December 27, 1996 in Seven

Outback Steakhouse: Come On Over For A Touch Of Down Under

By Correspondent

Outback Steakhouse is the first restaurant in Spokane with an Australian attitude.

The menu is full of “clever” descriptions like “Our steaks are fair dinkum … It was one of those choice dishes that Mad Max was so mad about” or “No worries mate. Have a bo-peep at these treats and ava go!”

Munchies are called aussie-tizers and, of course, there’s a section dedicated to meats “grilled on the barbie.”

This theme restaurant is part of a chain that got its start in Florida in the late ‘80s. There are now 362 restaurants in 38 states.

Obviously, beef is king at this place with several cuts of steak ranging from a tenderloin to a 20-ounce porterhouse. The Crocodile Dundee steak is 14-ounce New York strip. There are also several sizes of prime rib offered.

Beef alternatives include baby back ribs, fresh fish and pork chops served with cinnamon apples.

The Outback Steakhouse is located at 5628 N. Division in the Franklin Park Mall. Dinner is served nightly.

Great look at Great Harvest

The remodel job is done at the downtown Great Harvest and it’s gorgeous, kind of a warehouse chic look. Booths and new tables sit atop the lovely new hardwood floors. The ceiling has been redone, dropped down some, making for a cozier feel.

The menu hasn’t changed. They’re still offering sandwiches made on that fabulous bread and the best oversized oatmeal cookies in Spokane.

I only wish they could make the traffic flow a bit easier for customers. It’s hard to tell where the line begins and it can be frustrating if someone who came in after you gets waited on first.

Great Harvest is located at 816 W. Sprague. Call 624-9370 for take-out orders.

Jean’s gets an overhaul

The sit-down restaurant at Schweitzer’s Green Gables has a new menu this season.

Gone are the ambitious, upscale entrees. Now diners can choose from a wide variety of meals in a range of prices.

For instance, an entire page is devoted to appetizers and snacks, the kind of calorie-filled goodies you don’t feel too guilty eating after tearing up the slopes. Even there, the selection includes a good range - from nachos and chicken wings to smoked trout cakes and steamed mussels.

There are a number of sandwiches, pastas and a different burrito each day offered under the mid-size meals. Prices start at $5.95 for a BLT and top out at $9.95 for a turkey tenderloin sandwich, but that also includes soup or salad. That makes it as good a deal as many of the offerings in the more casual cafeteria in the lodge.

The pricier entrees include steaks, trout, pasta dishes along with salmon and grilled halibut served with a cilantro-green chili pesto sauce.

The restaurant has a nice wine list, as well as a good selection of microbrews on tap.

Jean’s is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Reservations are recommended for the weekends. To save a spot, call 208-263-9555.

Digesting ‘96 trends

It seems even restaurants must endure those endless year-in-review-type reports, but I promise to keep it brief.

According to Food Arts, a trade magazine, some of this year’s most fashionable foods were Thai, Middle Eastern, Latino and Pacific Rim.

The hippest seafood selections were sea bass and Arctic char, a mild-tasting trout-like creature that comes from the waters of Alaska.

Other food items that were red hot included: burritos renamed as wraps, portobello mushrooms, fancy bacon (pancetta, anyone?) and baby bok choy.

Cigar smokers welcome

There’s a new website that lists area restaurants that allow cigar smoking.

Among those cigar-friendly places in Spokane are Hill’s Someplace Else, the Ugly Rumors at the Mars Hotel, Gabby’s Irish Grill, The Viking Tavern and Wine Stein’z. The page also lists whether the venues stock and sell cigars.

The regional listings are part of a larger site sponsored by an organization called The Cigar Group.

It’s interesting to note that while Spokane is well-represented in the regional listings, the Seattle site is still being developed.

The listings can be found at www/ Restaurants wanting to be included should e-mail the local author of the page at

Another year-end note

According to a study done by The National Restaurant Association, people ate out more frequently this past year.

Most people eat an average of 4.1 meals away from home each week, mostly lunches. Males from the ages of 18 to 24 ate out most often, almost six times a week.

For additional information about this survey, check out the organization’s website at

It’s a tough biz

Here are a few restaurants that have called it quits this past year: The Lotus Seed, Bistro’s on the South Hill, Cal’s Bagels, Main Street Dogs, Makena’s, Rodolfo’s in the Valley, Pizza Oasis and on Sunday, Salty’s serves its last supper.

, DataTimes

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