Despite the recent erratic weather – when I departed Walla Walla to return to Spokane on Sunday afternoon, I experienced sunshine, rain, hail and snow in less than an hour – spring is in the air post-pandemic-ish life with lovely outdoor weather, people venturing outside and indoors without face masks to dine out again and restaurants opening, reopening and/or booming with new and exciting menu options.
In other words, I’ve been dining at new places, visiting suggested and favorite spots and enjoying the new menus and libations in the culinary scene of Spokane. Here’s the latest sampling:
Ethan Stowell’s Victory Burger has opened in the Wonder Building, and it is an excellent new addition to the scene for those hankering for an excellent burger, a side of fries and beer and cocktail options. Victory is a solid choice for a fussy family – and group of friends – like mine who can at least agree (on occasion) that we all like burgers, with beer and cocktails for adults and group games for everyone in the Wonder Building.
Located in Stowell’s former Bosco Pasta & Panini (it was an impressively quick turnaround), Victory Burger has burger options named the Base Model, Victory Burger, Wonder Burger, Deluxe American Smash, Bulldog, Cowboy, Blue Moon, Southwest Smash, Veg Head with a Beyond patty and Super Bird with chicken breast.
On opening day March 10, I ordered a Victory Burger (American cheese, bread and butter pickles, shredded lettuce, tomato, onion and Victory sauce) and a Bulldog Burger (mushrooms, bacon, Swiss cheese and Dijonnaise), both with a side of dill pickle fries and an addition of applewood bacon, and I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, there were leftovers that were still delicious courtesy of my air fryer. Victory Burger for the win!
In more Wonder Building news, the Wonder Farmers Market will take place on Saturdays and Sundays this season from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. starting May 14 and continuing through Oct. 23. With flexible commitment, vendors – both indoors and outdoors – can participate on both days, one day or the other and even switch between Saturdays and Sundays.
Vendors of all kinds are welcome, including crafts, artists, farmers, dairy, produce, sweets and treats and more. Participation for the market is $15 for a single day and $20 for a weekend. The vendor application can be found at surveymonkey.com/r/ZX2TZ7Q.
If you go: 835 N. Post St., (509) 606-8900, ethanstowellrestaurants.com
Morsel by Rind and Wheat
Rind and Wheat owner and chef Ricky Webster, who writes the weekly “In the Kitchen With Ricky” column in Food in The Spokesman-Review, has soft-opened Morsel by Rind and Wheat in the former Fery’s Catering in medical row. I stopped by Thursday morning and purchased the new menu item the Portuguese brunch bowl (tomatoes with bell pepper and garlic, linguica, egg, ricotta and griddled focaccia). I loved it.
I also bought pesto pasta salad, a blondie (which is uh-MAH-zing) and my usual chocolate and savory (ham and cheese) croissants. The grand opening of Morsel is set for April 19. P.S. I returned Friday morning to purchase five blondies for the road trip to Walla Walla for the weekend – to share with family and friends, of course.
If you go: 421 S. Cowley St., (509) 609-5239, rindandwheat.com
Common Language Brewing Co.
My colleagues in Business reported the opening of Common Language Brewing Co. last week in The Spokesman-Review. CLBC is actually in The Spokesman-Review building, and I stopped by for a sneak peek on March 31 with my brother, Charles Chareunsy, who was visiting from Las Vegas, then the next evening during its soft opening, as I was at an event at Terra Blanca across the hallway.
I chatted briefly with Charlie Thudium, CLBC co-owner, co-founder, brewer and taproom manager, and enjoyed two different ciders over the two days. The owners and staff are friendly, and the vibe is casual and comfortable. I will definitely return.
If you go: 926 W. Sprague Ave., commonlanguagebrewing.com
It wouldn’t be another month in Spokane if Chad White wasn’t doing something new, and a recent lunch at Zona Blanca with my brother included two items from the recently launched Veracruz-inspired menu: Campechana (seafood cocktail with shrimp, clams and octopus) and Toritos de Camarones (shrimp and smoked tuna stuffed chiles).
In White’s signature style, both items are flavorful and spicy, and I would enjoy Campechana as an entrée any night of the week. About one week later, I introduced two friends to one of my new favorite classic cocktails the Cazuela Voladora (grapefruit, orange, lime, tequila, Squirt and a Fannie’s Ice Pop), and we sat on the new patio.
It was a chilly evening, but the patio is going to be a terrific nightcap spot this summer and autumn; I can’t wait! If you go: 157 S. Howard St., (509) 241-3385, limefishsalt.com
In super-exciting news, Michael Wiley’s Prohibition Gastropub is offering a Korean corn dog, and it is awesome! Inspired by my knowledgeable Food Finder Spokane friend Kris Kilduff and viral online posts, Wiley said, the Korean corn dog includes a beef hot dog, mozzarella, pancake batter, spicy mustard, poppy seeds and more.
Wiley said he sold about 50 of them on a recent Saturday. It’s understandable because it’s delicious, and I am still dreaming about them. So good!
If you go: 1914 N. Monroe St., (509) 474-9040, facebook.com/prohibition.gastropub.spokane1