October 14, 2009 in Food

Ale House brings pub atmosphere to former Fugazzi, Cavallino site

By The Spokesman-Review
 
CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON photo

Construction crews have finished work on the new Post Street Ale House being developed by Walt Worthy across from his Davenport Hotel complex in downtown Spokane.
(Full-size photo)

The former Fugazzi and Cavallino’s space roared back to life Friday with the opening of the Post Street Ale House.

Developer Walt Worthy remodeled and reopened the public house at Post Street and Sprague Avenue. It opens daily at 11 a.m. and features 20 beer taps, wine and liquor and a menu of traditional pub fare. A private hallway connects the pub to the Hotel Lusso, which Worthy and his wife, Karen, purchased in May.

House manager Joe Owens says they plan to keep eight of the pub’s taps filled with the area’s favorite brews, while the other dozen will rotate. Owens has worked for Worthy for about six years, starting in the banquet kitchen and later working on the opening team for the Safari Room restaurant at the Davenport Tower, where he was assistant restaurant manager.

He says they wanted a menu that included some traditional public house fare and a few surprises, most of it for less than $10. Among the shareable starters are onion rings ($5), breaded mozzarella ($4), chili fries ($6), buffalo hot wings ($7) and beef ($7) and barbecue pork sliders ($7). The surprises? Peel and eat shrimp ($8), deviled eggs ($5) and fried pickles ($3).

Owens admits he wasn’t a fan at first of plans to offer fried pickles, but he was won over by the horseradish pickle chip that they settled on for the signature appetizer.

“I was a skeptic … but they’re fabulous,” Owens says.

Unfortunately, the pub’s shipment of pickles didn’t make it in time for Friday’s opening.

Heartier fare includes fish and chips ($10), the “best ever” cheeseburger ($8), German sausage dog ($7), patty melt ($9) and Reuben ($8). Entrees include Guinness roasted short ribs ($14), fish tacos ($12), classic chopped beef steak ($12), spaghetti with meat sauce ($12), and chop chop ($12), wedge ($8) and Caesar ($7) salads.

Beer prices range from $3 to $5 per glass. Happy hour prices are $2 per glass from 3 to 4 p.m., $3 from 4 to 5 p.m. and $4 from 5 to 6 p.m.

Hanging on the ale house walls are restored historic pictures of Spokane street scenes, the Davenport Hotel, the Review tower and Spokane’s downtown just after the devastating fire of 1889. The ale house also offers six 55-inch televisions and free wireless Internet.

The hanging ceiling lamps in the pub were salvaged from the former Louis D’s during the Davenport Hotel restoration.

Dashiell’s City Café opens

Walk into the new Dashiell’s City Café and chef Mark McCracken’s other hobby is no mystery.

McCracken, a buff of hardboiled detective novels, named the café for author Dashiell Hammett. He is probably best known for his detective Sam Spade in “The Maltese Falcon” and was a Pinkerton detective in Butte, Mont., and Spokane before he turned to writing.

“He worked in this building in 1920 and 1921,” McCracken says of the Peyton Building in downtown Spokane, imagining that the detective may have come downstairs for coffee or eats at the café.

McCracken and his wife Kathy remodeled the small café on the first floor of the building, 10 N. Post St., opening just after Labor Day. McCracken says the space first hosted a lunch counter in 1908, complete with a cigarette sales window, and has been a café in the years since. It was most recently North 10 Café.

McCracken retired from the U.S. Coast Guard after 25 years as a personnel officer and had a second career as a teacher and football coach for Shadle and University high schools. He also worked part-time as a chef and caterer, penned a novel loosely based on Hammett’s life and otherwise busied himself writing cookbooks and creating spice blends.

Dashiell’s City Cafe offers espresso, and quick service breakfast and lunch. It is open weekdays 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and offers a rotating homestyle dinner-to-go special on Wednesdays from 4 to 6 p.m. Breakfast options include quiche ($4.75), breakfast sandwiches ($2.50/$3), Sweetwater Bakery goods ($1.75) and yogurt ($1). They’re serving a signature brand of coffee made for Dashiell’s City Café by 4 Seasons Coffee Co.

Whole and half sandwiches ($7.50/$5.50) can be served cold or grilled on the panini press. Sandwiches and specials come with a choice of German potato salad, pasta salad, side salad or a cup of the day’s soup. Daily specials have included corned beef sandwiches, meatloaf, chicken Alfredo and cabbage rolls.

McCracken honors Hammett and other mystery writers and hardboiled detectives with memorabilia in shadow boxes in the café, as well as on his menu. The “Maltese Falcon” is Spade’s favorite, made with turkey, grilled with marble jack and Swiss cheese and served with a side of tomato slices.

McCracken makes most of the soups from scratch, including the Boston clam chowder on Fridays and a rotating daily soup, such as tomato basil, chicken and rice and split pea and ham.

Dashiell’s City Café has seating at a short counter and a small upper level dining room. It offers free wireless Internet. McCracken says he hopes to have a Web site finished soon where to-go orders can be placed.

Reach the café at (509) 413-2285.

Small Bites

• In case you missed it, the 4 Seasons Coffee Co. retail store, 222 N. Howard St., is now Atticus Coffee and Gifts.

Andy and Kris Dinnison, who own the quirky gift shop Boo Radley’s three doors down, took over the store on Sept. 1. Tom and Leslie Hutchinson, who opened the downtown coffee shop and coffee roasting company in 1982, will continue to run the 4 Seasons Coffee Co. wholesale business.

The shop still has bulk coffees, tea and gift items in front, with the coffee shop and café in the back. Its array of baked goods are made by Bouzies and Rocket bakeries, as well as Santé Restaurant and Charcuterie.

Boo Radley’s and Atticus are named for characters in the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Atticus Coffee and Gifts can be reached at (509) 747-0336.

• Taste Café and Gourmet to Go is now open for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays starting at 9 a.m.

A sample menu of the brunch offerings includes these possibilities: Belgian waffles, eggs Benedict and eggs Florentine, biscuits and gravy featuring sharp cheddar sage biscuits and mimosas. Brunch is served with the café’s banana bread topped with cream cheese frosting.

Taste Café, 180 S. Howard St., is open weekdays 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and weekends 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact them at (509) 468-2929 or www.tastecafe spokane.com.


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