Smack in the middle of wheat country, Davenport seems a world away from Southeast Asia.
That’s probably what makes a new Thai restaurant there such a novelty. In the six months it’s been open, Sa-La Thai has been like a culinary magnet, drawing diners from Grand Coulee, Ritzville and other outlying areas.
They come based on word-of-mouth raves for chef Tippy Cantrell’s curries, satay and pad Thai. She and her husband, Joseph, have decorated the dining room with farming implements from Tippy’s native country. (She grew up near Bangkok.)
“We wanted to bring the two worlds together,” Cantrell said.
For such a small place, the menu is fairly large. Offerings are divided into appetizers, soups, noodles, curries, entrees, salads, rice dishes and a dozen vegetarian selections. Prices range from $4.95 to $7.95.
Sa-La Thai is located a block off the highway on the east side of Davenport, next door to the bowling alley. (It’s a 38-mile drive from Spokane.) The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday and for dinner only on Saturday. The phone number is 725-2440.
Do we buy Julia’s act?
Finally saw that feel-good romantic comedy “My Best Friend’s Wedding” with Julia Roberts playing a food critic. Now, there’s a stretch.
During the opening scene, while she’s supposed to be reviewing a restaurant, that skinny minnie takes a dainty bite of a dish and tells the waiter what she’s going to write. Yeah sure, that happens all the time.
I was much more impressed with the cameo by famous chef Charlie Trotter, who sweats over making Julia’s dish turn out just right. The only problem is that Trotter’s famous eatery is in Chicago, not New York, where his big scene is set.
Oh, I almost forgot movies are the stuff of fantasies.
There are a couple of new sub shops in downtown Spokane.
Quizno’s, a Denver-based chain, serves its sandwiches after melting the cheese on the sesame seed rolls. There are 17 “classic” subs on the menu along with a few “lite” sandwiches and pre-packaged salads.
It’s located at 124 N. Wall, in the old Blimpie’s spot. Call 458-DELI for take-out orders.
Sparky’s has expanded once again, this time to the Crescent Court. The Spokane-based business owned by a group of firefighters now has four “stations.”
Sandwiches are aptly named for engines and squads and other firehouse terms. For instance, a Backdraft is loaded with ham, pastrami, bologna, cotto salami, pepperoni, salami, turkey and swiss. (What? No kitchen sink?)
To phone in your order and avoid the lunch rush at the Crescent Court, call 456-FIRE.
Another bite of burgers
I got an earful on my recent story on burger drive-ins.
For starters, Corky’s on Garland recently re-opened with new owners. The menu specializes in old-fashioned burgers, which diners can customize with a salad bar full of condiments. Shakes are blended using soft ice cream and the french fries are fresh-cut and cooked in canola oil.
Kristy Kirkpatrick-Bennett at Newman Lake and Dan Mullenix wrote to wonder how I missed Ron’s in the Valley. (I went and didn’t like it. Sorry.)
Donae Thornburg of Spokane said I missed out not trying the hot ketchup and hot mustard at Hudson’s. (Last time I checked, Hudson’s was not a drive-in. I agree, though, they fry up a mean ground beef sandwich.)
Raymond and Joyce Mitten of Hayden Lake have been spoiled by the “Ultimate Burger” at Henry’s in Coeur d’Alene.
Dave Holmes gave a big thumbs up to a burger at the Clayton Drive-In where they stack a sliced hot dog on top a couple quarter-pound patties.
An anonymous fan wrote glowing praise about the burgers, fries and homemade onion rings at Burger Heaven in Rathdrum.
Finally, Jim Nelson of Spokane, wrote a nostalgic tribute to some drive-ins of days gone by including the old Bakers Beacon, where a large spotlight shone from the roof.
The last word on beef
I want to set the record straight about a new burger book in which my name appears that was written by Ronald McDonald (yes, he’s related; not to the clown, but to the people who founded the world’s most famous fast-food chain.)
“The Complete Hamburger” from Birch Lane Press includes a chapter listing favorite burgers of restaurant reviewers across the country.
While it’s kind of flattering to see your name in a book, I did not choose The Ram as having Spokane’s best burger as the book indicates. As far as I know, no one ever asked me. In fact, the only time I’ve ever had a burger at The Ram it was extremely undercooked.
Guess you can’t always believe what you see in print.
Kristian’s Dinner House in Chewelah has been sold and the new owners are serving Mexican food.
Nordy’s has dubbed its summer coffee slushies Ice Storms. While some people might still wince at the fairly fresh memory of last winter’s disaster, ordering a tall Ice Storm makes it almost impossible to gripe about the heat.
Every Thursday during August, The Bayou Brewing Company is throwing a party and throwing a big mess of mudbugs on the table during its Crawfish Festival. The celebration will include Southern-style crawfish boils, with a whole pot of stuff served right on the table, live music and beer specials. For additional information, call 484-4818.
Axis, a trendy new restaurant in Seattle, has an item on its menu that might be of interest to anyone with ties to Wazzu. For $5, you can order a side of Cougar Gold macaroni and cheese.
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: BEEFY BIRD I had to sweet-talk my skeptical gal pals into trying an offbeat appetizer at Beverly’s in The Coeur d’Alene Resort, but they had to admit it was tasty once they tried it. The ostrich satay is skewered and grilled and it tastes more like beef than big bird. Drag a piece of the marinated meat through the pool of red pepper jelly on the plate and carve off a piece of the giant onion ring on which the kebabs are perched. A nice little combo package.