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With the presidential election on Nov. 3 weighing heavily on my mind, I decided that I would finally drive over to Post Falls to check out the White House Grill and the Oval Office Bistro & Martini Bar. Why not drink away reality – responsibly, of course – for one afternoon, right? Sunday was the chosen day.
The weather could not have been more perfect for the opening day of Fairwood Farmers Market this season last week. In fact, it rained the next day, so the timing could not have been better.
I remain an optimist despite this challenging time of the coronavirus pandemic and being a longtime member of a profession with a reputation for sarcastic, hardened and bitter reporters and editors.
It seems as if there is always a new restaurant popping up here and there in Spokane and the surrounding areas, and it’s a challenge to keep up with all the openings – but I’ll try. Truthfully for this first New on the Menu column, I’m playing catch-up. Here are some of my latest stops in the vibrant culinary scene.
The Spokesman-Review’s photo editor, Liz Kishimoto, and I have a number of important things in common. She and I are the only minority managers at this 136-year-old newspaper and carry the diversity flag proudly. We both live in this city that isn’t known for its ethnic cuisine, but I have been pleasantly surprised since returning to the Lilac City in April.
One of my remaining big aspirations in life is to become a father. Single or with a husband, I would like to be called Dad before I die. In the meantime, being called Uncle Don is pretty fantastic, too. (And perhaps will do, but that’s another story.)
Moving is difficult – duh, right? – but beyond the challenges of physically transporting your home from one place to another, a few aspects of relocating to a new city that are sometimes overlooked are the loneliness, loss of community and the unknown of a new city.
Life can sometimes be monotonous even in the best of circumstances, so it’s a nice boost when an unexpected source of inspiration arises. And, in this instance, it was four.
“Are there any good restaurants in Spokane?” the young couple from Seattle asked me, with a slight air of superiority, during a wedding reception in Northern California on June 8. I responded without missing a beat, “Absolutely! Spokane’s food scene is burgeoning, and it’s an exciting time. Farm-to-table dining is top notch, with the freshest of vegetables and fruits. The craft beer and wine scenes are thriving. There are restaurants with excellent cocktails and views to match.”
Whether $5 or $500, the food just needs to be good. This has been my mantra while writing about food for the past 15 years in my 23-year career as a journalist, which also has included the coverage areas of news, celebrities, nightlife, music, arts and entertainment. Whether it’s Sonic Drive-In or steak and seafood, hot dogs or Jose Andres, apple pie or Adam Hegsted, the food just needs to be good.
There’s nothing quite like the opening night of a new show in Las Vegas. The Who’s Who of Sin City are all there and they’re dressed to impress.