by Susan Hamilton & r & & r & They're Back! Dining & r & It doesn't take Spokane diners long to discover (or rediscover, in this case) their favorite dining spots. Just Jerry's on the lower South Hill may have opened under the radar late last month, but the cozy eatery is packed with happy customers now.

Owners Jerry Schrader and Robin Riemcke took a hiatus from the whirlwind restaurant world last spring when they closed their beloved Cannon Street Grill.

"We had a wonderful break from the Cannon, traveling and lounging," Schrader says. "But we knew we could do it again. That's why we came back."

When Paprika closed in December, Schrader and Riemcke were right there to buy the place. Renovations at the eatery took only a month, with Riemcke creating the jazzy, fun decor.

"This is what we envisioned Cannon Street to be 12 years ago," Schrader explains. "We wanted to create a fun lunch and dinner spot. We threw in brunch to appease our breakfast clients."

When I stopped by last Sunday, there was a line to get a table for brunch, with Riemcke quickly seating parties. And that was only the second weekend they'd been open. With a menu featuring huevos rancheros with homemade salsa, smoked salmon eggs Benedict, fluffy omelets with home-fried potatoes and buttery croissants filled with scrambled eggs and your choice of additions, it's no wonder Just Jerry's is a popular spot for brunch.

"It's great seeing our old customers," Riemcke says. "It's like family that's been gone for awhile. It's simple, not complex, food," she adds. "We like to make people feel like they're coming to our house to eat."

Lunch at Just Jerry's features comfort food like chicken-apple salad with walnuts, celery and golden raisins. The Roy Sandwich, a favorite at Cannon Street with char-grilled chicken breast, provolone cheese and bacon on sourdough bread, has a place on Just Jerry's lunch menu. Burgers (including a lamb burger with cucumber-mint sauce), grilled steak and salmon entrees, and corn-beef hash are also lunch items.

Just Jerry's dinner menu may not be complex, but it's got a tony appeal. Appetizers include mussels Rockefeller and proscuitto-wrapped grilled prawns. Entrees like Dijon-crusted pork loin, chicken stroganoff, crispy duck pasta and grilled chicken and strawberry salad highlight Schrader's 26 years of experience in the restaurant business, as well as that of his talented kitchen crew. Wines by the glass and bottle from Washington, California and Europe, are the perfect way to complete the bistro experience at Just Jerry's.

Just Jerry's, 1228 S. Grand Blvd., is open Tue.-Sat., 11 am-3 pm and 5-9 pm, Sun., 8 am-2pm. Call 456-0500.

Bistro Brunch Dining & lt;BR & "It's just grown," says co-owner Dave DuPree of his Latah Bistro. "Customers have been coming on weekends, even though we weren't open, so we decided to cater to what they wanted."

Starting this weekend, the south-side bistro is featuring breakfast. Chef David Blaine utilizes local and organic ingredients, like Olsen farms heirloom potatoes, Sara Joe's sausage, Rocky Ridge Farms' free-range eggs, Greek Gods' yogurt and Craven's Coffee, in Latah's brunch fare.

Highlights of the breakfast menu include a Paris bistro sandwich with eggs, ham, Gruy & egrave;re and white cheddar cheeses on grilled sourdough bread and served with pear butter. The crepe-like huckleberry Dutch baby is covered with tart berries and bourbon maple syrup. French toast is baked in Latah's wood-stone oven and served with honey-bourbon-pecan butter and vanilla maple syrup. A variety of omelets feature ingredients from smoked ham and caramelized onions to kalamata olives and feta cheese.

Indulge in beverages like Latah's signature hot chocolate made with fine chocolate, Elkin's bloody Mary with a pepperoni olive garnish or the Mimosa with orange, peach or pomegranate juice.

Latah Bistro, 4241 S. Cheney-Spokane Rd., Suite C, is now open for breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays, 9 am-2 pm. Call 838-8338.

50th Annual POAC Arts & Crafts Fair @ Downtown Sandpoint

Sat., Aug. 13, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sun., Aug. 14, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
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