Talk about your classic case of yin and yang.
A new German restaurant - where the menu is mostly meat - has opened just next door to Mizuna, Spokane’s upscale vegetarian restaurant.
Oh well, contrast is good.
And the Edelweiss restaurant is a nice addition to that burgeoning block of Howard, serving truly authentic German food. (I say this with the kind of conviction that comes from spending part of my childhood in the “Bavarian” village of Leavenworth.)
Owners Nick and Monika Giles, who formerly had a German restaurant in Wallace and then in Kellogg, get their sausages from a specialty producer in Seattle. And judging from the tender, delicately flavored dish I tried, it’s the best wurst.
Monika, who is originally from Stuttgart, Germany, is a most capable cook. Her chicken schnitzel was wonderfully crispy. Even though the meat was pounded thin for this traditional dish, it was still moist. (Too bad it was served with that blah frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrot mix. The excellent housemade red cabbage would make a much better match.)
Other entrees at Edelweiss include a smoked chop with sauerkraut, Bavarian bratwurst, German weiners served with potato salad and Fleischkaese, which is a veal loaf.
For dessert, splurge on the apple strudel. It was served warm and flaky, but I scraped off the canned whipped cream.
Prices at lunch range from $3.95 for a bowl of goulash to $7.95 for a pork schnitzel sandwich with Swiss, bacon and onions. Dinners are slightly more.
The Giles have done an amazing job of transforming what was for years a Taco Time. They’ve covered the brick walls with interesting lighting fixtures, posters from Germany and assorted doodads, including a mounted deer head. Also, there’s nothing like a little yodeling in the background to give a place some cachet.
The Edelweiss should have its liquor license soon and will serve a variety of German beers and wines.
The restaurant is located at 218 N. Howard. Call 459-6908 for reservations.
Speaking of sauerkraut
The popular Coeur d’Alene pub Moon Time has added some new items to its already creative menu, including a pastrami sandwich featuring homemade sauerkraut. This particular cured cabbage is cooked in Blackthorne Dry English Cider. (Fan-cee!)
Among the other new selections are a vegetarian sandwich, a bean burrito with pintos cooked in Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and linguine with clams.
There’s also a tasty selection of weekly specials such as pasta in a creamy garlic sauce with bacon and peas or a French lamb stew with new potatoes, turnips and other veggies.
Moon Time Pub is located at 1602 Sherman Ave., in Coeur d’Alene. For additional details, call (208) 667-2331.
New place in Pullman
Most folks think of a mimosa as a champagne and orange juice cocktail to serve with Sunday brunch.
But it’s also the name of a new restaurant in Pullman.
Mimosa’s menu includes an eclectic gathering of Jamaican jerk ribs, yakisoba and herb-layered chicken.
There is also a lunch buffet each weekday and an all-you-can-eat ribs and chicken dinner every Tuesday. And the restaurant will deliver.
Prices for lunch and dinner range from $4 to $9.
Mimosa is located at 420 E. Main. Call (509) 332-2400 for reservations or delivery orders.
Light my fire
Chef Steve Quinones is doing weekly floor shows at the II Moon Cafe, with his flambe pan.
Longtime customers who remembered Quinones’ pyrotechnics from La Leyenda have been nagging him to start the tradition at the II Moon.
So now, each Thursday, he’ll do flambe specials that feature gigantic shrimp from Panama in a variety of sauces or steak with morel mushrooms, and even flaming coffee drinks.
For reservations, call 747-6277.
A wake-up call
Cannon St. Grill is now serving breakfast.
This inviting spot in Browne’s Addition is cooking up darned fine home-fried taters with its egg dishes.
The St. Joe River Special - named in honor of chef Jerry Schrader’s hometown of St. Maries - features those spuds scrambled with eggs and cheese.
There’s also a vegetarian frittata, corned beef hash, French toast and pancakes.
The morning meal is served from 7 until 11 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday. On Sunday, an expanded brunch menu is served from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.
It’s located at 144 S. Cannon St. The phone number is 456-8660.
Cajun cuisine is hot
Yes, Bayou Brewing Company has finally opened and has been packing ‘em in. (Look for a full review next week.)
However, if you’re interested in checking out some Southern-style food at a less hectic venue, order the muffuletta or red beans and rice at Harry O’s Bistro.
Those and other Cajun and Creole specials are part of a month-long celebration of dishes with Louisiana roots at Harry O’s. Each month will feature a food from a different part of the world. (In March, British food will be featured.)
But you have until next week to sample crawfish gumbo, jambalaya and the like.
Harry O’s is located at 508 E. Third.
I ate my way through San Francisco last weekend and came away feeling less than satisfied.
Betelnut, one of the best new restaurants in the country according to Esquire magazine, was nowhere near as good as The Wild Ginger in Seattle. It had a cool old Shanghai-type atmosphere, but overpriced, underseasoned Asian offerings.
Sushi in Japan Town was fine, but nothing spectacular.
Gnocchi at the highly recommended North Beach Restaurant was pasty and served with a bland sauce and the shrimp provencale tasted fishy.
The service was mostly indifferent, too.
Not all was lost, though.
The appetizers at the bar at Bix were moaning material - smoked salmon on a potato pancake with caviar and top-notch gnocchi with duck in a creamy madiera wine sauce. The wild mushroom pizza at LuLu was tasty. And the fried plantains at Cha Cha Cha in the Haight were, like far out, man.
All this noshing just confirmed to me that we have some very fine restaurants right here in our region. Really. (Now, I’ll click my heels together and say “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”)
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: Get hooked on catfish sandwich Fat Tuesday seemed like a fitting time for something I’ve been meaning to do for years - order a catfish sandwich from Chicken-n-More. These puppies are legendary, especially among the chowhounds in the sports department. Now, I know why. This big slab of catfish is so big it takes 15 minutes to deep-fry. When it’s done, all crispy and golden, it hangs over the edge of the bun. Order it spicy and that means you’ll get Vietnamese red pepper sauce squirted on the fish. That, the fish filet and a layer of ketchup on the buns is all there is to it. But, hot dog, that’s some fine catfish.