Fri., April 15, 2005
|RESTAURANT||PHONE/LOCATION||REGION||CUISINE||PRICE||NOW SERVING||THE INSIDE DISH|
Anthony’s HomePort at Spokane Falls(N)
510 N. Lincoln St.,328-9009
|Downtown Spokane||Seafood||$$$- $$$$||Monday – Thursday: 11:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday: 11:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.; Sunday: 2-9:30 p.m., brunch, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.||The Spokane branch of this West Side seafood chain doesn’t merely have the best view in Spokane – it may have the best view possible in Spokane. It is perched right on the cliff above the Spokane River’s upper falls. Anthony’s does the view justice with a stylish atmosphere, a well-managed dining room and an array of high-quality seafood dishes. Offerings change seasonally, yet you should always be able to count on the alder-planked salmon. Give the Dungeness crab cakes a try as well. Otherwise, pay close attention to the fresh sheet. Anthony’s has some of the disadvantages of a chain – a blandness of character and a market-tested approach. Yet it also has the advantages – a uniformity of standards and well-trained staff. (JK, September 2004)|
|Bonsai Bistro (N)||101 Sherman Ave., (208) 765-4321||Coeur d’Alene||Asian||$- $$$||Daily from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.||A flowing stream runs right through the middle of this stylish pan-Asian restaurant. If you drop a pot-sticker, it might get snapped up by a carp. Give the flavor-intensive Singapore Stir Fry a try, as well as the Spicy Orange Peel Beef. And don’t forget to try the Caramelized Garlic Noodles, with a sweet note underneath. The best way to experience the full spectrum is to go with some friends and pass around platters, family style. The sushi is worth trying as well. (JK, October 2004)|
|Bourbon Street Uptown (S)||916 W. First Ave., 244-3279||Downtown Spokane||American/ Burgers/ Sandwich/ Cajun||$$|
Tuesday – Saturday:
4 p.m. – close;closed Sunday unless there is a concert
|Don’t expect this to be a 100 percent genuine New Orleans food experience. As an adjunct of the Big Easy Concert House, it must appeal to a wide array of concertgoers’ and pubgoers’ tastes. The big (13-page!) menu is full of dishes such as a tuna melt, burgers and steaks. Yet it also has a handful of Cajun-Creole specialties that are fine and authentic. The standout is the rich and buttery crawfish etouffee. The jambalaya with shrimp and andouille sausage and the blackened redfish are also done with an eye to authenticity. The decor is heavy on autographed guitars and other music memorabilia. (JK, April 2004)|
Chic A Ria German Inn
1812 W. Francis Ave. (5 Mile Plaza),326-2214
|North Spokane||German/ Continental/ American||$$|
Monday – Thursday:
11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday:
11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Saturday: 8 a.m. –10 p.m.; Sunday: 9 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. (Bar open until 2 a.m. most nights)
|Despite the semi-French name, this is Spokane’s go-to spot for traditional German cuisine. The wiener schnitzel and jaeger schnitzel, both made with thinly pounded slices of breaded pork loin, are just like Mutter used to make. I love the spaetzle, a German egg noodle. Be sure and try the smoky homemade bratwurst as well. As for non-German specialties, the Italian pasta dishes were surprisingly well-done – for a German restaurant. (JK, October 2004)|
|Chicken-n-More (N)||414 ½ W. Sprague Ave., 838-5071||Downtown Spokane||Barbecue||$- $$|
Monday – Friday:11 a.m.– 8 p.m.
|This is a classic storefront Texas barbecue haven, right in the middle of downtown Spokane. The ribs are good and meaty, but the best items here come from the fryer: The outstanding fried chicken, moist and tender, and the addictive catfish sandwich, with owner Bob Hemphill’s great hot sauce (optional). The smoked beef brisket is also the real thing. The side dishes are the real Southern thing as well: red beans and rice and turnip-and-mustard greens. Be sure and leave room for sweet-and-spicy Sweet Potato Pie. (JK, November 2004)|
3022 N. Division St.,326-7741
Monday – Thursday:
7 a.m. – 9 p.m.;
Friday – Saturday:7 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Sunday: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
|This revamped restaurant in the old Dewey, Cheatam and Howe’s building on the North Division strip is a quality operation. What sets this restaurant apart is the sheer variety in the menu. On one hand, it’s the kind of place with seven vegetarian items, including three vegan (example: Tofu and Scallion Satay). On the other hand, it also has a senior citizen’s menu with, for instance, Liver and Onions. Then it has a wide spectrum in between, the best of which includes the Ancho Chile Fettucine, the Cashew Chicken and Spicy Lumberjack Sandwich (roast beef, chipotle aioli and a whole roasted green chile). (JK, August 2004)|
|Gordy’s Sichuan Café (N)||501 E. 30th Ave., 747-1170||South Hill||Chinese||$$|
Monday: 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.; Tuesday – Saturday:
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
|This small, popular storefront restaurant often has a waiting line. Skip the soup course and try one of the special appetizers, or go directly to the entrees. Lemon chicken is a pleaser for the kids. Dan Dan Noodles, Cashew Prawns Stir Fry and Tofu Coconut Curry are popular standards. Check out the blackboard for tantalizing specials. The dessert of ginger-orange sauce served over vanilla ice cream with a chocolate drizzle is worth ordering. (JH, March 2004)|
|Herbal Essence Café (N)||115 S. Washington St., 838-4600||Downtown Spokane||Bistro/ Gourmet/ Sandwich||$$|
Monday – Wednesday: 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.; Thursday – Saturday:10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 – 9:30 p.m.
|This great lunch spot highlights creative salads and sandwiches. Try the Salmon Focaccia if you’re hungry or one of the imaginative salad combinations such as Sauteed Seafood Salad or Gorgonzola Chicken, both served on baby greens. Dinner shows off the restaurant’s atmosphere with linens and candles and is a convenient choice before going to the Opera House. Evening meals can be inconsistent in quality, but the potential is there for an enjoyable dining experience. Dinner reservations recommended. (JH, April 2004)|
|Kim Do (N)||2018 N. Hamilton St., 487-7700||Northeast Spokane||Vietnamese||$|
Monday – Saturday:11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
|Kim Do Restaurant is an especially friendly, lime-scented Vietnamese restaurant in the Gonzaga District. Try the Pho, the beef- or chicken-based Vietnamese soups. With generous garnishes of fresh basil and bean sprouts, it’s best thought of as soup and salad all in one. Or try one of the many excellent vermicelli rice-noodle dishes, or the curry. You might want to avoid anything with tendon, unless you’re a Vietnamese food veteran, or just plain adventurous. It’s tasty, but gelatinous. The translucent spring rolls are a must. And don’t forget to try the sweet iced coffee, made with condensed milk. (JK, May 2004)|
Laskar’s Food and Spirits(N)
|2727 S. Mt. Vernon Road, Suite 5, 533-0064||South Hill||American||$$|
Monday – Thursday:
11 a.m. – 11 p.m.;
Friday – Saturday:11 a.m. – midnight
|Tucked into the northwest corner of Lincoln Heights Shopping Center, Laskar’s is a casual establishment with an inventive menu featuring Caribbean and Mediterranean flavors. Options include salads, sandwiches and pasta and higher-priced meals of fish, lamb and steak. Chef David Goldman offers great fish specials honoring his experience in restaurants in New England. There’s great creme brulee for dessert. Service is pleasant but, like the food, a little inconsistent. (JH, November 2003)|
|4241 S. Cheney-Spokane Road, 838-8338||South Spokane||Eclectic/ Fusion/ Gourmet/ Pizza||$$- $$$$||Lunch: Monday – Friday: 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Dinner: daily from 5 p.m. – close||This terrific mid-to-upscale bistro is a godsend to the many folks who live out in this restaurant-deprived area just south of town on the Pullman Highway. And it’s worth trying for everyone else, too – it’s that good. Try the Fresh Salmon Wrapped in Alaska Smoked Salmon or the Five-Spice Crusted Ahi or the excellent Rib-Eye Steak with Morel Mushroom Demi-Glace. The stone oven pizzas are a fine choice if you want to spend a little less. Leave room for dessert, because Latah Bistro is the best place in town to indulge in a chocolate tasting. You can order sampler plates of chocolate bars from around the world, including some made from single-origin cacao beans. (JK, December 2004)|
|1204 First St., Cheney, 235-6126||Cheney||Italian/ Burgers/ American||$$- $$$|
Monday – Friday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Saturday:4 – 9 p.m.
|Chef-owner John Maticchio has turned this former burger joint into a deservedly popular spot for wildly creative Italian food. The Chicken Cela Vie is a perfect example of his approach: It’s a butterflied breast of chicken, stuffed with artichoke hearts, almonds and prosciutto and then covered with delicate white wine-mushroom sauce and sprinkled with more toasted almonds. True to its image as an informal family restaurant, Lenny’s also has the usual suspects – spaghetti, ravioli and lasagna – all featuring homemade sauces. Yet you should really try some of the house specialties, including the Spinach Canneloni. Portions are generous, prices are reasonable and the atmosphere is small-town diner. (JK, January 2005)|
|Marrakesh Moroccan Restaurant (N)||2008 Northwest Blvd., 328-9733||Northwest Spokane||Moroccan||$$$||Daily from 5 – 10 p.m.||Marrakesh is a cultural experience. The interior is draped in fabric, as if in a tent. Diners sit on the floor or on low cushions. The food is eaten with the fingers (you can have utensils if you want). Yet this Spokane institution is also a rewarding culinary experience. The best way to go is with the prix fixe menu, in which you get five courses, including a lentil soup, a marinated salad and the outstanding Bastela Royale, a filo pastry with with scrambled eggs, ground chicken and powdered sugar (trust me, it all works well together). Among the entrees, I’d try the Chicken with Honey and Prunes or the Lamb M’Rouzia. The meal ends with a sweet mint tea ceremony. (JK, November 2004)|
|Moon Time (N)||1602 Sherman Ave., (208) 667-2331||Coeur d’Alene||American/ Burgers/ Pub||$|
Monday - Saturday:11 a.m. – midnight; Sunday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
|This was one of the first of the English-style pubs in the region and still is the best. Try the Potato Encrusted Ahi, with a crawfish cream sauce, or the outstanding Linguini Con Vongole, featuring a generous pile of fresh steamer clams. The Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich is positively inspired, featuring a tender, crunchy-crusted chicken breast, an entire roasted poblano chili and honey-cream cheese. Vegetarians have an excellent option in the Anasazi Bean Burger, which has a kick and a crunch. And the prices are outstanding: less than $7 for the sandwiches and less than $10 for the specialties. (JK, March 2004)|
816 W. Sprague Ave.,456-3594
|Downtown Spokane||Steak/ Seafood/ Eclectic/ Fusion/ Gourmet||$$- $$$|
Lunch: Monday – Friday: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.; Dinner: Tuesday – Thursday:
5 p.m. - 9 p.m.;
Friday and Saturday:5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
|Moxie has been reincarnated downtown (after a former life in Liberty Lake), and it has immediately established itself as one of Spokane’s most creative restaurants. The menu is imaginative, the preparation careful and the atmosphere sophisticated. This Euro-Asian-Northwest hot spot is jammed at dinnertime with people addicted to the Wok-Seared Spiced Orange Stir Fry and the Char-Broiled Chipotle-Glazed Meatloaf (a chef Ian Wingate specialty). But the best dish is the Sesame-Seared Yellow Fin Tuna, fingers of tuna with a nutty sesame crust and a pink opalescent center, almost like sushi. (JK, August 2004)|
|302 W. Riverside Ave., 747-3852||Downtown Spokane||American/ Burgers/ Steak||$$|
Sunday – Thursday:11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Friday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.
|This downtown Spokane landmark has been going strong since 1978, and is as popular – and good – as ever. The burgers are the smart choices here, easily the match of the gourmet burger chains. The big steak fries with tartar sauce are a classic Northwest touch. The hand-cut fish and chips are exceptionally good, with a light, panko-style breading. The fajitas, served sizzling in a cast-iron skillet, are deservedly popular, either with flank steak or lime-marinated chicken. As for the two Onion trademarks, don’t miss the French Onion Gratinee soup, but skip the giant “Pass Around Onion Rings,” which are the size and texture of doughnuts. (JK, June 2004)|
Percy’s Café Americana(N)
|10502 E. Sprague Ave., 924-6022||Spokane Valley||American||$$|
Monday – Thursday:
11 a.m.– 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Sunday:10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
|This Valley institution serves simple food with good value. The menu is full of entrees that have stood the test of time: prime rib, steaks, chicken and seafood with a few pasta dishes. Try the French Peppered Filet of Sirloin, topped with mushrooms and flamed with brandy. The Potatoes Romanoff, mashed with garlic and cheese, is a house specialty side dish. Give the fish and chips and the sandwiches a try as well. You might want to avoid the salami, ham and mozzarella panini, which combined too many strong flavors. Service is friendly but casual, sometimes too casual. (JK, December 2004)|
206 N. Fourth St.,(208) 667-3640
|Coeur d’Alene||Cajun/ Italian||$$|
Tuesday – Saturday:11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
|This Coeur d’Alene storefront place is billed as Cajun-Italian, which sounds strange until you understand the logic. Chef Rick Alexander recently finished a year-and-a-half at the Culinary Institute of America in Baton Rouge, La. His wife and co-chef, Peggy(Marguerite) Alexander, is of Sicilian descent. So the menu contains Cajun and Italian specialties, but does not, thankfully, try to combine them. Try the Cajun-Style Gumbo and the Cajun Catfish on the Louisiana side of the menu, and try the Chicken Marsala and the Pollo Di Parma on the other. And don’t forget to try the Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce. Let the good times roll. (JK, June 2004)|
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