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A&E >  Food

New Spokane frozen yogurt store offers healthy assortment

Steve Kraft calls Froyo Earth the first store in his chain.

The new self-serve frozen yogurt store opened last week near First Avenue and Division Street for cool treats. Customers can choose from 10 frozen flavors – including yogurt and sorbet – and top them with fresh fruits, cereals, candies, syrups and other goodies. Serve yourself a little or a lot, and pay 39 cents an ounce.

Kraft believes it is important to treat yourself. Frozen yogurt is a great way to do that, he says.

“We hope the people in Spokane will think of the great taste and that they’re getting a healthier treat,” when they think of Froyo Earth, he says.

Froyo Earth serves YoCream products, based in Portland. Many of the flavors are fat free and all of the yogurts meet the National Yogurt Association’s guidelines for live and active cultures. Probiotics, also called “good bacteria,” have been touted recently for potential health benefits to the digestive system.

The opening lineup of flavors includes Alpine Vanilla and Cable Car Chocolate, Original Tart and Pistachio, Sweet Coconut and Hawaiian Pineapple, Very Strawberry and Red Velvet Cake yogurts. Each of those duos can be swirled together. The Georgia Peach and Mango Tango sorbets also can be swirled.

The store is a family affair. Kraft, formerly in medical device sales, owns the store with his wife, Karen. His daughter Olivia Kraft has helped get the shop open and works there, as well. The photography on the walls was taken by daughter Xanthe Kraft, who is studying at Stanford University.

Kraft says he’s confident the timing is right for new frozen yogurt stores in the area, and he’s hoping to open more Froyo Earth outlets.

Froyo Earth, 172 S. Division St., Suite B, is open 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, as well as Sunday. On Friday and Saturday, the store stays open until 11 p.m.

Triple D ideas

The Food Network’s Guy Fieri is set to be in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene this month to film episodes for his show “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.”

So, a few weeks back I asked readers where they would send him if they could. Ideas for the Inland Northwest’s best diners, drive-ins and dives came pouring in via e-mail, phone and Facebook.

I didn’t get a chance to write or call everyone back, but my thanks to all who took the time to send a recommendation.

Suggestions are presented here without judgment, although I do think a few people may have misunderstood the theme of the show or haven’t really watched it.

Here’s what readers said, followed by the number of people who suggested each eatery in parenthesis:

Dick’s Hamburgers, 10 E. Third Ave., Spokane (14)

Frank’s Diner, 1516 W. Second Ave., Spokane (12)

Ferrante’s Marketplace Cafe, 4516 S. Regal St., Spokane (9)

Hudson’s Hamburgers, 207 E. Sherman Ave., Coeur d’Alene (7)

Knight’s Diner, 2909 N. Market St., Spokane (5)

Dolly’s Corner Cafe, 1825 N. Washington St., Spokane (5)

Mike’s Burger Royal, 6115 E. Trent Ave., Spokane Valley (4)

Pete’s Pizza, 821 E. Sharp Ave. or 2328 W. Northwest Blvd., Spokane (3)

DeLeon’s Mexican Deli, 102 E. Francis Ave., Spokane (3)

Donut Parade, 2152 N. Hamilton St., Spokane (2)

Chicken ’n’ More, 414  ½ W. Sprague Ave., Spokane (2)

Clayton Drive-in, 4535 Railroad Ave., Clayton, Wash. (2)

Dave’s Bar and Grill, 12124 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley (2)

Globe Bar and Grill, 204 N. Division St., Spokane (2)

Hill’s Restaurant and Lounge, 401 W. Main Ave., Spokane (2)

Longhorn Barbecue, 7611 W. Sunset Highway, Airway Heights (2)

Mission Bistro, 2002 E. Mission Ave., Spokane (2)

Red Lion Barbecue, 126 N. Division St., Spokane (2)

Swinging Doors, 1018 W. Francis Ave., Spokane (2)

Wall Street Diner, 4428 N. Wall St., Spokane (2)

White House Grill, 712 N. Spokane St., Post Falls (2)

Restaurants below had one suggestion each:


Cheney: Lenny’s

Colville: Ronnie D’s

Kettle Falls: Sandy’s

Spokane: Azar’s, Chaps, Clinkerdagger, Crazy G’s, Commellini’s, D’Lish, Elk, Flying J, Geno’s, Hogan’s Hamburgers, Hong Kong Express, Jack and Dan’s, Picabu Bistro, Lindaman’s, Mama Mia’s, Moose Crossing, Old European Restaurant, Olive It, Outlaw Cafe, Papa Murphy’s, Perry Street Cafe, Rocket Bakery, Screaming Yak, Sportsman Cafe, Staggering Ox, Steam Plant Grill, Stir, Steer In, Twigs Bistro, Viking, Waffles Plus, Wolfy’s

Wilbur: Billy Burger Drive-In


Bonners Ferry: Badger’s Den

Clarkston: Rooster’s Landing

Coeur d’Alene: Wolf Lodge Inn

Lewiston: Effie Tavern

Murray: Sprag Pole Museum

Ponderay: Hoot Owl Cafe

Post Falls: G.W. Hunters, Hot Rod Cafe

Sandpoint: Arlo’s

Wallace: Taste of Aloha

Cafe Marron is now Italia Trattoria

Owners Anna Vogel and Bethe Bowman purchased the Browne’s Addition restaurant from Marcia and William Bond.

They opened last week offering a menu which combines the best flavors and cooking styles of northern and southern Italy.

Dinner entrees range in price from $15 to $20 and include Barollo braised pork cheeks with borlotti beans and chard ($16); albacore steak, grilled ratatouille, potato confit and taggiasca olives ($18); and Anderson Ranch lamb T-bone, eggplant caponata, potato gnocchi and minty tomato salad ($20).

Pasta dishes include spaghetti with meatballs and red sauce ($13), papardelle lamb ragu ($14) and gnocchi with roasted tomato sauce ($13).

The lunch menu is awash in delightful-sounding bruschetta. Tuna crudo, capers and garlic oil ($11), gorgonzola and Walla Walla sweet onion agrodolce ($10), and white bean puree, tomato and mint salad ($10) are just three of the eight options, each served with salad.

Lunchtime salads and sandwiches, pastas and soups range from $7 to $12.

Vogel is the former chef at Luna. She moved to the area after working in restaurants in Sydney, Australia; New York City and Boston, before moving to the Northwest to become Tom Douglas’ corporate chef in Seattle for 9  1/2 years.

Bowman manages the front of the house.

A weekend brunch will be served from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Italia Trattoria, 144 S. Cannon St., is open Tuesday through Friday for lunch, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner is served 3 p.m. to close, Tuesday through Sunday.

Call (509) 459-6000 for information or reservations.

Wine Spectator honors Max at Mirabeau

Spokane Valley’s Max at Mirabeau was honored by a recent award from Wine Spectator magazine – for the third year.

The restaurant earned a 2010 Award of Excellence for emphasizing wine selection, service and menu pairing. Fewer than 4,000 restaurants in the world are given the award each year.

Here’s a bunch of other restaurant and food news from the in-case-you-missed-it department, first reported by my colleagues in the business pages of The Spokesman-Review:

Panda Express will be the new dining option at Gonzaga University. The Chinese restaurant is going into the former Pandini’s at Cataldo Hall. It is opening this fall.

Savory is expanding the former Blockbuster Video at 1314 S. Grand Blvd. for a restaurant that will serve contemporary American cuisine relying as much as possible on foods grown locally. The interior has about 4,350 square feet and is designed for about 165 seats. About 75 seats are planned for an outdoor patio on the building’s east side.

See an artist’s drawing of the restaurant on the Office Hours blog on our website, blogs/officehours. A September opening is planned.

Sawtooth Grill has closed and Sushi Maru, a Bellevue kaiten sushi restaurant, will open in that location on the first floor of River Park Square.

Kaiten sushi uses conveyor belts and colored plates to allow customers to choose what they want as it passes the table. “Kaiten zushi,” in Japanese, means “turnover sushi.”

Owner Paul Choi hopes to open the new restaurant Thanksgiving weekend.

White House Grill lovers will be happy to know that owner Raci Erdem is opening a restaurant in the former Lazy Bones Barbecue location, 4334 S. Regal St.

The West Wing will have a menu similar to his Post Falls restaurants, The White House and The Oval Office, featuring Mediterranean dishes and garlic. He’s planning a September opening.

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