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Aug 3, 2008 11:53 AM

Good Food in CDA/Spokane

I just moved to Coeur d'Alene from Minneapolis and am looking for some great places to eat. None of this chain stuff, things off the beaten path if you know what I mean. Anyone have any sugestions?

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  1. I highly recomment The White House. It's in Post Falls, closer to Liberty Lake, Wa than CD'A. Lot's of garlic and Mediterranean style meals. You'll know you're getting close when you smell the garlic.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ritabwh

      sorry, my dad lives in cda and there's no good dining (anymore at least). there's a brew pub w/ great pub food called blue moon on the main strip in old town (Sherman Ave. I think). avoid the hotel except for a drink, the food is bad, bad, bad. there's a kinda' kitchy pretty good steakhouse outside of town off i-90 called, i think Silver Wolf Lodge. You probably need to go into spokane. There's an excellent place across the street from the famously restored hotel. Can't remember the name but it h as a an asian influence. excellent food.

      1. re: vega4933

        I grew up in Spokane and spent many a summer at Lake Coeur d'Alene. The Wolf Lodge Steakhouse is 8 miles east of Coeur d'Alene off I-90. I believe the Spokane restaurant the previous poster is referring to is Moxie. Never been to Moxie, but I have been to Wolf Lodge. It is indeed kitschy - cowboy/log cabin themed. The steaks are charbroiled over applewood out in the dining area and are pretty good. There is also a Spokane location, but the Coeur d'Alene is better IMO.

        You can do a search on this board for more Spokane recommendations. When I was in high school Spokane didn't even have a single Thai restaurant, so it's come a long way.

        1. re: gmm

          I lived in Spokane for over 20 years. Moved to the West side 3 years ago.
          I've followed Chef Ian of Moxie's since he had his little restaurant in Liberty Lake, then became head chef of the newly reopened Davenport Hotel, and finally his various new restaurants in downtown Spokane. He is innovative and fun. Wasn't real fond of his Japanese/Asian/Fusion period. I used to follow him to his various restaurants for his duck breast.
          There was a restaurant in Liberty Lake, across the freeway by the gas station that is across the street from the sports bar. I think it was called Hay Js. Some upper end bistro style food that was well-priced and good. If it's still there, it might worth a look see.

          I'm surprised CDA has lost alot of their restaurants. Is the Wine Cellar still there? How about that great hamburger joint?

          1. re: ritabwh

            I ate at Moxie last Saturday night. I was very impressed with the quality of the food and the affordable prices. I had the spicy wok bowl.

            The other restaurant downtown that gets a lot of talk is Churchill's. Unfortunately, it is closed due to a fire.

            I also like Niko's downtown.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. I posted this before but it might help you
        Just my thoughts and recommendations on some restaurants (these are all in Spokane area).
        Good Restaurants
        Café Maron (Dinner only, lunches are a disappointment)
        Fat Daddy’s (pizza and Italian)
        Gordy's Sichuan – The “only” good Chinese food in town.
        Hay J’s (It has been hit and miss but mostly hits)
        Italian Kitchen
        Mizuna (Probably the best on the list)
        Picabu Neighborhood Bistro
        Spencer’s (Steaks - while the wolf lodge has the local following Spencer’s has better meat and is a more refined dining atmosphere)
        Steelhead Bar and Grille – Good for bar food.
        Vin Rouge – Panned by many people but we have had some very good meals there at a very reasonable price.
        Taste of India – Surprisingly authentic.
        The Elk – nothing fancy just good pub/bistro food.
        Thai on first (most Thai is good in this town)

        ????Wild Sage???? Have eaten there twice, the first time we had the worst meal I have ever had in recent memory, the second time, it took a free meal from some good friends to persuade us to go back, was excellent, so this is a guarded recommendation.

        Just Average restaurants (these include most chains)
        Lindaman’s (It’s a deli with prepared items that is very overpriced for what you get, but edible)
        Tomato Street
        Twigs (The one on the north side is very inconsistent while the one on the south hill has been good)
        Overrated popular places
        G.W. Hunters (Post Falls) – Huge local following for very plain and highly overpriced coffee shop food.
        Mama Mia’s – OMG the worst overcooked pasta with tinny tasting sauce, even our friends kids would not eat it, however calzones were awesome.
        Luna's – Great Wine list, service was excellent, food was okay (soup had rubbery crab, lamb had to be sent back three times and the cassoulette overpowered the flavors and the NY cheesecake was really a French style cheesecake, but what to you expect from what many consider Spokane’s finest dining restaurant) like I said food was okay after working out problems but not worth the money.

        White House (Post Falls) – Uhhhh huhhhh, If your motto is the more garlic the better it tastes than you will love this place. Forget about any nuances of food or al dente pasta. This is simply garlicky slop on a plate – not for us.
        Anything that pertains to be Chinese (except Gordy’s) stay away from, almost all Chinese food in this town is terrible, I mean really really bad.
        Mexican food is also a joke, although usually slightly more edible. The popular Casa De Oro is about authentic as Taco Bell, however let me assure you that taco Bell does taste better. There are a couple of exceptions De Leon foods, but they are more of a deli inside of a Mexican market than a real sit-down restaurant, Pueblo Amigo and El Gallo Giro come to mind.

        CDA area places that we liked
        Café DOMA
        Moontime & The Porch same owners I think similar concepts.
        The Olympia

        I hope this helps

        2 Replies
        1. >>>I presume you live in Spokane or vicinity?

          North of Spokane

          >>>Where did you retire from?

          Just like everybody else (lol) - California, southern part.

          >>>Why did you choose Spokane?

          Near Nature - Near perfect – lol. Actually we spent 2 years looking for places to move too - traveled all over the US and kept coming back to NE WA or N ID and Western MT. We felt North of Spokane offered the convenience of being near a small city. The other place we seriously looked at was New Zealand.

          Why this area? Four seasons, ample outdoor activities, snow shoeing, hiking / backpacking/ climbing, boating, clean air, beautiful countryside, horseback riding, very little crime (the owner of the house we bought never locked it, they didn’t even have any keys for the doors), even Spokane is virtually crime-free compared to other cities of its size. No income tax (yet), great hospitals, no traffic, friendly people, fresh clean well water, not over-populated (yet) and cheap houses/land

          There are very few places that you can buy 20 acres, a 5600 sq ft Victorian with a pool, very large professional kitchen (60” stove, two convection ovens, full hood, large commercial refrigerator, etc) large barn, year round creek on the property separate 3 bay garage (able to house 3 class A motor homes) A large game room above that, separate heated shop / gym / small dance studio for $340K 4 years ago.

          Drawbacks: lack of flights serving Spokane International, too many deer (ha ha they keep getting into my garden), lack of good restaurants, although Spokane is getting better, poor work ethic, relatively high property taxes.

          I’ve lived in 8 states and there are no perfect places, but for our taste and what we like to do this whole area comes pretty close.

          Hope that answered the questions.

          PS Just had dinner at Sante Restaurant & Charcuterie in downtown Spokane, very good, first experience, highly recommend it.

          1. re: RetiredChef

            I agree with most of what you say. I live downtown Spokane and have tried all the places you mention. I have to disagree about Sante......terrible experience. Bread was stale, dry sandwich even if the bread had been fresh. I went with great expectation. The waitress was very knowledgeable about the food, but knew nothing about service. We didn't get napkins and silverware until we asked, even though we had reservations. Spotty attention to our needs, very slow service. We won't go back (7 of us in a book club). And we don't expect it to last long, unfortunately. This is comparing it to all the restaurants downtown. Wild Sage is one of my favorites, love the chef, Alexis.

        2. The Peacock Lounge in the Davenport has friendly, generous, and capable bartenders. We've never eaten there but try to stop by for cocktails when we're in town. Moxie's is good by Spokane standards, which is to say: it's worth the price and better than most. From our experiences, I would have to agree that Mizuna is a good choice, although their menu will appeal more to those with vegetarian leanings. They do have traditional proteins on the menu, but I would not characterize meat as their forte.

          1. We're visiting family in Spokane for Christmas and went out to dinner last night. We stopped for cocktails at Twiggs (a mistake we won't make again: indifferent service coupled with incompetent bartending = $20 I wish I had back in my pocket).

            Things looked up once we had dinner, though, thanks to the excellent food and service at Mizuna. Also, to amend my previous comment, both of our starters and both of our entrees came from the non-vegetarian menu and were fabulous.