Pullman (WA) and surounding area
Im going to visit a freind in Pullman WA any good food no more then an hour away?
Pullman is a culinary blackhole--I've lived 3 borderline suicidal years here. If you drive 5 miles to Moscow Idaho, Nectar is a nice wine bar/ restaurant. They opened two months ago and are by far the best operation in the area. If you go, tell them Nikiforos recommended them online.
Patit Creek restaurant is terrific. Small, need resies, located in Dayton Washington, about an hour west of Clarkston, which is 30 mins south of Pullman.
In Moscow, Red Door is good, noisy. Breakfast Club in Moscow for best breakfasts (potato pancakes!).
There are restaurants that are good, few that you could say are great--or they closed. Haven't tried the French bistro in Moscow on Friendship Square, but others have loved it. You'll need resies there, no rush on eating there--they figure that if a table doesn't turn over at all in an evening, that table must have needed the time! That's refreshing, in a college town with many student-waitstaff.
Bakery? Wheatberries on Main in Moscow--closed on sun & mon.
Mexican? Most people eat at Patty's (6th St. near the Univ. of Idaho) or San Miguel on N. Main (sopas!) Food is quite good, just not fabulous. But better than I expected in Idaho...
It's not a TOTAL wasteland. But when you have 2 colleges, one in each town, and summer arrives, students leave and it's tough to make a restaurant a go for 12 mos. Sad, but true. Each town has about 26,000 residents, and that includes students.
Hope this helps.
When I went to WSU, we used to love Sella's (breadsticks w/their extra creamy ranch dressing, calzones and salad with a whole lot of shredded mozzerella on top), but I'm not sure we were particularly picky at that point.
However, Sella's and Pizza Pipeline are what I miss from my college days. Add in fries (with fry sauce) from Cougar Country and burgers at the Coug, and it's a college student's dream!
Nectar in Moscow has an excellent wine selection. I've tried the halibut and crabcakes, both excellent. This is a place to hang out and enjoy your company. Not too stuffy.
Also in Moscow is the Food Coop deli. Have not ventured out to try the French bistro or Red Door yet.
Agreed that Sella's and Cougar Country Drive-In are quintessential college eats. Quality ingredients.
I had gone to Swilly's for a few weeks and found the food consistently good. I prefer nectar for the atmosphere.
Try this other link for Moscow, ID http://www.chowhound.com/topics/12590
Potstickers at New Garden (Chinese) are quite good, but the rest of the menu seems to all come with the same stock sauce. There is quite a local following as the waitress seemed to know them all by name, but none of them I saw had yellow skin or black hair. Reputed one of the better Chinese places in the area. I guess I won't eat Chinese around here again.
If you want to go island style, there is a place in Moscow called Local Grines (sp?). I'm interested in trying some of their plate lunches other than the Kahlua pig, which was on the dry side.
VJs BBQ (in Moscow) is really good. Ask Vincent (the owner/BBQer) what's best that day (pulled pork, brisket, or ribs--there are other choices, but those being so consistent, there is no point in asking after them).
Again though, if you are going to one place, Nectar is great. Patit Creek is cool in that antiquated sort of way--goat cheese stuffed dates wrapped in bacon, with a water chestnut in there (I think Trader Vic's came up with those in the 50s). Nectar has a great meat loaf and chocolate soufle, but everything is good. Red door is quiter with some really nice dishes too though.