Friday, June 22, 2018

Pet Issue

Posted By on Fri, Jun 22, 2018 at 2:44 PM

click to enlarge Some of our favorite dog-friendly places in Spokane to eat and drink
Derek Harrison
The author's dog, Millie, particularly enjoys spending her evenings at Community Pint.

With our first ever Pet Issue on stands now, we thought it would be a great time to share some of our favorite dog-friendly restaurants, breweries and bars. While you can’t bring your furry companion inside most places due to standard health codes and such, there’s plenty of options for outdoor drinking and dining.

Little Garden Cafe, 2901 W. Northwest Blvd.

This coffee and tea house with a quaint patio is perfect for a summer brunch. Located across the street from Audubon Park, it’s also a perfect spot for Otis to not-so-patiently wait for you to finish your meal so you can toss the ball a few times.

Community Pint, 120 E. Sprague Ave.

This beer bar is one of the few places in town that actually allows Lassie to come inside. It’s a great spot for both of you to escape the sun and cool off. If you’re a pet lover without a dog of your own, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to get your puppy fix here.

Iron Goat Brewing, 1302 W. Second Ave.

The alley patio at Iron Goat is ideal for spending an evening with old Blue. Take in the urban environment while drinking a pint of local beer. The kitchen serves small plates, pizza and sandwiches and even has beer-inspired treats that are safe for Blue to eat. You can also catch live music on the patio throughout the summer.

Casper Fry, 928 S. Perry St.

If you’re looking for a fine dining spot where Buddy can tag along, this South Perry District restaurant will treat you well. Along with their Southern comfort food and craft cocktails, it features a large dog-friendly patio. After your meal, you can both walk across the street to Perry Street Brewing for a few after dinner beers and a nice bowl of water.

The Scoop, 1001 W. 25th Ave.

What better way to end a long day of adventures with Balto than scarfing down some fresh-made ice cream? This South Hill hideaway features cold creations and baked goods, including their famous liege waffles. Relax at an outdoor table or take a walk through the neighborhood with a cone in hand. Go ahead and give him a small taste, he deserves it.

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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Posted By on Thu, May 31, 2018 at 2:42 PM

click to enlarge Doughnut miss it! National Doughnut Day events in Spokane this Friday, June 1
Hello Sugar,
Sugar maple donuts from Hello Sugar,.
Get something sweet for the whole office or just treat yo'self with your Friday morning coffee, because June 1 is everyone's favorite food holiday: National Doughnut Day.

Several Spokane-area shops and food purveyors are marking the occasion with tasty treat specials; here's where to get your sugar fix.

Hello Sugar,
419 N. Nettleton St.
The new shop located inside a new location for Indaba Coffee Roasters on the far west end of Kendall Yards is hosting its grand opening this Friday, from 7 am to 4 pm. Specials include a dozen mini doughnuts for $5 and half-off drip coffee of Hello Sugar,'s signature Indaba house blend. Specials and coinciding activities run throughout the weekend, including live music, ice cream from Sweet Annie's and more. Stay tuned for more about Hello Sugar, in a forthcoming issue of the Inlander.

My Fresh Basket
1030 W. Summit Pkwy.
Fresh doughnuts from the store's bakery are buy one get one free all day, from 5:30 am to 10 pm.

Casual Friday Donuts
3402 N. Division
The local shop on the North Division hill is planning a full day of in-store and online giveaways, and it's open from 6 am to 6 pm.

Retro Donuts
10925 N. Newport Hwy.
The shop is preparing for another busy National Doughnut Day, and plans to launch some new flavors, along with giving away free coffee samples from 4 Seasons Coffee Company and some free doughnuts. The shop is open from 6 am to 3 pm and expects to sell out, so get there early!

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

15401 E. Indiana Ave., Spokane Valley
The favorite national chain is celebrating the occasion with free doughnuts (no purchase necessary) for customers while supplies last. The Spokane Valley shop is open Friday from 5 am to 11 pm.

Gross Donuts

445 W. Cherry Ln., in Coeur d'Alene and 1603 E. Seltice Way, in Post Falls
Last year, the local chain gave away free donuts to each customer, but is taking a different approach this year. Instead, Gross Donuts is getting "back to the roots" of National Doughnut Day by donating 100 percent of the day's profits from both locations to local military and veterans support nonprofit Newby-ginnings.

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Friday, April 27, 2018

Posted By on Fri, Apr 27, 2018 at 3:36 PM

click to enlarge Let's make some pretty spicy salsa with these rare manzano peppers from De Leon Foods
Daniel Walters photo
The Manzano pepper

This week, our cover package focuses on all the international markets across the Spokane area, where you can pick up all sorts of cool, rare items.

After the cover was photographed, our art director let me have a few of these unusual looking yellow peppers from De Leon Foods in Spokane. Later, I sliced them open, thinking it may have been just, say, a tiny bell pepper. It wasn't.

Instead of tiny white seeds, this pepper has larger, black round seeds. It's smaller, maybe the size of a lime. And it's pretty darn spicy.

It was a manzano pepper. It's a South American pepper that's common in Mexico but rare in the United States. Think of the manzano as a hybrid between a bell pepper and a habanero. Sweet, fruity, with thicker walls like a bell pepper. Hot as hell. Almost as spicy as a habanero.

In other words: perfect for a spicy spring salsa. Here's what I made the other day. I based it largely on this recipe, from, but kicked up the spice level even higher and mixed in some chopped peppers at the end to give it a pleasing texture and an interesting color.

The best part of this salsa is that, while it's very hot (about four out of five stars on the universal Linnie's Thai Cuisine scale of hotness) it doesn't sucker-punch you in the face right out of the gate with its hotness.

Instead, it eases you into the heat. It lets you taste how all the flavors play together, with a bit of sweetness, before building to a spicy crescendo. Perfect for chip dipping, and not too shabby for tacos either. It tastes even better the next day.



4 Roma tomatoes

• 4 and a half manzano peppers (3 and a half if you're a cowardly child too afraid the heat of a real salsa)

• 5 large garlic cloves (you can use more if you desire — no recipe in history has ever had too much garlic.)

• 1/3 cup water

• 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus a splash more for later

• 1 tablespoon salt

• 1 fresh jalapeño, diced

• 1 cup of chopped onion

• 1 fresh red bell pepper, diced.

• Oregano, at your whim

• Fresh cilantro (or parsley if for some reason you don't like the mouthwatering taste of soap.)

1. Heat up a grill pan or skillet on medium-high and start cooking the whole Roma tomatoes. Using a pair of tongs turn them around until each side gets a nice browned/blackened finish. Plop them in the blender for storage until you're ready to blend.

2. Cut the manzano peppers in half, removing the ribs, seeds and stem. You're working with some very spicy peppers, so keep that in mind.

3. Place four out of the peppers on the grill pan or skillet. Do the same thing you did with the Roma tomatoes, turning with the tongs until both sides seem decently blistered.

4. Now you're gonna add the garlic cloves, the diced onion, and the water to the Roma tomatoes in the blender. If you can fit them, add the grilled manzano peppers too. But because my blender was a bit small, I blended everything else together first, resulting in a puce-shaded slurry. Then I added the peppers and blended those too.

5. Heat up your tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan, then dump your sauce out into the saucepan. Add your tablespoon of salt, bring it to a boil and then downshift the heat to allow the dish to simmer. You'll want to simmer for a bit — this salsa can be a bit runny.

6. While your sauce is simmering, you're going to start working on making the dish a little more interesting. Seed and dice the remaining half of the manzano pepper.

7. Heat up a smallish skillet with a splash of olive oil and then dump the diced manzano pepper, the diced jalapeño and the bell pepper in the skillet. Sauté until you're like, ooh, that looks good.

8. Add the jalapeño mixture in the skillet. Stir.

9. Remove from the heat. Let cool. Add a bit of cilantro or parsley if you're into that. (No biggie if you're not.)

And you're done! You're ready to let your friends and coworkers sample the salsa and tell you, "The flavors are great, but it's a little too spicy for me."

Wimps, all of them.

click to enlarge Let's make some pretty spicy salsa with these rare manzano peppers from De Leon Foods
Daniel Walters photo
Your salsa should look like this at the end, provided you have the exact same bowl I do.

UPDATE: I put 'em on Huevos Rancheros and they were fantastic.

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Posted By and on Thu, Apr 26, 2018 at 4:36 PM

click to enlarge ENTRÉE: Sweet Peaks Ice Cream opens soon; plus, the Blackbird’s barbecue is a win
Sweet Peaks Ice Cream
The Montana company's Spokane store is opening next door to Durkin's Liquor Bar.

Marissa Keenan, owner of Montana-based Sweet Peaks Ice Cream, can’t decide which ice cream flavor of the many they offer is her favorite, so she lists two: the “Mountain Mint,” comprised of natural mint extract from mint farms Keenan grew up near in Montana, and the “Salty Caramel,” a classic.

Keenan is now bringing both flavors and others to Spokane when a new Sweet Peaks location opens downtown this May on West Main, near Durkin’s Liquor Bar. Nine ice cream flavors — the same that are served at Sweet Peaks’ seven other shops — will be available, ranging from cupcake to huckleberry, and including seasonal flavors. Those with lactose intolerance won’t be left behind, as there’ll be dairy-free sorbet or nut milk-based options on the menu.

The decision to open in downtown Spokane was a simple one: Keenan and her family have always been fond of the area and frequent downtown whenever they’re in town.

“We feel that the downtown area is a great place for handcrafted ice cream. The downtown is vibrant and the center of so much action,” says Keenan.

She hopes to work with local businesses in the area to collaborate on flavors and events.

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Friday, April 13, 2018

Posted By on Fri, Apr 13, 2018 at 2:04 PM

click to enlarge ENTRÉE: Tacos for Logan; plus, notable burger news in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene
Stuart Danford
De Leon's Taco & Bar is moving into the Logan Neighborhood.

Favorite local Mexican food purveyor De Leon Foods announced this week that it’s expanding to Spokane’s Logan Neighborhood with the second location for De Leon’s Taco & Bar. To be located at 1801 N. Hamilton, in a building previously occupied by Chapala Mexican Restaurant, the taco bar is slated for a late summer or early fall opening.

The first location for De Leon’s Taco & Bar in North Spokane, near Whitworth University’s campus at 10208 N. Division, opened in mid-2017.

The forthcoming restaurant is owned by Sergio De Leon and family, who also operate both Spokane-area locations of De Leon Foods Mexican deli and grocery, which annually lands in the top three for the Inlander’s Best Of readers poll for “Best Mexican Food” and “Best Tacos.”


click to enlarge ENTRÉE: Tacos for Logan; plus, notable burger news in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene
You can still drool over our Burger Issue online!
In January, we presented readers with our first ever Burger Issue, which included roundups of the region’s best “bargain” burger nights, our staff’s favorite burgers, noteworthy vegetarian and vegan burgers, a guide to the many styles of fries and much more.

In the time since, a few notable updates to the Inland Northwest “burger scene” have come up, which are definitely worth sharing.

First up, the local fast-casual burger joint from chef Adam Hegsted, IncrediBurger & Eggs, is already set to expand into North Idaho. Word is out that the second location is planned for a newly constructed strip mall in the Ramsey Crossing development of Coeur d’Alene. No word on when, but if we had to guess it’ll likely debut sometime this summer.

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Posted By on Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 2:18 PM

click to enlarge Spokane gets a visit from the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck next week
Hello Kitty Cafe Truck

Calling all fans of the pink-bowed cartoon character known as Hello Kitty! The international feline is making a stop — sort of — in Spokane next weekend, on Saturday, April 21.

Sanrio's Hello Kitty Cafe Truck is setting up shop outside River Park Square from 10 am-8 pm (outside Williams-Sonoma on Main) to serve up giant cookies, pocket pies ($10), three-piece boxed cookie sets ($12), keychains ($6.50), stainless steel thermal bottles ($29-$36) and bow-shaped water bottles ($3), according to organizers.

There will also be Hello Kitty Cafe-branded T-shirts ($27), bow headbands ($30), boxed petit fours ($14) and boxed macarons ($15) for sale. While supplies last, customers can get a free mini-tote bag when they make a $25 food purchase.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Posted By on Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 2:32 PM

click to enlarge Bitchin' Bites on a Budget: Easy five-ingredient gooey apple cake
Samantha Wohlfeil photo
Ever get a hankering for something sweet, but not too sweet, except you don't really want to put in the time to make something?

That's where this recipe for apple sharlotka comes in. Adapted from Smitten Kitchen's recipe for the Russian apple treat, it only has a handful of ingredients, and while it does involve some baking, it's super easy to make.

Other than peeling and cutting up the apples, the recipe only takes a few minutes to throw together, and with only five ingredients (OK, six if you count the optional powdered sugar for decoration) it's also something you can probably make with stuff you already have at home.


6 large apples
6 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
powdered sugar (optional)

For this recipe, I used four GIGANTIC Honeycrisp and one normal apple. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.

click to enlarge Bitchin' Bites on a Budget: Easy five-ingredient gooey apple cake
Samantha Wohlfeil photo

Peel the apples, then cut them into chunks and put them in a greased 9 or 10-inch springform pan (depending on how many apples you use and what size they are). It should be filled to the top.

click to enlarge Bitchin' Bites on a Budget: Easy five-ingredient gooey apple cake
Samantha Wohlfeil photo

click to enlarge Bitchin' Bites on a Budget: Easy five-ingredient gooey apple cake
Samantha Wohlfeil photo
In a large glass bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until well combined then add the vanilla.

Stir in the flour with a spoon until just mixed and then pour the thick batter over the apples to cover them.

click to enlarge Bitchin' Bites on a Budget: Easy five-ingredient gooey apple cake
Samantha Wohlfeil photo

Bake for an hour, and then check every 5-10 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

The cake forms a nice crust on top, but the center may take a while longer to cook. Depending on your oven, this could take another half an hour or more to fully cook the cake so be patient.

Let it cool in the pan, then remove the springform and dust with powdered sugar.

Boom, you have a super simple cake you can enjoy hot or cold!

click to enlarge Bitchin' Bites on a Budget: Easy five-ingredient gooey apple cake
Samantha Wohlfeil photo

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Posted By on Wed, Apr 4, 2018 at 12:18 PM

click to enlarge The Blackbird is changing its focus to Southern-style barbecue
Southern barbecue is the Blackbird's new focus as of mid-April 2018.

If you show up at Spokane restaurant the Blackbird Tavern + Kitchen in the next week or so, you’ll find the doors locked, and no service.

Fear not, though, fellow foodies: The downtown restaurant just north of the Spokane River is definitely not going anywhere. After a projected reopening on Monday, April 16, however, the service format and style of the restaurant’s menu will have a completely new theme: Southern barbecue. Some changes to the interior, and a new order-up-front service system, are also part of the shift.

Owner Patrick McPherson (who also owns Manito Tap House on the South Hill) tells the Inlander that this change of concept was part of the plan all along when he opened the restaurant back in 2015.

“Before the Blackbird, we talked about changing the concept every few years instead of building another restaurant,” he says.

The restaurant’s name won’t change, but the new menu debuting with its reopening centers around a hearty selection of Texas-style smokehouse proteins: brisket, pulled pork, ribs, hot links, chicken and, for the vegetarians and vegans, pulled, smoked jackfruit.

These base proteins can be ordered one of four ways: as a plate with two sides, bread and pickles ($14-$24); sandwiches with one side ($12.50-$15); tacos with smoked sour cream and pickled red onions ($2.50-$3 each), or “just the meat,” priced by the pound ($13.50-$24).

Chef Molly Patrick has also created a complementing assortment of appetizers, a new kids’ menu and ala carte sides. There are also three salads, including two previously served at the restaurant; the tomato garden and smoked salmon.

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Friday, March 30, 2018

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2018 at 5:20 PM

Make Easter brunch reservations soon so you and your family don’t miss the chance to dine together for the holiday this weekend, on Sunday, April 1. Here are a few local restaurants’ special menus that have caught our eye so far:

click to enlarge ENTRÉE: Where to bring the family for Easter brunch this year
Coeur d'Alene Resort

315 Martinis & Tapas
Served from 9:30 am-1:30 pm; $25.75/person
The buffet-style menu includes Florentine benedicts, omelets, creme brulee French toast, spring salad, honey and butter-baked ham, fresh-baked pastries and more.
Reservations: 208-667-9660 ext. 1

The Coeur d’Alene Resort
Served from 8 am-4 pm (Dockside) and 9 am-3 pm (Beverly’s); $60/$47 adults, $31/$24 ages 5-12
In addition to two brunch buffets, the resort is also offering an Easter Sunday lake cruise with a full brunch buffet. Departures are at 11:30 am and noon and prepaid reservations are required. Cruise tickets are $51 for adults, $47 for seniors (55+) and $31 for ages 6-12.
Reservations: 208-765-4000 or

Bistro on Spruce
Served from 9 am-2 pm; $27/adults, $15/ages 6-12
The buffet menu includes roasted wild salmon, honey ham and Mediterranean lamb, as well as meat and veggie stratas, warm fruit cobbler, eggs benedict and more.
Reservations: 208-664-1774


The Barrel Steak & Seafood House
Served from 9 am-3 pm; menu items priced individually
The North Spokane restaurant’s a la carte menu includes crabs benedict, a southwest burrito, scramble, chicken-fried steak, French toast and more.
Reservations: 467-5490

Twigs Bistro & Martini Bar
Served from 9 am-2 pm; $29/adults ($36 with champagne), $14/ages 6-12
All four Spokane-area Twigs locations (South Hill, Spokane Valley, Wandermere, downtown) will serve an all-you-can-eat brunch with all the brunch standards, from omelets to benedicts and a carving station with prime rib, wild Alaskan salmon and smoked ham.

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Posted By on Thu, Mar 15, 2018 at 5:28 PM

Just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be another new bar or restaurant (kidding, we’re all excited to be aboard the local food and dining hype train!) in the Spokane area to check out, here’s a list of some forthcoming food and drink projects set to debut later this year, some sooner than later.


The new restaurant and bar inside the historic, former Ridpath Hotel from Spokane restaurateurs Jeremy and Kate Hansen is coming along, but is more likely to open in June or even later due to construction and other delays. Ridpath Brasserie will serve a French-inspired menu and its entire menu, including breakfast, lunch and dinner, is set to be available to order from anytime during its planned 20-hour operating schedule, from 7 am to 3 am.

In the meantime, chef Jeremy Hansen has also shifted focus to revamp the menu at his flagship downtown restaurant, Santé Restaurant & Charcuterie and the Butcher Bar located inside the restaurant.

Here’s a few other projects coming up that we’re working on learning more about:

click to enlarge ENTRÉE: Previewing some new restaurants + bars coming to Spokane in 2018
Elliotts is a new restaurant moving into a space along the North Monroe corridor.
Construction at a space along the North Monroe corridor, at 2209 N. Monroe (the former home of the vintage and antique store 1889 Salvage Co.), has been underway for several weeks now. Elliotts, an urban kitchen, is slated to open sometime later this spring, and hopefully won’t be too affected by the upcoming road construction project on Monroe starting in April. According to a recent thread on the restaurant’s Facebook page, Elliotts will serve contemporary American cuisine made from local, fresh and seasonal ingredients.

We know a little so far about this project in a multitenant downtown building at 122 S. Monroe. Owned by two locals, Gabe Wood and Alex King, with 20 years of combined restaurant industry experience, Heritage will pay homage to local places and flavors on its menu and in its decor. The restaurant will serve “pub food done right” and is taking over a space formerly occupied by Texas True Barbecue, which is next door to Whistle Punk Brewing. Stay updated on Heritage’s progress toward opening on Facebook. Owners say the restaurant is currently slated for a May debut.

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Christmas Tree Elegance @ Historic Davenport Hotel

Through Dec. 10, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
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