Put your ear to the ground -- and these days "ground" means "Twitter" -- and you'll hear a lot of chatter about Manito Tap House. Chatter suggesting inconsistencies everywhere from service to food. This is not an uncommon thing with Spokane restaurants, sadly, and we don't doubt there's a lot of truth to said chatter. We can only judge Manito from our own experiences, however, and those have thankfully been very positive.
The interiors here are inviting; not flashy, but laid back and slick, very much in tune with the "gastropub" vibe Manito set out to create. The only oddity are the benches which are set quite a bit higher than the chairs, making for an odd height dynamic while chatting.
"Gastropub" is also the theme of the menu. Here you find creative takes on more casual dishes, with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients.
We tried the carne adovada during our last visit. This braised pork shoulder came nicely spiced and was perfectly tender. One could probably argue that the tortillas could have been done in-house, but I really don't have any complaints seeing they use De Leon's. The accompanying slaw also gave the dish a nice fresh feel.
The lumpias, too, were good and pretty much what you should expect from egg rolls. These came with duck and shiitake mushrooms, and you could actually taste each individual ingredient. Not too bad, seeing how egg rolls often can be one giant grease-fest. Bonuspoints for having some nice sweet dipping sauces too.
There are many other items worth trying on the menu too -- the mozzarella bruschetta, for example -- many made using various beers.
Which brings us to the beer selection. Fifty taps are impressive, there's no doubt about that, but we previously noted the selection needed something more special. This has now started taking a turn for the better, and you can currently sample great ales like the Abyss and DuganA.
So, the chatter hasn't been all positive, and that's something to make a mental note of. We have not seen much to complain about at Manito. ourselves. (Sure, making people pay $8 for a t-shirt after they've gone through fifty of their beers might seem a bit... tight... but nobody's making you do that anyway.)
We recommend Manito Tap House. Hopefully your experience will be as positive as ours have been.
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