Flamin' Joe's loves chicken wings, slinging the pub staple in increments of anywhere from 6 to 200 bone-in and boneless wings accompanied by an array of sauces and seasonings. Aside from each family-friendly location's over 20 HDTVs, special-recipe sauces, ranked from the mild Naked to the extra-hot Widow Maker, provide zesty alternatives to milder rubs and sauces such as orange-ginger, mango-habanero, and huckleberry barbecue. Draft beers, such as PBR and Full Sail, also complement sandwiches such as The Hangover burger, a juicy burger topped with an egg, bacon, american cheese, and Joe's code 3 sauce. Flamin' Joe's hosts special events throughout the week, such as trivia competitions every Wednesday night.
With 50 competitors vying for $3,000 in prizes, the Battle Of The Homebrews rewards only the best amateur beers of the pack. A people's choice event, visitors get the chance to taste samples and vote for their favorite of the competition's concoctions. From the pack, the top 10 winners get cash prizes and the beer with the most votes earns the chance to be brewed in a large batch by professional brewers. The event comes to the masses with help from The Spokane Eastside Reunion Association, an organization whose mission is to bring local communities together to inspire residents and improve local neighborhoods.
Levi Knight, a veteran of the United States Army, is the man you'll likely meet while visiting Two Knights Home Brew. With a decade of brewing and wine-making experience behind him, the personable Knight finds it easy to explain the ins and outs of home brewing to students of all experience levels or to confused yeast molecules unsure if they're doing their job correctly. He's even helped foster many of the area's breweries by supporting their founders as they get their start. Students can sign up for an evening class to sip and learn, or stop by to browse the shop's inventory of brewing merchandise.
One of a cluster of bustling small businesses at State Line Plaza, Little Italy's Wine Bar is great place to unwind. The wine bar draws in patrons with multiple flatscreen televisions, an outdoor patio, plus 50 bottled microbrews and 12 rotating taps. And of course, there's also plenty of wine. Oenophiles can participate in Little Italy's wine club for exclusive chances to taste new wines each month, based on personal preferences and prices.
If one word had to describe Coeur d’Alene Cellars’ attitude toward winemaking, it would probably be "meticulous." During each stage of creation, from vineyard selection and harvest to bottling, winemakers carefully supervise and adjust conditions to suit their visions. They hand-harvest fruit from their eastern Washington vineyards only on days that fit specific temperature conditions. Between pickings, the vines are pruned for low yields that concentrate flavor and quality. And their syrah and viognier grapes are both hand-sorted the night of harvest before they’re pressed and fermented.
That process is carefully controlled as well. Syrah blends first ferment in open-top vessels, allowing for closer management of color and tannins. Only later do they age inside French and American oak barrels, like former daredevils bent on reliving their trip over Niagara Falls. Viognier blends, on the other hand, spend both fermentation and aging periods in small oak barrels.
The resulting well-balanced wines can claim myriad accolades from publications such as Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast. Their 2004 Sarah’s cuvée viognier, for instance, earned 89 points from Wine Enthusiast, which praised its "good balance" of "peach, apricot, sour lemon candy and even a bit of cinnamon." Current vintages include the 2007 Alder Ridge Vineyard syrah, whose smooth body supports flavors of berries, vanilla, and cinnamon that conclude in a lingering finish.
These and other wines are poured at Coeur d'Alene's onsite wine bar, Barrel Room No. 6. Inside, sleek red walls help create an upscale vibe. Glasses perch beneath pendant lighting on the bar or glitter on top of old wine barrels repurposed as tables. As customers sip, knowledgeable wait staff can suggest ways to bring out the wines' subtle flavors by nibbling aromatic cheese pairings or the hem of a neighbor’s freshly laundered shirt.
When walking into Well-Read Moose's nondescript stone building, customers probably wouldn't expect a seven-foot Cat in the Hat to greet them with a hug. During a story time event in June 2014, though, that's exactly what happened. Interactive events like those are just one way of the many ways books come alive here. Even without large behatted felines, the store engages readers with author-hosted book readings and signings, as well as evening wine tastings. Well-Read Moose also sells coffee and pastries from local bakeries to keep guests fueled as they listen to their favorite writer or peruse the extensive collection, which ranges from children's classics to the latest adult thrillers.