Belly Up to the Barbecue

Posted: June 17, 2013 in Best Places to eat in Spokane Valley, Spokane Valley Seafood

Here I sit, keyboard under hand, at 1 pm on a warm Father’s Day afternoon conducting, perhaps, the most honest survey ever. There is only one judge, but he is honest and true. On this one day of the year I can eat anywhere that I choose and so far I have not eaten anything more than a couple of tastey malt balls from the quart gallon Whoppers box one of the kids gave me. I asked her to stop giving me such presents as they are helping to turn my belly into a whopper.
Actually, it is this whopper of a belly that I have been working on for many years that is conducting today’s survey. While it always leads out in front, it does not always get to choose which way we head. But today, my belly gets to eat wherever it chooses and the only thing my head has to do with the course of culinary events this day is to try and help stave off consumption for as long as possible. I reason that a hollow, howling belly is the most pure and unbiased judge. A belly is like a baby in that when it is hungry it is quite focused and just wants what it wants. Unfortunately, some bellies also act like babies in that they seem to grow on a daily basis whether you like it or not and they are never as cute as when they were little.
I live at Alki and Bowdish, the center of the Valley (the gut you might say), and I can head out in any direction. All four winds blow wonderful scents toward me, but I can feel my tummy tug me to the West. In that direction lies Charlie P’s, which I have for years claimed to be the most delicious spot in the Valley. I love just two types of food:seafood and barbecue, both of which Charlie P’s dishes out in an array of delectable varieties.
There is a worthy argument to be made that the seafood calizone on their menu is Spokane’s most indulgent sin. It is one that I have too often committed. Charlie’s seafood omelet itself has the power to suck my belly down there even as I attempt to write this piece. At this point in the day, I dare not get started talking about their seafood fettucine which might be the best I have ever eaten.
Then there is the smoke pit barbecue which has far too often lured me astray like the sirens of the Odysseus. I normally try to eat alone when I order the barbecue since I dine spellbound and cannot think of anything but the alluring food before me. But recently, I have become aware of a new bastion of barbecue, The Spit Fire Grill at 6520 East Trent.
While I think my belly might first lead me into Charlie P’s for their $5-two-rib-and-fries happy hour special, I have a gnawing feeling that I will be traversing a bit further west today. Barbecue, I realize, is a very personal area of each man’s life and I do not want to step on any tongues here, but too my increasingly boisterous belly, The Spitfire is Charlie P’s greatest rival and for this day appears to be the likely victor.
This place is so into barbcue that they have bbq pulled pork nachos and tacos. Their sauce is so good I would imagine they could also serve waffles and use it for syrup. The only drawback with the Spit Fire is that it is a neighborhood bar that is a tad short on the atmosphere. If only it looked as good as it smells. As for myself, I keep intending to do Take Out, but I can never imagine holding out long enough to get it home.
The thing that I find quite ironic is that just last month the Spokesman Review did their own barbecue survey that cast it’s reach all the way to Coeur D’ Alene and up north to Wandermere and downtown. Nine places were featured, with The Log Cabin drive-thru at Trent and Freya coming out on top. My belly took umbrage to this outrageous outcome. Only two Valley venues were mentioned in this survey, the Longhorn and O’Doherty’s, both good friends of my belly’s. But to leave off Charlie P’s and The Spitfire? My stomach did more than growl over that, it roared.
Not to take away from the noble efforts of these other purveyors of heavenly cooked meats, but leaving off Charlie P’s and the Spitfire from a Spokane survey of sumptuous barbecue is like leaving off Babe Ruth and Barry Bonds on list of baseball’s biggest batters, which would be balderdash at best. They should not only be included in any survey, they should be at the tippy top.
But I must stop writing because my tummy can’t take it any longer. It is after all, a big baby and so I’m off to see the wizards, the wonderful wizards of awes.

These are not your normal nachos. Never have I seen such a thing on any menu. Barbecue Nachoes, what a great idea.

These are not your normal nachos. Never have I seen such a thing on any menu. Barbecue Nachoes, what a great idea.

“This is not Charlie P’s seafood fet. We happened to go there one night hey were having a Salmon Fet for the dinner special. It was to die for.

  1. jan ryan says:

    I am currently in love with Darcys,,,,the salads are so big and beautiful….and so nice to go somewhere that feels so nostalgically familiar……Never been disappointed there

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