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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hay J's Bistro

In an unlikely spot....(this would be a little gas station mini-mall,) you will find this little bistro called Hay J's. It is one place people have often mentioned to us as a "good place to eat." Of course, we just had to try it for ourselves, but it took us a while to make it out to Liberty Lake.  Finally, however,  that day came, and off we went.  It was "lunch."


It's a rather charming little place, decorated with, what I would call, a bit of sophisticated subtlety,.  I guess in a way it is not too subtle, as it is accentuated with grapes, wine bottles, and wine glasses... and sayings about wine, but it's a comfortable, almost casual atmosphere with earthy colors... low lighting.  It's a little romantic, and a bit sophisticated, in a subtle sort of way.  It is also a favorite of the locals of Liberty Lake..

 We began our lunch with crabcakes.

They were delicious.  I had not had crab cakes this good since Baltimore Maryland.  These are made with king crab meat, fresh herbs, pepper, and bread crumbs, that are pan fried with cilantro and sour cream.

Then we had to decide what to order.  You can view their menu here.  Geo likes to ask the servers about popular items... and the things they like to eat if he has a hard time choosing.  It was a tough pick, but we did it.

Geo went for the Asian flavors of a Red Coconut Curry with Rice which was created with lots of great veggies and spice.  I went for the Pacific Northwest fare of a Huckleberry Chicken Wrap which came with soup.... of which I had to choose between Clam Chowder and Curry Beef.  I went with the curry. which yummy.  Being as I really am not a big -on-beef person, I remember at one point wondering why I ordered it, and then I remembered.... "because I love curry." 

Geo said he would have gone for the chowder.

My wrap was superb.  It consisted of grilled chicken, spinach, red grapes, pecans, red onion & goat cheese in a spinach flavored wrap.  The highlight really was my wrap.  I liked it a lot.

The Red Coconut Curry
Geo loved his curry.
Huckleberry Chicken Wrap

Well, this is another great little place to dine in the local area.  Though not in Spokane, it's just a hop and a skip and a jump away, in nearby Liberty Lake, WA.
Hay J's Bistro on Urbanspoon

Thursday, June 23, 2011

South Perry Pizza

South Perry Pizza is located on the South Hill, at the corner of 10th Avenue and.... Perry.  It is part of a little section of Spokane known as the South Perry District..  It's an attractive little spot with indoor and outdoor seating in a community/neighborhood environment, and the food is good too.

The open air building, an old garage, has been neatly transformed into a great little eating establishment, and is just right for eating pizza on a summer evening with friends, especially as the live music is playing on a breeze.  Tonight, the place was packed.  It sure felt as though summer had finally arrived.

While we ate and visited, we had the  opportunity to enjoy the musical talents of Matt Mitchell, as he  played guitar, keyboards, and a bit of harmonica too.

For me personally, it felt like old times when my family would go to the local pizza parlor and listen to my brother-in-law, John play his guitar and sing.   In my reminiscing, I even thought I heard him singing for just a little while.  These two have a sound in common.  I liked it.

Matt, thanks for the tunes!

Between us we enjoyed a Caesar and shared a Bleu. The Caesar was great and the Blue was fantastic... but I think I liked the Blue the best.  The mixture of flavors was just right.

We loved the anti-pasta too, and started eating it before remembering to take these pics.  The Antipasto had olives, red peppers, fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, sopressata, salami, pepperoni and artichokes.   It really hit the spot.

So, the music was great, the company was fantastic  and the dinner was uniquely superb.  I mean, there are just not too many places I have been that serve "Peach" Pizza.  Okay, well, I have never heard of or even thought of "Peach Pizza" before.  Have you?

Well, they have Peach Pizza here, and for me it was just plain difficult to resist something as unique and interesting as that.  We tried that and the house pizza.... along with that antipasto and salads.

The pizza is thin crust and I have to note that the prices were a little spendy.  If you have a plan to feed a lot of hungry kids you might want to plan ahead.

For pizza, as I mentioned, we had the House Special which consisted of tomato sauce, mozzarella, sausage, pepperoni, mushroom, and caramelized onions on a thin crust.

The  Peach Pizza, consisted of peaches, prosciutto, basil, olive oil and mozzarella.

It was very pleasant. There was a hint of sweet with the savory, kinda like a pizza with pinapple on it, but it was not as sweet.  It was a nice surprise.  My boy, who ate our leftovers when we got home almost reluctantly tried it, but the thought of peaches on a pizza really sorta perked his interest too, and as it turned out, he loved it.

A lot of people must like it.    Did I mention that this place was busy for a Wednesday evening?

There was something special about it.

Maybe it was the live music in the casual open-air that made it special?

Perhaps it was the fire baked pizza?  Maybe the smells of spices and herbs wafting into the street?

Maybe it was the feel of summer in the evening air, being that it was the first warm summery day in a long time here in Spokane?  Or maybe it was just that feel of community? (You know, walking down the street, seeing familiar faces, stopping by the local pizza joint on the corner of Perry and Tenth?)

It may have been the appeal of having a local artist's ("Jill Skeie") artwork (and poetry)  showcased on the walls.  Jill does all sorts of artistry.... here she is with her handmade fashions and woven rugs. 

 and here is her watercolors.....

and poems.
 I venture to say that the experience at South Perry Pizza, is a little like a good pizza itself, a "combination" of several delicious ingredients.  It was a good combination.... good food, good friends and a friendly community atmosphere on a Spokane summer evening, that made this place, South Perry Pizza, a delicious, busy, and fun, little place to take in some local music and art and maybe even share a pizza dinner between good friends.

South Perry Pizza on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Black Jack Buffet

 Black Jack Buffet is no longer open for business.

I noticed the other day that the place which used to be Granny's Buffet, which then became Old Country Buffet, and then sat vacant for along time, had some kind of newly opened business operating in it.  It seemed a little obscure, as to what the business was because the sign only had the word, "BUFFET."  There were some depictions of some cards, next to the word, "BUFFET," but no words.  For all I knew, this could have been a casino with a "buffet."  I peeked into the window and saw that it was a rather attractive Asian restaurant.

This warranted a second visit. with Geo in tow.  It was then that I understood the name of the place, Black Jack Buffet.

This is the fountain near the entrance which I viewed through the window that first day.
Very nice!

As advertised, they offer all sorts of foods and food dishes to choose from.

They have a lovely sushi bar....

...with all kinds of interesting choices.  The tuna was great, as was this cucumber delight.

No photos, but there is also a small grill where you can have them cook things you select.   There are also a lot of desserts to choose from.  We selected ice cream.   
 The decor was elegant... very pretty.

It  makes one feel like they are in a fancy Chinese restaurant. 
We still have our favorite Chinese food spots in Spokane, but we just added one more to our list.
Black Jack Buffet on Urbanspoon