by Susan Hamilton and Ann M. Colford & r & & r & CASUAL Flight 57
The first thing to catch my eye on the menu at HANGAR 57 is the list of grinders. In Boston parlance, a grinder is a hot submarine sandwich -- basically, warm meat with marinara sauce and melted cheese on top. When someone in Spokane uses the term, I feel it's my duty as a Bostonian to check it out. And when chef Tim Hartman tells me he's making real East Coast-style pizza, I do my best Eastwood squint and say, "Bring it on."
I start with the Italian grinder ($8): pepperoni, Canadian bacon, salami, bacon, black olives and provolone, baked on a made-from-scratch sub-style roll with just enough tomato sauce to make the whole thing ooze deliciously together. After only two bites, I'm reminiscing fondly about my days in Portland, Maine, walking past little Mom-and-Pop corner shops that advertised "Hot Italians, three for $10."
The Terminator pizza ($16/medium) comes with salami, Canadian bacon, ham and a five-cheese blend, with crumbled bacon and black olives on top. The crust is thin enough to fold over, New York-style, yet sturdy enough to hold together without getting floppy. It has a fresh-baked flavor, nicely balanced between yeast and salt. There's a layer of naturally sweet tomato sauce ("No sugar added," Hartman assures me) and then the meat and cheese toppings. The emphasis here is on quality over quantity.
"The sauce should be a flavor note," says Hartman. "Everything should work well together. Just because you're cooking pizza doesn't mean it's culinarily less challenging."
The ambience mashes vintage World War II with a dozen or so televisions -- including a projection screen TV for the biggest sporting events. The bar features 57 different martinis and the social hour menu (3-5:30 pm, 9 pm-close) offers $5 grinders and $3 pizza by the slice. And check out the salad bar.
"Maybe it's the trailer in me, but I love a salad bar," laughs Hartman. And the crumbled bacon is real. "You still have to have your standards."
-- ANN M. COLFORD
Hangar 57 Pizzeria and Sports Bar, 2911 E. 57th Ave., is open daily 11 am-close (till 2 am on weekends). Call 448-5707.
DINING Made-to-order Menu
"I'm having way too much fun with this," says executive chef Howard Bateman of the Globe Bar and Grill's CUSTOM CUISINE NIGHT.
After eight years working at the Globe, Bateman wanted to shake things up a bit. So he began offering what he calls a unique dining experience for customers each Thursday night.
"It started out as something we offered regular guests who didn't know exactly what they were hungry for," Bateman explains. "Now customers look forward to having something different prepared for them that's not on the menu."
Guests fill out a full-page form and Bateman creates a meal based on their choices. For specialty items, like a particular fish or meat, customers should call ahead from Monday to Wednesday before 6 pm.
Diners appreciate the diversity Custom Cuisine Night offers. Bateman likes the challenge of creating new dishes for customers. Some of Bateman's recent custom meals include a Moroccan-seasoned chicken and eggplant dish served with golden-raisin and pine-nut flavored rice, a Spanish grilled pork tenderloin seasoned with saffron and olive-marsala sauce and a side of myzithra potatoes, and shrimp and green beans with smoked Gouda sauce over fettuccini. The wildest dish Bateman has created is a Mexican-Thai dish with habanero-coconut sauce over seafood pasta.
"The customers have fun," Bateman says. "It's an adventure for me, and I get to come out and explain the dishes to them."
-- SUSAN HAMILTON
The Globe Bar and Grill's Custom Cuisine Night runs Thursdays from 6 pm-midnight, at 204 N. Division. Call 744-0438.
EVENTS Taste and Nosh
"Normally only winemakers taste wines from the barrel," says Mike Conway, winemaker and owner of Latah Creek Winery. "SPRING BARREL TASTING gives the public a chance to understand the aging process and an education to see how wines change with age." This weekend, 11 wineries will open their doors during the annual free event.
-- SUSAN HAMILTON
Spokane Winery Association's Spring Barrel Tasting * Friday-Sunday, May 11-13, from 11 am-5 pm * Maps available at each winery: Arbor Crest Wine Cellars, 4705 N. Fruithill Rd., 927-9463, and second floor RiverPark Square, 747-3903; Barrister Winery, 1213 W. Railroad Ave., 465-3591; Caterina Winery, 905 N. Washington St., 328-5069; Grande Ronde Cellars, 906 W. Second Ave., 455-8161; Robert Karl Cellars, 115 W. Pacific Ave., 363-1353; Knipprath Cellars, 5634 E. Commerce Ave., 534-5121; Latah Creek Winery, 13030 E. Indiana Ave., 926-0164; Lone Canary Winery, 109 S. Scott St., Suite B2, 534-9062; Mountain Dome Winery, 16315 E. Temple Rd., 928-2788; Townshend Cellars, 16112 N. Greenbluff Rd., 238-1400; and Vintage Hill Cellars, 319 W. Second Ave, 624-3792.