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by Inlander Staff


Northern Lights -- The Northern Lights brewpub's d & eacute;cor is spacious, inviting and enhanced by low lighting, rich greens and burgundies and recycled bowling alley butcher-block tables. The menu offers traditional pub grub with a sophisticated spin and some of the cleanest-tasting microbrewed beer in the Northwest brewed right on-site. Our server was very pleasant and attentive throughout our meal and was happy to describe each lunch special to us before we ordered. The Andouille sausage and mushroom fettuccini ($9.95) was excellent and festive with lean, flavorful sausage slices in a creamy sauce that was rich but not overdone, while the Hellfire Burger ($7.95) featured a full 1/3-pound lean Angus beef patty with provolone cheese, caramelized onions, fresh red onions, tomato and lettuce on an onion bun. It was substantial and very, very spicy. 1003 E. Trent Ave. Call 242-2739. MC





Ming Wah -- At Ming Wah, familiar Chinese-American dishes are created and served with an extraordinary level of care, precision and speed -- and at throwback prices. The restaurant is cozy with spotless pink Formica tables, dark paneling and red Naugahyde booths. The lunch menu features eight different three-item combination lunches with (egg drop soup and tea included) for $3.75-$4.50. The almond fried chicken featured bite-sized pieces of fried white-meat chicken covered with creamy white gravy and sprinkled with chopped toasted almonds. The subgum chow mein was outstanding, with diced chicken and veggies in a delicate sauce over crunchy noodles. The egg foo young was delicious, topped with a dollop of brown gravy and barbecued pork. Simply put, this is some of the best Chinese food you'll find anywhere in Spokane. The service, too, is excellent. 1618 W. Third Ave. Call 455-9474. (MC)





The Chalet -- With an interior like a ski lodge, this Alpine-themed South Hill institution is as soothing as a cup of Swiss Miss. We were all impressed with the Chalet's presentation, since breakfast foods are notoriously kind of beige-y and hard to dress up. The Eggs Benedict ($6.29) was perfect, served atop crispy English muffins with just the proper intermingling of thinly sliced ham, poached eggs and ever so slightly tart Hollandaise sauce. The French Toast and Egg plate ($5.49) arrived with two slices halved and arranged on the side of the plate, while a central whole slice provided the foundation for a poached egg in a small dish; two sausages were lined up front and rear. The French toast had a delicious buttery flavor and was among the best in the taster's recollection. The server struck that magical balance between hovering and neglect, achieving a perfect level of attentiveness. 2918 S. Grand Blvd. Call 747-6474. (Sheri Boggs)





Moxie -- Moxie is back with a sophisticated new look and location (in the old Great Harvest space on Sprague), with a menu that features Chef Ian Wingate's signature fusion creations, which lean toward the Asian: wok-seared spiced orange stir-fry and coconut jasmine rice available with steak ($12), ahi tuna ($12) chicken ($10) duck ($12) tofu and eggplant ($10) and prawns ($14). Sweet ginger-glazed Rogue River salmon ($18) and sesame seed seared yellow fin tuna ($18) are also on the menu. And fear not, for good ol' American cuisine (charbroiled chipotle-glazed meatloaf ($14) with mashed potatoes) is represented as well. The flat iron steak ($16) was a succulent success, cooked as ordered, with a delicate miso teriyaki glaze and sweet chili-glazed vegetables. Service slumped a little, especially toward the end of our meal. 816 W. Sprague. Call: 456-3594. (Reviewed on 8/19/04, LM)





Old European -- The Scandinavian/Dutch-themed Old European restaurant sports a breakfast menu like no other in town. You can get lunch here, too, but the breakfasts boast extraordinary offerings, such as orange raisin nut French toast ($5.50), Swedish crepes ($5.95) and "the Ol' Fried Egg Sandwich" ($4.50). The German Potato Pancakes ($5.95) were "moist and flavorful, spiked occasionally with a little chunk of sausage." The stuffed French toast ($5.95) was "exquisite: three tender slices of thick bread, with just the right amount of egg batter on them, interspersed with two layers of scrambled eggs mixed with bits of flavorful sausage." The delicious Danish aebelskivers ($4.95) are fluffy, pancake-y balls that can be dipped in applesauce, or better yet, drizzled in syrup. 11520 E. Sprague Ave. Call 928-6868. (Sheri Boggs)





Pete's Pizza plant #2 -- Pete's doesn't look like much from the outside. Or the inside, either. But who cares? It's the calzones, dummy. They are huge, flaky and delicious -- possibly, the best in Spokane. The selection includes fancy constructions (with ingredients like artichoke hearts, feta cheese and pesto), but it's the classic combos that excel. The Cheeseless calzone ($5.45) was a low-cal winner with red sauce and choice of any three filling items (we chose spinach, fresh mushrooms and kalamata olives). The $5.95 lunch special is a good deal and consists of a salad and a mini-calzone (with your choice of three regular toppings). 2328 W. Northwest Blvd. Call 326-1900. (MC)





Northern Quest Casino -- At Northern Quest Casino, in traditional buffet-style, you pay upon entering ($10.95 for dinner; breakfast is $5.95 and lunch is $7.95), and find your own table in the clean, bustling dining room. The succulent pork tenderloin and rich gravy won us over. The eggplant Parmesan and roasted squash satisfied our resident vegetarian. The salmon cakes were enormous, albeit a little on the dry side, but an elegant scattering of peaches across the top fixed that. Between these and the hand-carved roasts, I don't think there is better food available for the price anywhere else in Spokane. 100 N. Hayford Road, Airway Heights. Call 242-7000 or 1-888-603-7051 (MD)





Publication date: 09/02/04

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