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On the Road

A look at several Spokane area eateries

Whether it’s work or play, there are times when some of us have to head east to the second biggest city in Washington state. Spokane is a wasteland of greasy spoons, Zips drive-ins and strip mall offerings we all know by heart. So, what’s a foodie to do when in search of a good meal. Follow along and perhaps you’ll have a better experience than most when visiting from the Puget Sound.

Photo: Steak at the Italian Kitchen

Italian Kitchen

In comparison to the nearby, and assumedly more popular Luigi’s in downtown, the Italian kitchen has it all going on. Great food choices, a decent wine list, both by the bottle and the glass, and an inviting interior that is well kept. The dark inside is both romantic and much like what you might find in a quant Italian inn. Staff members are well-trained, seasoned veterans.

More information is at italiankitchenspokane.com

Wild Sage

This happening downtown bistro features dining both up and downstairs. Creative offerings are sent straight to your table or may work their way upstairs via a modern day dumb waiter. While it’s few and far between in this neck of the woods, Wild Sage is working with mostly organic ingredients sourced locally. Cocktails are inventive, and the wine list runs deep with options from all over the world. Gluten free options are available here as well.

Visit them at www.wildsagebistro.com

Clinkerdagger

Looking for an early dinner? Well, who isn’t in Spokane? The Clinkerdagger has been serving up its steakhouse Americana for decades and continues to be one of the best views in the Spokane Area. Situated on the river, there’s hardly a bad seat in the house. On a scale of 1 to 5 we’ll give them a passing three on food quality. While many would be happy with that, culinary aficionados may find it a notch below satisfactory. The rotating wine list (we’re thinking probably most wine lists are rotating to some degree) features some decent local and California offerings, and their creative cocktail list hasn’t failed us yet. On most days, the last seating is at 8 p.m.

Dig the old-world charm at clinkerdagger.com

Spencer’s Steakhouse

As Big Ag takes over the farms and ranches of America, Spencer’s mirrors the state of the Big Food industry. You’d have to wonder if Conagra and Monsanto weren’t the financial backers here. Steaks here are all corn-fed, no-doubt with GMO infested corn (because that’s what people like?) and pretty much flavorless; tasteless sauces abound, and the accompanying veggies are as bland as you might find at the hospital. This is one of the most expensive restaurants in town with the least amount of value when it comes to what you get. We won’t be back.

So yeah – why provide you with the website address on this line?

Main Street Market Co-op

Most of the hotel breakfast offerings we’ve experienced in Spokane are mediocre at best. If you’re in search for healthier options, one choice you have is the Main Street Market Co-op, located downtown and walkable from most hotels. Here you can pick up some yogurt, bulk oatmeal and fresh berries and create your own parfait or select a wrap from their hot enclosure. Just be advised, some wraps are bulked heavily with potatoes. Grab-and-go sandwiches are available too. On nice days there’s outdoor dining.

Find out more at www.mainmarket.coop

Huckleberry’s

Another shining star in the breakfast and quick lunch category is Huckleberry’s Market and it’s 9th Street Bistro, located inside the store, which is located up the hill from downtown in the very residential Manito district. A full-service breakfast bar is stocked full of ingredients that won’t send you to the restroom after you eat them (no sulfites here), as well as a full-service deli that’s churning throughout the day.

They’re online at www.huckleberrysnaturalmarket.com

Longhorn BBQ Food Concession at Expo

Originally out of Texas, the Longhorn BBQ empire encompasses several locations in Washington State and rules the concession at the Spokane County Expo and Fairgrounds. It’s fascinating to see a staff so synchronized and  operating flawlessly in a food concession, but here they are. Where the operation falls short is on food quality. While we don’t expect miracles from a fairground food concession, we do expect proteins that don’t taste gamey or old, and a BBQ sauce that screams ‘awesome’ from a long-time purveyor of the spit. The highlight was the German dog, subbing crisp and not-oily onion rings instead of the fries.

More info about Longhorn can be found at thelonghornbbq.com

Patrick Thomas/April 2018


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