& lt;span class= "dropcap " & S & lt;/span & ample from 30 fine wines, bid on silent auction packages and enjoy the fun of a chocolate fountain while helping local Hispanic students attain their educational goals -- what's not to like about that? The Hispanic Business Professional Association (HBPA), a group of about 40 members from local business and education organizations, holds its first annual wine tasting, VIVA VINO, on Friday, April 20, to fund scholarships for students enrolled in a college or university.
"The wines are mostly from Washington and California, with some from South America, and one from Portugal," says Susana Lopez, HBPA secretary. "We'll have lots of food available -- cheese and crackers, veggie trays, and plenty of fruit for the chocolate fountain."
Volunteer servers will have information on the varietals, and guests may purchase bottles of the wines they've sampled -- the markup goes to the scholarship fund. The silent auction adds more fun, and everybody gets to take home a wine glass engraved with "Viva Vino 2007," thanks to the Bank of Whitman. Peppertree owners Rita and Valerie Santillanes are members of HBPA and have donated the use of their facility for the benefit, says Lopez.
In addition to the scholarships, HBPA holds a recognition ceremony each spring for Hispanic graduates -- from high school, college or graduate school -- and young scholars in grades 7 to 11. Each graduate receives a stole made from a serape, to be worn during school graduation ceremonies.
-- ANN M. COLFORD
Viva Vino, a benefit for the scholarship fund of the Hispanic Business Professional Association, is Friday, April 20, at 7 pm, at the Best Western Peppertree Liberty Lake Inn, 1816 N. Pepper Lane, Liberty Lake, Wash. Tickets are $35 ($45 at the door), must be 21 years or older. E-mail HBPASpokane@msn.com or call 624-4655 or 879-2232.
LUNCH Goes Swimmingly
& lt;span class= "dropcap " & E & lt;/span & ver since BLUEFISH opened more than a year ago, the sleek nightspot with the neon blue lights and giant aquariums has been just that -- a nightspot. But change is inevitable. Now, downtown worker bees (even bleary-eyed scribes) can check out the restaurant's vibe at lunchtime. The exposed brickwork and wood floors are more readily apparent in the light of day, while the high-tech neon is less obvious, but the menu retains its Asian fusion flavor. Choose from five different sushi rolls ($6-$7), or check out the rich Kobe burger ($10); wraps, rice and noodle bowls, and grilled entr & eacute;es ($8-$16) round out the options. There's even dessert to tempt the tastebuds.
-- ANN M. COLFORD
Bluefish, 830 W. Sprague, is open Mon 11 am to 2 pm, Tue-Sat 11 am to midnight. Call 747-2111.
CASUAL Delicious Deli
& lt;span class= "dropcap " & W & lt;/span & hen you think of delicatessens what comes to mind? A cramped eatery in the midst of New York City where the banter is as quick and lively as the food? A kosher L.A. deli where in-your-face waitresses serve lox and bagels? Or an establishment that's somewhere between a grocery store and a fast-food restaurant?
Actually, the word "delicatessen" is from the German (via French and Italian and, before that, Latin) meaning "delicious things to eat." A deli's sandwiches are usually made to order, as well as its salads. MARVINI'S DELI in Airway Heights, offers all of the above -- delicious things to eat, made-to-order sandwiches and salads. Many customers describe the family-owned shop next to a Shell gas station as "cute" -- with red tablecloths, windows covering one wall, cases for bakery items and a familiar board touting daily specials and menu items.
"The sandwiches are really big," says Christina Dahl, whose ex-husband owns Marvini's. "And the soups are homemade. Marvin's daughter Brandy came up with the recipes. She's a mom and a great cook."
The Great Marvini is one of the more popular sandwiches. It's got everything -- roast beef, turkey, ham, cheddar cheese, provolone, onions, tomatoes, lettuce and pickles with a variety of sauces ($6.50 whole, $3.75 half). The Starvin' Marvin is a three-patty burger -- that's three-quarters of a pound of quality Angus beef -- with three slices of cheddar and all the fixin's ($8.50).
Marvini's also features wraps, vegetarian options, kids' meals (from grilled cheese to a pizza roll), salads, and German sausage with chili and cheese or sauerkraut. Breakfast sandwiches (with egg, cheese, bacon, sausage or ham) include hashbrowns and coffee ($4), or grab a fresh-baked muffin, bagel with cream cheese or biscuits and gravy.
-- SUSAN HAMILTON
Marvini's Deli, 1305 S. Hayford Rd., is open daily from 5 am-9 pm. Call 244-5263.