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The Wandering Table (Closed -- re-opening as Baba)


I will admit to feeling many sorts of trepidation when I first heard the mention of «American-style tapas». There are those of us who have a very set definition of what tapas should be, and just having small sharable plates isn't enough to fit that bill. At least not for me.

Subsequently, the word «small plates» has increasingly been used in marketing and media for the Wandering Table, and… Look, I realize most of the world is tomato/tomahto on these kind of things, but I just can't apologize for how I feel about that. I can't! I won't!

All of that aside… The Wandering Table is really quite an excellent addition to the KY. Is it a competitor for the best restaurant in Spokane award, like many already have suggested? It's too early to say, of course, but our first impression was very positive. It'll be interesting to see how the spot will fare on our Best of… later this year.

And let it be said: the Wandering Table has the best deals you will find in Spokane, at least as far as casual-high-end food goes. 

You can order a la carte, but really, the chef's choice is how you'll experience proper Wandering Table-style dining. Simply pick your price, and the plates will come raining down on you, family-style.

We went with $35 a head, and, frankly, that might have been an overkill. From beginning to end, the dishes just would not stop coming in rapid succession. Somewhere along the two hour meal, I lost count of how many dishes we were served, and, somewhat miraculously, only one of them received a thumbs down from the table. (The tuna left a bit to be desired.) Each and every one of the other dishes ranged from good to stellar.

Again, that is pretty incredible, the amount of dishes tried taken into consideration.

Some favorites included the «General Tso Sweetbreads» -- the sauce was fantastic -- and the garden salad. Trust me, neither are what you might imagine, both featuring creative twists.

Something as simple as deviled eggs was notches above what one could even begin to imagine, and even the popcorn -- popcorn! -- is worth a special mention.

Ending the meal with olive oil gelato, and a sea salt chocolate chip cookie just seemed right. (Though, subjectively, we prefer the softer take on the cookie.) 

I guess that is all a roundabout way of saying that we were in a downright euphoric food-coma by the end of the meal. That is something we rarely say.

The interiors are simple and inviting; a perfect echo of the casual, yet classy vibe the food presents. The service? Super professional, but never stuffy.

If the Wandering Table can keep this up, there is no reason why they wouldn't or shouldn't become a Spokane institution. 

$35 per head might be an overkill, unless you want to get really stuffed. (Which, hey, why not?) $25, should probably cover it, just fine.

We're fans, and we think you will be too. The Wandering Table really is quite fantastic, and you should probably put it on top of your places-to-check-out list, right now.

Notes from all over, a smattering of updates edition


So, what's going on these days? As it turns out, not too much. With that in mind, here are one or two or even five updates you may or may not find interesting.

Station House Pizza, which we mentioned on Twitter nearly eons ago, has a liquor license in. We would assume this means it's getting closer to opening. It is, as you may or may not know, a Hillyard spot, with 3020 E Queen as address.

Caruso's is the first «confirmed» restaurant set to open in the former Burgain's building. (Although we prefer to use that word for official confirmations. Which there have been none of. That we know of.)

#summerofsandwich has officially kicked off, as proven by the Wing King! Tag yours with #spokane, and fame might be bestowed upon you.

Pueblo Amiga -- a spot we often forget about -- is moving to Division.

And while we haven't seen it yet, we believe you should go watch Chef, just because it sounds awesome. Who doesn't love themselves some Jon Favreau indie goodness?

The Two Seven

The Great Burger ChaseSpokane

So here we are, the last stop on the path of the Great Burger Chase. It has been a ride, and we figured we'd go out on a high note, which… Well, we didn't. Or rather, we did (obviously), but the burger did not… And that surprised us.

We love all the Moon Times and Elks of the world. We had many -- nigh countless, really -- good experiences with them. I don't think anyone flat out hates the restaurants, or if they do, they seem to have some pretty subjective reasons.

This is a long roundabout way to get to the crux of the matter: the Two Seven's Moon Time burger. It is… not so good. I have vague memories of it being quite decent back in the day, but then, I have not tried it for a good long time. Maybe it's a case of having selective memories? Our grand jury, at least, shared a common opinion that this was not up to standard.

burger image

The main problem lies in the patty. One thing is that we were not asked how we wanted it cooked. It might have been our fault not specifying it, but my philosophy is to go with the house's recommendation in circumstances like that. Not surprisingly, it came out well-done. In their defense, I should point out that it wasn't a charred brick. It was well-done, the way well-done should be. That's just not something I and the Great Burger Chase jury are too into.

Worse still is its distinct lack of flavor. There were no traces of oomphs or seasonings. Pretty dull, in other words. Actually, strike pretty. It's dull.

The tomato, though, was good during our visit, at least. Very fresh. I don't mean that in a snarky way either, as I'm a big tomato fan.

Flavor wise the bun was OK, but it felt like it was getting close to stale. Not good.

So, where does it rank? It depends who you ask. Some jury members wanted it all the way at the bottom, but I kind of disagree. See, the Moon Burger's saving grace comes down to one thing: the caramelized onions. They are delicious, and it puts the burger above Post St's offering. That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.

And let it be known: The Two Seven is, burger aside, pretty awesome. I actually feel badly not liking the Moon Burger better. But, I feel what I feel, and I can not get past that.

The final tally:

  1. Manito Tap House
  2. Wisconsinburger
  3. Saranac
  4. Waddell’s
  5. Churchill’s
  6. Northern Quest EPIC
  7. The Two-Seven
  8. Post St Ale House

Photo courtesy of the Great Burger Chase’s official photography studio, Erick Doxey Photography. This photo is part of his coveted iPhone Series collection.

DORITOS® JACKED™ Ranch Dipped Hot Wings Flavored Tortilla Chips

Product Placement

It's a great unknown what our fascination with Doritos and Taco Bell is. If I was to venture to guess, I'd notch it down to whole fascination with the bizarre, equivalent to how we enjoy The Twilight Zone.

Perverse speculations aside…

The DORITOS® JACKED™ Ranch Dipped Hot Wings Flavored Tortilla Chips might be the worst product name I can remember seeing, and I mean that quite literally. It is, if nothing else, the longest name I've seen. The idea, however, is at least somewhat commendable.

No longer do you need to cook up chickens, squeeze out ranch from a bottle, and dip the former in the latter. These Doritos have you covered. Some might say they're downright practical.

Well intentions aside, the flavor has little going for it. Shocking, right?! The chips taste like Doritos, with dusty coatings of powdered Frank's and ranch. The kinda stuff you would find in the potential-nuclear-war-rations aisle.

I'm not necessarily saying you need to wear a tinfoil hat to enjoy these chips, but then, I kinda am.

And in that sense, DORITOS® JACKED™ Ranch Dipped Hot Wings Flavored Tortilla Chips probably should exist. They're not for me, and probably not for you, unless you're expecting North Korea to live up to its promises.

If they do, you and Frito Lay will have the deserved last laugh.