Let the debate about Manhattan versus New England-style clam chowder begin! Chef Travis Tveit’s anticipated new spot Chowderhead (825 N. Monroe St.) is now open.
Tveit has been a rising star in the region’s culinary scene since winning the Chef Battle Spokane culinary competition in 2019 and earning diners’ approval during a couple years running the kitchen at Iron Goat Brewing Co.
After a brief stint heading Tony Brown’s now-closed McRuins, Tveit has made good on a dream to set out on his own with Chowderhead. Look for breakfast through early dinner options at Chowderhead, which is open Monday through Saturday from 8 am to 6 pm. The menu continues to evolve, and currently features sandwiches and salads, as well as soups, including various chowders. Find updates at facebook.com/chowderhead.spokane.
It’s a trifecta from Poole’s Public House’s owners now that Mossuto’s Italian (415 W. Hastings Rd.) is open in north Spokane’s Fairwood neighborhood, less than a mile from Poole’s original location. This is the third restaurant for the Poole family, this time focusing on co-owner Lisa Poole’s Italian heritage.
The classics are emphasized at Mossuto’s, from salad caprese ($16) to minestrone soup ($6), and veal osso bucco ($30) to chicken saltimbocca ($28). Scratch-made pasta is another specialty, with a gluten-free option as well. The Old World-inspired interior and a large wine list give Mossuto’s a special-occasion feel. Definitely save room for dessert. Visit mossutositalian.com.
When it’s cold outside, stay warm inside at the new Fire & Ice Patio Lounge (2912 E. Palouse Hwy.). And when it’s warm, there’s a huge patio. Enjoy American fare like burgers, pizzas, soups and salads, including vegetarian and gluten-free options, at this new upper South Hill spot. With a full bar offering and a modest beer and wine list, Fire & Ice has potential for a special dinner or celebration. Visit fireandicespokane.com.
If you like fast and cheap, Frugals burger joint is for you. As noted in a prior Inlander article, Frugals’ (1229 N. Hamilton St.) first Eastern Washington location recently opened in the former home of Wolffy’s, and also features a drive-thru window. Look for a menu of affordably priced items: quarter-pound burgers from $2.95 to $4.25, plus fries ($2.25), cheese curds ($3.95) soda ($2.15), and milkshakes ($3.75). Visit facebook.com/frugalsspokane.
Speaking of burgers, Schmidty’s Burgers (1524 E. Sherman Ave.) in Coeur d’Alene is finally open after having to relocate when a fire wiped out its Fourth Avenue home in early 2020. Find both grilled and fried fare here, with classic burgers and innovative treats like the campfire s’mores cake ($7). Visit facebook.com/Schmidtysburgers.
For some, Mondays mean meatless meals and Tuesdays are for tacos, but at the new Journey’s End Café (215 W. Third St., Moscow) in the former Red Bento location, days of the week are set aside for specific games. On Tuesdays, for example, a chess club meets and instead of tacos, Journey’s End offers burgers, pizzas, sandwiches and other pub grub, as well as beer or wine. Bring your own games or borrow from the café’s extensive library, including timeless classics like Monopoly, plus newer games like Catan and 7 Wonders. Visit journeysendmoscow.com.
Does the promise of temperatures in the 50s have you thinking about frozen treats? If so, visit Tre Palline Gelato Napolitano inside the Steam Plant (159 S. Lincoln St.). Choose from amongst several dozen rotating and standard flavors, and ask about special dietary accommodations. Visit facebook.com/trepallinegelatonapolitano.
Hidden Bagel is inching closer to the big, official reveal of its South Hill shop (1001 W. 25th Ave.), a space it shares with the Scoop Ice Cream.
Jennifer Davis, who owns both businesses, launched Hidden Bagel Co. in December 2021 for pre-order only.
Bagels ($2-$4) and various sizes of plain or flavored cream cheese ($1.50-$8), called schmear, are available to pre-order for pickup Wednesday through Friday, from 8 am to noon, and Saturday and Sunday, from 9 am to noon. Sample a rotating selection that includes flavors like rosemary garlic salt or blueberry French toast. Bagels may also be available for walk-in customers if daily inventory didn’t sell out. Order at hiddenbagel.com.
Don’t let the name fool you into thinking Good N Baked has cannabis in their sweet treats (it’s Idaho, after all). You can, however, find plenty of baked goodies to satisfy your cravings, like huckleberry cream croissants, at Good N Baked’s location in the Silver Lake Mall (200 W. Hanley Ave., Coeur d’Alene). Find out more at goodnbaked.org.
Idaho Farmhouse Bakery is a new pop-up in Moscow offering baked goods like sweet and savory pretzel buns, bread, cookies and cakes. Phillip Kock runs the business, which takes orders through Facebook, and is expected to be at farmers market this summer. Visit facebook.com/idahofarmhousebakery.
In the past month, three local food businesses have announced via Facebook their imminent closures: Abi’s Ice Cream (112 N. Fourth St., Coeur d’Alene); Spokane’s favorite spot for hot dogs, Wild Dawgs (102 N. Howard St.), and Austin’s Live Fire Barbecue (421 W. Main Ave.).
After 37 years in business, Sandpoint’s Panhandler Pies Restaurant & Bakery (120 S. First Ave.) has closed, and its building was sold to an undisclosed buyer. The place was a favorite spot for pies, of course, but also hearty breakfasts and comfort food classics. The recipes and Panhandler Pies’ brand are still available for purchase (in case you’re interested in acquiring the secrets to treasured pies like the Mounds of Joy or Razzleberry).
Sandpoint’s Beet and Basil at the Creek (105 S. First Ave.) has had a rough go of it the past year, with periodic closures and limited service. The popular restaurant is known for serving an eclectic array of vegetarian and vegan-forward food. It’s planning to re-open later this spring, however, at 775 Bonner Mall Way in Ponderay, according to its Facebook page. Follow along there (facebook.com/beetandbasil) for news of pop-up meals, like a recent collaboration with Sandpoint’s Bluebird Bakery.
Mela (137 E. Second St., Moscow) has gone missing from Moscow as of December 2021, but not to worry; the Bangladeshi restaurant plans to re-open in a new Pullman location later this year, according to its Facebook page. Mela began as a Moscow farmers market fave in 2014 and morphed into a brick-and-mortar location four years later. Visit facebook.com/mela.pullman for updates.
Nectar (120 N. Stevens St.) recently rebranded to Fête – A Nectar Co. and is now open from 11 am to 3 pm (with plans to expand hours in the coming weeks), serving flatbreads, pastas and several vegan midday meal options. The venue, inside the historic 1889 Building in downtown Spokane, is still available to rent for private events. Find details at fetespokane.com.
Tamarack Public House (912 W. Sprague Ave.) has also reinvented itself as an event-only space and has rebranded to Tamarack Event House. Find more info at facebook.com/tamarackeventhouse.
To Go Box is the Inlander’s regular dining news column, offering tasty tidbits and updates on the region’s food and drink scene. Send tips and updates to [email protected].