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La Michoacana

in Restaurant Reviews  · 
 ·  10617 E Sprague Ave, 99206

It's been a while since we originally visited La Michoacana—nearly four years—and somewhat of a sin that is. The market/deli might be off the beaten path (unless you live somewhere in the depths of the Valley) but it certainly was worth the trek back when we first visited it in 2010. Now, with some overdue mainstream media attention, we heard the sirens of Michoacana once again call, and who are we not to give into temptation?

And I will call it: Michoacana might very well have the best Mexican food in Spokane. I mean, really. From the baked good to their soups to their tortas, they truly have it down.

I gave the birria de chivo—pretty much a goat soup—a try. My experience with the goat is that it's a fickle friend, and, when not done properly, you'll end up with a chewy mess of… odd… flavors. Done properly, however, and it is quite a treat.

Here, the spicy broth did the trick, and the result was exactly what I had hoped for. The chunks of meat were tender, with the chili perfectly absorbed into it. The cilantro added a bit of freshness to the show. 

Equally good were the accompanying tortillas. With a flavor burst of their own, they were equally excellent for dipping, as they were as vessels for the meat. 

The tortas followed suit. Here it's all about the bread, and Michoacana did not disappoint with its sweet and fresh buns. The carnitas, too, were prepared properly: tender, and not soggy.

Hell, it was all tasty. Grab some pastries for dessert and you're good to go.

It's a trek for many of us to reach Michoacana, but it's well worth it. One can argue certain trucks provide better tacos, I assume—I did not try those here—but the span of the menu, with some less than commonly found items, makes Michoacana stand out.

Head out there, and give them a shot. You'll likely leave just a little bit happier.

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Our Thai House

in Restaurant Reviews  · 
 ·  1415 N Hamilton St, 99202

Phonthip Style is, as it tends to be for sensible people, our favorite Thai place in Spokane. Not that competition is stiff, mind you. I've always found many Spokane Thai restaurants to be rather average. Not bad; just average.

Our Thai House, thankfully, is better than that. Quite a bit better, in fact. It came recommended by #Spiceawar-Patrick, so who were we not to try it?

Which is as good of a segue into the spiciness of the food as I can think of.

This is one of the few places where four out of five star really has a good kick to it. Not to an inedible degree, but certainly to the point where your sinuses clear up. Go down to the three star, and you'll feel good hints of jogging-level sweat—as opposed to marathon—start forming.

In other words, go with the two-, or even one-star, if you're averse to the hot stuff.

Going mild isn't much of a big deal, anyway, seeing there are plenty of actual flavors abound. As with Phonthip, Our Thai House stands out from most local Thai spots: sauces aren't overly sweet, and there is a true difference between the type of dishes that tend to taste nigh identically at other places.

Take the pad se-ew, with its nicely flavored rice noodles. The soy sauce is sweet without being overpowering, and the crunch of broccoli contrasts the noodles well. Both are prepared the way they should be—nothing is too mushy; nothing is too raw.

Yet, for me, it's the tom yum that really hits it home. The sour lemongrass has a fresh quality to it, and goes well with the four star heat. Get the broth right, and you have a good tom yum. It also takes a turn for the better when the broth evaporates into the mushrooms. The latter's texture gives the flavors that extra zing of quality.

And the Thai iced tea is, not surprisingly, quite tasty, too.

We like Our Thai House, then. It doesn't quite have that individualistic feel Phonthip has, nor is it quite as good. But it holds it own. It's probably the best Thai place south of Francis.

We were quite literally the only patrons in there during our meal. That is too bad. We don't want Our Thai House to fail, so you should probably check it out. We think you'll like it.

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