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Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Davenport Hotel

Here in Spokane there is no more historic nor elegant a place than the Davenport Hotel, located at 10 South Post Street downtown. The hotel, first opened in 1914 has lived a full life and been the stopping point for many famous people including Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Clark Gable, John Philip Sousa, Lawrence Welk, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Benny Goodman. It has quite a history, and seen changes over the years. What used to handle horse drawn carriages and horses now valet parks the little hybrid Prius and Mercedes Benz.

The Davenport (<--be sure to click there) boasts that it was the first hotel to have air conditioning and that it is famous for that salad called Crab Louis; named after the hotel's owner, Louis Davenport. But Mr. Davenport and his family sold the hotel in 1945 and until 1985 it exchanged hands of ownership many times. Finally, due to the fact it had been run down over the years, it was closed down and the world famous Davenport Hotel was destined to demolition. Like most old buildings it had seen finer days, but when the plan were made to demolish it were made it was determined that turning it into rubble over the city of Spokane would release asbestos everywhere and no one wanted that, so it remained abandoned, that is until Walt & Karen Worthy purchased the entire city block for $6.5 million and made plans to reopen the landmark hotel. They dropped about $40 million in the bucket in order to refurbish and restore the city's most elegant "Davenport Hotel."

Here it is today. As you can see, it is elegant and it has a history... therefore, it seemed only appropriate that a group of us get together at the Davenport, to celebrate the 90th birthday of a dear friend, Lila last weekend, and that is just what we did!

I must say, valet parking is the way to go and the staff here was increidbly curteous and helpful. The food was awesome and for lunch the prices were between 12.00 and 14.00. and of course all the elegance of the hotel came with it. Our parking was validated because we dined at the hotel too.

There were a lot of great things on our lunch menu, which by the way had been specially prepared for our party. I ordered the Asian Chicken Salad, which was not, (in my AMerican mind)a "salad" by any means. I even embarrassed myself telling the waitress, "Excuse me, but I thought I ordered a salad," when she brought me a ploate of what looked like noodles with chicken on the side. She assured me that it was the "Asian Salad" I had ordered and so I gave it a try...

I liked it a lot. I even ate it all. It was a sort of cabbage/crunchy noodle thing with teriaki chicken on the side. I was mostly disappointed by the fact that I had ordered a "salad" hoping to forgo some carbs that day and instead ended up with a plat of noodle, but I love cabbage and it was yummy so it made me happy after all.

Other items on the menu included breakfast options, like a Crab and Avocado Omlette, or if you prefer, Asparagus and Forrest Mushroom. That is unless you prefer the Scottish King Smoked Salmon Benedict. There were also options like Grilled Cheese and Tomatoe Bisque, Ruben Dips, and Salmon served with berry sauce. Here in the Pacific Northwest you see, salmon is a favorite indeed!

Our little party at the Davenport was also a "surprise" and we even did a little presentation for our group and took pictures too. The staff did a fantastic job of making all these things happen and worked to make it a special time for us all. I have to say that it was a very nice display of Pacific Northwestern hospitality. Unfortunately Geo did not get to come for it was a girls b-day party and we were simply a group of girls.

Maybe someday we will venture out here together, you know if we ever go somewhere special to get away... get away for a weekend or something. This might very well be it. It has a great location right in the heart of the city where a lot of things like movies theater and concerts are going on in town, but they also most certainly have that special knack in making make one feel quite welcome. As for dining out... this is one place I would be happy to experience again, especially with someone special like him.

I heard the "Tower" across the street, is a fantastic place to eat too, in particular someplace called the Safari Room. I have never been there but plan to try that one sometime. Rumor has it that at "Happy Hour" (4-6 PM) they have some great half price flatbread pizzas. I am told that you do not even need to sit at the bar to get the special pizza price and that they are really, really, really good!

I love adventures in Spokane. Once you get out and about around town meeting the people who live and work here, you find it really is a gem of a city and the people... they are amazing. I guess this is one reason we have decided to call Spokane our "home."

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