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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Maple Street Bistro

I love it when I tell someone I am going someplace I have never been before... when I tell them the name of the place.. and they tell me they love it; such was the case with this little Bistro on Maple Street!  And...for the record, I simply love these little neighborhood get-a-way type of places.  After my visit today, I have to say, the Maple Street Bistro is a great little sandwich and coffee shop!

This shop opened in 2007!

You can eat inside or outside or drive up and order from your car.  Also, Maple Street Bistro makes all their own breads and pastries, (with only one exception,) and they serve locally roasted Anvil coffee. (Anvil coffee is made at 924 S Perry St Spokane.) 

Their fresh baked "home made" goods are made right there, from the basics, using their own family recipes.  They hand toss their own salad, offer a great variety of sandwiches and Paninis, as well as a daily soup served with bread, and they are quick to serve them up to you too.  It's clean and bright and friendly too, a fun place for breakfast, snack, lunch and even dinner.

They are open 6 AM until 6:30 PM Monday through Friday and on Wednesdays, they are open until eight!  Saturday hours are 7 AM till 5 PM, closed Sunday.

A menu for children to choose from

Daily Special

Soup of the Day... Green Pea

Bistro Club Sandwich

Veggie Delight
Salad, bread and seasonal squash casserole- Yum!

My meal was the Veggie Delight.  I loved it!

Here is their drive up coffee menu:

Before leaving I decided to try one of their hot coffee specialty creations.  My choice was an Agave Cinnamon Latte.  I found mine to be a little sweet, so next time, I will go light on the agave, but I love cinnamon and the cinnamon flavor was great.  I have never had that before.  The Coffee Smoothies looked interesting to me too.

 Maple Street Bistro, a little neighborhood bistro on N. Maple Street, is filled with lots of good things to drink and to eat, and I found lots of little special touches too.  One of the special touches was these paper crafted "Strawberry Boxes," filled with chocolate.... of course! 

Maple Street Bistro on Urbanspoon

Fro Yo Earth

I can only tell you that visiting here to eat frozen yogurt was just plain fun! 

I have to admit, I was skeptical.  I had heard a lot of hype about a new yogurt place opening in Spokane... a couple of them, but quite frankly, I was not very excited.  I mean, how excited an you get about frozen yogurt... really?

Well, one day out with some kids I know we happened past this place.  they had been there before and were quite excited, even hoping to go again, so in we went. It was just like they remembered it from their visit when it opened back in August.  They knew how it all worked at this yogurt shop too, and showed me around.

When you walk in, you see dispensers on the wall, labeled with the various flavors being offered.  You can try them too.  There are little sample cups which you can fill with your flavor selection to see if it is what you like.  Then you simply take another cup and try another flavor.  When you know what you'd like the best, you make your own dessert.  You can even swirl your flavors if they are side by side in one machine. 

Here is a list of the choices we had that day:
Alpine Vanilla, Cable Car Chocolate

Original Wildberry Tart, All Natural Tart Green Apple

All Natural Orange Creamsicle, No Sugar Added Raspberry

Heath Toffe Bar, Reese's Peanut Butter

Pumpkin,  New York Cheesecake

Cake Batter, Rasp. Pomegranate Sorbet

I tried serveral before deciding my favorite flavors of the day.  The kids picked their too and then we all shared.  There was pomegranate Sorbet... Reeses'... Heath...and Alpine Vanilla. 

I liked my FroYo experience so much, I went again with Geo and a friend later the same week!  Geo liked it.  He at his with several toppings, mainly coconut and chocolate covered almonds.  I ate mine plain.  Our friend enjoyed her yogurt too, though she complained about the Tart Apple flavor. Her assessment was that it was indeed quite tart.  Probably a fair assessment, I think.  I didn't try that one, thinking of course, that it might be "tart."  I know everyone has different tastes and I know of one person who does not like any of it at all, but for the ones I tried, all I can say, is yum!  I liked it.

Did I mention, the Froyo experience is also very fun?

The fun part at Froyo has simply got to be making your own dessert and being somewhat uninhibited by cost as you make your selection.  This is because you pay by the ounce for toppings too.  It's pretty simple, all you do is pick your cup size, and make your own desert.  And here is a nifty little deal... there is a discount of 5% if you pay in cash as opposed to using a credit card.  It's not just about dessert wither.... you can do breakfast too.  They advertise that they also make fresh waffles, no doubt for your creative culinary breakfast yogurt endeavor, if that sounds like fun to you.

The maximum caloric content (for yogurt only,) I was told, is 110 calories per four ounces.  You can check out their nutritional information at under the menu option.  The sorbets are lover in calories and gluten free.  There are a lot of various topping you can put on your dessert, so if you are worried about calories, skip those.... but if you are okay with it, there's some great choices there too.  Here too, you can, as Froyo says,  "mix and match and top to your heart's content!"

Listed are toppings of Fresh Blueberries, Fresh Raspberries, Fresh Strawberries, Fresh Blackberries, Fresh Bananas or Pineapple

Monday, October 17, 2011


Forza is an Italian word, and it means "Go!'   (It also means strength or force.)  I happen to think it is a great name for a coffee shop with a drive through window; you know, you get your coffee and ..."Go!"   But Forza coffee shop is more than meets the eye.  It is more than just your usual "coffee stop.  It's a great little place to have a bite to eat too.  Primarily based in Washington, I thought it was a great little find.

Currently, in Spokane, you can find a Forza in two spots.  One is on the South Hill at 2829 E 29th #B and in Spokane Valley, at 325 S. Sullivan Road, Suite C.

Pastries on display at Forza.
It's a relaxed atmosphere here, and there is even a fireplace and comfy chairs to relax in while you sip your coffee.  They not only serve espresso drinks and various other specialty coffee beverages, teas, soft drinks, smoothies but pastries, (the ones here at Forza was made by the local Rocket Bakery,) sandwiches, salads, wine by the glass, beer on tap, and whole bean coffee that you can brew at home. I have to tell you too, I was surprised to learn they serve more than coffee.

I thought I had been given wrong information when I went in, but a very reliable source had informed me that Forza was a great place to go for lunch.  Come to find out, it's one of those best kept "secrets."

My first clue was one woman eating a nice looking salad on a big square plate when we came in.  I stood at the counter and read the marquee menu... twice and saw nothing about salads or sandwiches at all.  I wondered several time if I had been given faulty information; then,
I saw this sign...

"Turkey Bacon Bravado."

Hmmm.  It was beginning to look like they served food.

Then, I spotted what looked like a menu....

Not only did they have a menu, but it contained quite a selection of items you could order up for lunch, including salads.

After a bit of deliberation, I ordered that, the "special of the day." a Turkey and Bacon Bravado.

"What is that?" you might ask...

Well, it looks like this:

 and it was served with potato chips.  It was smoked turkey and bacon with feta cheese and a tasty sun-dried tomato sauce, lettuce and slice of tomato.

Our group ordered two bravados and
a Pepperoni and Olive Pizza, (which was served on Naam, and quite yummy too......

an Egg and Bacon Cheese Bagel,

 and a Cinnamon Roll which had nuts on it.

We also ordered some coffees
and a mango-orange juice drink.

It was all really good!

As I mentioned, this place also serves beer and wine, however, like the food, these items are not on the marquee menu either.  As for a wine list, I inquired and my understanding is, what you see on display is what is being served that day.  They change varieties from time to time. The same is true for the beer on tap.

For more information, visit the website: Forza Coffee.

Forza Coffee Spokane Valley on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Flying Goat

The Flying Goat is located in a neighborhood.  I love the fact that people in the neighborhood can walk over to go out to eat or hang with friends, maybe even have beer and then not get behind the wheel of a car and drive afterwards.

  (There are a few good little spots for eating in this neighborhood by the way.)

I found The Goat to be a very friendly, and quite lively place with good food and a good selection of food on the menu to choose from.  You know, if you are ever at Audubon Park, this might be a good spot to stop to eat before going home, or you could eat here first and then enjoy a day at the park.  Either way, (or if you go there without going to the park,) the Flying Goat is worth a try, if you like dis-ordinary pizzas, some made with exotic sounding cheeses, roasted peppers, asparagus... things like that.

I went there on a rainy day with some friends.  The atmosphere was great.  There was a fire outside on the patio in the pit with people sitting around it, enjoying the contrast in temperatures as they ate their food.  We sat inside, and as I walked past table after table on the way to my own, I couldn't help but notice the beautiful pizzas being served... and the happy people, (this on a Monday, none the less!)  I mean imagine, if you will, steak pizza with roasted mushrooms, capers, flying goat cheese blend, a sweet onion cream sauce and watercress, or a chorizo and shrimp with spiced tomato sauce, house cheese blend, red peppers and Manchego cheese.  I never even heard of Manchengo cheese!

Of the group I ate with, we all absolutely loved what we ate, (though we did think the asparagus salad would have been more asparagus.)  This Flying Goat place, was truly a find for us that day that we all wanted to visit over lunch...  and we all will probably go another day.  I was just right for us.

Our table ordered several menu items including a pizza. 
Asparagus Salad with Chicken

The Grace Veggie:  asparagus, roasted red pepper, tomato, cucumber, carmelized onion, goat cheese arugula and balsamic reduction..... on a delicious flatbread, with Greek salad on the side.

Here is the Pizza, still on the pizza serving pan.
I kinda forgot which one this is, but think this is the Wellington...  note the asparagus!

Garland Chicken, with potato salad.

 You can double click on the menu and see it closer for prices if you like.

Now, about that "Flying Goat" concept.  I love it, mostly because I often thing of my own goat with ears so long, and when she hold them out and runs, she reminds me of The Flying Nun.  Have you ever heard of it, or do you remember Sally Feilds in that TV show?  Alas, it was long ago, and rather silly, but believe it or not, people watched it way back "when."  My goat looks nothing like the one that is their logo, but I love the concept....  Goats are pretty cool animals. 

I did read that in the building of this restaurant they used the wood from an old grain elevator belonging to Otis Leonard of Ritzville.  The grain elevator originally constructed in 1910, can be seen in a photo on the wall near the front entrance of the place.  It's amazing to think that that structure's materials are now being used throughout the pub.  I think it is what gives this place it's character.  HAving been built just in 2010, it doesn;t feel new, but has the feel of being there a while.  It has a lot of warmth and charm.

I liked it!

They offered desserts, but we declined, thinking coming here for dessert alone would maybe be fun.  They sounded delicious, and they even have Root Beer Floats!  But one of the desserts, the fruit crisp, was advertised to us as being made with a fruit called "a pluot."  (Plu- ot.)  IT sounded interesting but we were all pretty much calorie laden.  I left wondering why I had never heard of a pluot before.

But guess what?  As I was driving home, I just happened to stop at a fruit stand on my way home,  that just happened to have some pluots for sale. Interesting....

So, I had to buy some...

A pluot!

and taste them.

They are pretty much just as advertised and they are indeed, the best of both worlds... a mix between a plum and an apricot! 

And such was my day, the day, I went to the Flying Goat!

There is some great artwork on the walls too!

The Flying Goat on Urbanspoon