Taste the World

Taste the World

A new downtown shop is happy to teach you all about tea
Savannah Breeden has sipped tea around the world, but in her hometown of Spokane, she never felt like she could get the sort of high-quality, loose-leaf teas she was after. Now she and her husband, Thomas Kilborn, have plenty of it on hand at Urban Nirvana, their newly opened café in downtown Spokane.

Suds for Spark

River City and Lantern Taphouse team up on a new beer to benefit local programs for kids
Even the most casual observer of the Inland Northwest's craft brewing scene knows that the folks behind our tasty local beers don't limit their work to their respective brew houses. They're active members of the community who help promote local artists and chefs, political causes and worthy nonprofits.

Nutritious Knowledge

Regional food banks are doing more to educate clients and the public on healthy eating choices
Shelves at the Community Food Bank in Pullman overflow with cans of cranberry sauce left over from the holidays. Rows of dried and canned beans, lentils and peas are stacked alongside pre-made soups and bags of pasta.

Sipping at the Source

A new tasting room at Dry Fly's East Spokane distillery showcases its spirits in cocktails, and for special events
Dry Fly Distilling has long kept a small tasting bar next to its distilling equipment, but when a coffee shop next door moved out recently, its owners saw an opportunity to build something better. "For years we had such a small tasting area, and we wanted to offer an area that people would enjoy more," says Dry Fly co-founder Kent Fleischmann.

Farm to Truck

A new mobile eatery sources farm-fresh ingredients for an all-day homemade breakfast menu
Jillian Gay wants to change the minds of people who see eggs and pork only as "morning" foods. That's one reason the Le Cordon Bleu graduate decided to launch her one-woman restaurant on wheels, The Farmer's Daughter, which exclusively serves up classic breakfast ingredients, mostly in the form of handheld sandwiches.

Tongue Thai'd

A breakdown of culinary history, pronunciation, common ingredients and other facts to know about this popular Southeast Asian cuisine
Thai cuisine really hits the spot — the sweet, salty, sour and spicy spot, and usually all at once in a single delicious dish. Maybe that's why Thailand had seven dishes on CNN's "World's 50 Most Delicious Foods (Readers' Pick)" 2011 poll, more than any other country, or why it's called the "Land of Smiles."

At Phonthip's Thai Table

After running a restaurant in Bangkok for decades, Phonthip Tungkana is realizing her dream of cooking her family's recipes for American diners
Phonthip Tungkana long dreamed of coming to America. One day, she decided many years ago, she would open her own restaurant in the U.S. to share the complex flavors — combinations of sweet, spicy, salty, sour and bitter — and fresh ingredients of her native Thailand.

Five of the Region's Top Thai Restaurants

If you're looking for an authentic Thai experience, try the following locations, as recommended to us by friends and readers
SALA THAI 12914 W. Sunset Hwy., Airway Heights, salathaispokane.com, 244-4800

Update | Sweet Lou's Restaurant & Tap House

Scenic views, comfort-food classics at new CdA spot
Sweet Lou's Restaurant and Tap House is a bit of a homecoming for Coeur d'Alene native Meggie Foust, who started the original Sweet Lou's with husband Chad in Hope, Idaho, five years ago, soon followed by a Ponderay location. "It's an honor to come back to Coeur d'Alene and have the opportunity to serve our dishes to family and friends," says Meggie Foust.

Meet Your Brewer: Little Spokane Brewing's Joe Potter

Spokane's downtown brewery incubator helped this one-man operation get its start
When it comes to brewing beer, Joe Potter is a one-man show. In addition to being the sole owner and head brewer of Little Spokane Brewing Company, Potter also works as a bartender at the Steel Barrel Taproom in downtown Spokane's west end, where most days he's found serving pints of his own brew to thirsty patrons.

Comings and Goings

Recent changes to the dining scene, including the closure of a favorite tavern and the re-emergence of another
Even as we celebrate the continued growth of the Inland Northwest's dining and nightlife culture, sometimes we're forced to bid farewell to places we wish we didn't have to. Places like the Swamp Tavern, which saw its last weekend late last month, quietly closing after decades in business.

The Tastiest Ten

Fifth annual Inlander Restaurant Week satiates appetites and continues through March 4
Pull up the hashtag #IRWRaveReviews on any of your respective social media channels — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram — and your mouth may instantly begin to water. Food lovers of all types have been out in full force the past several days trying new dining spots and patronizing their longtime faves, all the while documenting their delicious Inlander Restaurant Week adventures online, both for posterity's sake and to help support a good cause.

For Purple Waves of Grain

A local grain farmer, malter, baker and beermaker are joining forces to showcase an ancient and unique strain of Egyptian barley
When people think about beer, hops typically get the most attention. But an ongoing local collaboration is celebrating beer's main ingredient — malted barley — for a seven-week event dubbed the Purple Egyptian Barley Project.

Dogpile!

New all-ages venue the Lucky Puppy joins its adjacent big brother Scotty's Doghouse as a Logan neighborhood hangout
It starts young — that weekend (or weekday) itch to go out and do something fun with a group of friends somewhere, anywhere. Before the Lucky Puppy, a new all-ages venue in Gonzaga University's Logan Neighborhood for free karaoke, sports-watching parties, fundraising events and more, that urge might have led local college students and under-21s to sweaty house parties, or down the worn and bumpy road to fake IDs.

Behind the Beans

Specialty coffee roasters carefully consider the cafés they partner with to maintain their product's integrity from field to cup
At Landgrove Coffee, a roasting company in Troy, Idaho, the counters in a small kitchen are cluttered with different methods for brewing the perfect cup: pour-over drippers, French presses, and a refurbished espresso machine. Roastery owner Jon Binninger pours water from an electric kettle over coffee grounds piled in a copper dripper.

What's In Your Glass?

A new series sheds some light on your favorite beverages
Chances are, you have several different types of drinks every day. Maybe you start your morning with coffee or tea, grab a kombucha at lunch, and end your day with a glass of wine or a pint of beer.

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