Before opening Taco Del Mar's startup location in Seattle in 1992, its founders spent years surfing California's coastline and devouring fish tacos and stuffed burritos. During this time, they developed a bottomless appetite for the local specialty?a taco with fried fish, shredded cabbage, lime juice, salsa, and a mystery white sauce?and decided to make it their signature menu item. Since then, the chain has opened locations in more than 20 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces.
The restaurant's Spokane location gives locals a taste of California-surfer cuisine and mission-style eats inspired by the Latino restaurants of San Francisco's bay area. Fresh guacamole dresses tortilla chips, and proteins such as seasoned pork and fried Alaskan cod fill tacos. Cooks roll meats such as braised chicken or ground beef into burritos or edible origami. The foodsmiths also whip up vegetarian and vegan options.
Don't be fooled my Frisco's quaint exterior?inside, the chefs are making culinary magic happen in the kitchen. On the menu, some of the kitchen favorites include wild-boar and bison sausages plated with walnut chutney and yukon-potato mash, as well as the lobster- or shrimp-topped mushroom fettuccine with truffle oil, kale, tomatoes, and mushrooms in a sherry-cream sauce. Of course, classic steak-house dishes like bacon-wrapped filet mignon, roast prime rib, and boneless rib eye are highlights here, though they can be elevated by the addition of seafood or a rich sauce, such as the sun-dried tomato and mushroom pinot grigio cream.
Les Fougères stuns astute tongues with an abundantly rich menu, award winning wine list, and seasonal views of the luscious Gatineau Park. A night of roving conversation begins with Quebec foie gras ($19), accompanied by duck and Armagnac macerated prunes nestled under a canopy of duck jelly, Cabernet Franc ice syrup, homemade grilled brioches, and toasted hazelnuts. Grilled local Venison escalope ($38) escapes gastronomic mundanity by shacking up with truffled wild rice sweet potato cake and caramelized root cellar vegetables. Diners seeking a meal sans meat find sanctuary in the vegetarian midday or dinner menus, which weave meatless pasta dishes with cheeses and fresh vegetables. Finally, a swivelled glass of pinot noir ($4.75–$12.25) complements complex plates and lubricates lips to reveal secrets or suppressed eight ball incantations.
Rochef Chocolatier lures in legions of cacao devotees, stocking the store with pure, handcrafted chocolate edibles made on-site by a master chocolatier. Indulge in lollipops ($2.99) or truffles ($1.50 each, $7.99 for a box of six) crafted from ingredients boasting Belgian and French passports, or sample an array of bites, such as almonds ($7.99 for 340 g), blueberries ($9.99 for 200 g), and coffee beans ($3.99 for 50 g) hand dipped in chocolate and encased in its rich shell as a chic confrontation to claustrophobia. The shop's deluxe gourmet candy bar presents palates with a spicy-sweet mélange of fleur de sel, espelette pepper, pink peppercorn, maple sugar, caramel, cocoa nibs, and cranberries ($6.99). Sweet teeth receive an international education once sunk into a line of Cocoas of the World from South America, the Caribbean, and Africa, treats designed for pairing with wines, beers, cheeses, and lonely security guards everywhere ($7.99).
Cuisine Type: French
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 11?25
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Duck confit, steak, burger, lamb
Alcohol: Full bar
Delivery / Take-out Available: Yes
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Pro Tip: Be happy, have an open mind about food.
At Chez Eric Caf? & Bistro, French techniques intersect with global influences and local delicacies to create a uniquely flavorful menu. Classic cooking methods inform house specialties, such as duck-leg confit with a bacon-herb potato cake and red-onion marmalade, as well as hearty burgers and sandwiches. The kitchen's eye for the culinary calendar means that the menu frequently changes, the better to highlight in-season ingredients. And the surroundings are as fresh and inviting as the food itself?housed inside a quaint, 100-year-old farmhouse, the restaurant welcomes patrons into an airy dining room with brick-red walls, wood-beamed banquettes, and hardwood flooring. Outside, lights twinkle from the trees, which shade a garden patio and a sandbox for kids or well-mannered adults.