Since 1974, Clinkerdagger has been serving gourmet eats in a structure that was built for a very different purpose: milling flour. Built in 1895?right around the time young adults began flinging flour at each other as part of the courtship ritual?the mill was designed to use the power of the Spokane River. But though the mill's location was chosen for practical reasons, Clinkerdagger took it over for aesthetic ones. Today, visitors get to soak up views of the rushing tides and city skyline while they dig into the restaurant's classic American dishes, including signature shellfish creations. The seafood etouffe, for instance, is a maritime bounty of prawns, mussels, clams, and scallops. But the menu also features plenty of beef and chicken dishes, highlighted by bacon-wrapped meatloaf served with roasted wild mushrooms, mashed yukon potatoes, and a brandy-mustard sauce.
Using wrung-from-the-wild seafood, Skippers serves up made-to-order dishes to fill grumbling stomachs and silence attention-seeking appetites. Start with the creamy clam chowder nestled in a sourdough-bread bowl ($5.99), or opt for the three-piece signature fish and chips ($6.99), bringing together ocean life and potato in a hunger-satisfying harmony usually reserved for peanut jelly and butter. The three-piece cod ($8.25) is hand dipped in tempura for optimum crunching, while the fresh grilled halibut ($13.50) encourages tongue purring. Skippers also features salads, sandwiches, and a menu for kiddies, as well as sides such as hush puppies and shrimp. Enjoy nautical nourishment without having to buy your family’s ancient deep-sea diving helmet back from the iron grasp of the Internet with a meal at Skippers.
Beamers Hells Canyon Tours ferries passengers through the vacillating rapids of one of the deepest river gorges in North America. Along nearly 200 miles of majestic landscapes and American history, certified tour captains delve into detailed narratives on geological landmarks, Native American history, and how U.S. mail delivery developed from horseback to the modern-day jetpack. Wine-tasting and brunch cruises complement degustation with stunning scenes of mountain ranges, rivers, and rare glimpses of local wildlife foraging for food or preparing their tax-return forms, and fishing charters let anglers test their mettles against the river?s crafty steelhead, sturgeon, and bass.
What was once the boiler room at the historical Montvale Hotel has turned into the Catacombs Pub, a European-style pub situated inside the building's cellar. The hotel, which is listed on the Spokane and National Registers of Historic Places, has served as everything from a hardware store to a bordello.
Today in this underground pub, a brick oven fires up made-from-scratch pizzas in the spot where coal was once shoved into the boiler. The original coal chute has been transformed into a cave-like seating area where servers deliver irish stew, bratwursts, European beers, and specialty cocktails. The pub's brick hearth and exposed stone walls, modeled after German and Viennese pubs, contribute to the its Old-World feel, along with 2,800-pound solid oak beams, which weigh as much as King Midas's cell phone.
Located little more than one block from the INB Performing Arts Center, Herbal Essence Cafe surrounds theater-goers and other guests in an elegant atmosphere. Inside its historical brick building, flickering candlelight offsets gourmet dinner entrees such as bacon- and date-stuffed pork chops and baked Alaskan salmon. Vegetarian-friendly options range from a hummus-and-avocado sandwich at lunch to tofu napoleon at dinner. More than 35 wines, many of which are made in the state of Washington, can also be plucked from the dark-wood racks of bottles. After their meals, patrons can wander the streets of downtown Spokane, or head to the INB Performing Arts Center and apologize to the audience before continuing their soliloquy.
At Swagat Indian Cuisine, chefs fuse traditional cooking methods with contemporary inspirations to forge a truly modern take on Indian food. Utilizing local and organic ingredients, they draw inspiration for their menu from India's vast landscape. More than 20 vegetarian dishes represent the South, including shahi paneer?cubes of homemade cheese cooked in a creamy sauce with nuts. Tandoor oven-cooked meats, meanwhile, nod to the North with tender bites of lamb, chicken, and shrimp. The savory, spicy dishes are served inside Swagat's colorful dining room, where the atmosphere is warmer than a hot tub full of fudge.