If they can't make it to the game, sports fans find The Ref Sports Bar a good substitute for the live action. Flat screens flicker on all four sides of a jumbotron-style feature hanging above the bar. Friends gather around creatively named pizzas, such as the Classic Homerun Margherita and the The Man Cave, with buffalo sauce, crispy chicken, jalapeño bacon, and ranch dressing forming the image of the buttons on a remote control. They can also share a plate of chicken wings doused in various sauces, including six buffalo sauces in varying levels of heat. Ambitious eaters who complete the Unnecessary Roughness Challenge—devouring five total pounds of burger, toppings, and fries—get their meal for free plus a pallet in the corner to sleep off the food coma.
Barbecued meats and frosty brews are the main draw at Hot Rods Bar and BBQ, but you could probably guess that from looking at the name. What you wouldn't know without stopping in for dinner, however, is how much fun can be had when the plates are cleared away. A late-night destination no matter the night, Hot Rods pairs saucy ribs and pulled-pork sandwiches with entertainment options that range from live karaoke to beer-pong tournaments.
Rated the best Indian restaurant in the area by Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living, Top of India lives up to its name with tandoori staples culled from different regions of India. These include chicken tikka and lamb shish kebab. Beyond those meaty mainstays, the eatery cooks up more than 15 vegetarian options. Dishes like mushroom korma and chicken chili lend credence to the restaurant’s award-winning stature, and the full bar offers house specialities such as a hard mango lassi with a flare of coconut, a Royale Salute martini, and a margarita based on the classic Indian nimbu pani.
Dozens of glasses dangle by their handles from the humongous mug rack over Jones Radiator's bar, hinting at the pub's commitment to good drinks, classic cocktails, and current trends. These robust cups receive pours of stouts, IPAs, and lagers from the 25 taps of craft beer below, whereas bartenders mix cocktails with sprits such as rum and habanero tequila. In the kitchen, cooks prepare starter plates of pulled pork tacos and serve them street-style on corn tortillas and speckled with cilantro and onions. An array of flat breads?including chicken pesto, rosemary and mushrooms, and sausage and peppers?arrive at tables with an air of aromatic smoothness while classic french dip and gyros sandwiches provide classic satisfaction. Edibles act as only one draw to the venue, however. The staff welcomes live bands of all genres, from jazz to rock to bluegrass, and schedules themed movie nights.
While seemingly unorthodox, the melding of authentic Irish fare and Southern-style smoked barbecue creates a mouthwatering mix as tempting as the pub’s black and tans. Sink teeth into authentically appointed slow-cooked corned beef and cabbage served with irish stew, a dinner salad, and house-made horseradish sauce for dipping ($13.95). Freshly caught and covered in a Guinness beer batter, the fish and chips pairs deep-fried Alaskan white fish with steak fries and a house-made tartar sauce ($14.95 for two fillets). The smoked barbecue pulled pork spends more than 10 hours in an apple-wood burning barbecue pit before it’s partnered plateside with barbecue sauce, green salad, baked beans, and cornbread ($14.95 for a platter). Choose from an array of salads and sandwiches, including the ultimate chicken, a grilled chicken breast buried beneath smoked bacon, mushrooms, and swiss cheese ($10.95). O'Doherty's also serves a hearty breakfast Saturday and Sunday, with favorites like corned beef hash and eggs and "smoked pit" ham and eggs benedict on the menu.
Open late every night, The Blue Spark sops patrons with 26 tasty on-tap beers, a collection of cocktails, and delicious bar fare. Stop in for happy hour from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and enjoy $3 pints of Spaten Optimator, Samuel Adams, New Castle, and more (pints are normally $3.50–$5). Cheer up your melancholy stomach by snacking on tri-color tortilla chips and salsa (regularly $4.50, $2.50 during happy hour) or untangle a web of lies about your baseball career over a soft stadium pretzel ($3). For cheesier choosers, The Blue Spark offers a double cheese calzone with extra-extra cheese ($8), as well as a pizza stuffed with Italian sausage, pepperoni, onions, and jalapeños ($11). Wine by the glass ($6–$6.50) is available for unparching palates; gargle Red Diamond merlot or Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling for a mouthful of fruity fun.