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Friday, October 22, 2010

Mission Bistro

 Ah...Italian food.  If you have been reading my blog, you know I am gaining a new appreciation for Italian food restaurants.  You see, I do  appreciate good Italian food.  I 'm Italian... and I actually love Italian food and flavors... all this is to say that dining here was a real special thing.  Geo loved it.  Everything was great... even down to the to-go box!  Let me explain:

 The Mission Bistor is on Mission St... and it is part of the Cassano's Market building. 2002 E. Mission Ave. ... call for hours: (509) 954-0756.
It has taken me a while to get into this place because they are closed on Monday's and Monday has been the day I have ended up in the area and stopped by, twice now.  But tonight they were open.

What a lovely little place this is.

 They have a lovely menu... with a special "Dinner for Two" deal.  This comes with salad, bread, your selection of two entrees from the Dinner for Two menu, and a dessert to share.  Sounded good to us,  so we went with that. 

Everything was fantastic.  I especially loved my salad with the House Dressing.  Geo ordered ranch on his.

He ordered Lasagna and I ordered Chicken Catetori which was served on Rigatoni.  Both were delicious, but we forgot to take photos!

Gee.. might have to visit this place again... hmmm we probably will.

We also had coffee, which was great coffee too, by the way.  This was just regular "coffee" but it sure was good.  To go with the coffee we ordered desert.

Our lovely waitress recommended we try the bread pudding, and since Geo LOVES, I means LOVES bread pudding... ( I do not) we could not help but try it out at her recommendation.  IT is something their particular chef happens to make very well.

I loved it, but Geo loved it even more.  Delicious! 

As you can see here,, it is filled with raisins and  beautifully served  with a delicious plum sauce. and whipped cream with nuts.  I would go there just for the desserts, which include cannoli and spumoni too.

I love spumoni.  (Maybe next time.)

The serving sizes are quite generous... in fact,  overheard several people asking for take home boxes while I was there.  I do think however, it was not that they actually had been given too much food, so much as because they wanted to be certain to have room for such wonderful deserts.

I mentioned the to go box earlier...  I really appreciated this nifty little To GO box.  Not only did it seal well, but I could see what was in there, and it was just the right size.  I even had a great lunch item for the next day, one that would not get forgotten in my fridge because I could see and not forget the delicious food that was in it.

For more information on the store adjacent to this restaurant click here.

Mission Bistro on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Queen of Sheba

Some friends of mine from the fencing club...who occasionally read my blog, asked if I had eaten at the Ethiopian restaurant "yet;"  to which I could only reply, "What Ethiopian Restaurant?"

"The one in the Flour Mill," they said, "It looks interesting."

They had not eaten there yet either, but we both put it on our lists of things to do... wondering, "What (exactly) might an Ethiopian Restaurant serve? "and wondering if it would be any good.

"What do people eat in Ethiopia?" (One thing for sure, is that it is a pretty far away somewhat obscure place! Not only that, it's right next to the Sudan where there are brutal wars and seemingly nothing but desert.)  I quickly remembered how Ethiopia itself is known to Americans for it's famines and starvation, and wondered what kinds of ingredients they would use.

Well, tonight we went... and while we were waiting to order, we looked Ethiopia up on google... even zoomed the cities a bit.  (It is quite amazing to be able to do that you know). It's quite amazing to have an Ethiopian style restaurant in Spokane too, I might add.

So.. how is Ethiopian food?

Well, let me tell yo right now... it is delicious and most unusual  in a very good and wonderful way.  My friends were right when they thought it looked interesting.  It sure was.

The restaurant is called, "Queen of Sheba" and is named after an ancient Ethiopian queen, (the Queen of Sheba,) known to the Ethiopian people as Makeda (or Maqueda,) who visited King Solomon of the Bible bringing him many gifts from her land.

The Queen of Sheba restaurant is a lovely little place that spills out and into the breezeway of the little Flour Mill Mall on Mallon near the Spokane Arena.  It's simply decorated with savanna colors and textures,  making you sense that you have entered another land.  The ancient game of mancala is offered at each table while food is served in traditional baskets and bowls.  They have a lot to choose from on their menu, even vegetarian dishes, meals made of lentils and their highly nutritious round, flat, bread.

It's quite an ethnic experience.  We even met the owner of the restaurant, Almaz; she was there when we visited, though she was kept busy cooking and serving tables.

Ethiopian food is flavorful.. not necessarily "hot spicy," but definitely "spicy"...aromatically so  They make a special tea here that is made with cloves and other spicy treasures to tantalize your tastebuds.  One other thing they specialize in is Ethiopian coffee.  They offer (with prior notice...  aka reservations)  a special coffee ceremony, Ethiopian style.  But as the menu says," don't be in a hurry."

Geo ordered "just a cup" of the Ethiopian coffee and I the tea.  (Both are they kinds of foods.. in our opinion,  that are unusual at first, and you don;t really like them, but then as you taste, they kinda "grow on ya".)Then he ordered the rest of our dinner for us, including dessert... Baklava!  (Who doesn't like Baklava?)

A big part of your meal here is something called injera.. (See the circular item to the right..)  It is a bread of sorts, which by the way, doubles as your spoon and fork.  (Spoons and forks are available upon request of course!)

We ordered Beef Sambussa (above)  for appetizer.... This was tasty, basically meat rooled up in a triangle pastry, served with a dipping sauce.

Then we ate something called Doro We't.  It is a thick sauce called a berbere...containing chicken pieces and hard boiled eggs.  Some of the spices they used are garlic, cardamon and ginger. We also ordered the Minchetabesh.  This is finely chopped prime rib... again spced with all sorts of things... ginger, onion, pepper, onion... and this is sauteed something called Kik We't.  It is served, as I mentioned, with the injera.... which you unroll and break off to pick up the food on the plate.  Sort of a shared bowl of food, sort of thing.

Here is the Beef Dish.. Doro We't.  

Here is the Chicken added to it.  There were three chicken legs and an egg.

That is an Ethiopian Restaurant for ya.  A little bit unusual... and even a bit spicy... but definitely another great human experience in the realm of cultural yum.

Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Flaming Wok

This particular Flaming Wok is located in the North Town Mall.  It's one of those places we frequent from time to time when Chinese food is in order; especially Geo, only he visits the one at the Valley Mall. The food is tasty, quick, reasonably priced, and "to-go".. if you like.  At NorthTown the eatery area is called Discovery Park. 
It's "fast food at the mall sometimes, what else can I say?

But if you eat fast food, or if you simply get hungry while you shop at the mall, you don;t have to worry because the malls have quite a selection.  You can choose seafood, pizza, tacos, hot dogs, noodles...It's your pick and your ethnic variety of choice.

We opted for Flaming Wok.... you walk right up and then you get food that's hot!  There is a nice selection.

I always get the vegetables when I eat here.

and whether you seat yourselves in Discovery Park or take it home, a "To-Go " is always good!

Flaming Wok Menu

Flaming Wok In Northtown Mall on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 18, 2010


On a recent outing to Coeur d'Alene, ID, some friends recommended Bonsai to us, telling us how neat of an environment it was downstairs. 

They informed us that this place had a little stream with fish and turtles for the enjoyment of their guests indoors.  We had walked past outdoors before, and seen a stream there but had no idea that they had one inside, with fish! Well, it was late and we were hungry, and since Bonsai serves Asian food, one of our favorites, we just had to check it out!

We were escorted over a bridge to sit at a table on a little island that had a stream around it.  Needless to say, we got a great close-up  experience with the fish and turtles while we ate. 

The children in the restaurant really enjoyed the creatures.  Apparently restaurant personnel provide the children food to feed the critters too.  It was a delight to watch the children giggle and laugh... and talk to, and about, the turtles and the fish.

As for the food, though it was unique in some ways, it was great-tasting and pretty too.

We ordered three dishes...from their "special deal" menu... and special of three dishes for $24.00, (or something like that) We ordered... if I remember correctly.... General Tao's Chicken, a Hawaiian Chicken dish and  Schechuan Beef.  It came with rice and was delicious.  They even have little bamboo sticks for eating your food!

Bonsai is near the big resort, the Coeur d'Alene Resort at 101 Sherman Ave....

Upstairs is a beautiful sushi bar.... and a bar that serves alcoholic beverages too.  But downstair, is where you'll find the swimming turtles and fish.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ha Ha's Grill House

Well, Just when you think you have tried them all, one more comes along.... Tonight it was Ha Ha's in Hillyard. 

We had driven past before, to which I made a mental note, but like some nnotes in the mind, it got piled up and tucked away into an obscure spot... that is, until we drove past again another night recently.  I figuratively dug out the old note, wondering why we had not been here yet, and I secured the idea in a place it would not be forgotten.  Sure enough the opportunity came up and we were off... to Ha' Ha's Grill, a Korean Grill at that!

Ha Ha's is a little spot off of Market Street at 2710 E. Garland.   It is run by the Ha family...  a mother and son team, hence the name.  Beside's the food, they tell me, is al organic, fresh and will make one happy!

I loved the atmosphere and enjoyed listening to the jazz that played while we ate, as well as looking at the album covers that decorate the walls.  It was just fun.  Besides that, it's a very friendly kind of place.  we were greeted and made to feel right at home... and our attendant was very happy to help us with any questions we had about Korean food.  Though we already knew we liked Korean foods, I thought this was great.

 Our dinner began with a serving of goya, (there were four) complete with dipping sauce.  There were some of the best I ever had.  We were not expecting them, even though they were a part of the dinner, so they were a special treat.  Next came  more Korean type of appetizers....

 We were served seaweed salad, and eggplant dish and some kin chee.

 Then came our Tofu Soup and Dwagi Bulgoki... served moderately spicy... with hot Serrano peppers.

We liked our dining experience.  The restaurant is clean, the people are friendly and honorable and the food is great.  One customer who was in the restaurant that evening discussed with the waitress how some of the flavors were unique.  I would agree, for example, the Serrano peppers were unique to us.  However, we liked it and ate it all.  This man did too, and said he would be back.

On the menu is a nice selection of Korean foods and American sandwiches, so it is good for both lunch and dinner.  One friend of mine commented that it is a "fusion" kind of place.   This must mean that it is the best of both worlds.

Haha's Grill House on Urbanspoon