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Running Tab: The Ultimate Roll at High Tide Lobster Bar – and thank you for being patient, Spokane

If the lobster roll, shrimp roll, crab roll and clam chowder weren’t already reason enough to stop at Chad White’s High Tide Lobster Bar, the “Top Chef” season 13 contestant has created another menu option with an apt name: the Ultimate Roll.

The Ultimate Roll is described as, to paraphrase the menu and sign, an epically delicious mix of crab, shrimp and lobster with tarragon mayo and Old Bay Seasoning.

I love seafood; therefore, I love crab, shrimp and lobster. Each of the three rolls is great – no, terrific – on its own, but the Ultimate Roll takes it to the next level because it contains more seafood than the other rolls.

For $1 more ($25), the Ultimate Roll, with Hawaiian barbecue chips, is a win-win situation – and an extra $7 for clam chowder and a drink is absolutely worth it.

High Tide Lobster Bar is located in the Wonder Building, 835 N. Post St., while the Numerica Building location is temporarily closed. For more information and to place an online order, visit hightidelobsterbar.com.

Wonder Fair

Speaking of the Wonder Building, the debut Wonder Fair on Aug. 1, by Evans Brothers Coffee, Ethan Stowell Restaurants (Bosco at the Wonder Building and Tavolata downtown) and Chad White Hospitality Group (High Tide Lobster Bar), was a success despite the rain and cooler weather.

An estimated 700 to 800 people made their way through the Sunday family-friendly event, and the three outlets said they saw a significant bump in business. An opportunity to dunk Stowell, White and Rick Evans, owner of Evans Brothers Coffee, probably didn’t hurt, either.

Bangkok Thai and Red Dragon

I can never eat enough Thai food, and Bangkok Thai on Trent has become a mainstay. In fact, I dined there twice within four days this month, both times for dinner. The second time wasn’t planned, but twist my arm.

I also wanted to revisit my Gonzaga days over the weekend and took my 10-year-old nephew Shawn to Red Dragon, 1406 W. Third Ave., which happens to be next door to Spokandy, one of his favorite places in town because of the milk chocolate bars.

My work-study job was near Red Dragon, and I had lunch there on a few occasions with my employers and colleagues. It has definitely changed in the last, ahem, 25 years, but the large portions of Chinese combination dinners remain the same, and I’ll definitely return.

What is new is the décor – a lot of fascinating Chinese artifacts and portraits – as well as an updated bar and lounge in the back. And I’m so proud of Shawn for trying egg flower soup for the first time to complement his favorite teriyaki chicken and pot stickers.

Customer service

But the reason I bring up both restaurants is because of the customer service and customers. It seems like every restaurant in town is hiring, and it’s no different at Bangkok Thai and Red Dragon. Service was friendly but slow in all three recent experiences. The dining rooms were busy, and DoorDash drivers were abundant.

I braced myself for customers to lose their tempers and yell, an experience that occurs all too often and makes me uncomfortable. But despite the long waits – at Bangkok Thai the first time, an unfortunate and very busy woman was the sole server for the dining areas and takeout – customers and drivers didn’t complain. Not a single raised voice was heard.

I wasn’t in a rush for any of the meals, and when the delicious food arrived at our table, my guests and I were happy – and later full – campers. So, I applaud you, Spokane, for being patient and kind. After all, we’re in this together.

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