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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Nhu-y Rooster Grill

1412 W. 2nd Ave
During our visit at this Asian restaurant we learned that they would soon close their doors.   Rooster Grill is, we were told, going out of business as of Monday, March 1.  We were, inadvertently, some of their last customers.  It is too bad because they have been here a long time.  They had been closed for a while but had just reopened three months ago.  Now they are closing.

I was going to post pictures, but think it is a bit of a mute point to post about a restaurant that is going out of business.  We did eat here though,  so I will tell you what we ordered.

Vietnamese Spring rolls...  an Indonesian dish called Rendang (a la Rooster) and the House Special Chow Mein on Crispy Noodles.  Sad to say that if they were not closing this would not rate with one of our favorite places.  The food was "fair."

 Could that be because they were closing their doors soon?  Who knows.  Things might have been different though if they were going full steam ahead.  Perhaps someone will come along and open a new and exciting restaurant at this location.   It is a building that looks like an old Denny's.  It's roomy and has all the restaurant amenities.  With so many good little restaurants around this area, like Linnie's and Tacos Tumbras,we were thinking that this had become a nifty little restauranty part of town.  Now it seems there is one less.

To the merit of the restaurant management they were very nice people and really went out of their way to serve us even though they would be closing their doors in a few days.  They even brought us sliced oranges as a dessert kind of treat, (without charge) and our waitress was the sweetest ever.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

MaryLou's Milk Bottle

 MaryLou's Milk Bottle on Garland St. is a rather welcoming place... and it was very busy when we were there.  The service was pretty quick and friendly.  It is very fun too eat here too, mostly because the building is shaped like a milk bottle.  It's also a historic spot in Spokane, but it's not unique...there are two such building that some creative person built here in our city.  Pretty cool!

A group of friends and I ended up eating lunch here due to the fact that the place next door which we were planning to eat lunch at (Ferguson's) was closed.  We were going to visit the milk bottle for ice cream but did lunch instead.  Unfortunately, I have to comment that I thought the food experience was nothing spectacular.  I wish I could say differently, but I was not impressed.  

I didn't take pictures of the food because I forgot, but in our group we ordered several items. Some  ordered hambergers, which came with fries.  These liked their meals but I noticed the fries were crispy brown.  I think they were overdone.  Two people in my group ordered gyros.  One liked it and the other didn't.

I noticed that the gyros were only edible using a fork and knife... not like a sandwich you can hold and eat at all.  (I thought  a gyro was supposed to be more like a sandwich.)

The friend who did not like her gyros made up the difference of not liking it by adding more and more sauce and ate it anyhow.   Me?  I ordered the Greek Salad which was okay... nothing special, just a plate of Romain lettuce, with vinaigrette, olives and feta cheese.. oh, and the same gyros bread my friends had only it was cut in portions and served on the side.  It seemed a lot like an open face gyros without the meat.  We were so busy talking and having fun that we didn't exchange more notes on the food than that.

With a little improvement on the food this could be a very fun place to dine. The food was "okay," I mean the hamburgers were obviously good, and that is what this place is known for... but I missed that one by having a salad and turns out that I thought it was rather mundane.  I was just glad not to have ordered the Gyro.  I guess it's good to know ahead of time what the specialty of a particular restaurant is.  Next time, I am ordering a hamburger or ice cream....   but I will be coming back because it's not every day that one gets to be inside of a milk bottle; that is, unless of course you happen to live in the fine city of Spokane!

Milk Bottle Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tacos Tumbras

Great Salsa!  Fresh tasting and delicious Mexican food!  

Tacos Tumbras, located at 1325 West 2nd Avenue was a great find.  Our waiter told us that they have only been opened at this location since before the holidays in 2009.  This location?  Yes! Apparently they are already famous for their Valley restaurant located on E Sprague, and their Taco Truck as well.  They are new to us, and we were very happy to find them.

It's not a fancy spot, not a fancy place, and we were a little taken aback at first as we sat ourselves and had to wait a bit for a menu.  It wasn't long though until we were greeted, offered drinks and given menus.
They have nice, easy to read menus too.  Here are a couple of pages:

(Double click to enlarge your view.)

In addition to the complimentary Chips and Salsa we ordered a Tamale (single item) combination plate. This means that it comes with rice and re-fried beans.  It was smothered in tomatillo sauce.  Quite a unique flavor.  We thought it was delicious as was the rice and authentic tasting beans.

We also ordered a two item combination plate of a Chile Relleno, and Chimichanga...

a Fish Taco, which was probably our favorite of it all, but we liked everything.

Second fav was the tamale and we liked the beans...and the Chimi was great... and so was the rellenos.... Ah!  It was all good.

and for dessert, a flan.

I can hardly wait to come back and order something like a fajita.... I saw on the menu that it even has "cactus" as an ingredient!  How is that for South-of-the-border flavor?

As an update....
Went back again, November 2011, this time with friends and food was as authentic and yummy as the first time.
Fajita Sampler...(Beef Pork and Shrimp!) and companion dish

Street Tacos

Chile Rellenos and Cheese Enchilada Combinacion

Los Tacos Tumbras on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Frankie Doodles

Frankie Doodles, 30 E 3rd Ave, is probably one of the first restaurants we ever ate at in Spokane... way back in 1993, and I hadn't been there since.  This is not because it wasn't good, just that there are so many options in Spokane and we do have our most favorite spots.  I have to say though, now that we have visited here again, it is quite possible that Frankie Doodles might be one of our favorites- at least for this type of dining experience.

I am surprised to see myself writing those words because we almost didn't even get out of our car when we pulled into the parking lot.  We actually thought to leave... and almost did, but we had already driven around a bit and figured that we are on this quest to explore the restaurants in Spokane and so it was only fair that we should give it a try since we were already there.  We liked it... a lot, and this despite the unattractive fake deer in the window with a heart around it's head, probably there to celebrate the holiday.

It would really snazzy up the place if they had a window dresser... perhaps even behoove them, if they hired someone to make an attraction in that fancy window that people would perhaps come just to see, and wander in to eat some food.  Note the word FOOD on their signature sign:

The touch of the Pacific Northwest in their window... aka the deer, IT must help make this place endearing to the locals.... hunters and such.. outdoorsie kinda folk.  I think Cabela's followed their lead.  I mean, after all, our Spokane friends brought us here when we first moved into town.. and that deer was probably there at that time!

I have learned over the years that Frankie's is a bit of a Spokane landmark.  It's located downtown right next to it's sister restaurant, Dicks Hamburgers, a place where one can buy hamburgers by the bagful, a place know for it's sharp servers and fresh cut potato fries... a spokane Locals favorite I understand.  I have only been there twice myself.  Frankie's has been in Spokane since 1981 and it's a landmark too, like Dick's.  As for Frankie's, you can hardly miss the sign as you into Spokane from the I90 freeway onto Division St.

 Once inside we were greeted by a large gorilla.  I thought it was a nice addition.  Better than a person in a suit, like some other restaurants, if you ask me.

Frankie's is a nice little coffee shop and i am told that they are best known for breakfasts...and dinners like chicken fried steak and  liver and onions, as well as their salads and desserts.

Yes, we saw the sign, (the green neon one) but we had no idea that it meant what it said.

You can only imagine our surprise at the actual size of the salads we ordered!

Please note the large-sized water cups and the dressing bowls.
These were huge salads! Or maybe you would say, "Colossal!"  And..just in case you did not notice, these are served in colanders!~ Oh my!

Geo had the Chef Salad and I ordered something called... well, um... I didn't like the name that they gave this particular salad; it was called the "Garbage Salad." not very appetizing, not an attractive name to say the least. I almost avoided ordering it it, but then I thought it would be to blog about.   Not every day one eats a Garbage Salad and lives to talk about it.  
So, I braved up and ordered it, mostly because I liked the mixture of the ingredients listed, including green peppers...  It was great! (It was however void of peppers.)

Chef Salad

The "Garbage" Salad

We also ordered a bowl of the Spicy Chicken Soup.  If we would have known the size of the salads we might not have ordered this.  It was tasty.. and spicy, as advertised.
As we enjoyed out food we watched the waitress making all this wild desserts for customers.  They were huge...(Cinnamon rolls alone are plate sized!) and very attractive too.  It got our attention.  When all was said and done we had to try one.  Geo picked something called the Fudge Ana... and it is filled with bananas ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate chips, nuts and fudge... to the max!  Again compare the size of this product to the large drinking glasses... and the teaspoons.

And  this is the bill... so colorful, it almost looked like a greeting card.   I had never seen any bill delivered to me like that before.  I thought it was a classy touch...

During our time there a lot of happy people came and went all seeming to have a nice time at this restaurant too.  Quite a few were regulars... and  alot of people ordered the desserts.  We might have to come back again sometime and try the breakfast or celebrate some occasion with another fancy treat.

I kinda think that Frankie Doodles, for an old fashioned coffee shop  is a neat place to eat.  It's a friendly place, and it's right in the heart of Spokane!

Frankie Doodle's on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 22, 2010

Senor Froggy's

This Senor Foggy's (one of three in Spokane area) is on North Division Rd.  But you have to decide when you go here... "Will it be Mexican or Italian?  You get to pick when you stop here for food.    If you ask me, this is what being in America is all about.  Not only choice, but selection as well as appreciation for culture.

Here is one menu...

Here is the other...

Today's menu selection was "one of each."  Corn Chowder on the left from Luigi's Express and a small Nachos from Senor Froggy's on the right hand side... both under the same roof!  Also, you can see some tasty condiments from their salsa bar.

The bowl of soup came with this fresh warm bread!  Under those chips is a layer of refried beans.

I kinda like the decor here... It's quite Mexico looking.  I have to say that this restaurant is service oriented.  The people who work here have always been good servers.  You order your food at the counter and take a seat and then they bring it to you.  The tables are always clean too. 

And for food, it's not too bad.  Kinda tasty.  I love the salsa bar and the hot sauce is the best ever!

You can even drive thru!

Senor Froggy on Urbanspoon

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Star Restaurant and Lounge

While visiting here to check out Bubble Tea... (a hot item on their menu,) I gave thought to trying this little place for food.  It's a small ten (or so)  table place... kinda reminiscent of a 1970's diner, but it is Chinese food.  And while the atmosphere is lacking, the service, fair and there's  loud bar music coming from down the hall, the prices are certainly reasonable and, would you believe, the food is pretty good.  The best part of course is the tea factor.. you know... that stuff called Bubble Tea.

 We ordered Potsitckers for an appetizer,  and then Kung Pao Chicken (with noodles) which were served underneath the Kung Pao.  This was unusual to us and quite good!  We also ordered the Beef Noodle Soup.. which also was tasty as can be. It was a little different than we have had other places but we like it a lot.

As for service... our food was staggered in it's arrival to our table.  For example, the "appetizer" came not before our other foods... but they were awesome.  We began to think they lost our soup, but finally it came.  Also our server, when we asked for tea, told us she was out... because they were out of bubbles (The little tapioca things).  But I asked if they could make tea without the tapioca, knowing of course that the tapioca was not necessary for a tea... as you order it separate anyhow.... to which she said sure!  so we also ordered tea!

Fun stuff ... fun flavors...too.  Click Here for more on their teas.

 This time we ordered the House Milk Tea (again) and a Taro Smoothie. Oh my!  Let me tell you (this is for Lori) the taro tastes like Oreo Cookies and it is purple.  Is that cool?

So, if you are in the mood to eat you can try it too... and if not, just try the tea.

: )

With bubbles or not it's great!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More Bubble Tea in Spokane

Bubble Tea is definitely something different, and I am excited to find it in several places in Spokane.  You can find it at the Northtown Mall at a place called Boba Bubble, a restaurant on Ash Street called Vina and another place is The Star Restaurant on Nevada St. 

Here is Boba Bubble's display at the mall:

If you have never tried Bubble Tea... be ready for a unique experience.  It is unlike anything I have ever tried before!  It's intended perhaps as a fancy tea drink or a dessert, but  it really is more like an experience.

Bubble Tea comes in all sorts of colors, flavors...
and textures.  Here is the menu at The Star Restaurant and Lounge tea spot.

You can get it plain, or with tapioca balls or jelly squares.  I have never had the jelly... I like the tapioca, especially in the slushie version of the drink.  You may order:

Cream Smoothie
Flavor Milk Tea
Yummy Slush
Flavor Black/Green Tea Series
Star Blend Tea.

This is a nice place for Bubble tea as there is lots to select from.

Here is the tapioca going into the cups.  It has a slight ginger spice-like flavor, if you ask me.  I like them better in the colder drink, though I believe once you get used to it, you enjoy it more and more.
Here is the little tea kitchen!  The machine in the back puts the lids on the cups.
Tonight I had the House Milk Tea... made with black tea.. and I had the low calorie version.... meaning les tapioca than normal.  My cup is the one on the left... the one on the right is the normal amount of bubbles.

The cups are completely sealed with a flat sheet of plastic.  They can be turned upside-down and not spill out! 
When you are ready to drink your tea, you puncture the top with the point on your straw.


Talk about flavors!
Taro... Lychee...Papaya.. Vanilla...Coconut... Honey Dew... Cantaloupe... Mango... Strawberry...Champagne...   Kumquat... Peach....Red Plum.....Red Bean..... Yuklut.... Lemon... Kiwi.... Passion Fruit... Green Apple...Watermelon... Pineapple... Peanut....Blueberry.... Banana...


 OK.. so you want to know how it is made and what other people think about it?  Here is a video on You Tube...of a TV Newsman on Fox News entertaining a Bubble Tea Demo.... (Click the link!)

Hurray for Bubble Tea in Spokane!

Star Restaurant & Lounge on Urbanspoon

Red Robin

Red Robin is a trendy American "Hamburger" restaurant.  On some days they even have a person in a bird costume to greet kids and kids at heart.  This is American food... must be, for The Statue of Liberty even greets you as you come in the door. 

They have a lounge (bar) and a game room, and the place is decorated with nostalgic photos of movie memorabilia and fun neon signs. It's a busy place, well liked by most people.  I think people mostly like to come and celebrate birthdays... or, if they are like me, just to get together with friends.  It's a restaurant "chain," not a mom and pop kind of place, but the reputation is good, not only from a visitors perspective,  but people i have talked to who have worked there say it's a great restaurant environment to work in.  People have told me that working there is like being part of a family... and that they generate a sense of excellence in what they do as a team to serve their customers...  It shows.

They have a place at their website where you can check your food's nutritional value,  ingredients, in case you have allergies to any particular items, a birthday club for free goodies on your birthday... and a kids page too.  They even give out balloons to kids.  It's kinda fun for them I imagine.

Some friends and I visited Red Robin yesterday, mostly to gab; eating, I would say, was the side venue of our gathering.  We came hungry just the same.

I also think that this restaurant was very accommodating to us... they were great actually, even gave us separate checks without grumbling at us like some other place we have been as a group.  We also enjoyed our variety of meals...

We had, chicken sandwiches, "clucks" and onion rings, fish and chips, a beautifully arrayed nacho dish that I lost the photo of.... (how did that happen? It was the most fantastic looking dish!?!) and apple crisp...

We also ordered an assortment of drinks like hot tea, peach tea, and even a Root Beer Float...

This is a great place for Root Beer Floats and for milshakes too.

Like the Fries, which are fantastic, (if you like fries...) the Root Beer was bottomless.  This means that they keep brining it... until you do not want more.   Nice.

<---My sandwich was the bruchetta chicken one.  Advertised as "whole chicken breast with freshly prepared bruschetta salsa, pesto aioli, Provolone cheese, shredded romaine lettuce and balsamic cream on rustic ciabatta bread."  There are so many things on the menu, I had a hard time selecting.    I thought I would try something a little different and I like pesto... so here it was. 

I didn't care for the presentation, and I didn't like it very much, mostly because it was extremely messy.  The bottom of the platter was sauced with an oily substance (not sure which was...(but whatever it was it was definitely excessive. ) It got all over my fries too.   It is not something I would want to eat again.  It looked only vaguely similar to the neat and crispy looking item pictured on their  menu. 

"Boo hoo" on my sandwhich, but there was no complaints from the rest of the crew.. .just me.  I did love my Root Beer Float!

You win some, you lose some... when it comes to restaurants, at least that is my experience. I have eaten here before,, had some kind of salad that was really good.  My not so good sandwich took me by surprise. 

Red Robin is trendy...and while they make a good burger... they are still a bit on the high priced side... my meal all by itself, was over 14.00.   They are friendly, courteous and do strive to serve the customer, even offer "gourmet" burgers of a vast variety.... great french fries and fun lemonades and drinks, but it's only one of many burger places, one of many places to go out to eat in Spokane.  If you go there, you might want to stick with the burger.  They will fix it just the way you like it...  and they will sing you or someone you love a Happy Birthday song and make it fun to be with your friends and family; It's their specialty to do that.  Unfortunately, I do not recommend this sandwich.  

Red Robin America's Gourmet Burgers and Spirits on Urbanspoon