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01.23.14

Roast House

BARLOWS MOVES INTO NEW HOME

For several months, Barlows Family Restaurant in Liberty Lake has been constructing a new building and on Monday they officially opened in their new space.

The former location is about a quarter of a mile from the new spot (1428 North Liberty Lake Road), a stand-alone building about double the size of the original restaurant next to Starbucks in the Liberty Lake Town Center.

"The truth is we had to move because we were busting at the seams," says Michael Fry, who owns Barlows with his wife, Alicia. They had reached capacity and the former location couldn't handle a dinner menu, he says.

Along with adding a dinner menu, the breakfast and lunch menus received a few updates. New deli sandwiches are now on the lunch menu and several new breakfast items were added. One new breakfast dish, called loco moco, is a Hawaiian meal of white rice, hamburger meat, egg and gravy.

"It's really good and can be a hearty breakfast if you want it to be," Fry says.

Barlows is also armed with a new chef now working the kitchen, plus a new pastry chef who will be making a lot of things from scratch, like biscuits and cinnamon rolls, Fry says.

On top of the already long list of additions, the new Barlows has a lounge with its own bar menu.

JO MILLER

ROAST HOUSE WINS GOOD FOOD AWARD

Deborah Di Bernardo, owner of Roast House, traveled to San Francisco last Thursday to receive a Good Food Award. Roast House's entry of its Guatamalan Batzchocola won them the honor from the annual awards ceremony. The Good Food Awards select American food producers who push their industry in the direction of craftsmanship, sustainability and community. Awards are given in categories such as beer, cheese, charcuterie, coffee and preserves and Roast House was among 13 other roasters in their category to be awarded. And Roast House isn't the only Inland Northwest company to recently win a Good Food Award. At last year's ceremony, Evans Brothers Coffee in Sandpoint, Idaho, won for their organic Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Birhanu.

JO MILLER


Fatburger
Beacon Hill
Manito Tap House
Inlander
Culinary Calendar
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Winter Beer Dinner

The Lincoln Center | 1316 N. Lincoln

Five-course dinner with course paired with a beer from Stone Brewing Co. | Jan. 24 from 6-10 pm | $55 | Ages 21+ | 327-8000more...

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IPA Challenge

Rocket Market | 726 E. 43rd Ave.

Featuring IPAs from America's top breweries, in an East vs. West taste-off. | Jan. 25 at 7 pm | $20, reservations required | Ages 21+ | 343-2253more...

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Hand-Rolled Truffles

Chocolate Myracles | 11616 E. Montgomery Ave.

Participants will make heart-shaped dark chocolate truffles in a two-hour class, as well as truffle ingredients to take home. | Jan. 28 from 6-8 pm | $55 | 922-6353more...

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Lincoln Center
Vino!
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River City Brewing

121 S. Cedar
413-2388

When River City Brewing opened a little less than a year ago, co-owner Gage Stromberg wanted to focus only on the beer. During his days at Coeur d'Alene Brewing Company, he'd seen how running brewpubs with a full menu becomes a completely different business, and that's not what River City was meant to be.

But as kegs started rolling out to restaurants and bars around town, people kept asking about how to taste the whole lineup. Around the same time, visitors started traveling around town with their Ale Trail maps. So, when a space opened up adjacent to the brewery's space in the Eldridge building at First Avenue and Cedar Street, it was too perfect to pass up.

The tap room keeps all the River City standards on tap, including the flagship River City Red and popular Huckleberry Ale and VB Stout from the Coeur d'Alene Brewing days. The brewery is making a seasonal higher-alcohol beer each quarter — the Winter Warmer just replaced the Midnight Marmot Imperial Stout. (An imperial pilsner is up next, come April.) The tap room also lets the brewery try new ideas in smaller quantities, like a double dry-hopped Experimental IPA. Beer is served as pints ($4), half-pints ($2) or tasters ($1), as well as growlers and kegs.

The tap room offers only pretzels as a snack, but outside food is allowed. So are kids — they can even sit at the bar since the beer taps are on the back wall — and Stromberg believes that's important for a family-owned brewery founded on the idea that craft beer is about quality, not quantity. For kids — and adults who don't feel like beer — River City makes root beer served on tap. more...

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Choo-Choo Pizza

11027 E. Sprague
868-5067

You can sit in the bright orange engineer's seat right next to all the doodads and shiny levers. You're up high, overlooking Sprague Avenue and, seemingly, the yonder hills. You can even blow the train's horn.

That's one reason Carlos Fuentes decided to open Choo-Choo Pizza in a train he found on Craigslist — he thought kids would like it. They can explore the front of the engine and families can sit at tables in the room below the engineer's chairs. There's a big TV, basketball hoop and other toys for kids to play with. Fuentes says the engine room can be used for parties any day and the whole train can be reserved for parties on Sundays.

The train, labeled "Spokane International Railroad," sits on tracks facing the road and has been at that spot in Spokane Valley for more than 25 years. The three orange rail cars previously served as a dentist's office, then sat empty for a few years until Fuentes opened Choo-Choo in September.

In the main dining room, vintage-looking railroad signs — "Seaboard Railroad," "L & N," "Western Pacific" — line the wall above the series of red-framed windows. The tables take up only one wall, so there's plenty of walking room.

The menu lists seven pizzas to choose from: Hawaiian, vegetarian, garlic chicken, barbeque chicken, meat lovers, cheese and pepperoni (large 18-inch, $12-$16; medium 12-inch, $10-$14). Of course, you can build your own pizza too, Fuentes says. You can also order a calzone ($9) or sides such as cheesy bread ($5), hot wings ($3.50), garden salad ($5), onion rings ($3) or hash browns ($1). For the kids, there's a plate-size pizza and drink for $2.50. more...

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