Everyone else’s attention was riveted to the monster truck races on TV, but mine was focused on the pedal-to-the-metal flavors on my pizza.
It was a Friday night in Sandpoint and Second Avenue Pizza was hopping. It looked like a real locals-type hangout, though the owner taking orders at the counter greeted everyone with equal enthusiasm.
As we pondered whether to order a small or medium, she volunteered that a small would probably do the trick because they really load on the toppings.
And the kitchen does pile it on thick.
We ordered a No. 7, the Schweitzer Mt. Ski Flakes Special. According to the menu, it promised to deliver an avalanche of feta, garlic, fresh spinach, mushrooms and black olives.
While we waited for our ‘za, we munched on a Caesar salad that was loaded with bacon bits and dressed in a creamy, slightly sweet vinaigrette. And we watched the tricked-out trucks driven by guys with names like Dusty and Tex vrooom around a bumpy dirt track. Now, that’s atmosphere.
Along with the selection of specialty pies, you can customize a pizza with all sorts of tasty stuff including smoked oysters, pesto, artichoke hearts, red onions, sun-dried tomatoes and jalapeno peppers.
The pizza was good. The crust held up under the weight of all those toppings. Also, this pie didn’t wimp out on the garlic. The spicy tomato sauce tasted like a case of heartburn waiting to happen. (Of course, I mean that in the best possible way.)
Second Avenue Pizza also serves calzones and sandwiches. It’s open daily and is located on (big surprise) Second Avenue, tucked behind the Hydra. For take-out orders, phone (208) 263-9321.
Scrambled tofu, anyone?
Mizuna has introduced its new weekend brunch menu - served on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Among the goodies offered are French toast with fresh berries, frittatas and housemade granola.
The menu takes creative license with some classics. The eggs benedict, for instance, incorporates grilled portobellos and the huevos rancheros is served atop polenta.
As for the aforementioned tofu, it’s scrambled with soy sausage, onions and peppers and served in a grilled pita. (It can also be prepared with eggs.)
For reservations, call 747-2004.
Albertini’s in the Valley is now calling itself Spokane’s only wood-flame broiler and rotisserie.
The sparkling new piece of equipment is in view of the dining room, so you can watch the cook fire your steaks over plum wood coals.
The revamped menu features steaks including a thick-cut sirloin and a New York along with a variety of meats such as a garlic-studded prime rib cooked on a spit.
Albertini’s is located at 13524 E. Sprague.
Speaking of steaks, I got a number of calls following my roundup of Spokane’s best beef places. One man said that I should have included Hilary’s at The Stockyards on my list. Another said he refuses to go to back to The Outback because they don’t take reservations and he was told there would be an hour wait for a table.
A couple of out-of-towners wrote to share their local favorites. Lynne Vaughn from Colville said the food at Cafe Italiano is “out of this world.” And Bea Butler of Sprague said that the roast beef dinner at Maggie’s Farm Cafe is the best she’s ever eaten.
Finally, the response to a call for romantic restaurants was woefully scant, but here goes. Margaret Evans from Cheney suggested cozy Cafe Roma, saying the restaurant’s spaghetti carbonara is unsurpassed. Judy Meyers wrote that she and her husband consider Patsy Clark’s and Milford’s their special places. And Jo Russell likes the intimate atmosphere at The White House Grill in Post Falls.
You can now buy Fitzbillie’s bagels up north. This bakery’s second location opened around the first of the year and offers a slightly larger variety than its cousin in downtown Spokane. Look for the opening of its outdoor seating area soon. It’s located at 9820 N. Nevada. The phone number is 465-8794.
Some of the country’s hottest chefs gave mouthwatering details of their spring menus in Monday’s USA Today and there was a surprising local mention. If you’re craving parma-roasted Idaho trout, you’ll have to head to swanky The Four Seasons in Chicago. Probably comes with a side of those famous potatoes.
Solve the mystery of “Murder at the Howard Johnson’s” during a three-course dinner theater presentation starting at 5:30 p.m. May 2 at Spokane Community College. Fortunately, there’s no mystery about the mouthwatering menu. It starts with a smoked chicken galatine served with spring greens and a cranberry vinaigrette. The main course is a beef tenderloin with wild mushrooms and the to-die-for dessert is a dark chocolate and Grand Marnier mousse.
Tickets are $25 each and only a limited number of seats are left. For reservations, call 533-7283.
Luigi’s in the Valley was sold and is now Giovanni’s.
The menu remains Italian - spaghetti, lasagna and the like. A number of affordable combo dinners have been added including a pair of clam sauces (red and white) for $10.75 and a couple of meatless meals, broccoli alfredo and eggplant parmesan together for $10.75.
Giovanni’s is located at 329 S. Dishman-Mica Road.
I know people who run Bloomsday just so they can carbo-load the night before the race. So, for you eateries out there planning a special pre-Bloomsday menu, send in your pre-Bloom menus and I’ll provide a pasta preview before the big event.
Leslie Kelly can be contacted via E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or regular mail to Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210.
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: Sizzling salmon The Dish Yes, I love salmon like any good Pacific Northwesterner should, but let’s face it - too much of this fish can be a bore. At least that’s the way I was feeling until I discovered the stunning Shoo-Shee salmon ($8.95) at the Riverview Thai. This unusual preparation comes with a perfectly cooked filet smothered in a fiery red curry sauce. It was a flashy display of orange on orange. The colorful garnish - a cleverly carved orange half - provided some juicy relief from the heat.