Thursday, January 5, 2017

Stella's Café to close and merge with nearby sister restaurant Ruins

Posted By on Thu, Jan 5, 2017 at 4:02 PM

Chef Tony Brown gained a notable following with the debut of Stella's back in 2012. He opened the nearby Ruins in 2014, but now plans to combine the two in Ruins' spot. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Chef Tony Brown gained a notable following with the debut of Stella's back in 2012. He opened the nearby Ruins in 2014, but now plans to combine the two in Ruins' spot.

This Thursday afternoon, we learned the owners of a favorite local lunch spot just north of the Spokane River plan to close their doors a final time on January 31.

But fear not, Stella's Cafe fans — owners chef Tony Brown and his parents Steve and Marti Brown plan to reincorporate the cafe's familiar sandwich, soup and pastry options into their nearby sister restaurant, Ruins.

A major factor cited for Stella's closure at 917 W. Broadway, where it's been located for the past five years in a rustic and eclectic space, is the end of the restaurant's five-year lease.

It's not clear yet how Stella's and Ruins will combine as one in the latter's diminutive space on the corner of Monroe and Mallon, just two blocks away, but the Browns plan to soon announce how they'll meld Stella's fresh sandwich menu with Ruins' cocktails and ever-changing, themed, tapas-style menu.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for an update on Stella's/Ruins new united future in the Inlander's food section, and in our Entrée food newsletter.

And for those who will surely miss making a mid-day pitstop at the original Stella's, mark your calendars — the last chance to visit the space is fast approaching, with a final day of business set for Tuesday, Jan. 31.
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , ,

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

What We've Been... Drinking

Posted By on Wed, Dec 21, 2016 at 3:06 PM

Welcome back to the Inlander staff's biweekly rundown of cool things we've been watching, reading, listening to, drinking, eating, looking forward to, etc. Before you get any further, we should point out that "drinking," as you'll discover, does not strictly include beverages of the alcoholic nature, despite what stereotypical notions about journalists you may have. Enjoy!

Find past installments of "What We've Been..." here.

In between bites of breakfast (typically a hardboiled egg and a piece of fruit), I guzzle about four cups of coffee, black and piping hot. I don’t function without it, but that’s not interesting or unique, especially in this line of work. Perhaps my newfound fascination with La Croix, the hoity toity, fizzy drink popular with suburban moms and Paleo dieters, is not unusual for journalists, either, but it is what I’m drinking right now. Seriously, like right this very second, I’m sipping from a can of apricot-flavored sparkling water. Why do I like sparkling water? 'Cause I want flavor, but no sugar. And that little bite you get from the carbonation is just enough of a fix for this former two-a-day Coke drinker.

Apparently, I’m not alone. Seltzer water sales, and La Croix specifically, have been on the rise since the early 2000s, according to the International Bottled Water Association. The gallons of domestically produced sparkling water increased by 58 percent between 2010 and 2014. Also, there are even T-shirts for the uber La Croix obsessed. The only downside is that La Croix can be a bit more expensive than other seltzer waters. Around here, Target is the most reasonably priced. Otherwise, Safeway’s Refreshe line does just fine. (MITCH RYALS)

Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Here's what led up to the closing of Spokane landmark Donut Parade

Posted By on Tue, Dec 6, 2016 at 4:15 PM

Locals are mourning the closure of the donut shop that's been in business since 1968. - DONUT PARADE FACEBOOK
  • Donut Parade Facebook
  • Locals are mourning the closure of the donut shop that's been in business since 1968.

A few months back, we published a feature examining how a few locally owned businesses were rising from the ashes of misfortune. One business featured in the piece had been facing what seemed like a relentless stream of mishaps and misfortunes. Yet after the recent announcement that longtime Spokane business Donut Parade has closed its doors for good, it seems the Reno family has run out of options.

Since posting that decision on the shop's Facebook page this past Sunday, it's been shared more than 800 times. There are more than 650 comments from people expressing their sadness to see Donut Parade go. Others, though, question the financial and management decisions of its owners.

When we talked with co-owner Christian Reno in late August of this year, Donut Parade had been struggling to stay afloat after a car crashed into the shop's front entrance. Because the building's owner hadn't repaired that damage in the months following that incident, Reno told the Inlander that many of customers saw the boarded up doorway and thought the business was permanently closed.

"I know it sounds really stupid to say," Reno said at the time, "But we really don't know what's going on. I don't have the money [to fix the door], and it was slow before that and it's been slow since then."

A few weeks after our interview with Reno, however, and the shop's front door was finally repaired.

Before the car accident damaged the building, she said a power outage on National Donut Day (June 3) — one of the busiest days of the year — forced the shop to close early. The Renos, who bought Donut Parade back in 2008, closed the shop for a week after that to decide if they were going to keep trying to get the business to a financially viable status. Then, just days later, a car plowed into its front door.

Reno also told us in August that not only was the shop falling far behind on its bills, but her family was, too. She expressed gratitude for many of Donut Parade's regular customers who'd been helping buy things like coffee and lemonade mix that she'd trade for donuts.

"We just keep rolling the dice and keeping our fingers crossed that we can stay open," Reno said. "That is 100 percent my plan."

In the days since announcing Donut Parade's permanent closure, a GoFundMe campaign seeking to raise $80,000 was launched in an attempt to reopen the shop. So far, just over $2,200 has been donated, to be used for the following, according to the campaign:

"We here at the Donut Parade have given our all to keep the doors open but as any small local family business owners know, there are many, many, many expenses to keep things afloat. Any amount donated is appreciated and is 100% going back into the business. We are apart [sic] of this community, live in this neighborhood, our children have grown up in this establishment. The Donut Parade is apart [sic] of who we are. With that being said, we are reaching out to our community asking for help so we can continue to serve the great people of Spokane. With our goal being $80,000, this covers our past due expense of power bills, water, supplies, building repairs, loans we've taken to try and stay open, business revenue...and rent."

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , ,

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Day 2016: You're gonna need a drink tonight. Here are some local options.

Posted By on Tue, Nov 8, 2016 at 4:00 PM


If you are able to weather tonight without calming the nerves, or perhaps celebrating... or maybe drowning your sorrows with a drink or two, well, congratulations. You are morally superior to the rest of us.

But in the event that you are going to tip back a few and bid farewell to this truly terrible election season, here are some ways to do it local:

Red, White and No-Li Pale Ale: This beer from No-Li Brewhouse is obviously patriotic, but it's also incredibly good. While the six-packs of cans won't be released for another week or so, you can get the 22-ounce bottles at most grocery stores. It's a super floral, citra-hopped brew that isn't overpowering, so you'll be able to comprehend the results at the bottom of your screen.

Washington Wheat Straight Bourbon 101: If you're more into the state races, and perhaps need something stronger, go with this Dry Fly Distillery bourbon. The wheat and the corn used to make this powerful booze was made right here in Washington, so you can be proud about that.

River City Red: If you want to get super local, take pride in this River City Brewing red ale named after Spokane. Bonus: you can get growlers of this, and any other beer, at the River City taproom for just $10.
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , ,

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Attention Gilmore Girls fans: Luke's Diner comes to Spokane Wednesday

Posted By on Tue, Oct 4, 2016 at 2:10 PM

Expect Indaba Coffee to look a little different come tomorrow morning. - FACEBOOK
  • Facebook
  • Expect Indaba Coffee to look a little different come tomorrow morning.

That's right Gilmore Girls fans, a small piece of Stars Hollow comes to Spokane Wednesday as Indaba Coffee transforms into Luke's Diner. As part of a national coffee/TV mashup celebration, honoring the day Gilmore Girls originally aired back in 2000 on the now-defunct WB network, Indaba is one of only 250 coffee shops in the country selected to participate in this event, and the only one in Eastern Washington.

In coordination with Netflix — the streaming service is rebooting the classic show with four extra-long episodes premiering the day after Thanksgiving — Indaba Coffee plans to offer 250 free cups of coffee between 7 am and noon at both locations (downtown and in Kendall Yards). 

Obviously, you can't expect the gruff and plaid-clad Luke Danes (Scott Patterson) to be there in the flesh, but the baristas will most likely be decked out in hats and aprons and the coffee cups and sleeves will have an extra special treatment. 

This is a great time to sit down with friends and family alike to discuss your predictions for the upcoming Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. Will Rory choose one of her ex-boyfriends (Jess, obviously), or will she forge ahead as a driven journalist without any man by her side? Are Luke and Lorelai finally married? Will Emily ever stop being annoying? Does Lane ever get to leave Stars Hallow? More coffee, please! 

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Food Blotter: Second location for Nectar Beer & Wine, Allie's reopens and more

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2016 at 3:50 PM

For fans of the region's blossoming culinary scene, several news tidbits crossed our radar today.

This morning, I received a welcome email from Atania Gilmore, owner of the locally-beloved vegan restaurant Allie's Vegan Pizzeria & Cafe, that the second location of her business is opening next week on Spokane's South Hill. After a devastating fire heavily damaged Gilmore's flagship location on Spokane's North Side earlier this year, and she learned that it would take as long as six months for repairs, Gilmore decided to open a second location in the interim. 

Allie's new spot in a shopping center at 1314 S. Grand, Suite 6 — next to Growler Guys — is set to open for business next Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 11 am. In her email, Gilmore says the store will be holding drawings throughout the week for gift cards, and will be giving out cupcakes to customers who stop in.

An artist's rendering of Nectar's new South Perry spot. - HDG ARCHITECTURE RENDERING
  • HDG Architecture rendering
  • An artist's rendering of Nectar's new South Perry spot.

In boozier news, Nectar Wine & Beer is bringing a second location to the hip South Perry neighborhood. Owner Josh Wade, who opened the beer and wine retail store and tasting room in Kendall Yards last year, plans to operate the second spot in a newly constructed, two-story building at 907 S. Perry, on the corner of Perry and Ninth. In a blog post on his website, Wade writes that construction is to start at the beginning of next year, with a targeted opening date of spring 2017. Customers of the Kendall Yards' location can expect to find the same familiar layout and an identical business model at the new Perry store.

Fans of the midday meal that combines breakfast and lunch can rejoice now that the forthcoming Bruncheonette restaurant has announced its expected grand opening date: Oct. 17. By the same folks who run the familiar Couple of Chefs Catering & Food Truck, the new eatery takes over a space just north of downtown, most recently occupied by the Knock Irish pub.

Stay tuned for more news on these spots and other new places to fill your belly around the Inland Northwest by checking out the Inlander's weekly food section online and in print, and by signing up for the weekly food newsletter, Entree
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , ,

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Casper Fry giving "farm-to-table" a new meaning with upcoming dining event

Posted By on Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 12:30 PM

Casper Fry's chefs are briefly exiting their familiar abode for the Swine Dining event.
  • Casper Fry's chefs are briefly exiting their familiar abode for the Swine Dining event.

Anyone who's ever felt that the farm-fresh eggs, milk and meat available at organic grocery stores still don't hit quite close enough to home should consider attending an upcoming event hosted by local restaurant Casper Fry, dubbed "Swine Dining."

For this special occasion, the chefs behind the southern fusion eatery are venturing outside the doors of their south Perry home to deliver a dining experience that is, in the written words of Casper Fry co-owner Ben Poffenroth, "a farm to table six-course meal on the farm itself." The event takes place at local CasaCano Farms, located just off the Palouse Highway, on Monday, Aug. 22, at 6 pm.

Swine Dining will, fittingly, see a pig, raised this year on the host farm, pit-smoked and taking center stage as a recurring element in several of the dishes served. The courses include a collection of mouth-watering pork delicacies, from smoked pork shoulder to baby back ribs in apple barbecue sauce, as well as lighter fare such as a tomato salad with vinaigrette, and grilled romano beans. Poffenroth says that most ingredients present in the meal are sourced right from CasaCano Farms.

$75 buys one access to all six courses plus a cocktail, and covers tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and can be made by calling Casper Fry. 

If there's ever a time to overeat and feel good about doing so, Swine Dining is it.
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , ,

Thursday, August 4, 2016

It's IPA Day, everybody, so let me tell you about the hoppy goodness you should be drinking

Posted By on Thu, Aug 4, 2016 at 4:21 PM

Today is National IPA Day, a holiday that seems to be rather loosely organized yet widely celebrated, not that I need to tell you that. I'm sure you woke the family up early to gather around the hop vines and exchange six packs of India Pale Ale while grandma played all your favorite IPA Day carols on the piano.

Now, don't be one of those naysayers who spin that worn trope that "IPA Day used to be about the beer and now it's just another over-commercialized holiday." Get out there and drink some hoppy beers this evening. Here are some recommendations from around the region.

UPDATE: We're getting word that River City Brewing has all their IPAs on tap for $1 a pint. They do good stuff. Get after it.

Dunn Day IPA — Big Barn Brewing Company
There's something distinctly hearty about this beer. Maybe it's because the hop-forward ale is brewed on a farm up on Green Bluff. But you don't have to head all the way out there to get it. I've often found it at Growler Guys on the South Hill, and other places.

Big Juicy IPA — No-Li Brewhouse
If you haven't heard about this beer, you might be hanging out with the wrong drinkers. I think it's my favorite beer of the summer. The citra hops give it a crisp and slightly fruity back end that makes it a great warm day beer. The fact that it's in six packs of cans at most stores helps too.

Impaler IPA — Iron Goat Brewing
Be careful with this one. I rarely drink imperials because the high gravity makes my ears ring and my mouth say outlandish things. But this one has super floral nose to it that invites you to drink a whole pint and not regret it. It's 8.5% ABV...keep that in mind.

IPA — Laughing Dog Brewing
Don't run up to the north-of-Sandpoint town of Ponderay to try this one at Laughing Dog's taphouse. They're currently closed while moving to their big ol' production facility that will position the 11-year-old brewery to become one of Idaho's biggest. Instead, head to your beer store and get this IPA in cans. Get it really cold and crack that bad Larry.

Single Malt IPA — Perry Street Brewing
This new release from the only brewery on the South Hill is a solid and tasty creation that served as the basis for their popular kumquat IPA they had on this spring. Get a taste of it on PSB's newly revamped patio today.

These are just a few of the IPAs I've been fancying as of late, and, of course, there are many, many other breweries with awesome IPAs. Use our Drinkspotter app to find a place near you that serves a good IPA.
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , ,

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Spokane chef advances to final round of vegan cooking competition

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 4:30 PM

Atania Gilmore, owner of Allie's Vegan Pizzeria, poses with one of her restaurant's signature pies. - MEGHAN KIRK
  • Meghan Kirk
  • Atania Gilmore, owner of Allie's Vegan Pizzeria, poses with one of her restaurant's signature pies.

Chef Pavel Nosov, the head chef at locally owned, much-lauded Allie's Vegan Pizzeria & Cafe, recently emerged as a finalist in Round 1 of Vegan FoodService's Vegan Chef Competition. 

Vegan FoodService is a California-based organization that works to connect vegan restaurants with sources for ingredients. In hosting this competition, the organization hopes to "provide innovative chefs a platform to shine with a personal twist on health and taste," as per its website. 

In the first round, participating chefs had to prepare a 
Head Chef Nosov will compete in Round 2 of the competition early this month.
  • Head Chef Nosov will compete in Round 2 of the competition early this month.
dish with ingredients requested from Vegan FoodService. Their resulting recipes were sent into the organization for judging in a variety of categories by a panel of three professional chefs.

Nosov advanced to the second and final round of the competition, along with four other vegan-food chefs, who were chosen from an entrant pool of 100. Three of the first-round victors hail from California, and one from Oregon. Nosov is the only Washington-based chef to advance to Round 2. 

Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , ,

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Check out these Spokane-area coffee shops off the beaten track

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Tom Sawyer Country Coffee is tucked away, but well worth finding. - SARAH PHILP
  • Sarah Philp
  • Tom Sawyer Country Coffee is tucked away, but well worth finding.

The scent of fresh espresso permeates the air, and a charismatic barista mans the counter to take your order. Hip-looking college kids sit at some tables, basking in the soft glows of their laptop screens as they sip on their tasty beverages. The place is sleek and clean, dusted to perfection, but also decorated tastefully and distinctively.

The above imagery describes just about every good coffee shop in existence, and can likely be applied to your preferred espresso destination. When you're on the hunt for your morning (or afternoon, or evening) joe, sometimes your favorite cafe fits the bill. But other times, you want to venture somewhere new, somewhere besides the established local greats — the Rockwood Bakeries and Atticuses of the world. When that urge strikes, you don't want to be left helpless to frantically Google an appealing option, or resort to one of your safe bets. Instead, prepare for the situation beforehand by educating yourself on the below trio of great, lesser-known espresso joints in the Spokane area.

Tom Sawyer Country Coffee
608 N. Maple | 818-3355
Nestled just west of the Kendall Yards commercial strip on a corner you might never find unless you're looking for it, Tom Sawyer qualifies as a true hidden gem. Its owner, 73-year-old Gary Tom Sawyer, has been roasting coffee for the better part of 55 years, but the doors to his Spokane shop just opened last October. A gaping garage door opens when the weather allows for it, while the company's large, red metal roasting equipment gives the inside an almost industrial feel. Old coffee cans, containers, and french presses adorn the shelves on the walls, contributing to a vintage vibe, and several glass-covered tables give the room a communal feel. It's usually quiet in the shop, but comfortably so, with customers sounding the door's chime as they enter and exit from time to time. The menu isn't overly ambitious, but the flavors are top-notch, and the baristas are willing to lend suggestions. It isn't uncommon to hear them asking their customers' names; the place seems intent on building the kinds of relationships that make for an enduring, beloved business. If you're in the mood for a refreshing treat, try an iced latte with Tom's signature toddy shots. You won't regret it.

Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , ,

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
OoozaPaloooza Food Truck Festival

OoozaPaloooza Food Truck Festival @ Coeur d'Alene City Park

Sat., April 29, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Top Topics in Bloglander

News (149)

Music (28)

For Fun! (18)

Sports (14)

What's Up? (12)

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation