Posts Tagged ‘Two Columns’

Cuisine-ly speaking, you can travel around the globe in less than one mile along Sprague. At the eastern end of this short trip is O’Dohtery’s where a clock on the wall counts down the seconds to the next St. Patty’s Day and on the far end of this worldly mile heading into the sunset is The Three Sisters Vietnamese and Chinese Cuisine that gets the very high Urbanspoon rating of 90 percent ladling out a Pho they say is unfogetable.

In between Ireland and Vietnam lie a handful of eateries representing countries near and far. The majority of the owners were born in these foreign lands far beyond the Spokane Valley city limits. I am not sure what it means but I think it might say that people, including restaurateurs find our little neck of the planet to be a nice place to set up camp.

Though it seems unlikely, maybe it just means that these folks think we have a wide range of taste here. At any rate we certainly have a wide range of selection in that short but global mile. You can dine in the Orient at the HuHut Mongolian Grill or at the Sushi Saki just across the street.

Abelardo’s next door puts you back in our hemisphere south of the border. The cooks may not know English real well but they know how to serve fluent Mexican. Trust this gringo when I tell you that the American dollar goes a long way at this place. If you have a belly that can bury one of their burritos then you got yourself a belly to be proud of.

Down the avenue just a skip and a jump to the west you  wind up back in the busiest part of the planet at A Taste of India and its neighbor The Peking Palace which is by now one of the oldest eateries in the Valley considering I remember eating there as a kid and that wasn’t yesterday.

If you did not want to travel that far, you could back up two buildings and land in Italy at Ferraro’s where the owner Pat Ferraro still speaks in a heavy accent 50 years after moving to Spokane from Italy at the age of twelve. Across the street, Monica Sanders who owns the cupcake shop, Love at First Bite, speaks with an equally charming accent that she has retained from her motherland of Columbia.

The new kid on the block is Two Columns Greek and Italian restaurant located at the recently old T Pranos, formerly known as Pinocchio’s and originally known as Wendy’s. Owner Masada Areano, who immigrated to America after picking up a doctorate in business at Cambridge 30 years ago, certainly fits into this varied Valley neighborhood.

Two Columns may be the only place in town serving homemade gyros which makes those of us living close to the Valley’s International Mile quite fortunate. Additionally, the Mediterranean menu is emphasizing gluten-free and vegetarian dishes that have become sought after amongst the dining crowd.

This is a small enterprise where the owner is cooking and serving the recipes he brought with him from the region of his ancestors. There is something very genuine and old world about that and I hope the Valley embraces his efforts. We should because we are, after all, a culturally diverse and sophisticated little city, cuisine-ly speaking.

This Gyro was absolutely as good as I’ve eaten.Though admittedly not that experienced, I have had a few of these ethnic eats. It and the rest of the homemade menu are a welcome addition to our little strip that rivals a worlds fair for cuisine diversity. The price at only $7.50 makes it food fare fit for even our tightly-mitted, fair little village.

Two Columns on Urbanspoon

Ay Caramba! What is going on with all the activity here in the Spokane Valley hospitality scene? I don’t believe I have seen the scene in such a seismic state of shift. I know of five eminent openings and one business moving out of an oft-failed building making way for a personal favorite to move in. With eyes and ears as open as my mouth at a barbecue buffet, I have gathered some interesting tidbits. Some of it rock solid, having talked firsthand with the owners and some of it a bit like dust in the wind having merely caught a whisper here or there.
Before I talk about what is yet to come, I should mention Porky G’s barbeque which opened a month or so ago. I have spent so much time researching their product that I have yet to find time to write a blog post. It is out there next to Fred Meyers where A & W was for several years. This place is not one that I can take the family to help me out. Barbeque is far too serious of a culinary genre and I insist that my data be gathered firsthand with messy fingers. I can only say for now that Porky’s is the sort of place I cannot afford to think of my belly or my family, but rather selflessly sample as many dishes as possible on my own in order bring Scoop readers the most accurate report.

    1) The Blue Kat next to Halpins

I wrote about Jesse Martinez and The Blue Kat in my last blog post. They are still hoping to open in a few weeks.Read the blog here.

    2) The Handle Bar in Greenacres

This one is a whisper in the wind, though I have heard a lot of whispering. For example, I talked to the food distributor rep who told me they would be serving California Sandwiches which she explained but I never really understood except that they are kind of souped up deli sandwiches.
I also ran into their bar manager at Kinko’s as I was printing off the floor plans I had drafted for the Blue Kat. She was waiting to use the printer to make copies of their layout that the liquor board requires. This chance meeting gave me the opportunity to get a peek at just how the business would be configured. As I had been hearing, it is going to be three businesses in one location. The concept and focus are not bad since it is aimed at servicing the baby boomer bikers which is an ever burgeoning segment of the population as the boomers thunder into their advanced years looking for ways to spend their leisure time and spare money.
There will be an apparel shop and mechanic shop to go along with the bar. It is located out in Greenacres where The Hat Trick used to be which is where Huppins used to be which is where who knows what used to be.

    3) Little Euro on Pines

My dirt on this place I got firsthand from one of the owners named Dave Sevier, who was sweeping in his parking lot the other day as I happened to be conveniently walking by. Since I did not reveal my secret Scoop identity, he did not realize we were both collecting dirt at the same time.
I had been watching the renovation progress since it began and had already guessed it was the Old European gang by the name on the reader sign and the familiar colors they were painting on the building. I was just making sure that the Valley would once again be able to indulge in their heavenly Ableskeevers and devilishly delicious stuffed French Toast. The place is only 1600 square feet compared to their 6,000 square foot Northside location. Living just around the corner with fond memories of the old place at Sprague and Bowdish, I told Dave we would be glad to take what we could get.

Update The Little Euro opens June 18th

    4) Two Columns at the old T Pranos/Pinochios on Sprague

This is some more owner-direct dirt I picked up the other day when I strolled over from the convenience store parking lot next door. Here my clandestine snooping was thwarted by my poor hearing and the owner’s thick Greek accent. I know his first name is Masada but I gave up trying to understand his last name after several attempts. What I did understand him to say, I think, is that he plans to serve Greek and Italian. He is an interesting retired gentleman. He told me he used to have a Greek restaurant at the old Riverpark Square and a creamery next to Godfather’s Pizza by Hastings on Sullivan.
As we talked while he painted the ceiling tiles with a roller, I thought he was a bit daft at least as far as this venture was concerned. But I could tell he knew kitchens and service and recipes by the things he was saying. I stopped second guessing him when he told me he had been a teacher for 18 years before he moved to the Spokane Valley back in the 70’s. When I asked what he taught I was expecting something like history at a junior high somewhere in Greece. When he said he taught business at a school in Seattle called the U of W, I figured I would wait to pass judgement on his prospects.

    5) Something or Other at the old Luxury Box/ Percy’s

Ok, I admit this one is pure Dustin “the wind” Hoffman. But I bet I am right. I have been smelling the smoke for a while and where there is smoke there is fire, some times. My secondhand smoke signals inform me that the original owners of Casey’s sandwich shop at Sprague and Evergreen have signed a lease and plan to open in August. That is all the Scoop can divulge at this point in time and probably more than good journalism would allow.

Lastly, on a sad note Winger Brothers has joined the growing list of ventures to come and go at that spot at the Valley Mall. But my beloved Hong Kong Buffet has boldly decided to go there where no man has profitably gone before. I am betting on them since the same could be said of the spot in the mall near the movie theaters that they successfully conquered. To see why I think they will be winners at the old Wingers, go to this recent blog post.