When the Gabel family bought the MCGLADE'S fruit store just off Highway 2 last year, they remodeled the space, adding a commercial kitchen, new display cases and comfortable caf & eacute; seating by the floor-to-ceiling fireplace. Since last year, patrons have been sipping espresso while enjoying made-to-order sandwiches and desserts by the fire, either at caf & eacute; tables or in the cozy hearthside sofa and chairs. Now there's something new added to the mix -- fine Northwest wines, available by the glass at the caf & eacute; or by the bottle in the market. (There's beer, too, for those who prefer a brew to a vintage.)
"The wine was something we wanted to do even before we opened," says Jake Gabel. "We're specializing in Washington wines. I go through the local wineries and find out the best they have to offer -- I get feedback from other people, I find out how they score on Wine Spectator, then I pick two signature wines from each. So when you come in, you can be comfortable knowing they're good wines."
At the caf & eacute;, you can choose from a selection of entrees and salads in addition to the sandwiches made with roasted meats rather than deli meat. All of the desserts look tempting, making a choice difficult -- and there's a full range of coffee drinks made with locally roasted Bumper Crop coffee.
"What we're doing is trying to create a small place where people in the community can gather," says Gabel. And they can gather year-round by the fireplace. "Yeah, it's works well when it's cold outside."
In addition to the caf & eacute;, McGlade's continues to sell locally grown produce and other Northwest products. The pies that you remember are still there, too -- tender flaky crust surrounding filling that tastes more of fruit than sugar. Fully baked pies are available, along with frozen pies that you can take home and bake yourself. Hmm...immediate gratification or the aroma of fresh-baked pie in my home oven? More choices.
"Everything is homemade," says Gabel. "It's all made here -- all the desserts, everything in the cases."
-- ANN M. COLFORD
McGlade's, 4301 E. Day-Mount Spokane Rd. in Colbert, is open Tue-Thu 9 am-8 pm, Fri-Sat 9 am-9 pm, and Sun 9 am-7 pm. Call 467-8340.
Oh, Chocolate! SHOPS
"I opened this place so I wouldn't lose track of my friends," says Marta Johnson, owner of OMO (an abbreviation for On My Own), a newly opened chocolate, gift and floral shop in downtown Spokane. "I wanted to have a place where my friends who like to travel will walk through my door. And it's worked. The chocolate is just a sideline," she adds.
Ah, but what a delicious sideline it is. Handmade fudge by Deb Greene of Caf & eacute; Mac; panucchi, a maple-pecan flavored fudge; oodles of locally made truffles, like the Tia Maria and orange liqueur flavored delicacies; dark chocolate flavored with ancho chili pepper; and peppermint bark with a layer of chocolate are but a few of the confections at OMO.
"I've got the best chocolate you can't get anywhere else," Johnson proclaims.
I had to agree. While checking out the shop, I found just the thing for some of the hardest people to shop for on my Christmas list. First it was the Parisian macaroons. Would they like chocolate or vanilla? It had to be the chocolate with the delectable chocolate mousse-like filling. Done up in a custom black-and-white box with a bow, they just fit the bill. Then I spied diminutive chocolate espresso cookies. A bag of those would be the perfect addition to their gift basket. Add some pumpkin fudge and chocolate peppermint bark, and I was set.
OMO isn't just about chocolate, though. Johnson has sprinkled antiques throughout her shop. Vintage lamps, teapots and tea sets blend right in with her edible goodies. Colorful, stylish 1900s-style shoes are perfect for stuffing with confections. Demitasse cups and saucers are filled with double-dipped espresso beans.
Saffron honey with acacia is perfect for drizzling over pears with wine, Johnson says. Italian hazelnut biscotti and panforte, as well as hard brittle candy are more of OMO's sweet indulgences.
With Saunders Cheese Shop next door and the Vino! wine shop just a few doors up the street, OMO is adding to the decadence of this South Washington neighborhood. And with all three shops sharing similar business hours, it makes for a very gourmet shopping experience.
"People say I'm an epicurean," Johnson says. "I'm just having a good time."
-- SUSAN HAMILTON
OMO, 212 S. Washington St., is open Tues-Sat 10 am-5 pm (sometimes later). Call 838-7788.