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Too Many Cooks

Archive for July 2012

Brews on Washington is closing Saturday

The owners of Brews on Washington have announced the espresso shop and bar will close on Saturday.

Owners Brett and Katie Anderson announced the closure on the Facebook page for Brews on Washington, 7 S. Washington.

“There's no easy way to say it… Katie and I have enjoyed 13 crazy and rewarding months of entrepreneurship, have met scores of the most fascinating and wonderful people we could ever hope to know and have had the help of some of the greatest employees in town, but all great rides come to an end and unfortunately our ride comes to an end this week,”

For the last few days of business, Brews on Washington will sell all draft beers for $3 per pint and bottled beer is $2 off. Wine pours are $5 each and bottles will be sold for $18.

Brews on Washington forcused selling fine coffees and microbrews. The owners also encouraged beer cupcake entrepreneurs Sweet & Stout and sold the cupcakes at the shop.

The business is open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m Thursday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. After Saturday night, the bar closes for the last time.

Rex’s and Fraiche are closed

Rex's Burgers and Brews and Fraiche Contemporary French are closed.

Owner Connie Naccarato declined a request we made last week to take photos at the restaurants for a review planned for the Food section. At first, she said the restaurants, which she opened with chef Jason Rex, were for sale. Later in the conversation, she indicated that she would probably be closing the doors.

The restaurants shared the kitchen in the space that was previously Niko's, 14 N. Post St., and closed sometime over the weekend. On Tuesday, the shades were drawn and signs and sports flags that had hung in the windows had been replaced by “For Lease” signs.

Rex's Burgers and Brews and Fraiche opened about nine months ago.

Naccarato and Rex are still partners in Scratch restaurant,  1007 W. First Ave., and Rain Lounge, next door. There is also a Scratch in Coeur d'Alene, 501 Sherman Ave., where you can still dine on Rex's cuisine.

I'm sorry to see the restaurants close. It may have seemed an unlikely pairing, but I had great meals at both the burger joint and Fraiche.

Your favorite summer hangout?

Last week, this shady spot on the Lindaman's patio became my temporary work space.

Where is your favorite patio or deck for summer dining?

Boots Bakery & Lounge getting ready

Need a little pick-me-up? Head to Boots Bakery & Lounge in the former home of Rocket Bakery, 24 W. Main Ave.

Alison Collins, the former bartender at Mizuna's wine bar (and the genius behind their vegan carrot cake) has opened the new coffee shop, deli and lounge. The joint is open everyday at 6 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday. From Wednesday through Saturday it is open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The place is still a work in progress, but renovations and painting have brought more light into the space. Those familiar with building owner Dan Spaulding's ecclectic style will notice his influence, especially in the inverted blender lights that hang above the bar. (Which he also assembled from collected pieces.)

Two murals are on the walls, one that is new and the other is actually an advertisement uncovered when plaster was removed. The giant bull was part of a billboard for smoking tobacco. Employees said the wall was once the exterior wall of an adjacent building that has since been demolished.

Collins invited local residents and artists to help design the booths in the bakery and lounge, so the seating is an array of brightly painted and adorned tables and high-back booths.

Collins said help from friends who have just been willing to just jump in and volunteer has been essential to the early sucess. While we talked last week, a friend was in the kitchen baking.

Perhaps Boots' specialty is the vegan baked goods, but there is plenty of vegan and vegetarian lunch fare in the case. Collins makes the dishes as inspiration strikes and depending on the foods she has available each day. Local farmer Brian Estes brings a weekly community-supported agriculture box from his garden that Collins uses in the kitchen.

Collins said many are asking for the same dishes to be made each day, but she said she is refusing to succumb to that request.

I tried both the “Tuno” noodle salad with mushroom sauce and the spicy barbecue tofu topped with espresso barbecue sauce. I didn't exactly get tuna from the first dish, but it was delicious nonetheless. I've been recommending the tofu to friends and plan to go back for more soon.

Collins said they're still filling in the space with more seating and finishing artwork and painting. Since I visitied, there has been quite a bit of progress on the new front deck. There's a large community table near the kitchen that groups have been using for meetings and book groups, Collins said. Call ahead to ensure the table will be open for your group and Collins can also make an array of small bites and snacks for you.

Oh, yeah! Cocktails. I guess I'll have to make a return visit.

Boots Bakery & Lounge is planning an early August grand opening. Reach them at (509) 703-7223.

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We never really believed that old cliché anyway. We're collaborating to share our cooking inspirations, favorite recipes, restaurant finds and other musings from the local food world and beyond.

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Carolyn Lamberson Features Editor for The Spokesman-Review. She's a foodie who has no time to cook. Still, a girl can dream ...

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