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Artisan pizzeria serves up goodness

The Flying Goat's signature pizza is topped with an over-medium egg, wild arugula, house-made sausage, a special cheese blend and truffle oil. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
The Flying Goat's signature pizza is topped with an over-medium egg, wild arugula, house-made sausage, a special cheese blend and truffle oil. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Take a 2,500-pound pizza oven, 14 beer taps, one cask-conditioned ale and what do you get? One serious aviator.

The Flying Goat artisan pizzeria and neighborhood pub opened last week at 3318 W. Northwest Blvd. Owner Jonathan Sweatt says he initially toyed with the idea of a breakfast joint.

“We decided that more of a pub-style pizza place would better fit the neighborhood’s needs and the north side of Spokane in general,” said Sweatt, who is an owner of The Downriver Grill across the street. He is partners with Hal Dixon and John Stejer in the new restaurant.

Sweatt worked with chef Darrin Gleason to research West Coast artisan-style pizzas, eventually settling on a pizza oven from WoodStone in Bellingham. The 2,500-pound stone hearth oven had to be installed first in the old accordion and barber shop before other renovations could begin.

“This is really meant to be a true artisan-style pizza,” Sweatt said.

The crusts are hand stretched, topped with house-made sauces and a cheese blend created at The Flying Goat. The toppings include artisan nitrate-free meats from Zoe’s Meats in Seattle and local ingredients.

The pies spend just six to eight minutes atop the hearth and are designed to have some 20 to 30 percent char, Sweatt said.

While some might describe the crust as a little bit, um, burned, Sweatt said he’s committed to the style. The char is essential to honor the history of artisan pizza making and impart the signature flavor, texture and aromas, he said.

Studying artisan pizza making at WoodStone with Gleason helped inspire one of The Flying Goat’s signature pies. One of the 12-hour training days started with breakfast-style pizzas topped with an egg.

Sweatt and Gleason played with the flavors until they came up with The Kiernan. It is topped with Italian sausage made at The Flying Goat, arugula, the pub’s cheese blend, heavy cream and an over-medium egg.

Sweatt said hard-core foodies are loving the pie, which is $14, and he’s created some converts from the skeptical with a bit of gentle arm twisting.

Other pizzas, which easily serve two, include classics like the NW Blvd, topped with Zoe’s pepperoni, caramelized onion, cheese blend and plum tomato sauce, for $13; the Providence, featuring chevre goat cheese, toasted pine nuts, fresh herbs, oven-roasted tomatoes, roasted red peppers and extra-virgin olive oil, for $13; and the tasty G Street, with salami, shaved fennel, caramelized onions, cheese blend and plum tomato sauce, $14.

The restaurant also offers appetizers, salads, sandwiches and some desserts, including a Stout Float for $5.

General manager Beth McRae has what some might consider the enviable task of keeping the pub’s 15 taps flowing with a rotating array of beers to complement the menu.

There are 14 drafts and a rotating cask-conditioned ale, currently Deschutes’ Mirror Pond Pale Ale at press time. The pub also offers draft beer to go in one-gallon glass growler jugs ($10 to $12.50) and some 50 different bottles to quaff.

Northern Lights Brewing created the signature beer for The Flying Goat, a dry-hopped ale called the Horned Aviator. Don Townshend, winemaker of Townshend Cellars, worked with restaurant owners to create Goat Head Red, an Italian-style blend.

The restaurant was refurbished with wood salvaged from Otis Leonard’s grain elevator in Ritzville. A picture of the original building, constructed in 1910, hangs on the pub wall near the front entrance.

“Every nail was taken out and every board cleaned,” Sweatt said.

The wood was used to build the bar top, back bar and slats on the outside patio cover and around the bar area.

And the name? Sweatt said it honors a longtime friendship and was meant to evoke images of a style of pub one might find in England, Ireland or Scotland.

Sweatt said he initially hoped to renovate the adjacent gas station building for the pub, but permitting requirements stalled those plans. They’re still considering what to do with that space.

The Flying Goat is open 11 a.m. to close daily. Reach the restaurant at (509) 327-8277.

Adelo’s expands

Adelo’s, the local take-and-bake pizza specialist, has added a new location.

Matt and Kim Howes recently opened a second Adelo’s Take ’n’ Bake Pizza at 2812 E. 30th Ave. The store is open every day from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m.

The Howes and employees make the pizza crust from scratch daily, including a popular whole-wheat crust, Kim Howes said.

They also offer a gluten-free pizza crust that has been a surprise success. Howes said she’s gluten sensitive and her husband found the crust because he wanted her to be able to enjoy food from their business.

They buy the crust, which is made at a gluten-free facility, and add toppings at the store.

Customers can create their own pizzas from a list of toppings or choose from several traditional pies, as well as some specialty offerings such as Applewood Barbecue Chicken and Thai Chicken pizzas. Prices range from $9.99 for a 13-inch pizza to $14.99 for a 17-inch specialty pie.

Kim Howes said they added wraps to the lunchtime menus at both stores, which sell for $4.99. They have incorporated some of their most popular pizza toppings into the tortilla wraps.

Unlike the Adelo’s store at 9021 N. Indian Trail Road, the new South Hill location does not offer beer sales.

For a look at the whole menu, go to Reach the new store near 30th and Regal at (509) 535-0121. The North Side store can be reached at (509) 464-0110.

They accept competitors’ coupons.

Savory social networking

Follow the birth of a new restaurant in the old Blockbuster location on South Grand Avenue via Facebook.

Owners are posting updates on construction at the restaurant, 1318 S. Grand Blvd., which will be called Savory. And they’re hoping to get people talking about what’s missing from the menu in Spokane.

Want to weigh in? Click on the “discussions” tab for a chance to answer this question: “What do you think is missing from the dining scene here in Spokane? Are there menu items that you wish you could find here?”

Speaking of social networking surrounding Spokane food and restaurants, check out BITE Spokane on Facebook.

The anonymous creator has helped generate some great discussions around Inland Northwest cuisine since the first post in early June. There are listings for local events, restaurant rumors and more.

Posters have lamented the lack of great restaurants in north Spokane and shared their favorite restaurant finds, and some are reminiscing about lost restaurants.

Check it out at bitespokane.

The Dish appears monthly in the Food section. Send news releases, tips and suggestions for restaurant items to Lorie Hutson at (509) 459-5446 or fax to (509) 459-5098.