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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Red Lobster- Spokane

Well, there I was expecting to go and work-out at the gym for Valentine's Day, when dear hubby says, "Do you want to go out for dinner tonight?   Red Lobster has a dinner special for two; do you want to go to dinner or go to work-out at the gym?"   

Gee, what would you pick? It was a difficult decision... I had to think about it a bit; but after some deliberation, taking into consideration how hungry we were and how many calories we were hoping to burn, or not, we decided on dinner.

Off we went to 4703 N Division Street, but only to find out that there was an hour long wait for a table for two.  This was disappointing since Geo had called the restaurant earlier and was told to "just come on in."  (Apparently they don't make reservations for two.)  Needless to say, we then went to the gym with a rain-check agreement between us to go to dinner at Red Lobster another evening.  The dinner special that we were interested in continued for several days longer. so that was good.

So when the opportunity arose, (interpreted...this means that we had a late night at the gym and we were hungry... not to mention, our appetite for seafood had been whet the other day, ) we headed for The Red Lobster again.  With Red Lobster in our sites, we took the opportunity to invite another couple to come with us, and off we went. 

This north side Red Lobster opened in Sept. 2009, but this is the first time Geo and I have been there.  We have noticed driving by, how busy their parking lot usually is, as well as the occasional crowds of people waiting outside the restaurant doors.  This place has been busy ever since they opened up their galley in Spokane. 

They have lobsters, though we did not order any.  The lobsters swim in a large tank of water in the lobby, their claws tied up as they meander around waiting to be ordered up for someone's dinner. 

The Valentine's Dinner Special was to choose any two entrees from this list per couple.  They offered things like Wood Grilled Shrimp with Parmesan.... Garlic Alfredo Shrimp and Scallop Pasta, Wood Grilled Salmon, Wood Grilled Taliapia, or Parrot Isle Jumbo Coconut Shrimp. When ordering this diner special, a couple could choose an appetizer or dessert to share.  

The dinners came with salads, choice of potato or rice, along with unlimited Cheddar Bay Biscuits,all for $29.99.  It seemed like a good deal to us... and it certainly proved to be a good amount of food.  We did not leave hungry, that is for sure.
Because there were four of us and we were ordering two specials, we ordered an appetizer to share between the four of us, an additional appetizer and our friends ordered dessert for us all to share.  (Our kind waiter brought us four spoons.)

Our meal began with their Cheddar Bay biscuits and our appetizers...

...Seafood Stuffed Mushrooms...              

and Calamari...that was served with some great fried veggies..

The biscuits were quite salty, (or maybe it was cheesy?)...and they were light and fluffy too, all that a seafaring fisherman would love.  We loved 'em.

We ordered a variety of dishes between the four of us.... Talipia, Cajun chicken, shrimp and Shrimp and Scallop Pasta... the appetizer, as I mentioned was calamari and stuffed mushrooms and for desert... the Chocolate Wave.
I was so interested in eating, since our food took so long to arrive.... and a bit distracted over some problems we had with our salads, that I forgot to take photos of our main course meals until we were almost done... and then it was too late to show how things were presented.  It was very nice.... except a couple of our salads.  These left something to be desired.  Geo's salad...was served like this.

He didn't like it too much.  Besides huge leaves and very little croutons, it hardly had dressing on it.  While we were amazed at this presentation, another salad was sent back because it was served with some tiny bits of paper in it.  Upon us bringing this to the attention of our server, the salad was immediately replaced with a fresh and much better looking salad, but since that salad got all the attention, we didn't care to make a big fuss over this.

This is the Garden Salad...
....with Blue Cheese salad dressing.  It was a good salad.

What better way to end dinner, than to share the Chocolate Wave:..

Red Lobster on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Olive Garden

The new Olive Garden Restaurant, located at  9780 North Newport Highway, has recently opened and it has breathed a bit of new life into north Spokane.  I have visited there twice in recent days and it has been busy both times... like , really busy.  Amazing!  It could just be because it is a newly opened establishment, but based on the popularity of the restaurant located in downtown Spokane, I have to believe this north side relative  is popular too because people like the downtown "Olive Garden"  establishment and are excited about the new north side location.

Today, it was Valentine's Day and I had a quick lunch up North with some friends,.  It was delicious.

We had a 15 minute wait to get a seat, but it was well worth it, if you ask me.  I enjoyed my soup and salad. and bread and the servers did everything they could to accommodate us, especially me, who had to leave before the rest of our group.

Several of us had soup, (various kinds,) that come with salad and bread. You can order soup separate or have the special that comes with unlimited refills of each.

Two of the women shared a plate of eggplant parmigiana that came with spaghetti on the side and came with salad and bread.  One ordered this delicious looking appetizer dish... the Grilled Chicken Flatbread... consisting of grilled chicken, mozzarella cheese, roasted red peppers and basil on flatbread crust with Alfredo sauce and garlic spread.  It is pictured here:

People love Italian food, and there is perhaps no better way to celebrate Valentines Day than doing something you love with the people you love....

At the end of my visit, my server handed me a chocolate mint, which was much appreciated after the garlic bread, and this note:
You can find some of Olive Garden's recipes here, on their website.  You can also visit them at various locations around this area...Northside, Downtown or at Coeur D'alene, ID.

Olive Garden on Urbanspoon

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Knight's Diner

There is a place on Market Street that I pass by often.... it is called Knight's Diner.  It is one of those railroad car type of restaurants, (not to be confused with Frank's Diner.  It's hard to miss as you pass by 2909 North Market, for there is a towering  horserider in armor out in front with a lighted lance reaching up into the sky. 

Knight's Diner has been in business in Spokane since 1949 and it is on the Spokane Registry of Historic Places too.

 For years
I have thought this place
was always closed.  It looked to me like it was out of business...

.... Nope, not closed.  I now know that they are open for breakfast and lunch, they are just closed for dinner.  Not only that, Knight's Diner, is one of the many breakfast "hot spots" for residents of Spokane, and it has been, for over 60 years! 

 It's cute!
 It was quite lively while we were there.  The whole counter was filled with customers, and this was the BEST part... sitting side by side at the counter with everyone else who was there.  Sitting at the counter is the only place to sit.  there are no booths.... just a row of chairs at the counter.  The food is cooked right in front of everyone and the waitresses are ever working right in front of where you sit. 

IT is just like the old time diners in the movies!

I have to admit it was slightly awkward to sit next to a total stranger and eat breakfast when you are not used to doing that, but it was fun and this place was packed full of happy hungry people, many ho obviously had been her a time or two before.  They serve lunch or breakfast, any time of of their workday, which is:

TUESDAY-SATURDAY  6:30 a.m. until 2 p.m 
SUNDAY  7:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.
They are closed on MONDAY.


Geo had huckleberry pancakes,

....hash browns and gravy, 1 sausage, 1 bacon
and an egg. 

I had French toast, bacon and egg.  --->

Both of us had coffee. Which was really good!  It was the old fashioned kind of drip coffee, not espresso... (I think that it was that good, old fashioned, "Farmers" brand.)

There are some nice photos of this place at their website: here.  

The next time you are out on the tracks...

you might want to take a ride on the train.

If you like the good, old fashioned, traditional breakfasts, then Knight's Diner is the place for you.  If you think you would like to give it a try, click here for a special coupon  that I just found offered on the internet as I was posting this blog tonight. 


Knight's Diner on Urbanspoon

Rockwood Bakery

 Near Manito Park on Spokane's south hill, 
off of Grand, 
on 18th Ave.... 

you will find this tucked away little bakery...

But besides being a bakery, it's a welcoming little neighborhood cafe, serving salads, soups and quiches, as well as a numerous amount of delicious pastries, turnovers, chocolate croissants, and scones.... not to mention, espresso, coffee and tea!  

We went for tea!


....but we ended up with more than tea,; we also had a mint chocolate chip cookie.and and a slice of quiche.

I enjoyed the delicious quiche pictured here, while my friend ate her green colored cookie with delight.

The quiche was "beautimous." (That is my new word, meaning, "beautifully delicious!")

 The Rockwood Bakery is housed in a one hundred year old building that served as the local grocery store for many years.  It is a pretty large facility with several rooms of seating and an outdoor patio for warmer-weather friends.  One could simply jaunt over from the park on a sunny day, have a bite to eat and be on their way. Of course you could always stop here first and take a treat with you on a picnic at the park!

Inside or out, there is a friendly neighborhood atmosphere where friends can gather, or one can  buy a daily newspaper and  sip a coffee by themselves.  I loved the high ceilings, eclectic decor and just imagining that people have come in and out of these doors and traveled up and down the sidewalk before this little place for years and years! 

 I thought found the selction of toys for visiting kids to be hilarious! 

Here is one of my favorites:

I think he is a politician....

 And the magnetic words seemed to be a fun thing that people liked to play with while visiting here too.

IT was fun to visit and quite a treat, but sooner or later, it is time to go....

and good friends have to
part ways for a little while,

 .... but only until we meet again.

Rockwood Bakery on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Taste of India


Taste of India is one of the first spots we visited in breaking out of our food comfort zone and trying new foods and visiting new restaurants around this city.  I never blogged it because I hadn't begun blogging yet.  The opportunity arose the other day to visit here again and it was a real treat for me in more ways than one.  Not only did I get to have lunch with some friends, but I ate some great Indian food, and I get to blog about it too.

The restaurant is located on Division Street, just north of where north Ruby intersects; 3110 North Division Street, to be more exact.

When you eat here, you can order individual dishes from the menu, but if it lunch time, then there is a great little lunch buffet if you would like to try that instead.  Whichever way you order, don;t forget the naam.  (Indian style bread--it's delicious!)  The buffet was the menu that we all went with this afternoon. I really like the option because it gives one the opportunity to explore several Indian flavors at once. And, a note to Jan... meeting here for lunch turned out to be just right for a gathering of friends on a February afternoon. Great idea!

If you are reading this and you wonder what Indian food is like, it is colorful, aromatic and saucy.  There are a lot of peas lentils and beans too.  Some of it may look a little unusual... but it is good!

The flavors of Indian food are flavorful.  Some are spicy hot curries, some are just flavorful.  It's a little bit like taking your tastebuds on vacation.  You will enjoy things like coriander, saffron, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon,  anise, cardamon, and nutmeg. They use a lot of yogurt in their foods too.  It is all really rather exotic.

This place advertises that they change their buffet menu daily, so you could probably eat here everyday and not grow tired of it.  The best part is perhaps the traditional Indian bread, called Naam, YUM!

As you can see, the food is very colorful.  The little rounds on the left were some sort of potato and there was some delicious curry chicken too.  (not too spicy either.)
 Some of the selections were:

Here you see a dinner all pt together.  In the small bowl, is rice pudding to which was added a small round dough-nut like treat that was offered.  On the plate is white rice, naam, lentils smothered in tahini-like sauce.  (quite complimentary!)

Hmmm, forgot what the green sauce was.  Sorry.

There is also tandoori chicken, which is baked in a special kind of oven, and salad with onion chutney.

You can check their daily buffet menu on their facebook page...

Taste of India on Urbanspoon