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Hungry For South-Of-The-Border Food? Head For The South Hill

Fri., Nov. 3, 1995

It’s too early to call it a trend, but another designer burrito joint has opened in Spokane.

Sonic Burrito folded its first roma tomato tortilla this week at the shopping center near Rosauers on 29th. Despite being located in a former pet shop, Sonic Burrito successfully pulls off a hip, minimalist atmosphere. There are a few tables and counter seating, but it’s mostly set up for take-out business.

The menu features some innovative choices. A Thai burrito consists of black beans, brown rice, sprouts, rice, carrots, low-fat jack cheese and spicy peanut sauce. It can be served veggie style or topped with chicken. There’s also a fish burrito with marinated whitefish and a fajita burrito with chicken or beef, a choice of pinto or black beans, veggies and rice, along with sauteed peppers and onions.

Customers are encouraged to come up with their own combinations. You can build on a choice of flour, whole wheat, roma tomato or spinach tortillas. In addition to rice and beans, crunch can be added in the form of red onions, diced red peppers, jalapenos, shredded carrots and jicama. Yes, jicama. (I’m excited about any restaurant that offers that toothsome tuber.)

I sampled a veggie Thai and the fish burrito on the Sonic Burrito’s opening day and liked them both, but next time, I’ll request extra doses of salsa and the peanut sauce. Those flavors were lost amidst the mountain of interesting ingredients.

Prices at Sonic Boom are reasonable, especially considering what a filling meal one of these puppies can be. Most choices are under $4. The gigantic Sonic Boom, made on a 15-inch tortilla, is $4.50.

Sonic Burritos is located at 2622 E. 29th. It is open from 10:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Sundays.

This latest addition to the burgeoning burrito scene makes Big Mamu Burrito Co. Spokane’s original stuffed tortilla shop. It doesn’t have as big a menu as Sonic, but for my money, it’s tough to top Big Mamu’s black bean burrito, especially with extra jalapenos.

The Big Mamu is located at 8 N. Howard, just down from David’s Pizza. There’s a loyal lunch crowd, so if you’re in a hurry, stop in after the noon rush.

Is that a quarter moon?

The II Moon Cafe at the Mars Hotel has just opened its sidewalk cafe, an enclosed patio area adjacent to the regular dining room.

With this addition, the restaurant has introduced a new menu of entrees and light bites that can be ordered between meal times. Food is now available continuously from 7 a.m. until midnight Mondays through Saturdays at the II Moon.

New dishes include the restaurant’s first foray into nacho country. Pancho’s Nachos are chips smothered in black beans, corn, jalapenos, salsa, two types of cheese, sour cream and guacamole. Other appetizers include a grilled chicken filled quesadilla and shrimp poppers, butterflied shrimp wrapped around peppers and cheese, then breaded and deep-fried.

There is also a selection of sandwiches, salads and entrees available after lunch and after dinner.

Coffee lovers can join the club

A new restaurant-coffee bar recently opened in the space formerly occupied by La Tiendita at 3110 N. Division.

The Coffee Club has already attracted discerning caffeine connoisseurs by offering Illy coffee, imported from Italy.

The menu at the Coffee Club features sandwiches, soups made from scratch, and fish and chips along with fancier fare such as steamed clams, quiche and chicken cordon bleu.

On the weekends, there’s live entertainment and hours are extended until 3 a.m.

In the future, the owners plan on opening a more formal dining room serving classic French cuisine. Look for details in upcoming columns.

Swan’s charts new course

Swan’s Landing in Sandpoint has had a short but bumpy history, having gone through a series of chefs and menus in the two years since it opened. But the new management promises smooth sailing.

Chef Marshall Blanchard and general manager Beverly Boronkay, who operated successful restaurants in Colorado, have already made some welcome changes since taking over last summer.

They have replaced the lounge’s green plastic lawn chairs with comfortable couches. New rugs warm the atmosphere.

The menu remains devoted to Northwest offerings, but new items have been added. A quick lunch program has been instituted so diners can order by fax and have their meals waiting when they arrive. This winter, Swan’s Landing will offer inexpensive, filling skier’s specials.

Swan’s Landing is located at the south end of Long Bridge. It’s open Mondays through Saturdays for lunch and dinner. Call (208) 265-2000 for reservations.

Southern-style delis debut A couple of Schlotzsky’s Delis have recently opened in Spokane, one in NorthTown, the other on Francis, west of Division. The restaurants are part of a Texas-based chain that specializes in New Orleans-style sandwiches called muffelettas.

Muffelettas are distant cousins to the hoagie, the grinder or the sub, depending on what part of the country you call home.

Muffelettas are traditionally served on a flat, focaccia-type bread and are distinguished by a zesty oil and vinegar dressing.

Schlotzsky’s bakes its bread fresh daily and also serves a selection of pizzas with toppings such as smoked chicken and a pie with four types of cheese.

Another Schlotzskys will open in Coeur d’Alene in the next few months.

Small bites

Salty’s is holding its annual oyster festival through Nov. 22.

During the event, a selection of the state’s more exotic varieties will be featured, including Hamma Hamma, Hog Island, Otter Cove and Dosewallips. There will be a special lineup of Northwest wines and microbrews chosen to complement the slippery bivalves. (Stout is considered the ideal match for oysters.)

In addition to oysters on the half shell, there will be a selection of entrees, such as a pan-fried oyster sandwich, oyster stew and roasted Westcott Bay oysters topped with smoked salmon and a goat cheese sauce.

A longtime fixture on the Sandpoint dining scene, The Cupboard recently closed for good. The owners decided to pursue less time-consuming careers.

After a little more than a year in business, Roccomonti’s Italian Dinners has closed.

A Taste of Thai has moved into its spot at Fairwood Shopping Center, 419 W. Hastings Road.

The restaurant, which boasts authentic Thai cuisine cooked by natives of Thailand, opened just this week.

, DataTimes The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Leslie Kelly The Spokesman-Review

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