Teinei is the Japanese word for "with care and politeness". Teinei in Seattle's South Lake Union area could also add "carefully prepared, delicious, and healing". Upon entering Teinei we received a gentle Japanese greeting from the chefs. From our table we watched the white-coated chefs prepare their delectable foods; these white-coated chefs are really medical people, preparing healing broths, vegetables, legumes, and meats that soothe and satisfy souls. It's not just the food that's healing at Teinei, it's the respectful manner you are greeted and treated, and how the staff moves with a tai chi effect. The retro and funk music also seeps into your cells. We finished our meal with a dessert called Zenzai - a sweet red bean and mochi dish served warm. White coats in the medical field usually have stethoscopes around their necks, but at Teinie, these healers wore timers, where food is prepared with "care and politeness". Teinei Seattle
Skiing and boarding boost your appetite because large muscle groups are required. I began skiing at nearby Mt. Spokane at age 7, and usually packed my food to the mountain. Now in my mid-fifties, I've put in a lot of ski runs, and relish a good lunch coupled with a dark beer at Mt. Spokane's lodge #2. Part of my long-standing resistance to ordering lunch is that most lunch items have been along the lines of pizza, hamburgers, fries, chili, hot dogs, onion rings - you get the pic. But recently the lunch board included many new items such as designer wraps like the Parkway Express with tender, slow-simmered green chile pork, white rice and jack cheddar cheese. Or the Vista House wrap with grilled or crispy chicken, romaine, parmesan, caesar dressing, croutons, or the Hour Glass with grilled chicken, mixed greens, apple, shallot relish, basil and feta cheese. There were also Flaco Tacos with mozz cheese, ground beef, black beans, tomato, roasted serrano peppers, cilantro, sour cream and salsa. The chili is homemade, and you can get a "loaded" baked potato - dang. Wait - there's more, such as an amazing burrito selection with options like the Beginners Luck Burrito with crispy Yukon gold potatoes, scrambled eggs, sour cream and cheddar-Jack cheese. I may have gotten ahead of myself because Mt. Spokane also offers several new breakfast items such as a breakfast bowl with Yukon potatoes, scrambled eggs, ham, sausage or bacon. I haven't tried the Vanilla French Toast, but it makes getting to the mountain early even more enticing, with breakfast being served until 10:45am. Prices are very reasonable and there are more details that I could cover, but I recommend forgoing the brown bag lunch and get your food on at Mt Spokane's lodge #2.
Have you ever headed out with a friend for grub not knowing where you'll end up? Well my buddy Charlie and I drove from Spokane's South Hill across the tracks to Hillyard. We randomly picked a street and ended up at the Station House Bar and Grill. The Station House atmosphere is biker-family friendly with a pool table in the garage out back. We were seated out back at a large round spool-table (a repurposed cable spool) and ordered our food. The friendly and hard-working owner, Lora Corners knew her food had sizzle. Charlie ordered the ribs and I ordered a burger sided with divine onion rings. A glass of Kokanee beer - and a smack-fest ensued . While munching, one of locals (who was in the Navy 35 years ago) talked about his youthful travels to Hong Kong and Japan and what it's like to sleep on an aircraft carrier during spooky 30-foot swells. We left with smiles and a hankering for more of Lora's grub.
Like a panther ambushing its prey, the Cuban Dip Sandwich at Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar caught my palate by surprise. It was a simple order with the first bite transporting me into food bliss with orchestral sweet and sour "agrodolce" flavors. The waiter asked how the food was and I immediately blurted out "Best Sandwich of My Life - I'm serious"! The Cuban sandwich also arrived with an umami-rich au jus sauce and side of perfectly-crisp waffle fries with a creamy Gorgonzola for dipping. One of the chefs visited our table and we chatted about "agrodolce" and how the pork is roasted in-house with the drippings blended into the au jus sauce. I could feel, taste and experience the time, care and chef-magic that went into that Cuban Dip Sandwich. Thank you Twigs!
Italy is a passionate country where people are demonstrative in their speech and food, evoking a feeling of neighborhood and tribe. In Spokane, Washington, Ferrante's Marketplace Cafe brings those elements together. The family run restaurant has the vibe and tribe of Italy, with a large assortment of fresh gelato to seal the relationship of food and pleasure. One only has to remember to order at the counter and listen for your name to be yelled out - "...ahhh, now that's Italian!" Hopefully the food pictures will be worth a thousand words! <a href="https://www.facebook.com/ferrantesmarketplace">Here is their FaceBook</a>.
After a fun-filled day of skiing at Mt. Spokane my family stopped at Moon's Mongolian Grill in north Spokane. We sat at a spacious table, walked over to the fill-your-bowl with loads of vegetables, lean meats, and noodles, then handed it to the quick-handed stir-fry cook. In just a few minutes we were handed back plates filled with our favorite ingredients like bok-choy, carrots, onion, yakisoba noodles, cilantro, baby corn, tomatoes - the list goes on. The all-you-can eat stir fry bar filled our hungry tummies and refueled our bodies. I enjoyed the casual atmosphere and alacrity of the staff. If you're looking for a way to fill up with fresh vegetables and lean meats, check out Moon's Mongolian Grill.
Atticus Coffee and Gifts in Spokane, Washington is an eclectic and electric place to shop and peruse unique mugs, clocks, cards, etc. The back of the shop has an excellent coffee bar and plenty of seating. The triple, eggnog latte had plenty of mojo to match the freshly baked lemon bar. If you're in downtown Spokane and need to duck into a pure positive place - Atticus has your vibe.
Mediterrano has the makings for a great restaurant. Its location is between a craft brew pub and outstanding bakery with many options for seating. Ordering is easy with friendly dudes working the counter and cooking. The garlicky fries are a galactic taste experience. The gyro is packed with tasty meat and vegetables, but ask for more tzatziki sauce, also I'd trade out size on the lasagna for more vegetables tucked inside. The fresh tomatoes in the lentil soup were delicious, but I'd pack in more lentils for a thicker texture. Overall this place is positioned for being a destination restaurant. Here's their FB link.
Japanese food conjures everything from warm noodles adrift in a bowl to raw fish atop delicate pads of rice. When it's done with care and craft it's some of the best food on the planet. Sushi Sakai in Spokane, Washington did just that. Between the heavenly Las Vegas roll and the earthy Chicken Yakisoba, I left the restaurant feeling blissful, dare I say giddy from such an intentional meal. The artist in the kitchen, James, totally crushed this meal. According to James, Sushi Sakai plans to open a second location in the Spokane Valley. Finally, my daughters were thrilled that the restaurant played hip and contemporary Japanese background music. Here's their FB link.