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Pig out in the Park

8.08.13

Villagio Fire Pizza

LONGBOARD BURGERS resurrected
AS THE SURF SHACK

For the last five years, Longboard Burgers owner Gary Kender says more than 1,000 people have asked him when he's going to reopen Longboard. The Coeur d'Alene burger joint that used to be a local favorite, closed after Kender lost it in a divorce, but he regained the space and reopened it as The Surf Shack at the end of July.

"I thought there was no hope I'd ever get the spot back," Kender says. "Because of the feedback, I pursued the location and got it back. It was really meant to be."

That location is a bit obscure — tucked in the back of the A & D Mini Mart on the corner of 4th Street and West Appleway Avenue — but it seats 26 people and serves up the same Southern California-style burgers and Philly cheesesteak sandwiches you'd remember from Longboard.

You'll find 13 different burgers on the menu (starting at $2.49 for a hamburger) including mushroom Swiss, Hawaiian and the Tommy chili cheeseburger.

The only new additions to the menu are black bean and turkey burgers as well as hand-cut onion rings and sweet potato fries. Also, the ketchup is now house-made. ("We're kind of anti-high fructose corn syrup," Kender says.) The sauces come in traditional ketchup, huckleberry ketchup, chipotle ketchup and fry sauce.

Kender is also working infused tea into the menu, currently serving southern sweet tea with other flavors to come in the future.

A word of warning: Don't go venturing over to The Surf Shack looking for dinner. Their hours are 10:30 am to 2:30 pm, Monday through Saturday. Kender says the hours will probably increase on Friday and Saturday nights come fall.

JO MILLER

VILLAGGIO PIZZA COMES TO VINTAGES

When Villaggio — a South Hill Neapolitan pizzeria — closed about a year ago, owners Steve and Cannies Seddon purchased Vintages@611 last September. Now the owners are bringing the two restaurants together at the Vintages location (611 E. 30th Ave.) and making a name change to Villaggio Kitchen & Bar. The Vintages menu of American, rustic Italian and Mediterranean cuisine will stay intact and a second menu will be added with pizzas from the former Villaggio restaurant. Expect to see about 10 pizzas, such as their specialty Villaggio pizza with Wisconsin mozzarella, Gorgonzola, caramelized onions, balsamic reduction and extra virgin olive oil topped with Prosciutto Di Parma ham. A wood-fired pizza oven from Florence, Italy, is being installed and Cannies says they hope to be making pizzas by the end of the month. Other changes include making the menus more seasonal and adding authentic Southeast Asian dishes.

JO MILLER

Mustard Seed
Davenport
Epic
the Scoop
LIncoln Center
Public Market
Culinary Calendar
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"Reserve" Wines

Rocket Market | 726 E. 43rd Ave.

Wine tasting class on the differences between a "reserve" and non-reserve wine. | Aug. 9 at 7 pm | $20, reservations required | 343-2253more...

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Champagne Brunch

The Lincoln Center | 1316 N. Lincoln St.

Four-course summertime brunch as part of the Connoisseurs Club. | Aug. 11 from 11 am-2 pm | $40 | Ages 21+ | 327-8000more...

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Sierra Nevada Tap Takeover

Enoteca | 112 E. Seltice Way, Post Falls

Beer tasting hosted by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. | Aug. 15 from 5-8 pm | Free | Ages 21+ | 208-457-9885more...

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The Blind Buck

204 N. Division St.
290-6229

Main Avenue has been targeted for its "hipness" in the past few years, as stores and restaurants continue to flourish in an unlikely pocket of east downtown Spokane. Apparently this trend is growing, as The Blind Buck becomes the latest bar to pop up in this already happening nightlife area.

Like some of its neighbors (Zola, Saranac and Boots, to name a few), The Blind Buck doesn't skimp on the design elements.  At a recent soft opening — the bar opens permanently later this week — guests pointed and checked out all of the quirks and details as if the speakeasy-style drinking establishment was a museum. There are the TVs displaying only black and white, the pennies that make up the bathroom floor, the word "Blind" spelled out in lights in the corner, and of course the eponymous buck on the wall beneath it. You can tell just by looking at the place that a lot of thought and passion went into making the bar just right.

The Blind Buck is easy to miss on the outside, given that it's opening on a stretch of Division that's long been vacant after the neighboring Globe bar closed. This may just add to the bar's speakeasy-like vibe. You might even feel like you need a password to get in. Once you step inside, an eclectic group of people make up the crowd, from college kids to local hipsters. more...

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Vintage Vines

106 N. Evergreen Rd.
227-9463

It's not the most typical place you'd find a beer and wine specialty shop fused with a cozy cafe — Vintage Vines is sandwiched between a jewelry store and an insurance office inside a Spokane Valley strip mall, 50 yards from the bustle of East Sprague. Yet charm abounds inside the quaint, quiet shop with local art hung on the walls and a welcoming grandma's-house-meets-coffee-shop feel.

The locally owned business opened as a beer and wine specialty shop in 2011. While wine and beer lovers should find plenty to like in the shop's retail area, Vintage Vine's menu — added to supplement its beverage offerings — shouldn't be overlooked. A diverse appetizer list features snacks that pair well with both beer and wine, including cheese and hummus plates, crispy housemade potato chips served with a cheesy onion dip, and mini grilled cheese sandwiches with prosciutto. Savory sandwiches, soups and salads round out the remainder of the menu, including daily rotating sandwich and soup specials. Don't miss the tangy, sweet pulled pork slider special. Most menu items are at or under $10; ask your host for beer and wine suggestions. more...

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