Friday, December 8, 2017

ENTRÉE: A local brewery’s next era; plus, cheesy goodness coming to CdA

Posted By on Fri, Dec 8, 2017 at 9:26 AM

River City Brewing manager Emily Schwartz is also departing as the tasting room closes later this month. - MEGHAN KIRK
  • Meghan Kirk
  • River City Brewing manager Emily Schwartz is also departing as the tasting room closes later this month.


A new era for local craft beer stalwart River City Brewing will begin with the new year. The brewery recently announced it will officially close its downtown Spokane tap room at the end of the year, with the last day of operations on Saturday, Dec. 30.

The decision to do so is described by River City’s owners as an evolution, allowing them to focus more on special events and the production and bottling of its craft beer lineup.

“There are lots of places to drink River City beer throughout our region, so we feel as if the tap room has served its purpose as we introduced our beers, but now it’s time to re-focus our attention on making, kegging and bottling beer,” the brewery says about the changes.

“We will be changing up our core beers, introducing some new limited releases and collaborations, as well as continuing to produce award-winning beer.”

Until the final day of operations, visitors to the tap room at 121 S. Cedar can enjoy $2.50 pints of beer and $10 growler fills. And even though the space will no longer be open to the public on a regular schedule, River City plans to open its doors for First Friday events; this “garage party” series is set to begin in February. Beer production will continue at the brewery facility adjacent to the tasting room.

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Friday, December 1, 2017

ENTRÉE: A new spot in town for your mac-and-cheese fix, plus other news

Including the latest updates on some local food ventures set to open soon

Posted By on Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 12:01 PM

Scroll down for a link to this week's feature on the lifesize gingerbread house now on display at Hotel RL in downtown Spokane. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Scroll down for a link to this week's feature on the lifesize gingerbread house now on display at Hotel RL in downtown Spokane.

The progress in the region’s culinary community never stops, with new and exciting developments in the form of innovative events, new restaurants and other food-related projects always popping up. Let’s round up the latest in this week's installment of "Foodie Grab Bag."

Fans of Mac Daddy’s Gourmet Grub food truck — known for offering many tasty variations on the American classic of mac ’n’ cheese — can now get their fix of cheesey goodness year-round at a permanent location. The new Mac Daddy’s Gourmet Pub and Grill opened in Mead’s Fairwood Shopping Center, at 415 W. Hastings Rd., in late November. With a sports bar vibe, the new restaurant is open for lunch and through to the late night (also for breakfast on the weekends), and offers an expanded pub fare menu of burgers, sausages, appetizers and salads in addition to all that tasty mac.

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Bitchin' Bites on a Budget: Mini banana cupcakes with candied bacon

Posted By on Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 11:25 AM

For some reason, it seems like bananas are always associated with muffins, not cupcakes.

And to be fair, the recipe for this edition of Bitchin' Bites on a Budget won't call for frosting. But it's a cupcake, as it calls for plenty of butter, sugar, and most importantly, bacon.

And not just any old bacon. Candied. Bacon.

Please, hold your applause 'til the end of the show, folks.

Continuing on our path of making bitchin' food without breaking the bank, I give you:

In the spirit of getting the biggest bang for our hard-earned bucks, I briefly want to share with you something cool I only recently learned.

For most banana recipes, you need the fruit to have already softened a bit. The riper, the better, right? But most of the time, you can't buy them that way at the store.

Enter: Grocery Outlet.

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BEER: Favorite local brews of the Inlander's PowderKeg Brew Fest 2017

Posted By on Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 10:32 AM


If you attended the Inlander's PowderKeg Brew Festival as part of the annual Winter Party at the Spokane Convention Center, hopefully you cast a vote for the featured beer, cider or mead that wowed your taste buds as you sampled your way through the fest's 24 participating regional beverage makers.

Now that the gold tokens have been counted, we're here to announce the winners of several categories!

Best of PowderKeg 2017 (most vote tokens received overall)
Beer: Dark Persuasion German Chocolate Stout — Icicle Brewing, Leavenworth
Cider/mead: Cranpeary Caramel Perry — Pear Up Cider, Wenatchee

Best of PowderKeg: Drink Local (local breweries with most tokens overall)
Beer: Gutter Ball Pale Ale — Ten Pin Brewing, Moses Lake
Cider/mead: Spiced Apple Session Mead — Hierophant Meadery, Mead

People's Choice: Most Ounces Poured
Beer: Dark Persuasion German Chocolate Stout — Icicle Brewing, Leavenworth
Cider/mead: Cranpeary Caramel Perry — Pear Up Cider, Wenatchee

Drink Local: Most Poured Overall Beer
First place: Big Juicy IPA — No-Li Brewhouse, Spokane
Second place: Fat Lenny IPA — Post Falls Brewing, Post Falls
Third place: Inconceivable Imperial Pilsner — River City Brewing, Spokane

Drink Local: Most Poured Overall Cider/Mead

First place: Blue Balls Cider — Summit Cider, Coeur d'Alene
Second place: Winter Lift Cider — Whiskey Barrel Cider Co., Pullman
Third place: Chai Spiced Cider — North Idaho Cider, Coeur d'Alene
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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

It's not too late to get in on one of the biggest Spokane winter beer festivals

Posted By on Tue, Nov 28, 2017 at 4:02 PM


We’re in the final hours to purchase tickets to No-Li Brewhouse’s FrostFest on December 9.

The annual event is centered around the release of 12 speciality beers that include five barrel-aged beers, three hazy ales and variants of No-Li staples.

This year, FrostFest is moving from the brewery to the Spokane Arena concourse. With the added space, No-Li has turned the festival into a full-fledged “winter carnival” featuring ice carving, fire dancing, a lumber jill and other performers. The concourse will be split into four sections, with each entertainment theme pairing with the beers on tap.

For $30 you get a t-shirt, tasting glass and five four-ounce pours. An additional $10 will land you a ticket to the Spokane Chiefs vs. Seattle Thunderbirds hockey game taking place after FrostFest. Ticket sales end Tuesday at midnight and are available through TicketsWest.

A portion of the ticket proceeds go to benefit the Illuminating Courage monument — a Washington State Fallen Heroes memorial for the region’s military members killed during service.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

ENTRÉE: Getting ready for Turkey Day, and lots of leftovers

Posted By on Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 10:12 AM

Hopefully you’ve at least gone to the grocery store by now, because there may not be any worse time to be braving the cart-congested aisles than the night before Thanksgiving. If not — or if you’re simply feeling anxious that you’ve missed planning something specific for Thursday’s big feast — we’ve rounded up some helpful features from around the foodie web.

Last-minute cooks can rejoice over 
Leftover turkey can be repurposed into many other meals, like this salad. - THE NEW YORK TIMES
  • The New York Times
  • Leftover turkey can be repurposed into many other meals, like this salad.
this handy resource from the culinary writers at the New York Times, which offers a guide to making your full meal, from the turkey to dessert, all at once over an 8-hour cooking marathon the morning before dinner.

The Times also offers up some tasty suggestions on taking full advantage of all those leftovers.

From the hive mind at Tasty, check out this overview of some easy and fast vegetable sides, like microwaved corn-on-the-cob, along with pan-fried broccoli and roasted carrots. All three take less than 20 minutes.

For a delicious use for all that leftover turkey, check out this recipe from Tasty for turkey skillet pot pie with buttermilk biscuits — yum!

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Friday, November 10, 2017

ENTRÉE: Maryhill Winery’s new Spokane tasting room debuts next weekend

Also in local food news: U of Idaho students create inventive Thanksgiving Day recipes

Posted By on Fri, Nov 10, 2017 at 3:34 PM


An interior sneak peek of the Spokane tasting room, opening to the public on Saturday, Nov. 18. - FACEBOOK: MARYHILL WINERY
  • Facebook: Maryhill Winery
  • An interior sneak peek of the Spokane tasting room, opening to the public on Saturday, Nov. 18.
Just in time for the start of the holiday season, a new downtown Spokane tasting room for the Goldendale, Washington-based Maryhill Winery hosts its grand opening next weekend, Nov. 18-19.

Overlooking the Spokane River, the new tasting room is located at 1030 W. Summit Pkwy. (between Spa Paradiso and Nectar Beer and Wine), and starting next Saturday will be open daily from noon to 8 pm. Maryhill’s Spokane home — its first and only satellite location — encompasses a new, 5,000-square-foot space that’s been under construction for the better part of this year.

The award-winning winery is owned by Spokane natives Craig and Vicki Leuthold, who decided to open the Spokane location to meet increased demand for their products. Founded in 1999, opening two years later in 2001, Maryhill is one of Washington state’s largest wineries, producing more than 80,000 cases a year.

“While we’re deeply tied to the Columbia River Gorge, we’re also very rooted in our hometown of Spokane,” Craig Leuthold says. “We feel right at home at Kendall Yards, and designed our tasting room to fit in with this beautiful community. Our tasting room is an inviting and relaxing place to experience our award-winning wines.”

Maryhill Wine Club members will now be able to pick up their cases at the Spokane location, which also will regularly host wine club events, as well as public and private gatherings. The upcoming grand opening weekend celebration will feature the first of many live concerts at the venue, with music by singer-songwriter Matt Brown both evenings. Come spring, the winery’s gorge-facing balcony will be yet another scenic location for visitors to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Spokane River and the downtown skyline. The tasting room also plans to serve small plates featuring local ingredients.

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

ENTRÉE: Help a Spokane chef feed hurricane victims in Puerto Rico

Posted By on Thu, Oct 26, 2017 at 4:11 PM

Help send Spokane chef Jeremy Hansen to Puerto Rico.

This Friday, the chef-owner of several 
Spokane restaurants — Santé Restaurant & Charcuterie, Inland Pacific Kitchen, Hogwash Whiskey Den, Common Crumb Bakery and two forthcoming spots in the Ridpath — and his team are hosting a fundraiser dinner (see more details and how to make reservations below) to support continuing, widespread efforts to support residents of the U.S. territory, many whom are still severely suffering after being devastated by Hurricane Maria last month.

Specifically, Hansen and a small team of professionals in the local restaurant industry are traveling to do what they do best: cook. For most of next month, the team will join efforts led by internationally known chef José Andrés, whose World Central Kitchen has been cooking meals for the thousands of Puerto Ricans still lacking critical aid — including food and water — all across the island. Read more about World Central Kitchen’s ongoing aid efforts over the past month here.

“We decided to support this cause because feeding people is what we do for a living,” Hansen says. “I don’t think the government is giving the help it needs, so I will. …We have always been people to help those in need if possible, and it is something I’d do for the rest of my life if given the opportunity. And now that I do, I’m taking it. We are busy, but not busy enough to sit back and just watch a whole island of people suffer.”

Money raised from the dinner and any other donations will mostly be used to help World Central Kitchen purchase needed supplies, Hansen says, and to distribute meals across the island. Flights and lodging for Hansen and his team have already been covered; once there, they’ll all donate their time and skills in the kitchen.

“They are feeding tens of thousands a day, so our funds will be minuscule compared to what they need, but it will help,” he says.

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

ENTRÉE: A roundup of new local places to eat and drink, or coming very soon

Posted By on Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 4:49 PM

A rendering of the forthcoming Maryhill Winery tasting room, opening in Kendall Yards later this year. - MARYHILL WINERY
  • Maryhill Winery
  • A rendering of the forthcoming Maryhill Winery tasting room, opening in Kendall Yards later this year.

It may seem like there’s always a lot going on in the regional food and drink scene — that’s because there is! We’re always on the lookout for the newest local places opening and offering tasty bites to sate all appetites, as well as other interesting developments and news in the culinary community. So, since it’s been a while, let’s round up what to keep an eye on, and what to check out now:

Work to spruce up a former Shari’s restaurant location on the corner of Monroe Street and Northwest Boulevard finally culminated with the opening of the MONROE STREET GRILL last week. The locally owned spot specializes in hand-pressed burgers, seafood and other classic American fare: soups, salads, sandwiches and more. Stay tuned for more on the new spot in the Inlander in the coming weeks.

We’re also aware of a few noteworthy, forthcoming openings on the horizon, including a new sushi spot in Coeur d’Alene, to be located in the former home of Bonsai Bistro on Sherman Avenue, near the resort. MOMO - SUSHI . WOK . GRILL is set to open sometime later this year, and its owners — recent transplants to the Inland Northwest — plan to serve sushi and other pan-Asian fare.

Fans of the cheesy, buttery goodness of local food truck Mac Daddy’s Gourmet Grub can start the countdown for a permanent stand-alone location heading to Spokane’s North Side. MAC DADDY’S GOURMET PUB & GRILL is moving into a space at the Fairwood Shopping Center near Mead High School; follow the location’s Facebook page (previous link) for the latest updates.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Bitchin' Bites on a Budget: Rotisserie chicken 3 ways

Posted By on Tue, Oct 17, 2017 at 11:58 AM

Shout-out to anyone on a budget because of your job/student loans/expensive rent/life:

We may eat cheap, but that doesn't mean we can't make some bitchin' food.

To share some of the best food budget hacks I know, I'll be attempting a semi-regular blog featuring affordable recipes and meal-planning tips, which will mostly consist of sharing whatever weird food habit I'm in that month or week. My tastes might not align with yours, or the season, but I'm totally open to suggestions if you've got 'em (hit me up at if you have ideas or questions).

Most of the time I'll try to make meals that cost $2 or less per serving, with an eye on making meals you can reheat for lunch or dinner. Making the meals ahead will also save on cooking time during the week.

For this first installment, I'm going to brag on one of my all-time favorite ways to make your dollar go further: the rotisserie chicken.

Most grocery stores have these babies hot and ready by the time you get off work, and while they're delicious right out of the container, there are a few things you can do to get even more out of that tasty bird.

The one I got this week ran me about $7 at Safeway. With a few other pantry staples (mayo, pepper, seasonings) and fresh veggies, here's how I make several meals from the same chicken:

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