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by Inlander Staff & r & La Katrina -- You know a Mexican restaurant's the real deal when the menu features brain and tongue on its first page. The rest of the menu at La Katrina is more standard fare, but with one difference -- it's long. The seafood selection goes beyond one dish dubiously labeled Mariscos a la whatever. Instead, you get salmon tacos and tiger prawns with mushrooms. Instead of just arroz con pollo you get menudo, steak picado and albondigas (a kind of meatball soup). The gastronomes who crowd the restaurant's spacious front dining room every day at lunch would attest that it's a neighborhood favorite. 510 S. Freya St., 535-4263 (Reviewed 12/1/05, JPS)





Wall Street Diner -- Just north of the Garland District, the Wall Street Diner delivers with comfort food in a cozy, upscale atmosphere. The hot turkey sandwich is reminiscent of a day-after-Thanksgiving meal. House-roasted turkey, honest-to-goodness mashed potatoes and savory gravy make this a meal not to miss. The beer-battered halibut is flaky and tender inside a crispy, tasty coating. Milkshakes and malts are the real thing, starting with thick ice cream and ending with a cherry on top. Desserts from the Europa Bakery are a definite indulgence -- fresh-baked pies and cobblers oozing with fruit. 4428 N. Wall, 325-4730 (Reviewed 11/17/05, SH)





Season Ticket -- The best part about the Season Ticket might be the appetizer menu - for two reasons, one of them quite large. First, this is a sports bar. Sports bars and appetizers go hand in hand. If you're like most people, who come to the Ticket to watch the Seahawks or a GU basketball game, you don't want to fill up in the first quarter and then just sit there for the rest of the game. You graze throughout. Get the Pitcher's Mound - a stack of nachos the size of a large, sleeping cat - and you'll never go hungry again. 1221 N. Howard St., 327-9790. (Reviewed 11/10/05, JPS)





A Taste of Thai -- In a colorfully decorated storefront next to Calvary Chapel in the Fairwood Shopping Center, A Taste of Thai (open for 10 years, but under new management) serves Asian food that passes the Pad Thai test: These noodles were garnished with seven fresh ingredients. The spring rolls, moreover, were flaky and fine. Try the Goong Obe Woon Sen (stir-fried prawns) and the Gaeng Garee Gai (chicken cooked in a light yellow curry sauce along with coconut milk and potatoes), both in the $9-$10 range. 419 W. Hastings Road, 466-3335. (Reviewed 10/13/05, MB)





Java on Sherman -- This Sherman icon has anchored the downtown district for 11 years now, and its renaissance d & eacute;cor and comfy couch give it a cozy feel. You can get lunch and breakfast here, with the Java Benedict (a bagel with ham, eggs, Hollandaise sauce and cracked pepper) and Java huevos (two steamed eggs with cheese served over beans, with sides of salsa, sour cream and tortillas) being the local favorites. And don't miss the Bowl of Soul -- a blend of coffee, espresso, Mexican chocolate and steamed milk. 324 Sherman Ave., CdA, (208) 667-0010. (Reviewed 10/13/05, SH)





Salty Dog -- At the Salty Dog in Deer Park, the Quonset hut exterior belies a warm, wood-paneled sports bar inside, and the fried fish is some of the best around. It's a straightforward pub menu -- fish and chips, popcorn shrimp, burgers, steaks -- with extra care and attention to detail. During fishing season, they use fresh halibut, hand-cut and dipped in a light batter, then served with tartar sauce made fresh on the premises. The burgers are hand-formed with extra lean ground beef from Eggers Meats. The atmosphere can be vaguely David Lynchean, but, hey, sometimes lunch should be more than just lunch. 718 S. Main, Deer Park, 276-1990 (Reviewed 10/27/05, AC)





Ferguson's -- This little diner next door to the famed Milk Bottle on Garland brings in all kinds of people -- bottle-eyed tourists on an afternoon stroll, gushing teen girls looking to sit right where Johnny Depp did during the filming of Benny & amp; Joon, locals looking to cash in on the diner's self-proclaimed "best breakfast in Spokane." All are rewarded, but none more than the latter. Ferguson's fixes up the meanest smoked sausage omelet we've tasted. The biscuits and gravy alone warrant return visits. They do lunch, too. And well. But nothing beats a quiet, weekday morning at one of Garland Avenue's fave eateries. 804 W. Garland, 325-3482. (Reviewed 10/13/05, JS)





Chic A Ria -- Located at the Five Mile Shopping Center, Chic A Ria has a large menu with a bunch of home-style favorites, including many Oktoberfest selection -- Sauerbraten, Jaeger schnitzel and a whole lot of pork. Chic A Ria has a down-home friendliness that's infectious. From babies and children to older folks looking forward to a good chicken-fried steak, Chic A Ria has something to appeal to every palate. 812 W. Francis, 326-2214 (Reviewed 10/13/05, LM)





The Swinging Doors -- No one goes to the Swinging Doors for "clean" or "healthy." The place has been a local favorite since its opening in May 1981, largely because of its casual atmosphere and bazillion sports-tuned television screens, but perhaps more so because of its menu, loaded down with rich, heavy, happy comfort food. Rib-sticking food, like the chicken-fried chicken in chicken gravy ($11.45). Beer-drinking food, like the pulled-pork sandwich ($7.95). And the best taquito-style quesadillas around. We came to gorge ourselves stupid. And we did. 1018 W. Francis Ave. Call: 326-6794 (Reviewed 10/6/05, JPS)

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