Patrons looking to sample Indigenous Eats’ Native American comfort food might have to get in line.
Jenny Slagle and her husband, Andrew, opened the restaurant to much fanfare Monday in a 1,900-square-foot space formerly occupied by Bruchi’s Cheesesteaks & Subs at 829 E. Boone Ave., Suite E, in the Logan neighborhood.
On opening day, a line of folks extended out of the restaurant’s door and around the block, Jenny Slagle said.
“It definitely has exceeded expectations,” Slagle said. “We were eight fry bread short of selling out.”
The restaurant’s signature item is fry bread – a flat dough bread fried in oil – prepared using a recipe by Slagle’s mother.
The eatery also serves Indian tacos, taco salads and rice bowls.
Customers can choose to add ground beef, ground bison and chicken to each item, in addition to a variety of toppings, including cheese, lettuce, sour cream and salsa.
“The bison has been a big hit,” Slagle said. “People are liking the seasoning.”
Jenny Slagle is a member of the Yakama Nation and descendant of the Northern Arapaho Tribe.
Slagle, who is also a member of the Spokane Public School Board, was raised on the Yakama Reservation before moving to Spokane more than 21 years ago.
The Slagle’s idea to open Indigenous Eats was sparked by their involvement in the Gathering at the Falls Pow Wow, an annual event held at Riverfront Park to celebrate Native American arts and culture, Slagle told The Spokesman-Review in June.
For several years, the Slagles, with help from their four kids, operated an Indian taco stand at the event. Jenny Slagle’s mother prepared the fry bread sold at the stand.
When the Slagles traveled to Denver in 2018, they dined at Tocabe: An American Indian Eatery and it further jump-started their idea for a restaurant with a similar concept.
The Slagles began the planning process for the restaurant last year. They looked at several potential locations before finding the former Bruchi’s space near Gonzaga University.
The Slagles obtained financing for the restaurant via Craft3, a community development financial institution headquartered in Oregon with an office in Spokane, and a grant from the Empire Health Community Advocacy Fund.
The restaurant, since opening, has attracted both Spokane-area residents and out-of-town visitors, Slagle said.
“We are already getting traffic off of I-90, so that’s great,” Slagle said.
Indigenous Eats is open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.