It’s gotta be the nicest shack in town.
The Rusty Roof’s Burger and Shake Shack near Mead High School isn’t the hovel you might expect. Owners Frank and Shanna Haney’s backgrounds in construction and interior design, respectively, show in the inviting dining room.
Their first restaurant, co-owned by Brad and Eva Miller, features a menu of unusual gourmet burgers cooked to order and served on sturdy buns baked at the nearby Petite Chat Village Bakery.
Fresh mini-doughnuts are cranked out at a small counter and frozen custard is made in house.
“We took a long time building this out to make it look right, to get the ingredients and the menu right,” Haney says. “We were trying to create a place that was family-friendly so the kids could come and hang out. We wanted a fun, comfortable place with great food.”
The Rusty Roof’s signature burger is a standard beef patty topped with shredded pork, applewood-smoked bacon, cheddar and caramelized onions ($7.95). Add garlic parmesan fries and a drink for $2 more. Or, sweet potato fries and a drink for an additional $3.
Burgers range in price from $4.95 up to $7.95. Along with the standard offerings, there are a grilled pastrami burger, a jalapeno burger and a chipotle burger, which is topped with slices of roasted pepper, cheese, chipotle sauce, tomato and baby greens. Large sides of onion rings or fries are $4.
Kids’ meals include a burger or two chicken strips and fries for $2.95. There is little beyond burgers, but those who prefer poultry will find a chicken strips meal or a grilled chicken sandwich. A garden burger is on the menu, as well as a salad.
Desserts include shakes, soft-serve yogurt or the signature custard ($3-$4). A half-dozen custard flavors tempt diners from a freezer near the register.
The Haneys moved to the area from California and initially considered opening a pizza place before settling on burgers. They named the restaurant after the dining room was finished and they were looking around at the corrugated metal roofs and other rustic décor inside.
They’re still tweaking the menu with new offerings and dialing in plans for a drive-up window.
Find the Rusty Roof’s Burger and Shake Shack at 101 E. Hastings Road, Suite H. Reach the shack at (509) 368-9074.
Stacy Blowers has a gift that is sure to lift the gray of a Spokane winter, at least temporarily: strawberry honey butter.
The Northwest native is whipping together fruit and honey butters along with an assortment of artisan preserves, handmade chocolates, pesto and pasta at her new business, Petunia’s Marketplace.
Blowers has been a regular at area farmers markets for the past few years with her goodies.
She moved to Spokane in 2008 after 11 years in Dallas, where she owned a day spa and helped start a farmers’ market. She renovated a house just off the busy Northwest Boulevard corridor, on Monroe Street.
When I stopped in, Blowers’ small store was stocked with an array of herb and truffle butters and her homemade jams, jellies, chutneys and syrups. Local sweet chestnuts, greenhouse lettuces and locally roasted Roast House coffees were available. Handmade pasta was drying in the small commercial kitchen in the back of the shop, where she does all of her canning and cooking.
The pumpkin spice truffles were tempting, but instead I settled on cherry honey butter ($3.44), cherry jam ($5.50) and spiced peach preserves ($4.50). Delicious.
Blowers opened the store in late summer, but waited for the farmers market season to wrap up before promoting it.
The preserves are made with just 10 percent sugar, which gives the local fruit a chance to shine through.
Dried herbs from her garden are available and Blowers hopes to grow more ingredients for her endeavors next season.
She’s focusing on offerings from mostly local and Northwest companies – Theo Chocolate, Beecher’s cheeses – and expects to expand into ingredients for artisan foods. For example, she plans to carry imported Italian flours for pasta making and pizza crusts.
Blowers is still awaiting label approval for her pastas (lime saffron is among the offerings) and expects to finalize a beer and wine license in time to host a Thanksgiving wine tasting.
“I hope to specialize in port, champagne and dessert wines,” she says.
Petunia’s Marketplace is at 2010 N. Madison St. It is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Reach the store at (509) 328-4257.
Lasagna’s On Ya
These are the lasagnas of legend and a local business more than 10 years in the making.
Jennifer Shorts began making homemade lasagnas when her seven children were young. By the time her daughters were in college, the from-scratch meals were loved by family and friends.
The Shorts girls played volleyball for the University of San Francisco, and when the team came to town to play the Gonzaga Bulldogs, guess where they ate dinner? Coaches and players would pile into a Greyhound bus and make their way out to the Deer Park home of Dan and Jennifer Shorts for some of that lasagna love.
A decade ago, the Shorts started looking into the possibility of sharing their signature meal with even more people. They took a business class, wrote up a plan and started studying traffic flow and demographics. When Jennifer Shorts’ real estate business slowed and Dan Shorts was laid off from his job as a logger for too long, they decided it was time to give the idea a shot.
A private investor helped them open their take-and-bake lasagna shop – Lasagna’s On Ya – last month. The store at 521 E. Holland Ave., Suite 10 is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
She makes the sauces, while her husband makes the sausages.
The classic lasagna is layers of pasta, sauces and meats. It comes in a single-serving size with La Brea bread, soda and a salad kit for $9.99.
The next meal up, coppia, serves two to four people for $24.99. The piccoli meal serves four to six for $29.99 and the largest lasagna, grande, serves eight to 12 people for $49.99.
The Shorts also offer a red vegetarian lasagna with pasta, cheese and vegetables; Tuscan chicken with pasta, cheese, chicken, bacon, artichokes and olives with pesto sauce; chicken and vegetable lasagna with pasta, cheese, chicken, vegetables and homemade Alfredo sauce; and mushroom and meat lasagna with pasta, cheese, mushrooms and meat with the homemade Alfredo sauce.
Meal deals range in price from $9.99 for the smallest up to $52.99 for the largest lasagna. Order the lasagnas alone for prices from $7.99 up to $49.99.
The lasagnas are assembled to order and take anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes to bake. Call ahead and pick up ready-to-bake lasagna at the drive-through window.
Lasagna’s On Ya also sells homemade tiramisu from the Sundance Bistro and homemade cheesecakes from the local Scrumdiddlyumptious Cheesecakes. They should soon be able to accept electronic benefits cards, Jennifer Shorts says.
There’s more information at www.lasagnasonya.com. Reach the store at (509) 467-9100.
The Moroccan meals of the Marrakesh have moved.
Owner Mamdouh Zayed says the 18-year-old restaurant closed for three months while the final touches were put on the new location, 1227 N. Division St., near Division and Sharp.
The restaurant moved from its previous home on Northwest Boulevard and reopened in early October.
The dining room has the familiar feel of the old location with fabric draping the ceiling and low lighting emanating from ornate lanterns. Seating is available on floor cushions or taller ottomans or benches.
As before, the five-course dinner includes lentil soup, salad, the signature phyllo-wrapped appetizer Bastela Royale and baklava for dessert. Choose from one of 11 entrees for the main course. It is $20 per person.
The Marrakesh menu is now offered at lunch. Choose one entrée and one side order for $13.
The restaurant is open every day. Lunch is served 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner begins at 5 p.m.
Reach the restaurant at (509) 328-9733.
Savory set to open
After some delay, Savory on Spokane’s South Hill is set to open Monday.
Chef and culinary instructor Curtis Smith will serve as executive chef of the new restaurant through December while owners search for a permanent chef.
The restaurant is owned by four local partners. A chef from California, Steven Herrmann, was originally set to take the helm at Savory but they later decided to part ways.
Restaurant manager Scott Nelson says the menu features as much farm-to-table and local fare as possible. Interim chef Smith is focusing on contemporary American cuisine. Daniel Gonzalez, who previously worked for Paul Allen in Seattle, is sous chef.
Savory, 1314 S. Grand Blvd., will serve lunch and dinner, with plans to open later for brunch, Nelson says.
The restaurant hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. Reach Savory at (509) 315-8050.
There are plenty of tempting photos of the food on Savory’s Facebook page.