12501 N. Division St., Ste. 3
In the parking lot of a far north Spokane strip mall, the aroma of sugary goodness beckons. It's only the second day of business for the newest installment of Sweet Frostings, the popular dessert bakery that started out less than two years ago downtown at the corner of First Avenue and Washington Street. While the bakery's owners, Judy Rozier and Sally Winfrey, didn't make a big announcement about their Wandermere store opening last week, word of mouth travels fast and customers flocked there for signature heart-embellished cupcakes and other sweet treats. Rozier estimates as many as 1,500 people stopped into the new store on its first day of business.
Most aspects of the new store are generally the same as downtown, Rozier says, except that no baking is done at the Wandermere location. Instead, staff at the downtown store's bakery prepare baked goods the night before. In the morning, the treats are transported north where the finishing touches are done. Because of its later opening hours, there won't be pastries at the north-side store every day, just Friday and Saturday, and the treat shop's gelato is pre-packaged into pint-sized containers to save floor space that would have been used for a case freezer, Rozier says. The newly opened store also offers a quaintly decorated party room that can be rented out for special events, like birthday parties and showers.
822 W. Sprague Ave.
Across the street from the Davenport's Sprague Avenue entrance, Ed Dudley has opened a tasting room to showcase his Walla Walla-based winery's bounty to those of us residing up north. Longtime Spokane residents might remember seeing the Patit Creek Cellars sign when it graced the original winery's location in Dayton, but newer residents will appreciate an increased selection and the opportunity to sample fruits of the vine at a location close to home.
Originally, the winery produced only merlot and cabernet sauvignon, but when winemaker Joe Forest was hired in 2008, Patit Creek began expanding its range and now produces bottles of riesling, chardonnay, tempranillo and blends like Triniti, which artfully combines syrah, grenache and mourvedre.
There is an element to wine consumption, however, that many tasting rooms fail to address: Wine goes really well with food. Extremely well with good food. And even better when that food is specifically created to form a gastronomic bond with a certain type of fermented grape.
Patit Creek's tasting room has a commercial kitchen, one of the reasons why Dudley chose the space, and from that kitchen arrive plates of crimini mushroom caps lavished with creamy parmesan and a touch of cayenne ($8) or Roux Shrooms - button mushrooms simmered in Patit's classic red Bordeaux blend ($8). A cheese and charcuterie board features smoked meats from Sante and local cheeses from Heron Pond, as well as Gouda from a family farm in Ferndale.