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.
Taxidermy buffalo and deer heads oversee GW Hunters Steakhouse's rustic wood-paneled dining room, where tables strain beneath the load of hefty steaks, seafood, and pasta. In addition to the traditional hearty steak-house fare, the chefs at the family-owned establishment dish out a wide range of unusual meats, including elk, buffalo, and alligator—each of which are personally wrestled into submission by the head chef, Rex Shank. Every Sunday, a country breakfast buffet spans the restaurant's event hall with a smorgasbord of skillets and steaks. The steak house also opens its elegant, 50-year-old banquet facility for private events, where parties of up to 50 folks can feast amid gold-stained floors, golden walls, and a sophisticated absence of chimpanzee waiters.
Roasting meat over an open flame may sound like a rustic style of cooking, but at Rio Grill Brazilian Steakhouse, it's an exact science. The Brazilian steakhouse's churrasco grill rotates skewers of New York steak, tri tip steak, top sirloin steak, Australian lamb, and other meats over open flames, making a full rotation precisely three times per minute. This allows the meats to be basted in their natural juices as they're roasted to succulent perfection. Servers present the finished skewers to tables, carving choice cuts directly onto plates or into guests' gaping mouths. Diners can also savor authentic side dishes such as fiejoda and empanadas, or head to a fully stocked salad bar to load up on fresh greens.
During a night at Rio Grill, you might run into a few unfamiliar terms, defined below.
Churrasqueira: The history of Rio Grill's churrascaria cuisine stretches back centuries, to the cattle-herding cowboys of southern Brazil. Those cowboys?known as gauchos?cooked cuts of beef over open fire, a technique that became known as churrasco. At Rio Grill, the churrasqueira is indoors, but its flames still slow roast each skewer of meat until they are just so.
Rodizio: In Brazil, rodizio simply means "all you can eat." But in the United States, it means "all you can meat." Diners devour as much meat from the churrasqueira as they want; but they never have to leave their seats. Instead, the meat comes to them, via passadors.
Passadors: Holding skewers loaded with fresh-grilled meats, the servers?or passadors?navigate the dining room. When a diner gives the signal, the passador neatly slices a cut of meat from their skewer directly onto the plate.
With Rocky Mountain granite and natural logs softly lit by rustic chandeliers, Prospectors Bar & Grill has the feel of a historic miner's lodge. So when servers slide an entree onto the table, diners might feel as hungry as if they'd been swinging pickaxes all day. Guests in the dining room can admire the mining memorabilia, which includes a life-sized bear carved with a chainsaw, as chefs in the kitchen prepare aged filet mignon, sautéed-mushroom burgers, and shrimp scampi from scratch. Although they whip up traditional American comfort food, such as po' boy sandwiches and St. Louis–style barbecued pork ribs, chefs aren’t afraid to put their own progressive twists on classic dishes. For instance, they pile the cheesy Thai Pie pizza with roasted chicken, mushrooms, red pepper, and green onion, lending it some additional spice with Thai-style chili sauce and teriyaki.
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.
The staff at Black Tie Coffee & Bakery make all their selections in-house, roasting their own blends of coffee and experimenting in their kitchen to create a roster of 20 original scones. This do-it-yourself attitude has resulted in fan-favorite concoctions such as complex double dark chocolate with cinnamon, cherry, and a dash of chipotle, and yerba mate tea blended with honey and vanilla until it reaches a smooth frappuccino consistency. Alternatively, traditional americanos and cinnamon-spiked espressos sate drinkers with less of an appetite for sugar. Freshly roasted beans are kept in stock for customers who prefer to make their drinks or eat handfuls of caffeinated beans at home. Guests can complete meals with bagel sandwiches and the house’s signature scones, which staff bake every morning in eight daily flavors, such as wild-berry lemon and almond poppy seed.