by Ann M. Colford and Susan Hamilton & r & & r & Eat for Technology BENEFIT & r & What do pancakes have to do with computers? No, it's not a trick question and it has nothing to do with floppy disks. Robin Riemcke and Jerry Schrader of Just Jerry's on Grand Boulevard hope that a whole lot of pancakes this Saturday will translate into a whole lot of computers for the classrooms at nearby Roosevelt Elementary.
The couple, who opened their restaurant in the former Paprika location back in January, sought a charitable opportunity now that they're on their feet in the food biz again. With a daughter who's a new fourth-grade teacher, they've learned quickly about the lack of resources in many classrooms. They approached the folks at Roosevelt with the idea of a benefit pancake breakfast, and you might say the proposal sold like hotcakes. Restaurant suppliers URM and Sysco jumped onboard with food donations, so now all they need is you.
For the modest sum of $5, you'll get pancakes, sausages, scrambled eggs and milk or coffee. All of the proceeds go to the school for computers in the classrooms.
"We feel great about it," Schrader says. "We hope we can make it an annual thing."
Before his daughter became a teacher, Schrader says he didn't pay much attention to education issues. When he learned that she had no computer in her classroom and no budget for new materials, he found himself becoming passionate about ensuring adequate educational resources. Recognizing how integral computers are in virtually every field of employment, he says, "Come on, this is America! What do you mean, these kids don't have a computer in the classroom?"
In case you've forgotten, Reimcke and Schrader know a little something about dishing out breakfast -- they ran the Cannon Street Grill in Browne's Addition for several years, earning national recognition from Bon Appetit magazine. They've offered Sunday brunch since opening Just Jerry's, and Schrader's corned beef hash appears on the lunch menu. But beyond the pancake benefit this week, there's good news for Spokane breakfast lovers: Just Jerry's will begin serving breakfast daily on Tuesday, June 13 at 7 am. Will the French toast taste the same in a different location? You'll just have to try it and find out. -- Ann M. Colford
The pancake breakfast to benefit Roosevelt Elementary is Saturday, June 10, from 8-11 am, at Just Jerry's, 1228 S. Grand Blvd. Tickets: $5. Call 354-4040.
From Russia With Love DINING & r & For the sizeable Slavic population in the Inland Northwest, it's not surprising that there are restaurants specializing in Russian cuisine. The newest eatery to offer Eastern European food is Slavytich Slavic Buffet in the Spokane Valley.
After living in Spokane for 11 years, Liliya and Alex Kravchenko decided to open a Slavic restaurant. "This is our home and the city we love," Liliya says. "We want to share what we have on our tables with American people."
The Slavic buffet, the first one in the nation according to the Kravchenkos, serves about 40 items, which are the same daily but change on Sundays. The dishes are specialties of Russia, Kurdistan and the Kravchenkos' native Ukraine.
Exotic spicy, smoky aromas emanate from the warm items, like pirogi dumplings (with pork and chicken), cabbage rolls, meatballs and cotlets (small cutlets of chicken and pork). Liliya says her borsch soup is a Ukrainian national dish, which she prepares with tomatoes and a variety of vegetables.
Cold items include meatloaf with egg roulette, garlic tomatoes, broccoli salad, cabbage salad and radish salad. Rye bread, cake and blini (crepes with fruit preserves, sweet and sour cream) are arranged in baskets.
Signs above each of the buffet items are in Slavic and English. The day I stopped by Slavytich, most of the diners spoke Russian or another Slavic language, although I've heard that some native Inland Northwesterners are also enjoying Slavytich's Eastern European comfort food.
Ukrainian cuisine is reminiscent of its neighboring Poland, Hungary and Germany. All are known for their creative use of cabbage, mushrooms and egg noodles. Grains, such as wheat, rye and buckwheat, are also staples of Ukrainian cuisine.
The former MacDonald's restaurant Slavytich occupies has been renovated to reflect an Eastern European influence. Refreshing light green walls and large windows make the open dining room seem larger. But it's the food that draws customers to Slavytich.
"Slavic dishes are very healthy -- fresh salads and fresh veggies," Liliya says. "We use lots of herbs in our cooking for flavor. We don't have much fried food, since much of our food is cooked in the oven, like baked fish." -- Susan Hamilton
Slavytich Slavic Buffet, 10615 E. Sprague Ave. (at University), is open Mon-Sat 8 am-9 pm, Sun 10 am-7 pm. Call 928-0102