In accession to actuality accepted for its allegorical 5-pound pizza-eating claiming that’s assuredly acquired added than a few contenders abundant added than a stomachache, Pizza Rita is a abundant bounded collective for non-extreme eaters, too. “I like the actuality that they are locally owned,” says Best Of aborigine Carla Stevenson. “[They’re] actual friendly, and they do fun business promotions which makes their barter and affiliated Facebook admirers feel like allotment of their family.” (CS)
2nd PLACE: The Flying Goat; 3rd PLACE (tie): Bennidito’s, South Perry Pizza; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Blaze Artisan Pizza, CdA
With added than two dozen locations beyond Washington (and several added in Oregon and Florida), Azteca is abounding locals’ go-to abode aback they’re appetite south-of-the-border cooking. This family-owned beanery has huge arrangement on its menu, alignment from burritos and enchiladas to fajitas and sopas. The acquiescently decorated, accurate hacienda atmosphere calmly makes diners feel like they’re not affiliated in the U.S. anymore. Azteca has “very affable staff, and consistently accomplished aliment with absurd presentation,” says West Central citizen Cheryl Steele. (CS)
2nd PLACE: Rancho Chico; 3rd PLACE: Casa De Oro
If you actually adulation sushi — or are a bit on the fence about ingesting raw, water-dwelling creatures — Sushi.com’s assorted card has article for both the pickiest and best adventuresome eaters, from vegetarian-friendly book to acceptable Japanese dishes. Of course, its sushi (both raw and cooked) is the menu’s capital attraction. Inlander clairvoyant Kirsten Nolan had aloof accomplished cafeteria from Sushi.com aback she told us its “quality is superb, the portions are generous, the prices are bashful and the agents are charming. I feel like I’m accepting the absolute accord and not advantageous for a sushi façade.” (CS)
2nd PLACE: Amber Asian Bistro; 3rd PLACE: Sushi Maru; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Syringa, CdA
Best HOT WINGS
With 26 abode sauces, including flavors like orange amber and mango habanero, there’s not absolutely any way you could get annoyed of bistro hot wings at Flamin’ Joes. Wing lovers and hot booze lovers affiliated can basically set their mouths on blaze at this abode with the Code Red sauce, nicknamed the “widow maker.” Inlander clairvoyant Russell Spellman says “Flamin’ Joe’s has some abundant tasting hot wings at the best price!” (CS)
2nd PLACE: Hooters; 3rd PLACE: The Flying Goat; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Wing Stop, CdA
BEST KID-FRIENDLY RESTAURANT | BEST BURGERS
Crayons, appearance pages and a acceptable kids card are all acceptable architect for parents, and Red Robin has all of this and more, readers acquaint us. Longtime, now-retired arctic Spokane citizen Pam Meyer says she’s enjoyed demography her accouchement and grandkids to Red Robin, breadth agents “treat them as customers, and the kids are abounding aback they leave and they accept fun while they’re there.” Aback it comes to burgers, Red Robin has won this class 12 times now. Spokanite William Ailes: “I accept never had a characterless or bad meal there. Abounding added places either accept bad French chips or bad hamburgers — not Red Robin.” (CS)
Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant: 2nd PLACE: Chuck E. Cheese’s; 3rd PLACE: Tomato Street
Best Burgers: 2nd PLACE: Five Guys; 3rd PLACE: D. Lish’s; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Hudson’s, CdA
BEST ASIAN FOOD
GORDY’S SICHUAN CAFE
Known for its afresh able dishes featuring complex, apple-pie flavors, Gordy’s has the acceptability of actuality one of Spokane’s best-kept aliment secrets. But aback it’s won this class added than once, maybe it’s not so abundant of a abstruse anymore. Either way, it’s a abode to absolutely put on your local-restaurants-to-try list. Gonzaga Prep Spanish abecedary Joelle Traynor says bistro at Gordy’s is affiliated to dining at a abutting friend’s home. “I about go out for banquet on Thursday nights with a accumulation of absolutely fun women,” she says. “Gordy’s is one of our admired takeout places. We all adjustment altered dishes from the menu, and I adulation every distinct one!” (CS)
2nd PLACE: Mustard Seed (HOF); 3rd PLACE: P.F. Chang’s; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Bonsai Bistro, CdA
Inlander readers agree: The delay is able-bodied account it for breakfast at Frank’s. “The account is consistently good, affiliated admitting it’s consistently crazy busy,” says South Hill citizen Terra Haig. The hustle and bustle of this archetypal bounded booth is what gives it its charm, says Ana Horton of Greenacres. “It’s crowded, it’s loud; it’s bacon and hashbrowns; it’s adorable and it’s all beginning adapted and appropriate in your face — I adulation it!” she says. The old alternation car adapted into a adequate restaurant can’t be beat, says Kelli Hawkins. “Only the luckiest barter get the bench abutting to Frank the Conductor.” (CS)
2nd PLACE: Old European; 3rd PLACE: Chaps; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Michael D’s, CdA
BEST WINE LIST | BEST APPETIZERS
Inlander clairvoyant Dave Jessel has been a approved Twigs chump aback its arctic ancillary breadth opened several years ago and appreciates the competent bar staff, abstruse in the restaurant’s assorted wine offerings. Jessel says the agents can explain Twigs’ wine account in such detail that it’s “almost as if they were tasting with words.” Aback it comes to appetizers, Twigs offers arrangement of adorable agency to alpha a meal, from Butternut Squash Flatbread to Ahi Sashimi. Says arctic ancillary citizen Stephanie Bowman: “It’s usually our aboriginal aces if we are activity out for a date night or banquet with friends.” (CS/LW)
Best Wine List: 2nd PLACE: Scratch; 3rd PLACE: Luna
Best Appetizers: 2nd PLACE: Zola; 3rd PLACE: Clinkerdagger (HOF); NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Bardenay, CdA
Best LOCAL WINERY
ARBOR CREST WINE CELLARS
In accession to accepting one of the best amazing vistas and breadth in the region, Arbor Crest’s winemakers do a added than appropriate job at crushing grapes and axis them into article appetizing to imbibe. Liberty Lake citizen Carla Stevenson voted for the winery as No. 1 in the breadth for added than a few reasons. “Their agents is actual affable and they accept creative, fun contest that account the community, and their wines are wonderful,” she says. “We are all advantageous to accept them here!” (CS)
2nd PLACE: Barrister Winery; 3rd PLACE: Latah Creek Wine Cellars; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Coeur d’Alene Cellars
BEST BEST GLUTEN-FREE MENU OPTIONS
BOOTS BAKERY & LOUNGE
A chump sits abaft his laptop at one of the continued board tables in aback of the bakery/bar as buyer Alison Collins walks by. He stops her to say “Alison,” his angle pointing to the credibility on his plate, “That’s absolutely good. That’s absolutely good.”
Hearing adulation that her broiled appurtenances backpack a acidity punch, abnormally aback addition says they can’t acquaint it’s vegan or gluten-free, is Collins’ favorite.
Boots Bakery is absolutely vegan and about 95 percent of the aliment is gluten-free, but aback Collins opened Boots mid-June she didn’t set out to accomplish it that way. It aloof arrangement of happened.
As a vegan, Collins began crafting her own recipes because she anticipation vegans lacked broiled appurtenances options. It all tasted like granola to her — dry and terrible, she says. So she set to baking, but it took several months afore she got her recipes dialed in.
“I fabricated a lot of hockey pucks in my time afore I got it right,” she says.
She admits it’s adamantine to acquisition places that accept the gluten-free/vegan “double whammy,” and it doesn’t consistently assume enticing.
“It sounds attached and one-track,” she says. “But it doesn’t accept to be that way. So that’s what we try to do.”
Boots has both the candied and the savory. Cupcakes, brownies, cookies, broiled vegetables, curried lentils, and macaroni and cheese are some of what ample the advanced case.
The gluten-free macaroni and cheese, fabricated with amber rice pasta, uses a “cheesy sauce” of bright tofu, garlic and onion and is tossed with greens and mushrooms.
The arrangement of cupcakes — about all gluten-free — tempts anyone who affiliated dares attending at them. The ambrosial Mexican amber cupcake is a prime archetype of Collins’ addiction to accomplish booze-infused broiled goods, with addition actuality her signature boozy brownie.
But be warned: Boots doesn’t accept a menu, or affiliated a alternating menu. They aloof accomplish whatever they appetite ceremony day, Collins says. One acumen is that their aftermath comes beginning from farmers; addition is that it would drive her crazy not to.
“It would be maddening to me to accomplish the aforementioned things every day,” Collins says.
But she’s not afraid about her carelessness actuality a deterrent. “People appear actuality every day because it’s never the same,” she says.
— JO MILLER
2nd PLACE: Wild Sage; 3rd PLACE: The Melting Pot
When you’re appetite a abuse acceptable deli-style sandwich — we’re talking one loaded with meat, veggies and whatever abroad you like — there’s one abode in boondocks that Inland Northwesterners accede acme the bill. “Domini’s has the best sandwiches in Spokane,” says longtime citizen Pam Meyer. “The aliment is fresh, the meat is accumulated so high, and they accomplish it aloof they way I appetite it. The aboriginal chaw is consistently a challenge.” Sally Poutiatine agrees, calling the boutique a “Spokane institution” for accepting “the best alarming sandwiches in the universe. Account is consistently with a smile, and you’re advised like family.” (CS)
2nd PLACE: Jimmy John’s; 3rd PLACE: The Aerial Nooner
Pasta, pizza, parmigiana and Pallame are aloof a few mainstays on Tomato Street’s card that should get your aperture watering. “Tomato Street is a absolute storm of ambiance, acceptable aliment and absurd service,” says north-side citizen Jason Rubadue. Others agree, including Karen Robinson of the Shadle neighborhood, who says Tomato Street is an ideal abode to accommodated accompany and ancestors for a fun and active meal, as able-bodied as a nice banquet date. “The Tomato Street staff, in their all-embracing hats, amusement us like ancestors and the garlic aliment keeps us advancing aback over and over again,” she says. (CS)
2nd PLACE: Luigi’s (HOF); 3rd PLACE: Italian Kitchen
Not to average places or anything, but Spokane’s hip folk apperceive that Neato Burrito, tucked off Aboriginal Avenue beyond from The Davenport, is breadth it’s at, and by that we beggarly added than aloof actively amazing burritos. “The aliment is fresh, hot, local, healthy, bargain and yummy,” says Kate Robbins, who works as a GED instructor. “So are the agents and ambiance,” Robbins adds. She additionally loves Neato for the arrangement of air-conditioned culture-y things accident there, from bounded art on the walls to balladry slams, pub science nights and approved alive music. “It’s all fun, adorable and nutritious.” (CS)
2nd PLACE: Atilano’s; 3rd PLACE: Slick Rock
BEST CHEAP EATS
Unlike some of its fast-food alternation counterparts, Dick’s doesn’t skimp on the affection of its food, affiliated admitting you can eat there for bald abridged change. Afraid to its old-school roots, banknote is all you can use to ample yourself up, so accomplish abiding you appear prepared, or you’ll leave aghast in yourself as the adorable balm of frying oil wafts through the air. “When you airing up to the window at Dick’s, you apperceive you’re accepting a hamburger, fabricated the American way in august cheese-bun-sauce-beef-pickle goodness,” says Spokane Valley citizen Rick Lloyd. (CS)
2nd PLACE: Atilano’s; 3rd PLACE: Zip’s
Whether you’re the affectionate of being who consistently goes for the safe — yet still appetizing — adjustment of Phad Thai noodles, or accede yourself a added adventuresome booth whose ambition is to try aggregate on Thai Bamboo’s assorted and acutely assorted menu, you’re apprenticed to be annoyed and abounding aback you leave. Joshua Richter, who lives in the Mead area, says he frequents Thai Bamboo for its abundant food, service, prices and portions. “The atmosphere of the restaurant is actual inviting, and the agents are actual courteous,” Richter says. (CS)
2nd PLACE: Linnie’s Thai Cuisine; 3rd PLACE: Bangkok Thai
Twelve years ago, Will Burris affiliated into a Chinese dynasty. The roots of its ability were in aliment rather than political rule: an continued ancestors that had endemic and operated dozens of Asian restaurants throughout Washington accompaniment aback the 1930s. The Chinese Gardens? Peking North? Chan’s Dragon Inn? All of them (still) run by Burris’ in-laws.
Like any ancestors business, it was alone accustomed that Burris, a longtime cook, became allotment of it.
“One day my mother-in-law said to me, ‘Tomorrow. Nine o’clock. You’re activity to go with me and apprentice the menu.’ So I adapted with her for a brace years, and that’s how I got captivated into the family,” says Burris, analytical over brave John Lennon-esque spectacles. “Then we absitively to expand.”
The aboriginal Red Dragon Charge to breach from the burghal “mothership” was anchored in a “dingy little band mall” on Francis. Quick account and abundant aliment were its strengths, which anon led to a adherent chump base.
Around 2009, Burris and his wife Namva spotted a longtime bar for auction in Hillyard. It bare some austere TLC, but at atomic they would own the bounds absolute instead of renting. “It was a appealing big project. Bigger than I anticipation it was activity to be. We were a little bit worried” about accident audience during the change of location, he says, “but we opened the doors, and in bisected an hour we were full.”
The new Red Dragon is abundant added than charge with an eat-in area. It’s a full-service restaurant with history addition in every direction. The architecture itself has ghosts and Prohibition-era secrets. And the restaurant continues Red Dragon’s reliable charge account as able-bodied as the comestible bequest of the Chan family.
“This is Chinese-American food,” says Burris. “It’s almond chicken, sweet-and-sour pork. You can go nouveau, Aliment Network-type stuff, but I’m aggravating to break accurate to the archetypal ancestors Chinese restaurant.” He says he’s “channeling a ’50s Chinese restaurant vibe,” which is axiomatic in the retro-modern décor that his wife has installed throughout. “It was absolutely deliberate. She’s got a acceptable eye.”
Even admitting he’s allowance the Chan absolutism advance in the 21st century, Burris knows that assemblage ability apperceive him as laowai, or Western, and catechism Red Dragon’s cultural credentials.
He smiles. “I aloof acquaint them I’m adopted.”
— E.J. IANNELLI
2nd PLACE: Noodle Express; 3rd PLACE: Gordy’s Sichuan
BEST LOCAL BREWERY
The brewery ahead accepted as Northern Lights has been acquisition some big awards this accomplished year, and administration is accretion to Seattle, Colorado, the D.C. breadth and, best recently, Sweden. But the brewery isn’t apathy its roots — all capacity are still locally sourced, and the bottles are mini billboards of Spokane pride — and so far it doesn’t assume like the hometown army minds sharing, abnormally aback we can alcohol beeline from the antecedent at the brewhouse. “I chose No-Li not alone for their beer, but for their card as well,” says aborigine Amber Greaves. She recommends the agreeable portobello burger, abnormally for vegetarians: “It’s absurd commutual with their Stellar Stout.” (LW)
2nd PLACE: Iron Goat Brewing; 3rd PLACE: Twelve String Brewing; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Laughing Dog, Sandpoint
There are affluence of affidavit The Rocket Bakery is so admired — for LuAnne Swainson of Spokane Valley, it’s the “delicious aromas, ambrosial flavors, adequate ambiance and the abounding acceptable locations to accommodated up with friends.” Amy Amber says she stops by assorted Rocket locations on Saturday morning walks with her dad and sister. “Even admitting I consistently adjustment a cheese bagel, which is delicious, I consistently dig into my sister’s biscuit roll,” she says. The affable agents got the vote from Karla Kimberling of Spokane Valley: “I’ve gone in there afterwards a animated afternoon,” she says, “and larboard there with a smile and activity abundant bigger because their agents is so friendly.” (LW)
2nd PLACE: Rockwood Bakery; 3rd PLACE: Petit Chat Bakery; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Bakery By The Lake, CdA
Trying to accept aloof one blazon of cupcake from the bright affectation at Candied Frostings can be overwhelming. But Amy Frost from the South Hill says she voted for their cupcakes for one simple reason: the frosting. “I don’t apperceive what they put in it, but there is article special,” she says. “Call it love, alarm it appropriate burghal sugar, maybe a little chrism cheese? It will leave you academic and absent more! I accept been to weddings that bankrupt the accord with Candied Frostings cupcakes, and there is no sweeter adulation than those.” (LW)
2nd PLACE: Celebrations Candied Boutique; 3rd PLACE: Frosted Cupcakes, CdA
The baby boutique abreast Gonzaga is a authentication of Spokane, says Alyssa Agee of the Garland District. “It makes my absolute appointment berserk blessed every time I accompany in a dozen donuts from the Donut Parade,” she says. Peter Troyer agrees, and he should know: “I accept been in law administration aback 1974, and accordingly accede myself abundantly able to adjudicator the aerial nuances amid acceptable donuts and abundant donuts,” he says. “Airiness, texture, aftereffect and aftereffect are all factors. The Parade knocks it out of the esplanade in all categories, but it’s the adequate ambiance that sets it afar from all competitors.” (LW)
2nd PLACE: Krispy Kreme; 3rd PLACE: Mike’s Donuts; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Donut House, Hayden
BEST FROZEN YOGURT
Red velvet, affluence blackberry, cheesecake, pumpkin, Nutella, broiled marshmallow, Georgia peach, absolute caramel, pistachio — is your aperture watering yet? Because that’s not affiliated abutting to all the alternating flavors begin at Froyo Earth’s four Spokane-area stores. Factor in the affluence of toppings and it’s bright why they accept affluence of fans, including Meredith Coleman of Kendall Yards: “I like Froyo Earth because of their acceptable burghal location, arrangement of flavors and alarming toppings,” she says. “Plus, they consistently accept low-fat block concoction on hand!” (LW)
2nd PLACE: Blu Berry; 3rd PLACE: Didier’s; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Jamms, CdA
When it comes to what sets Churchill’s Steakhouse apart, physician Kelly Jones of Five Mile says it comes bottomward to one word: perfection: “It’s not aloof about the best amazing steak in Spokane but the accomplished dining experience. Abundant location, admirable ambiance, able waitstaff and superb aliment equals accomplishment every time. The best steak in Spokane by far.” (LW)
2nd PLACE: Spencer’s; 3rd PLACE: Wolf Lodge Inn, CdA
BEST LOCAL DRIVE-THRU ESPRESSO
A stop by one of the Dutch Bros. coffee shops is aloof allotment of the morning accepted for affluence of folks, but it’s not one they booty for granted. The baristas do a abundant job every time, says Sierra Ramos of West Central: “Their prices are great, the Americanos are superb, and best of all the baristas are wonderful. They accept with a smile on their faces aback you babble about the half-marathon you aloof ran while you’re decrepit in diaphoresis and dying for a quick pick-me-up.” (LW)
2nd PLACE: Wake Up Call; 3rd PLACE: Jacob’s Java
BEST OUTDOOR DINING
THE ELK PUBLIC HOUSE
It started activity absolutely like bounce in Spokane aback The Elk Public Abode in Browne’s Accession started ambience up the gates that transform winter sidewalk into summertime patio. It’s a abundant abode to adhere out afterwards work, says aborigine Jeff Bruebaker. “They accept abundant aliment and they are consistently abundant hosts,” he says. Heidi Piccirello of Millwood says she’s been a angel of The Elk (and its brethren, Moontime and Two Seven) for added than 15 years. “The owners are common and it resonates through their staff,” she says. “The Elk has a abundant atmosphere and affiliated bigger food.” (LW)
2nd PLACE: Mizuna (HOF); 3rd PLACE: Clinkerdagger (HOF); NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Bardenay, CdA
Best LOCAL COFFEE SHOP | BEST LOCAL COFFEE ROASTER
Thomas Hammer voters aren’t aloof loyal to the brand, but to their accurate shop. Jeffery Jackson of Post Avalanche says it’s a acceptable stop aback he’s active to Coeur d’Alene: “They are actual affable and accomplish a abundant accomplished mocha latte for me,” he says. Nicole Wittwer frequents the burghal boutique in the Chase Building, breadth she works. “I like acknowledging our bounded coffee baking companies,” she says. Conrad Kovash of Spokane says Thomas Hammer is the No. 1 broiler in his book for three reasons: “Commitment to his product, charge to his barter and charge to his staff,” he says. “Does not get abundant bigger than that.” (LW)
Best Bounded Coffee/Espresso Boutique 2nd PLACE: Atticus; 3rd PLACE: The Rocket (HOF); NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Kootenai Coffee, CdA
Best Coffee Broiler 2nd PLACE: Cravens Coffee; 3rd PLACE: Cafe Doma
NORTH IDAHO’S BEST FINE DINING
FLEUR DE SEL
If accomplished dining equals expensive, again Fleur de Sel owners Patricia and Laurent Zirotti curiosity at acceptable the “fine dining” class for Arctic Idaho.
“My ancestors was actual blue-collar,” explains Laurent, “but my mother consistently fabricated it bigger than it was. Not adorned food, but she fabricated it so well.”
Sure, there are linen napkins, glassy table settings, an admirable wine list, and anxiety are about required, but the Zirottis see their aliment as appealing rustic.
“Classic aliment with a twist,” says chef Laurent.
That doesn’t beggarly things don’t complete big-ticket (or exotic). Snails in breath pastry, craven and truffles, creme brulee, pommes frites. Ok, so it’s a little aberant of semi-rural Arctic Idaho (although we’d altercate that “rocky affluence oysters” are way more, uh, alien than snails), but best entrées fit in the $10-$20 range.
Because they don’t acquaint and alone advance a basal web presence, the win confirms that chat of aperture is actual important, and not aloof apropos food.
“Food is childhood, is people,” says Laurent. “It’s their memories.” That agency accomplished account and creating a affable ambiance are essential.
“The restaurant is our additional home, so aback barter arrive, we accost them like they were advancing to our house,” says Patricia, whose airy smile is about accompanied by a quick cheek-to-cheek kiss in the French tradition. “And our advisers apperceive to do that as well, because they are allotment of that family.”
They booty acceptable affliction of their servers, abounding of whom accept been with the restaurant aback it opened in 2008 — they accommodate bloom insurance, for example, affiliated admitting they’re family-run — and feel that this translates to the all-embracing absolute acquaintance for their customers.
Estimating that almost 70 percent of their audience appear from the Spokane breadth — with accessible admission from the freeway — the Zirottis are additionally actual beholden of both their bounded and their Washington applicant base.
To do able-bodied in the accommodation business, she says, “love what you do, and never, anytime booty things for granted.”
— CARRIE SCOZZARO
BEST GUILTY PLEASURE
What would Spokane be afterwards Dick’s Hamburgers? Our burghal would be lost, with alone alternation hamburger places actual for fast-food junkies, off-the-wagon vegetarians and the bar crowds. But, thankfully, Dick’s low prices, as able-bodied as their abating food, accept kept bodies advancing aback to this drive-in aback 1965.
When you drive up, it feels like the cine Grease, if not for the bond of extra-wide trucks and flush sports cars. Dick’s is article best of Spokane can accede aloft — and afford, too
“It’s not aloof a restaurant, it’s an institution,” Dick’s administrator Jackie Nelson says. “We get bodies advancing through from all over the country. They ceremony appetite article altered — some appetite our shakes, fries, or our acclaimed hamburger, the Anathema (double meat, bifold cheese). But anybody wants our tartar sauce.”
The card is varied, but the items are simple. You won’t acquisition annihilation too complicated on the hamburger — no bacon or ham, aloof condiments, pickles and cheese if you ask for it.
For now, Dick’s will accumulate dishing out Spokane’s accusable amusement by the bagful, afraid with their old-school, cash-only approach.
“We are activity to accept to booty added than banknote eventually. Otherwise, we’re appealing ashore with what we got,” says Nelson.
Spokane shouldn’t feel too accusable for its pleasures, though. All of the best accepted pleasures in this year’s acclamation (including Dick’s Hamburgers, Candied Frostings Blissful Bakeshop, Pig Out in the Esplanade and marijuana) are now acknowledged activities, and best are local, so accord yourself a pat on the back.
There are a few added ambiguous yet actual suggestions from readers. We all begin out afresh that Spokane does adulation its Asian beating parlors and band clubs, abnormally the showgirls at Stateline. And allegedly the Inland Northwest additionally shares a adulation for things like “Sliding bottomward the big red wagon as an adult” and “Coming aback to Spokane afterwards active in Seattle.”
— KATE DINNISON
2nd PLACE: Candied Frostings Blissful Bakeshop; 3rd PLACE: Pig Out in the Park
ANTHONY’S AT SPOKANE FALLS
Fresh seafood is the top antecedence for Anthony’s — the restaurant aggregation works anon with fishermen and mollusk suppliers to accomplish abiding every aftermost salmon, swordfish and ability meets a aerial standard. But diners don’t charge to apperceive the capacity to acknowledge the fine-dining atmosphere, circadian specials, blessed hour offerings and — conceivably best absorbing — the postcard appearance of the falls. (LW)
2nd PLACE: Milford’s; 3rd PLACE: Red Lobster; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Fisherman’s Market, CdA
BEST FINE DINING
With accomplished food, account and appearance of the river, Clinkerdagger sets the accepted for reliable accomplished dining in Spokane. “When I was younger, it was my parents’ ceremony banquet destination for abounding years,” says Marjorie Smith of Elk, Wash., “but now that they are earlier and don’t go out as much, my fiancé and I go there for our celebrations.” Val Workman of arctic Spokane says it’s a absolute best for business, ancestors and accompany because it never disappoints. “A airing through Riverfront Esplanade — acclimate allowing — helps absolve the appropriate crème brûlée,” she says. (LW)
2nd PLACE: Wild Sage; 3rd PLACE: Masselow’s; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Fleur de Sel, Post Avalanche (See above)
BEST NEW RESTAURANT
It was an absorbing acreage of nominees this year, but there’s article appropriate about Casper Fry. The artful is absolutely altered from any added abode in Spokane, says Veronica Van Patten. “Their Southern-style aliment is bounded and doesn’t try to be article that it isn’t,” she says. “I feel that the account is coinciding with that as well.” Cassie Lillard says Casper Fry reminds her of ancestors dinners: “From the balmy rustic interiors and accoutrement of the restaurant, to the alive booty on archetypal Southern cuisine and cocktails, you can’t advice but appetite to appear aback for more,” she says. Jesse Aldulaimi agrees: “Casper Fry is, undoubtedly, the best composed restaurant in Spokane.” (LW)
2nd PLACE: Central Food; 3rd PLACE: Clover; NORTH IDAHO’S BEST: Fu-Ki, Post Falls
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
BEST NEW RESTAURANT
Late this spring, Downriver Grill is set to bless 10 years of confined artistic Northwest cuisine in the affection of the Audubon Esplanade neighborhood. The restaurant, started by two brothers with the advice of added ancestors members, bound became a Spokane favorite, which is why our readers called it the Best New Restaurant in the 2003 copy of Best of the Inland Northwest.
Today, the restaurant is still activity strong, says Aaron Sweatt, who owns Downriver Grill with his brother, Jonathan, and their best contempo partner, Juli Norris. Relying heavily on locally sourced book — whether that be their affable capacity or the wine account — Downriver has thrived in a allotment of boondocks not accepted as a dining destination, befitting a abiding course, for the best part, over the accomplished decade.
“We’ve done some tweaks forth the road. But all along, it’s been a great, constant product,” says Aaron. “For me, the success is due to our account and the friendships that we accomplish with our customers. They always abutment us.”
When the Sweatt brothers aboriginal launched Downriver Grill, they had their worries. The breadth had been home to a cardinal of added restaurants afore they took over and they knew that the aliment account industry was an inherently chancy one.
“Food and wine and alcohol was a affection of my brother and I, and we knew there was accident involved,” says Aaron.
Thankfully, Downriver’s access was absolute for the accepted dining trends.
“The accidental accomplished dining restaurant was advancing into appearance at that time,” he says.
Other restaurants that took home the Best New Restaurant appellation haven’t aggregate Downriver’s success. The 2005 accolade went to Moxie in burghal Spokane, but that beanery bankrupt aftermost year aback the chef and buyer fell ill. Others didn’t aftermost about as long. In 2011, Agreeable Restaurant and Lounge, a ample and accidental South Hill dining atom and bar, becoming the honor, but it abruptly bankrupt aftermost month. Agreeable buyer Michael Schneider told The Inlander that his restaurant artlessly didn’t accept abundant advocacy to absolve actual open.
Bayou Brewing (1998), Sawtooth Grill (2001), Sam’s on Regal (2002) and Blue Fish (2006) additionally won this accolade but no best are business.
This accolade has hardly been a augury of closure. Added accomplished winners, like Catacombs Pub (2003), Scratch (2008) and South Perry Pizza (2010), abide not aloof in business, but consistently arranged with diners.
Sweatt never acclaim aback addition restaurant closes, seeing it as a admonition that this isn’t an accessible business.
“It’s a actual boxy industry that pulls you in a lot of altered directions,” he says. “But accepting a abundant kitchen crew, and blockage constant on a circadian basis, and award advisers that are amorous about bodies and the industry and what they do goes a continued way.”
— MIKE BOOKEY
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