There’s really nothing like it in Spokane.
The city’s newest restaurant is located in a downtown health club. Not surprisingly, the Healthy Heart Cafe in the new Sta-Fit focuses on food that’s, well, healthy.
The restaurant is open to the public, in addition to Sta-Fit members, Monday through Saturday for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Nick Wood, the man behind the Healthy Heart, is a registered dietitian and chef who studied at the Western Culinary Institute in Portland.
He has put together a menu that emphasizes low-fat dishes without sacrificing taste. The menu also lists a breakdown of fat grams, calories and protein grams. (Those of us who consider that too much information can avert our eyes.)
Among the tempting salads are a smoked turkey Waldorf, a red beans and rice concoction and a chicken salad seasoned with curry and chunks of orange.
Sandwiches include a grilled chicken, a veggie burger, a steak sandwich seasoned with jalapeno peppers and ginger, and a Gorilla Burger (with a whopping 651 calories and 36 grams of fat) for those who don’t want to be too virtuous.
The soup selection is rotated on a daily basis. Look for the likes of lentil with shiitake mushroom, a low-fat clam chowder or a spicy chicken mulligatawny.
For breakfast, there are fat-free muffins made from a special recipe developed by Wood, oatmeal, and an Egg McMuffin knock-off made with an egg substitute, Canadian bacon and Asaigo cheese.
Nightly specials such as a pasta dish will be served until 7:30. All dishes can be prepared to go. For take-out orders, phone 747-0777.
Wood plans to eventually offer classes in low-fat cooking similar to those he taught at Sacred Heart Medical Center through the Healthy Heart Cafe.
Kenny Rogers exits
Local owners of Kenny Rogers Roasters opted to bow out of that franchise so they could dramatically expand the menu.
Now, that North Side restaurant has been renamed Cassidy’s, and in addition to serving rotisserie roasted chicken, they serve steaks, prime rib, turkey and ham. New side dishes such as baked potatoes have also been added.
Daily specials come with prices that sound too good to be true. A sirloin steak with two side dishes for $3.99. Steak and shrimp for $4.99. A prime rib dinner for $6.99.
Cassidy’s is located on 6316 N. Division, just north of Francis. The restaurant is now closed Sundays.
New name, new menu
The Quarterhorse Tavern has recently hired a new chef and revamped its menu for its adjoining, newly named Kismet Cafe.
Dishes with an international flavor have replaced the standard tavern-type offerings. Among the updated entrees are Bombay curry chicken, Caribbean steak with rice, Cuban sandwiches made with roast pork, Mexican shrimp and teriyaki chicken. There’s also a pastrami sandwich made with meat specially ordered from New York City, a cheese steak and specialty burgers. Prices on most dishes are around $5.
The Kismet serves lunch, dinner and a late-night menu until 11 p.m. The latter includes nachos and a burger with sauteed mushrooms and Swiss cheese.
Smoke-sensitive diners, be warned. This is a tavern, so there isn’t a non-smoking section. But the restaurant, located at 1321 W. Second, offers free delivery to a large area - up to Francis and south to 29th, for instance. Phone 456-3778 for delivery or take out orders.
The Anaconda Grille is now open for lunch Tuesdays through Fridays from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. The lunch menu features a daily soup, salads (including an Asian chicken salad with a soy-sesame dressing), sandwiches and pasta. (Make mine the Fettucine Inverno, which is noodles mixed with roasted yams, carmelized onions, red potatoes, spinach, pine nuts and goat cheese. Any dish that includes three types of starch is aces with me.) The Anaconda is located at 510 S. Freya. Call 533-0064 to reserve a table.
The Caffee’ Pot Cafe in Hillyard is treating its customers to old-time prices to celebrate its first anniversary this weekend. Burgers, fries, shakes and soda pop will be 50 cents apiece on Friday and Saturday. Coffee will be a mere dime. This family-owned eatery will be open 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. (Just so you know, smoking is allowed in this small dining room.)
Big Mamu Burrito Co. is now offering a chicken curry-stuffed tortilla on Mondays. The creation includes shredded chicken seasoned with curry sauce, raita (a yogurt salad with cucumbers), white rice and a mango-raisin chutney. It’s $5.45 and, like other Mamu burritos, it’s huge. Big Mamu is located 8 N. Howard.
Nordstrom is now selling a reusable insulator for its red hot coffee cups. The handy device sells for $1.50. Nordstrom obviously believes that espresso lovers can’t be too careful. Its cups come with a warning label: “Caution: Contents may be hot. Please handle with care.”
Carnegie’s restaurant is closed for the winter. The restaurant - located in Post Falls at the Highlands Country Club - traditionally goes on hiatus when the greens are under a blanket of white.