Take a stroll to the Parkside building and enjoy a drink of Caffé Umbria Italian coffee and indulge in a freshly made eclair or chocolate-dipped macaroon or pick up a sandwhich or flatbread pizza (whole or by the slice) for an impromptu picnic by the lake. (July 2013)
The mammoth portions at this American family restaurant are a bargain: Light eaters can get two meals from one dish. After moving from Meadowwood Lane to a new building at the beginning of 2014, the restaurant now stays open for dinner, too. (Feb. 2014)
Esteemed for delicious frozen yogurt, Ben's leaves room for pleasing experiences and a sensation for the taste buds. Multiple dessert flavors change periodically so as not to be so vanilla. Also check it out for lunch and dessert. The wraps are huge, they have fresh ingredients and they taste way better than the ones from a certain sandwich chain we all know. (June 2012)
The Black Diamond — or the Diamond, as the locals say — is a one-stop adult playground, filled to the brim with pool tables, live DJs, food specials and a clear view of two-dozen or so craft brews on tap. This, truly, is the place to go if you’re partying in the Valley. On a Friday night, the place is packed with folks looking to either play some pool or try out the latest regional brews. (July 2013)
Relocated to Colville, Wash. as of Feb. 2015.
There are a dozen different reasons to be lured into the Dive, part of the empire
built by head chef and front man Junior Solis and his business partner,
Lex Sparks. Advertised as offering “white trash comfort food,” the Dive’s selection goes well
with beer — Bubba’s Fish n’ Chips ($9), for example, or the Hillbilly
Pulled Pork Sandwich ($7) — or even a hangover (the Bacon, Egg and
Cheese Burger goes for $9). But the Dive is an odd place, more about kickin’ it with friends than
cuisine. It’s non-smoking inside (though smokers congregating along exits
form a tobacco gauntlet) and games are free for patrons: darts, air
hockey, skeeball, ping-pong, foosball, etc. (The mechanical bull is a big draw, too.) (CS, 7/10)
Fedora’s smoked-glass dividers and booths create a comfy, classy dining experience. The place sports 1920s gangster-shtick with servers garbed in black and — naturally — a fedora. This Italian restaurant serves authentic pasta dishes that will make your mouth water and entrees like the prime rib that will have you craving more. Besides burgers and sandwiches there are several “lighter side” meals, like sandwiches and salads, that are just as good as the more extravagant dishes. (August 2012)
Ferguson’s is not a café or restaurant — it’s a diner. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in tasty, heaping portions, and there’s nothing on the menu that you’ll struggle to pronounce. Old-fashioned and straightforward, Ferguson’s is a reminder of a simpler time. The milkshakes are made to order out of the original machine — installed in 1941 and, fittingly, the only appliance not destroyed in the devastating 2011 fire.
Already a quintessential Spokane restaurant, the Goat offers some of the best Neapolitan style pizza in town and a drool-worthy collection of beers and wines. Everything here is made from scratch each day — from the dough, to all the sauces and dressings, and even some of the artisan meats are cured in-house. Toppings span from the classic to the gourmet. Don’t be afraid to try the Kiernan, with a medium egg resting on top of a mound of arugula, cheese and Italian sausage. Trust us. It’s delicious. Snag one of the many beers on tap or in bottles (or cans) to go along with your pie. (July 2013)
Located just off Garland Avenue, this little sandwich place should not be underestimated. Its menu is replete with sandwiches, ranging from gourmet paninis to well-executed classics like the BLT. Really hungry? Order the Dagwood. It weighs more than a pound. A rotation of soups and a salad menu round out the menu. (July 2013)
The Garnet Cafe dishes up locally sourced, hearty fare. Breakfasts, like their Northwest Omelet or Corned Beef Hash, will leave you full all day. And the lunch specials, like the Garnet Cuban Sandwich, made with McLane Farms Berkshire pulled pork and smoked ham, pickles, Swiss, slaw and stoneground mustard on fresh ciabatta bread, are truly special. Garnet is a favorite, but certainly not a secret. Make reservations early if you want to eat there this century, or try fighting your way to one of their eclectic dining tables. (July 2013)
Hacienda Las Flores has everything you’d expect from a family Mexican restaurant. The interior is bright and busy. The custom of passing out chips is taken seriously. The enchiladas, burritos and taco plates are gargantuan. If you still want more, Tuesdays and Thursdays are all-you can-eat tacos for $7. They also have a $5 take-out special and a daily happy hour from 2-5 pm, when you can get two beers for $5 or two margaritas for just $6. (March 2013)
A step up from what you might expect in a mall restaurant, this offering from Vicky Zheng (the owner of Hong Kong Express) is cheerful and almost elegant, decorated in teal and red, with ornate, calligraphy-covered wall hangings. You'll find everything you'd want from an Asian-inspired buffet: chow mein, teriyaki chicken, fried rice and even a dozen kinds of sushi. The quality is good — no limp veggies or oily noodles. Dishes are replenished often and served hot. If you are looking for a gut-busting lunch at a bargain price, you'll find it here.
Go to a bowling alley, just to eat? If that alley is Hugo’s, then the answer is yes. This South Hill boutique bowling alley is decked out in classy leather furniture and glitzy lighting, creating a top-shelf ambiance more in tune with a Las Vegas boutique bowling lounge than the dingy lanes of old. Entrées here range from pot roast to halibut fish tacos to sliders. And just like in Vegas, a full bar is on hand so you’ll never go thirsty. (July 2013)
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