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Too Many Cooks

Dorothy Dean’s Russian Tea Cakes

Too Many Cooks received a call inquiring about a misplaced Dorothy Dean recipe for Russian Tea Cakes.

Teddy Pulley, a home cook and baker in Spokane Valley, said she had been making them for some 50 years. So Too  Many Cooks thought others might be interested in the favorite recipe, too.

Here it is, just in time for holiday cookie baking:

Russian Tea Cakes

(Mexican Wedding Cakes)

1 cup soft butter

1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus more for rolling

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups flour

1 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or blanched almonds

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla. Stir in flour and nuts. Blend thoroughly. Chill dough several hours. Shape into 1-inch balls, mounds or crescents. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes. Roll in powdered sugar while warm; cool on rack.

Yield: about 4 dozen cookies.

 

 

Mary Ball Washington, mother of George, was known for her gingerbread

Mary Ball Washington, George Washington’s mother, is credited with creating her own gingerbread recipe, featuring “West India molasses,” a “wine glass of brandy,” orange rind and raisins. She supposedly served some to General Lafayette – along with a mint julep. Here are a couple of takes on early American gingerbread recipes, both connected to either Mary Ball Washington or General Lafayette.

Lafayette Gingerbread (1827)

From “The American History Cookbook” by Mark H. Zanger (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003)

This recipe was likely developed as a result of the French general’s 1824-1825 tour of the United States. As the story goes, the Revolutionary War hero had enjoyed gingerbread made by George Washington’s mother during a 1784 visit. (A recipe for that version is listed below.)

½ pound fresh butter

The juice and grated peel of 2 lemons

5 medium eggs

½ pound brown sugar

1 pint sugar-house molasses

4 rounded tablespoons ginger

1 level tablespoon cinnamon

1 ½  level tablespoon allspice

1 level teaspoon cloves

1 ½  pounds flour (or about 4 ½ cups sifted white flour, 1 cup white whole-wheat flour and 6 tablespoons wheat germ)

Take butter from the refrigerator about an hour before starting. Zest and juice the lemons. Beat the eggs very well. Stir the butter and sugar to a cream. Pour the molasses, at once, into the butter and sugar. Add the ginger and other spices, and stir all together well. Put in the egg and flour alternately, stirring all the time. Stir the whole very hard, and put in the lemon at the last. When the whole is mixed, stir it until very light. Bake in glass loaf pans on the middle rack of a 350-degree oven; loaves are done when a toothpick or wire cake tester comes out clean.

Yield: 3 loaves

Mary Ball Washington’s Gingerbread (1784)

From Food.com

The website lists at least two recipes for Mary Ball Washington’s Gingerbread. This one is adapted from instructions that were added in 2005. A recipe contributed in 2007 calls for double the amount of dark molasses as well as ½ teaspoon of salt.

½  cup butter or ½  cup margarine, soft

½ cup fine packed dark brown sugar

½ cup honey

½ cup molasses

¼ cup cream sherry (or rum, bourbon or brandy)

3 large eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons ground mace

1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 cup warm milk

2 tablespoons grated orange rind

1/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice (reserve rind)

1 cup raisins

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons warm water

Beat butter at medium speed of an electric mixer till creamy; gradually add sugar, beat well. Add honey, molasses and sherry, beat well. Add eggs one at a time, beat well after each addition. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternate with milk, beginning and ending with four mixture. Mix at low speed after each addition till blended. Stir in orange juice, rind and raisins. Dissolve soda in warm water; add to batter, stir well. Pour batter into greased 13-by-9-by-2 pan. Bake 350 for 40 to 45 minutes till toothpick tested comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.

Orlando’s no longer taking Thanksgiving reservations

The Thanksgiving-themed lunch at Orlando’s is proving to be popular.

Reservations for all four seatings of the special Tuesday meal are already full.

The student-run restaurant at Spokane Community College is located in Building 1 on the SCC campus at 1810 N. Greene St.

For more information about other special events at Orlando’s, call Janet Breedlove at (509) 533-7283.

Revel 77 celebrates one-year anniversary on Sunday

Revel 77 is celebrating its first anniversary on Sunday.

The specialty coffee shop on Spokane’s South Hill will be giving out door prizes of coffee and coffee-related gear throughout the day. Espresso shots over ice cream, or affogatos, will be on sale for a dollar. And there will be live music by Hannah Siglin and Blake Baxter.

Revel 77 is located at 3223 E. 57th Ave. It is open Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For additional hours of operation and other information, visit its website at www.revel77.com. Or, find the coffee shop on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Revel77, or on Twitter @Revel77.

And stay tuned: Beer and wine are slated to be sold at the coffee shop in mid November.

 

 

Haiku-like poems lands barista a job

Zach Schulte, the 24-year-old barista and bartender who runs show-and-tell at Boots Bakery and Lounge, got his job six months ago with a haiku he submitted online, via Facebook.

Owner Alison Collins said she was impressed with his creativity.

“I don’t care about resumes,” she said. “I have these crazy questionnaires.”

A haiku is a short Japanese poem, which typically has 17 syllables – five in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the last.

Schulte’s doesn’t exactly follow that mold. But it got him at job at the bakery.

Here’s Schulte’s job-getting haiku-like poem about Boots:

My cats keep trying

To eat my vegan biscuits and sausage gravy

Tonight, dine on this vegan fettuccine with alfredo sauce … damn.

EJ’s Garden Bistro announces closure

Barely a week after it celebrated its one-year anniversary, EJ’s Garden Bistro has called it quits.

The Browne’s Addition eatery made the announcement this morning via Twitter, thanking followers for their business.

Staff followed up later in the day with an email to Too Many Cooks, saying the restaurant closed Sunday and “will not reopen.” 

EJ's celebrated its one-year anniversary on Sept. 27.

It anchors the northeast corner of the intersection of West Pacific Avenue and South Cannon Street in the heart of Browne’s Addition. The bistro – with its second-story bar, front porch-seating, fire pit and courtyard with strings of light –  was open for brunch on Saturday and Sunday and lunch and dinner on weekdays. It was closed on Tuesdays.

According to today’s email to Too Many Cooks, “Mary Moltke, owner, would like to thank all of those who have supported EJ’s over the last year. Mary’s daughter, Heidi Moltke, who relocated from (New York) City, will be taking the business in another direction.”

There’s no word yet on what that direction might be or when that might happen. But EJ’s staff promised to keep Too Many Cooks posted.

Raspberry apple stacks recipe advances to final round in Pillsbury Bake-Off

Last month, a Spokane woman asked area residents to vote online for her sister’s recipe in the Pillsbury Bake-Off.

This month, Kathy Coon called back to report her sister, Kelly Story of Sunnyside, Wash., will be going to Las Vegas to compete in the “Quick Rise and Shine Breakfast” category.

This was the first year in the 64-year history of the contest that fans had the chance to choose which recipes made the cut.

Story’s Raspberry Apple Stacks recipe stacked up.

She will be one of100 finalists competing for the $1 million grand prize next month.

Official rules and other information can be found at www.BakeOff.com.

Jack Vines shares his recipe for real Southern buttermilk cornbread

Sugar in cornbread?

“Oh, the humanity!” writes Jack Vines of Spokane, a longtime Spokesman-Review reader and self-described “Southern-born man who learned to make and eat cornbread at his great-grandmother’s wood-fired stove.”

He’s dubious of a recipe for the “proud Southern staple” which comes from “someone who styles herself as ‘Barefoot Contessa’” – and he’s willing to share his own.

 “Cornbread does not contain sugar.  Yankee cake-like recipes contain sugar and flour,” Vines says.

And that’s not all.

“A ‘cornbread’ recipe with three cups of flour and one cup of cornmeal is just wrong.  That would be a slightly grainy cake! Cornbread,” Vines writes, “is made with cornmeal, end of story.”

His version uses vintage cast-iron cookware and, of course, there’s no sugar added.

 “For some of us, cornbread is a sacrament,” Vines writes. “Debase a religion at one’s peril.”

 Real Southern Buttermilk Cornbread

 1 cup yellow cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons warm, melted bacon grease

1 cup buttermilk

1 egg lightly beaten

 Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place two Griswold iron corn stick pans into oven to heat. Stir dry ingredients into a cast-iron bowl. (Vines favors the Griswold Scotch variety.) Add buttermilk and egg to bowl and mix. Add bacon grease and mix. Ladle into heated corn stick pans and convection bake until golden on top and brown on bottom, 12 to 15 minutes.

 Note: Any sticks of cornbread not eaten with dinner become dessert, topped with butter and Spring Valley Farms sorghum syrup.

MacKenzie River Pizza Co. opens downtown location

MacKenzie River Pizza Co. in downtown Spokane is celebrating its grand opening.

The new restaurant opened for business at 11 a.m. today at 818 W. Riverside Ave., Suite A.

The menu features nearly two dozen pizzas as well as soups, salads, sandwiches, salads, pastas, appetizers and desserts.

The company, a regional franchise headquartered in Montana, has restaurants in Washington, Idaho, North Dakota and Indiana as well as Montana. This is its third restaurant in Spokane.

Its other two Spokane restaurants are located at 9225 N. Nevada St. on the Northside and 2910 E. 57th Ave., Suite E, on the South Hill.

For more information, including a peek at the menu, visit www.mackenzieriverpizza.com

Panda Express gives away free servings of new entrée

Panda Express is débuting a new dish.

And Wednesday, Oct. 2, Facebook fans of the fast-food chain can try it for free.

Panda Express is giving away servings of its new entrée – thin strips of chicken, string beans and yellow bell peppers in a sweet honey sesame sauce – to Facebook fans who bring in a free, downloadable coupon. 

Honey Sesame Chicken Breast will be available at all Panda Express restaurants for a limited time.

Founded in 1983, the restaurant has more than 1,600 locations in 46 states.

For more information, visit www.pandaexpress.com

Fans determine how raspberry apple stacks stack up

A Washington woman is a semi-finalist in the “Quick Rise and Shine Breakfast” category of this year’s Pillsbury Bake-Off.

And her sister, 61-year-old Kathy Coon of Spokane, wants people to vote online for her Raspberry Apple Stacks recipe.

This is the first year in the 64-year history of the baking contest that fans have the chance to determine which 100 recipes will compete for the $1 million grand prize.

Voting runs through Sept. 26.

The grand prize will be awarded in Las Vegas in November.

Today, Coon called the Food section to see if The Spokesman-Review could help spread the word.

Her sister, 55-year-old Kelly Story, lives in Sunnyside, Wash., where her husband is the editor of the local Daily Sun News.

According to a story posted on the newspaper’s website, this was Story’s third time entering the contest.

“The recipe I submitted is very easy, and quick, to make. If you like starting your day with something hot and fruity and sweet, this one is probably for you,” she said told the Daily Sun News.

The contest started in 1949. The first $1 million grand prize was given in 1996. Official rules and other information can be found at www.BakeOff.com.

Bridge Press Cellars shares recipe

Bridge Press Cellars owner Melody Padrta shared this recipe for steak that pairs perfectly with the winery's 2009 Walla Walla Valley Merlot.

Look for a question and answer with owners Melody and Brian Padrta in the Food section on Wednesday (July 31). They have a new winemaking and tasting room facility at 39 W. Pacific Ave. in Spokane.

Rib-eye Steak with Poblano Chilies, Crimini Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions

From Bridge Press Cellars

2 ribeye steaks, about 1 to 11/2 inches thick

2 cloves garlic, mashed

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 poblano chilies

1 onion, sliced

8 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 ounce dried porcini mushrooms

1/2 pound tomatillos, husks removed

3 cloves garlic, paper left on

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 cup chicken stock

2 tablespoons cream

Salt and black pepper

A couple hours before you plan to cook the steaks, rub them with the garlic and olive oil, and season well with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate.

Meanwhile, char the poblanos over an open flame or under the broiler until blackened on all sides. Set aside in a small bowl until cool enough to handle. Using a small paring knife, scrape off all the blackened skin. Remove the seeds and cut into thin strips. Heat a small skillet over high heat, add the onions and olive oil. Toss to coat and saute until onions start to caramelize. Add the crimini mushrooms and two of the sliced poblanos. Cook until onion and mushrooms are soft. Season with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

To make the sauce, soak porcini mushrooms in warm water and allow to soak for 20 minutes. Strain broth through  fine mesh strainer and discard mushrooms. Toast the tomatillos and garlic cloves in a dry skillet until charred on all sides and beginning to soften. Remove and when cooled, peel the garlic cloves. Place in a blender with the oregano and remining poblano chili. Process to a rough paste. Pour into a small saucepan. Add the porcini broth and chicken stock and reduce over medium heat to thicken. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Heat a large ovenproof skillet over high heat, and when hot add steaks. Sear both sides until well caramelized. Transfer pan to oven and continue cooking until desired doneness, 3-5 minutes for medium rare. To serve, spoon sauce over the steaks and top with caramelized onions and mushrooms.

Yield: 4 servings

Spring release weekend coming up

Spokane area wineries are getting ready for the annual spring release party this weekend.

The wineries open the doors to the public Friday, Saturday and Sunday during Mother's Day weekend for wine tasting, spring releases and fun. The tasting rooms are open noon to 6 p.m. each day.

Fans of Bridge Press and Emvy Cellars will want to help the wineries celebrate the grand opening of their new winery and tasting room at 39 W. Pacific Ave. Workers were putting the final touches on the outside patio and fence there.

The lineup of other participating wineries includes:

Arbor Crest Wine Cellars, 4705 N. Fruit Hill Road and 808 W. Main, 3rd Floor

Barili Cellars, 608 W. 2nd Ave.

Barrister Winery, 1213 W. Railroad Ave     

Bridge Press Cellars, 39 W. Pacific Ave.

Cougar Crest Estate Winery, 8 N. Post St., Suite 6

Emvy Cellars, 39 W Pacific Ave.

Grande Ronde Cellars, 906 W. 2nd Ave.

Latah Creek Wine Cellars, 13030 E. Indiana Ave.

Liberty Lake Wine Cellars, 1018 S. Garry Road, Liberty Lake

Nectar Tasting Room, 120 N. Stevens St., will have wines from Hard Row to Hoe, Northwest Cellars, Skylite Cellars and Terra Blanca.

Nodland Cellars, 11616 E. Montgomery Dr., Ste. 70, Spokane Valley

Overbluff Cellars, 620 S Washington St.

Robert Karl Cellars, 115 W. Pacific Ave.

Townshend Cellar, 16112 N. Greenbluff Road

Vintage Hill Cellars, 319 W. 2nd Ave.

Whitestone Winery, 8 N. Post Street, Suite #8

There is a map at the Spokane Winery Association website.

I noticed a few longtime Spokane wineries were missing from this year's list, so I made a few phone calls.

Jill Rider at Townshend Cellar said there are no longer plans for a tasting room in the Spokane Valley at the Townshend winemaking facility, so wines from Caterina Winery, Lone Canary and Mountain Dome Winery won't be poured during the spring release weekend events.

Owner Don Townshend previously purchased the wineries and had plans last fall to open a tasting room for them on Sullivan Road in the Spokane Valley. However, the wines are still available at stores around town and online.

Townshend Cellar wines will be poured at the tasting room at Green Bluff for the weekend.

Knipprath Cellars also is missing, but I couldn't reach anyone there to get more details. It looks like they are no longer members of the Spokane Winery Association, but may still be hosting a spring release event of their own. I'll update with details as I get them.

UPDATE: Knipprath Cellars will be open for spring release. I overlooked an event on the winery's Facebook page when I made the earlier post. The winery will be open noon to 6 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well. Knipprath Cellars is at 5634 E. Commerce Ave.

Super Senbei Saturday

There's just something about senbei.

Perhaps it is the combination of salty and sweet. Maybe it is the satisfying crunch… I'm not exactly sure what it is, but they are delicious.

This year, the volunteers at the Spokane Buddhist Temple invited me to stop by the kitchen on Super Senbei Saturday. Minister's assistant Jefferson Workman and a the sangha - that's a Sanskrit word for Buddhist community - were working hard to mix, roll, cut, fry and toss the senbei crackers in sauce for the upcoming Haru Matsuri, or Spring Food Festival.

More than 50 temple members gather to make some of the foods for the annual event during Spokane's Japan Week for a few weekends in advance. In addition to senbei, they offer teriyaki chicken dinners with miso soup and rice, various kinds of sushi and some baked goods at the festival. This year it is Sunday, April 21 from noon to 4 p.m. at the temple, 927 S. Perry St.

By noon on Super Senbei Saturday, the crew had already been working for more than four hours. Volunteers at different stations were running the sesame-studded rice flour dough through pasta rollers. Or, they were cutting the long strips of dough into small crackers. Still others were stirring as the crackers fried in a large wok in the kitchen.

Workman was tossing the fried crackers into the air from a stainless steel bowl to ensure that they were well coated with the sweetened soy sauce. The crackers were then dried in the oven before they were bagged for the sale.

By the end of the day, 230 bags of senbei were finished for the sale.

You can take your chances that there will still be some of the crackers left when you swing by on Sunday. (Be warned that there were rumors that some people buy extra bags to store in their freezers. I'm thinking of becoming one of those people). Or,  pre-order crackers (or anything else on the menu) on the temple's website.

When you stop by for the Japanese food, walk through the beautiful temple which will be open for tours.

For those who miss out on the Spokane Buddhist Temple fundraiser, there's another chance for senbei the following Saturday, April 27 at the Highland Park United Methodist Church's 64th Sukiyaki Dinner.

I went to see their senbei making operation last year.

The sukiyaki dinner will be held at 611 S. Garfield St. noon to 7 p.m. Dinner is $12.50 per person, there will also be a bake sale, senbei, a sushi bar and craft sale.

Reach the church at (509) 535-2687 to make a reservation or get more information.

People’s Best Pastry Chef winner

And the winner is… not Lynette Pflueger.

Food & Wine magazine editors announced Tuesday that the winner of the People's Best Pastry Chef Competition is Jodi Elliot of Foreign & Domestic in Austin, Texas. The link for all of the details is here. After 25 years of picking the nation's best new chef, Food & Wine magazine editors asked readers to get into the action and pick the country's best new pastry chef.

Congratulations to Pflueger for her nomination.

What coffee means to Kaiti

A set of photos taken by Revel 77 barista Kaiti Blom has made her a finalist in the Barista Guild of America's contest.

Contest organizers asked baristas to share pictures that show what coffee means to them for a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to barista camp. Blom said in an email message that some of her life's pivotal moments have taken place over coffee, including her first date with fiancee Christine.

“To me, coffee is the life blood of the community. Coffee houses provide a place to meet and promote friendships and relationships,” she wrote.

The couple in the top candid photo are Blom's friends Shannon and Vanessa, who were recently engaged. The bottom photos include the hands of her friends and family who came together to help her take the photos.

“I put a call out to my community to gather and be subjects in my photos and almost 20 people showed up with less than an hour's notice. This simple act solidified for me that Coffee = Community,” Blom wrote.

Blom titled the photos Coffee Unites Us.

Revel77 owner Deb Nelson said another employee, Aaron Monheim, also submitted a photo to the competition. However, he has conceded defeat and is now supporting Blom's entry.

To vote for Blom's photo, Facebook users must 'like' the Barista Guild of America's page and then click the 'vote' button with her photo.

Here's the link.

The Barista Guild of America's homepage is here.

Spokane native up for best pastry chef

Lynette Pflueger, a Spokane native and the former pastry chef at Santé Restaurant and Charcuterie, is up for the title of The People's Best New Pastry Chef in a competition sponsored by Food  & Wine magazine.

Pflueger is one of 16 chefs named by Food & Wine magazine among the best new pastry chefs in the West. The magazine picked 50 chefs nationwide. Reader votes will determine who wins the title. The voting closes on April 8.

Pflueger grew up in Spokane and went to North Central High School. She attended the Washington State University hospitality program for three years, spending one abroad in Australia before she decided to go to culinary school. She attended culinary school at the Art Institute of Santa Monica, graduating in 2006.

She worked in Florida and Connecticut before returning to Spokane to work for Santé Restaurant and Charcuterie from July 2009 to February 2011.

“I wanted to gain more experience in fine dining and was seeking out a James Beard award winning chef or a Michelin star chef,” Pflueger wrote in an email message. 

She works for Chef Mavro in Honolulu, which has been honored by James Beard and had Michelin stars in France. Chef Mavro also has five diamonds from AAA and has been honored as one of the top 40 restaurants America by Gayot.

In the competition, Pflueger describes her quintessential dessert as Island Madre chocolate crisped with black walnut, truffle white chocolate, tarragon ganache, pear coulis and Molokai black salt.

Here's the link to vote for Pflueger.

Savory Restaurant closed

Savory Restaurant and Lounge owners announced they were closing with a Facebook posting for customers on Saturday.

The restaurant, 1314 S. Grand Blvd., opened two years ago after extensive remodeling of the former Blockbuster video store. Saturday night’s dinner was the last meal served there.

Owner Mike Schneider, of Spokane Restaurant Equipment, said he was thankful to everyone who supported the restaurant over the past two years and that he felt terrible about closing Savory, when reached by phone on Monday.

“It was beautiful. I just fell in love with what we did there,” he said. “It wasn’t profitable. Blame tough economic conditions; we just had to do it,” he said.

He declined to go into further detail about the reasons Savory closed.

The restaurant fixtures and equipment are for sale with an assumable lease at that location.

Spokane-based Uncle Dan’s to dress Wing Bowl 21

The Spokane-based dressing maker Uncle Dan’s will be front and center at the Super Bowl of eating in Philadelphia on Friday, Wing Bowl 21.

Chris Stevens, president of Uncle Dan’s Authentic Salad Dressing Mixes, is supplying the bleu cheese dressing mix that contestants will be drowning their wings in during the competition. The Wing Bowl was started in 1992 by a couple of Philadelphia radio DJ’s who were convinced that the Eagles would never make it the Super Bowl again. The DJs at SportsRadio 94WIP created Wing Bowl, which initially was just a wing eating competition between the two of them, Stevens said.

It has grown to draw an audience of more than 20,000 people in the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Tickets for this year’s event sold out in 48 hours, Stevens said. Last year’s winner of the wing eating competition was Takeru Kobayasi, who faced 29 other eaters and set a Wing Bowl record by eating 337 wings in an hour.

“Last year, they ate over 6,000 wings … so I am making lots of bleu cheese to go with that,” Stevens said in a news release.

Uncle Dan’s is a 46-year-old business started by Stevens’ father. The dressing mixes are manufactured in Kent, Wash., for the Spokane-based business. Stevens said the company was approached by Wing Bowl organizers, who were initially looking for a Philadelphia-based dressing maker. When they couldn’t find one that made the dry dressing packet mixes, Stevens said they invited Uncle Dan’s to supply the competition. They have distributed the dressing mixes only in the region, but will use the Wing Bowl publicity to expand into the Philadelphia area, and other place across the country.

In this area, viewers can tune in for Wing Bowl action and video highlights from previous competitions at wingbowl.cbslocal.com. Or, there’s a link on the Uncle Dan’s website at www.uncledans.com. Uncle Dan’s also offers dozens of recipes for using the products on the website.

Stevens said he’s planning a qualifier event for Wing Bowl 22 that would be held in Spokane in the fall or early winter. Uncle Dan’s will team up with The Onion Bar & Grill for the event. More details will be released as the event comes together.

Lantern Tap House to expand

The Lantern Tap House is expanding.

Owners Mike and Melinda Dolmage, along with partner James Pearson, will introduce their plans to stretch the tap house into the space next door with an open house and food drive this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Mike Dolmage said the space next door to the tap house, 1004 S. Perry St., became available when the Perry Street Cafe closed in December. The Lantern partners plan to remodel the space into a public house, serving casual fare. The family-friendly restaurant would serve quality, but reasonably priced pub grub, including burgers, sandwiches, soups, salads, chicken wings, fries and potato skins.

The planned construction would open up the tiny Lantern Tap House to the adjoining space a little bit, but Mike Dolmage said they hope to preserve the tiny bar the neighborhood regulars love.

“We still want to have that quaint atmosphere in the bar area,” he said.

The bar would continue to serve those 21 and older and patrons could order food. They also hope to extend the feel of the neighborhood pub into the new space.

Originally called the Lantern Tavern, the little bar opened in 2009. Dolmage and his wife purchased the Lantern in July 2012.

They are introducing plans for the former Perry Street Cafe space with an open house and food drive this weekend. The lantern has teamed up with Ninkasi Brewery, of Eugene, Ore. Bring a non-perishable food item and there will be $3.50 pint specials on Ninkaski Renewale ESB, Ninkasi Total Domination IPA, Ninkasi Redunkulous, Ninkasi Oatis Stout.

The Lantern Tap House is open at 4 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They'll close at 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and at midnight on Sunday.

Dolmage said he and his wife love the neighborhood and are excited to share the plans for the expanded tap house.

“We couldn't be more happy to be a part of the South Perry neighborhood,” he said.

They're hoping to host an open house again mid-way through construction. They'd like to open the expansion by the weekend of St. Patrick's Day.

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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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