Welcome to the second installment of our blog that’s focused on good eats within walking distance of Stay Alfred at M Apartments in Spokane, Washington. We’re taking it in a perfectly logical, alphabetical fashion, so if you’re craving a bite or a drink that’s located between dictionary guide-words “Anthony’s” and “Daily,” you’ll have to click all the way over to the first installment. Work, work, work… I know.
Let’s take stroll a little further down the Lilac City’s alphabet soup of restaurants, shall we?
Curated. Hand-crafted. Pickled in-house. The mustachioed (or thigh tattooed – or both) hipsters’ takeover of the US of A did not overlook the Lilac City, as clearly evidenced by the menu here. Does poutine really need to be prepared with smoked duck? As much as this non-hipster hates to admit it… yes. Yes it does. And a taste of their house-made bologna sandwich only drives the point home. I’ll play your culinary game, hipsters, but I’ll never, ever approve of your yen for fixies. Dangerous!
415 W Main
Before I say anything else about this delightful little establishment: BEST FRIES EVER. Shoestring. Topped with fresh garlic bits that cook to perfection on contact. Wow. Get some in front of me now, please. But we can’t live on pommes frites alone, can we now? Madeleine’s also offers breakfast – the classics, plus treats like Croque Madame – along with decadent French pastries and a fresh, tasty assortment of salads and sandwiches for lunch. Looking for a morning pick-me-up? Grab your espresso or cup of joe – made with locally roasted beans by DOMA – here.
415 W Main (Yep… the same address as Durkin’s, but slightly to the east. Get tore up from the floor up in the p.m. and then return to the scene of the crime to put it all back together again.)
Ruins is the hottest thing going in Spokane these days, and it’s easy to see why. A rotating menu, inspired by whatever culinary muse fires the chef Tony Brown’s imagination on any given week, might offer anything from South American to Russian fare, and “McRuins” night (Monday), where a certain fast-food establishment’s creations are brought to a higher level, is a frequent occurrence. Vegan options abound. Craft cocktails flow. And reservations… nope. You’ll probably be in for a bit of a wait. Worth it.
825 N Monroe Street
Affordable. Delicious. Family friendly. And just plain friendly, friendly. “Public House” describes the place perfectly – it’s nice, welcoming and relaxed cross between a restaurant and a bar that makes you want to slow the day down and stay awhile. Their cocktails, while not “craft,” per se, are delicious, and there are always great microbrews on tap. If you see mahi mahi sliders on the menu, you’re in for a treat. No luck? Try the mac & cheese, which you can order topped with crumbled bacon – or even vegan. I can also wholeheartedly recommend the Chicken Caprese sandwich. Visiting in the summertime? There’s shaded patio seating available, and the people-watching in this neck of the woods is generally less earthy than you’d find closer to ground-zero downtown Spokane (in my highly subjective opinion, that’s Howard St. and Riverside Avenue).
Right next door to the east, you’ll find Saranac Commons, home to Affogato Coffee, breakfast heavyweight Biscuit Wizard, Black Label Brewing and Common Crumb bakery – which serves up fresh-baked breads, macarons, pastries, cakes and pies, soups and sandwiches. All the shops are circled around a large common area that features a cozy fireplace in the wintertime.
21 W Main Avenue
Looking for Spokane’s best classic diner breakfast? This is it. The biscuits with country gravy and potatoes O’brien are timeless, and the chicken-fried steak has been known to save lives – whether they were called to duty to come to the aid of the 7 a.m. pre-work crowd – or the ravenously hungry, post-beer:30 crowd (the bar-side of the establishment closes at 2 a.m. but diner side is open until 4 a.m. daily). The menu goes far beyond breakfast, too, with a huge selection of burgers, steaks, salads, fries, wings, hummus and more.
425 W Sprague
At the time of this writing, Smoke & Mirrors has been open just about a week, so my experience with the establishment is limited to an excellent Old Fashioned and a sip of my companion’s lemon drop – a holdover from the space’s previous incarnation as Sante – which she swears is the best in town. Smoke & Mirrors, like Sante, is the creation of Spokane restaurateur Jermemy Hansen, so good food – in this case burgers, shareable plates, beer and cocktails – is a certainty.
404 West Main Avenue
3-minute walk (Yes, this says 203 N Washington Street. Same thing.)
That’s it for our second installment of our picks for downtown Spokane restaurants. Happy dining, and stay tuned for more great dining options in the heart of the ‘Kan.