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Manito Tap House, first impressions

#SpoCOOL / Spokane /

An awful lot of recently opened places have more or less gotten it right over the past half year or so here in Spokane. This is good, as I'm sure we all can remember a time -- November-ish of last year, say -- when most spots aspired to take on Chili's.

Manito Tap House's claim to fame is fifty beers on tap. That's fifty as in 50, and an impressive number it is. Granted, one of them is a PBR, so that really makes it forty-nine, but that's neither here nor there.

Out of those, the selection is broad and highly decent. Many ales we rarely see on tap in this region are represented, and the beer menu is divided by type of ale, not brewery. That can be both a blessing and a curse, I suppose, and the extremely spoiled side of me wishes they had a mobile website where we could view the beers sorted by brewery and style.

One thing I do miss is that one beer you'd travel miles to try, but that's a minor complaint. A host of great breweries are represented here, from Lagunitas to Grand Teton, and it's hard to complain about the selection.

There are currently only a few bottles to pick from, but our hope is Manito will have a selection similar to Bitter Creek in the future.

Food, too, is quite excellent, though the menu was limited during our visit. Their take on bruschetta is definitely interesting -- think mozzarella croquettes with a tomato and basil salad. It's certainly worth trying, as is the chicken sandwich, which had a nice fresh flavor to it.

It took a while for us to get the food, but the waiter did come up to us to talk a bit about their fresh ingredients and preparation from scratch and what not. It's those little things we are looking for in service; not empty excuses, just some quick information about what actually is going on. We're sure food will come out faster soon, as the establishment is getting its feet wet.

So our first impressions are positive for yet another place. This is good. Spokane needs places to be optimistic about. We'll be back to Manito Tap House soon. This is the type of place we can get behind.