cool, but I feel like everyone tries to do the same design, and with me, I’m not that good at the free pour, but I love just making it look pretty. It doesn’t have to be that same flower thing, you know? I can do a heart, too.

What’s the most rewarding thing about your job?
Probably just building that customer-barista relationship with each other. Just really getting to know your customers as friends, or as people, because I run into them all the time because I work downtown — I almost live downtown. It’s just fun getting to know them... I get a lot of regulars, but because the cafe is in such a cool spot, people will like randomly just look into it. We get tons of those people, too.

Could you share a favorite memory?
I don’t know. I’ve had so many. I don’t know if I’ve had just one favorite moment, I’ve had a lot. Probably just like laughing about whatever. There are a lot of nice people and it’s just a good atmosphere. Not even just the people I work with, but like the people that work at Mediterrano, the bakery, the brewery guys — they’re all so fun and I feel like we’re just one giant family in there.

Are you a coffee or a tea person?
It depends on my mood, because I’m naturally super energized, so I don’t really need coffee. I mean, I drink coffee probably once, sometimes twice a week, only when I need it. I like both. It just depends.

What is your favorite drink?
I love yerba mate green tea. I love just plain soy lattes, sometimes with like honey and cinnamon. And I love drinking cold brew, only what I’ll do is I’ll steam the cold brew. It’s different than a drip coffee, it’s a lot better for you than regular coffee. I usually prefer hot drinks, so I’ll just steam it and put some honey and cinnamon in it.

If you could describe the coffee shop in one word, what would it be?

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Moscow Farmers Market named Idaho's best; local market season wraps up soon

Posted By on Fri, Oct 2, 2015 at 11:39 AM

  • Moscow Farmers Market Facebook

Since 1977, the Moscow Farmers Market has been providing Palouse residents with fresh produce, meat, baked goods, flowers, plants and handmade arts and crafts. This year, the market was recognized for its longterm success by the American Farmland Trust, a national nonprofit with the mission to preserve the agricultural trade for generations to come.

From the American Farmland Trust website:

  • Family farms who sell at farmers markets have nearly a 10 percent greater chance of staying in business than those selling goods through traditional channels. 
  • Businesses near farmers markets report higher sales on market days — supporting the local economy and generating extra tax revenue in the community. 
  • Farmers market shoppers save on average nearly 25 percent on food annually — when compared to shopping at grocery stores.

Throughout this summer Farmland Trust held its Farmers Market Celebration, during which the Moscow Market was voted the No. 1 farmers market in Idaho and one of the top 25 in the U.S. The public could vote for their market in five areas: People's Choice, Focus on Farmers, Healthy Food for All, Pillar of the Community and Champion for the Environment. Moscow's market placed at the top in each for all Idaho markets. 

The Moscow Farmers Market is held every Saturday, from 8 am-1 pm, through the end of October, in downtown Moscow's Friendship Square.

Here's a roundup of other regional farmers markets still running as this season's harvest begins to wane:

Bonners Ferry Farmers Market | Last day of market is this Saturday, Oct. 3, from 8 am-1 pm. At 6181 Kootenai St., Bonners Ferry, Idaho. (208-267-2780)

Chewelah Farmers Market | Fridays, through Oct. 23, from 11:30 am-5:30 pm. At the northwest corner of City Park. (509-963-4353)

Coeur d'Alene Farmers Market | Wednesdays, from 4-7 pm, through Oct. 28. At Sherman Ave. and Fifth St. (208-772-2290)

Emerson-Garfield Farmers Market | Fridays, from 3-7 pm, through Oct. 16. In the parking lot of Knox Presbyterian Church, 806 W. Knox Ave. (

Fairwood Flea & Farmers Market | Tuesdays, through Oct. 6, from 3-7 pm. At the Fairwood Shopping Center, 319 W. Hastings Rd. (466-0682)

Hayden Farmers Market | Saturdays, from 9 am-1:30 pm, through October 31. At the corner of Highway 95 and Prairie Avenue. (208-772-2290)

Kendall Yards Night Market | Wednesdays, from 4-8 pm, through Oct. 14. On Summit Parkway, between Cedar and Adams Alley. (

Liberty Lake Farmers Market | Saturdays, from 9 am-1 pm, through Oct. 10. Town Square Park, 1421 N. Meadowwood Ln. (290-3839)

Moscow Farmers Market | Saturdays, from 8 am-1 pm, through October 31. Friendship Square, Fourth Ave. and Main St. (208-883-7132)

Northeast Washington Farmers Market | Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 9 am-1 pm, through Oct. 31. At Main and Astor, downtown Colville. (509-935-0555)

Pullman Farmers Market | Wednesdays, from 3:30-6 pm, through Oct. 28. In the Spot Shop parking lot, 240 NE Kamiaken St. (509-334-3565)

Sandpoint Farmers Market | Wednesdays, from 3-5:30 pm and Saturdays, from 9 am-1 pm, through Oct. 10. Farmin Park, Third and Main. (208-597-3355)

South Perry Thursday Market | Thursdays, from 3-7 pm, through Oct. 29. The Shop parking lot, 924 S. Perry. (

Spokane Farmers Market | Saturdays and Wednesdays, from 8 am-1 pm, through Oct. 31. At 20 W. Fifth Ave. (995-0182)

West Central Marketplace | Tuesdays, from 3-6 pm, through mid-Oct. (see Facebook for updates). A.M. Cannon Park, 1920 W. Maxwell.

Scenes from the bustling Thursday Market in South Perry. - THURSDAY MARKET FACEBOOK
  • Thursday Market Facebook
  • Scenes from the bustling Thursday Market in South Perry.

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

East Spokane mural painting paves the way for Fresh Soul restaurant

Posted By on Thu, Oct 1, 2015 at 1:33 PM

Gonzaga students came out last weekend to help paint the forthcoming restaurant's building. - MAKAYLA WAMBOLDT
  • Makayla Wamboldt
  • Gonzaga students came out last weekend to help paint the forthcoming restaurant's building.

Last weekend, Michael Brown’s long-envisioned dreams exhibited the first signs of realization to Spokane’s East Central neighborhood in the form of a vibrant mural on the side of a dilapidated building on east Fifth Avenue. The location is the site of what last was home to Flippers Ice Creamery, and where Brown now intends to create his mission-driven restaurant called Fresh Soul.

The colorful occasion drew dozens of Gonzaga students from a class titled “Art, Race, and Public Space: U.S. Murals” taught by professor Shalon Parker. Under the vision and direction of local artist Ellen Picken, students had the opportunity to learn outside the classroom, while brushing up their painting skills in the process. While the students’ contribution appears in small, brightly colored squares spread across a background of bright blue, these shapes are some of the first physical stepping stones toward the restaurant’s future opening in early 2016.

While Fresh Soul is expected to operate as a café serving southern-style cuisine, its mission transcends beyond food. Brown, a long time resident of the East Central neighborhood, envisions Fresh Soul to be a place that benefits the area’s youth through employment, job training, and mentorship with the goal of empowering students to further their education. The nonprofit restaurant is the manifestation of a grassroots initiative to foster transferable job skills to local teens through a number of community partners. One of these partners is Spokane Eastside Reunion Association, an organization that strives to promote community through basketball camps, mentoring, tutoring, and now, through its support of the local café.

“Fresh Soul is going to be much more than just a restaurant,” Brown says. “We want to motivate and teach our kids skills that will inspire them to continue their education, and provide a platform for success and to find their passion.”

A big proponent of the project is to create a physical presence in the community that will hopefully further a sense of revitalization in the East Central area, a lower-income neighborhood of Spokane. While this past weekend filled the block of East Fifth with a little more color, Fresh Soul is still seeking the remaining funds needed to open, an estimated $100,000. Find more information and stay updated on its progress here

  • Makayla Wamboldt

  • Makayla Wamboldt

  • Makayla Wamboldt

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Meet your barista: Matthias Wilson, Rockwood Bakery

Posted By on Wed, Sep 30, 2015 at 1:20 PM

Matthias Wilson's walk in the park led to a job at Rockwood Bakery. - KAILEE HAONG
  • Kailee Haong
  • Matthias Wilson's walk in the park led to a job at Rockwood Bakery.

Rockwood Bakery
, across the street from Manito Park, is located in a row of houses on the South Hill. If it weren’t for the cars lining the streets surrounding the bakery, you might drive past it without even knowing. The bakery and coffee shop has been around for some time now, and is a perfect place to stop on the way to or from the park. 

Though 21-year-old barista Matthias Wilson has only been working at Rockwood for eight months, he’s been in the coffee business for nearly three years. When he’s not studying exercise science at Eastern Washington University, you might find him at Rockwood Bakery.

INLANDER: How did you end up at Rockwood Bakery?
WILSON: It stood out to me one day because I was going on a walk around Manito. A lot of our customers, they’ll get coffee and go to Manito, and so I did that. I went to the garden first and then came here afterwards. I saw a bakery sign on the street right here and I thought I’d check it out, and I stayed for a bit, and I kept coming back. I knew somebody who worked here and she ended up giving me the job.

Do you have any jobs aside from being a barista?

I have two other jobs. I work at the Blackbird, I’m a busboy there. I also work at World Relief. I’m the healthcare intern, and I did that all summer and I asked to stay on for the fall. With them, I do home visits with a ton of different cultures and I promote hygiene and make sure that they’re using the right soap for the right task and promote healthy habits. I also take people to their doctor’s appointments. Myself and my boss apply people for healthcare and we walk them through the medical screening in order for them to get their green card.

Continue reading »

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Blaze Pizza opens first Washington location in Spokane, offers free pizza Friday

Posted By on Thu, Sep 24, 2015 at 10:46 AM

The new location of Blaze Pizza opens Friday with a free pizza promotion. - MAX CARTER
  • Max Carter
  • The new location of Blaze Pizza opens Friday with a free pizza promotion.

Today the California-based restaurant Blaze Pizza will open its first location in Washington state on 926 North Division Street. Founded by Elise and Rick Wetzel (co-founder of Wetzel's Pretzels), Blaze Pizza features a menu including a variety of signature pizzas, salads, blood orange lemonade and s'more pie.

To kick things off, on Friday, Sept. 25 from 10 am to 1 am, Blaze will be offering a free build-your-own pizza to any customer that follows them on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Located near Gonzaga University, the restaurant will be accepting Bulldog Bucks, allowing Gonzaga students to swipe their Zag Cards as payment for their meal. Zag Card or not, Blaze Pizza is known for affordable prices, offering pizzas for only $8. 

The 2,600-square-foot Spokane location has seating for 52 inside, with an outdoor patio as well. Blaze Pizza's new location is constructed of recycled and sustainable materials, uses eco-friendly packaging and features energy-efficient LED lighting.

Speaking for Owner Patrick Vollmer (who also owns the Sonic on Division Street), Account Manager Martina Schmidt says that Blaze Pizza is aimed to appeal towards a different audience than your typical pizza joint. 

"Blaze Pizza is very high energy, and we are looking to appeal to a younger audience. We are faster than your typical pizza restaurant, more casual, and everything is under 8 bucks," said Schmidt. 

Since the opening of the first Blaze Pizza in Irvine, California, in August of 2012, the chain has grown to 85 locations in 20 different states, including the District of Columbia, and the company is backed by investors such as LeBron James, Maria Shriver and Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner. 

Blaze's signature pizzas include the "Redvine," featuring red sauce, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, parmesan, basil and an olive oil drizzle. The "White Top" features white cream sauce and is topped with mozzarella, bacon, garlic, arugula and oregano. If you are balling on a budget, you can get a customized one-topping pizza for $5.

So if you need some food on Friday and your wallet is feeling a bit light, head on down to Spokane's newest eatery for a free custom-built artisanal pizza. Simply show that you follow Blaze Pizza on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, design your pizza and enjoy.
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Thursday, September 17, 2015

MOD Pizza opens downtown, citizenry braves elements for shot at free pizza

Posted By on Thu, Sep 17, 2015 at 2:17 PM

People will brave all manner of elements for free pizza. - MAKAYLA WAMBOLDT
  • Makayla Wamboldt
  • People will brave all manner of elements for free pizza.

Thursday at noon, MOD Pizza downtown opened its doors to a crowd of hungry customers, eagerly awaiting their promised free pizza.

The opening event for Spokane's third MOD location boasted a line of customers snaking out the door and down the street for an event complete with music and free pizza for the first 52 MODsters. For those of you who haven't yet visited the other locations, MOD is a artisan-style pizza parlor where customers can create their own pizzas, choosing from over 30 different toppings or selecting from a set menu of classics. The Seattle-based chain also offers local craft beer and wine, house-made lemonades, ice teas, and milkshakes.

If you missed your chance for free pizza, there's still reason to check out the new location today — MOD will be donating the rest of the day's profits to local organization Big Brothers, Big Sisters, so you can feel good about treating yourself to some pizza. 

To keep up with all the restaurant openings, closings and news, be sure to sign up for Entree, our food newsletter delivered right to your email box. 
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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

New study shows beer generates more than good times and hangovers, like jobs and taxes

Posted By on Tue, Jul 28, 2015 at 1:09 PM


We're currently working on our upcoming Beer Issue — hitting the streets August 20 — so the Inlander staff has beer on the brain a bit more than usual. Walk past some of our cubicles, and you might recognize the signs of a thirsty writer or editor

After a little bit of reporting, it turns out beer is not only a delicious treat, it's a pretty significant part of the economy. Sounds like a great reason to raise a toast — cheers!

The folks at something called the Beer Institute and the National Beer Wholesalers Association today released a new study called "Beer Serves America: A Study of the U.S. Beer Industry's Economic Contribution," and in the report (put together by John Dunham and Associates), they break down things like how beer contributes to jobs and taxes both nationally and in each of the states. You can read the report if you want to get into the minutiae, but we thought there were a few noteworthy stats Inlander readers might be interested in: 
  • Overall, the beer industry generates about $252.6 billion in economic activity, which equates to about 1.5 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product. 
  • Based on data from 2014, beer is responsible for the existence of about 1.75 million jobs, ranging from the people working at the breweries themselves to all the suppliers affiliated with the industry — bottle and can manufacturers, cardboard companies, marketing enterprises and the like. 
  • The total number of breweries has grown by 2,290 in the past two years, most of them microbreweries and brewpubs. Residents of the Inland Northwest can certainly attest to that trend as our ale trail is growing like crazy. 
  • Nearly $50 billion in taxes is generated by the production of beer and other malt beverages (those hard lemonades, etc.), and those taxes make up about 40 percent of the price we pay for a beer. 
  • In Washington state, the beer industry generates nearly $3 billion in economic activity, and roughly 38 percent of the retail price of beers goes toward federal and state taxes.
  • In Idaho, the beer biz generates about $460 million in economic activity, and roughly 37 percent of the price of each beer goes toward taxes. 
You can check out the data of any state you like with this handy website. And watch for that Beer Issue coming August 20.
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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

VIDEO: Battle of the Cheap Eats Inlander food experts

Posted By on Wed, Jul 15, 2015 at 4:05 PM

One sunny afternoon, two interns went to three Spokane eateries in search of items to stump the best Inlander foodies. They brought back three deliciously cheap meals to the second floor of the Inlander building in Kendall Yards, and challenged Mike Bookey and Laura Regester's knowledge of this local fare.

They sat them down in a meeting room, blindfolded them, and pressed record. Who will be the best at determining the restaurant of origin and price of these foods? Will they miss their mouths when they eat? Is that chicken or beef? Watch and find out, and check out links to all the Cheap Eats 2015 stories below: 


New and Cheap, a roundup of great, new cheap grub options in Spokane. 
Rolling Goodies, a look at the latest food truck sweet deals
Burger Brawl, in which Inlander staffers eat every burger from Zip's at once. Every. Burger. 
Just Desserts helps you find sweet treats on the cheap. 
The Nicest Price is free, and here's where you can find free food. 
Hot and Cold, where to find great deli deals. 
Keeping It Classic. Or Not, a showdown between old-school favorites and cheap rising stars on the scene. 
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