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Fresh and Tasty 

by Susan Hamilton & r & Dreams to Your Door DELIVERY & r & If you can't bear to leave the comfort of your warm and cozy home or office for food from one of your favorite downtown or South Hill restaurants, a newly expanded delivery service has got you covered. Dream Delivery Service offers meals from Raw Sushi and Island Grill (747-4266), Mizuna (747-2004), Fiesta Mexicana (455-7117), Bangkok Thai (838-8424) and Europa (455-4051) to diners in downtown Spokane, the South Hill, Browne's Addition and the Gonzaga area. Offerings include fresh sushi, roasted vegetable and fresh mozzarella sandwiches, chiles rellenos, pad Thai or cheesy lasagna.

"The idea was to mix it up a little bit so that there would be no conflict of interest among the restaurants," says owner Justin White. "That diversity gives someone who can't get out of their office or home for lunch or dinner a nice blend of options."

How does Dream Delivery Service work? You just call one of the above restaurants, request delivery and place your order if you're familiar with the menu. If you need assistance, restaurant staff can walk you through their menus before taking your order. Then White will deliver your meal piping hot within 30 minutes (or more, depending on how busy the restaurant is and on weather conditions). You pay White for the meal plus a $4 delivery charge and he settles with the restaurant. That's a dream come true for gourmands and office slaves alike.

Dream Delivery Service operates Mon-Fri 11:30 am-2 pm and 5-9 pm, Sat 5-9 pm. Call 998-1707.

If You Build It... BENEFIT & r & Displays of elaborate gingerbread houses are a staple of the holiday season. This German tradition was developed into an art form in Nuremberg by artisans in the early 1600s who displayed their creations each December at the Christkindlmarkt. On Saturday, a Gingerbread Build-Off in downtown Spokane takes this tradition to new heights, with chefs and architects going head to head in an Iron Chef-style event to build and decorate the edible structures.

"Six renowned local chefs have teamed up with six equally renowned local architects to create enormous, impressively stunning gingerbread structures that will be decorated while the public watches," says event coordinator and nutritionist Patty Seebeck. "The six teams will compete simultaneously, so the public can watch, shop and vote for their favorite."

Over the past few weeks, architects like Ann Martin of Heylman Martin Architects have been working with chefs like Howard Bateman of the Globe Bar & amp; Grill to create the gingerbread structures. At the build-off, chefs will have three hours to decorate their gingerbread houses.

"They'll use air-brush guns and all kinds of things to decorate," Seebeck says. "The chefs will be scattered throughout the second and third floors of River Park Square with at least two stations near each other to heighten the competitive spirit."

On Monday, a police-escorted parade will move the completed structures down Post Street to the Davenport Hotel, where they will be displayed for the next six days on the mezzanine. "People can buy raffle tickets and vote for their favorite structures and have a chance to win them plus a stay, dinner and spa treatment at the Davenport," Seebeck says.

If you'd like to make your own mini-gingerbread house, the Davenport's Marie Antoinette Ballroom will be buzzing with decorators on Sunday, Dec. 11, from 10 am-4 pm. The event will culminate with a drawing for the chef- and architect-built gingerbread structures.

The Gingerbread Build-Off is Saturday, Dec. 3, from 10 am-1 pm at River Park Square. The Sunday, Dec. 11, mini-gingerbread decorating at the Davenport Hotel is $5 per house. The events benefit Christ Kitchen, a job-training ministry for Spokane women living in poverty. Call 954-0554.

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