18 Mar 2010
Before there was a Starbucks, Seattle’s Best, or Dunkin’ Donuts on every corner, there was Lindaman’s Café in Spokane. For 26 years Lindaman’s has been providing homemade goodness for dine in or to go from their 12th and Grand location in the St. Johns district of the lower South Hill. The magic of Lindaman’s is the community. The food is home cooked. The desserts are divine. The bottom line is that the people care about you and your experience.
When Lindaman’s began, in 1984, there were only two espresso machines in Spokane. My, how times have changed. Merrilee Lindaman and her brother would go through 1000 pounds of coffee per week. Their concept, then and now, is unique; a collection of rotating and standard pre-made meals made with the highest quality ingredients are presented in a display case when you walk in. You choose your dinner, choose your drink and either eat it in their beautiful building, outside on the patio, or take it to go. During my visit the case included lasagna, quiche, breaded shrimp, baked macaroni and cheese, tortellini, and so much more. After 26 years, Merrilee still determines how to cook it and what to cook and enjoys getting involved and making the food, especially the desserts. Oh, the desserts – German Chocolate Cake, Carrot Cake, Pot de Crème, Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake, the list goes on and on. “I do everything I can do to give people a good experience,” says Merrilee.
Lindaman’s is truly a community gem. For 18 years the ad budget was supporting charities. 50-60% of her customers eat at Lindaman’s daily. Of her 24 employees, 11 of them have been with her for 12 years or more. Recently Lindaman’s has gotten involved in Social Media through Facebook (one of the reasons of our visit). While Merrilee is still finding her voice in the new world, she sees a huge opportunity to help connect her customers to Lindaman’s and the charities they support.
Lindaman’s serves only DOMA coffee. DOMA is a premier maker of coffee in the United States. The Inland Northwest is lucky to have them. Two of Spokane’s best coffee alchemists work at Lindaman’s. How many café’s can boast of having a skilled barista of 18 years (Kirk) and 12 years (Zack)? If you’re not impressed by the quality coffee, just ask for some latte art. You’ll see skills that unmatched in this city (and most other cities too).
Aside from your usual fair, you MUST TRY Café Corretto. The magical blend of liqueur and espresso is what they will serve in heaven for breakfast. Put your fears and preconceptions aside and order The European (Espresso, Sambuca, half n half) or the Lady Godiva (Espresso, white chocolate liqueur, half n half). These drinks will have you re-thinking your alcohol before noon rule (actually there is not enough alcohol in the drink to have any effect – it’s added for flavor).
Lindaman’s is a place I could take up residence in. Coffee in the morning, Café Corretto mid morning, great lunch with a glass of wine, desserts to die for, dinner with more wine in the evening and herb infused hard drinks and Pot de Crème for a night cap. While the wine bar is not extensive (10 or so by the glass and 20 or so by the bottle), the prices are fair and the selection is unique. Beyond the wine you will find some unique and special herb infused martini and mojito drinks.
On the Web at www.lindamans.com
Open Monday – Saturday 8AM – 9PM
1235 S. Grand Spokane, WA 99202
Lindaman’s is also available for catering your special event.
18 Dec 2009
The thermometer read a brisk 20 degrees and my shoes were wet from the snow piled up on the streets. The place was filling up. Jane mentioned to a customer that she didn’t think they would be busy this morning with the frightful weather. The customer replied, “well, the food is just that good.”
The food is “just that good.” This beautiful jewel at 180 S. Howard in Downtown Spokane is a savory and sweet treat not to be missed.
Taste Cafe & Gourmet To Go opened their doors in February 2009. Mother and daughter, Jane and Hannah Heber, dreamed of providing a modern comfortable atmosphere where people can get quality food (to stay or to go)! Jane, a British native by way of Laguna Beach, spent 17 years dealing in British antiquities prior to moving to Spokane in 2007. Hannah, slaving away in the big city corporate world of San Francisco, jumped at the opportunity to explore her baking passions. She attended culinary school in Spokane prior to opening Taste Cafe.
The atmosphere is modern, elegant and comfortable. Photography by Todd Sackmann adorns the exposed brick to the left, while beautiful modern art paintings on display from Ed Gilmore line the remaining walls. See the video for the visual tour. Taste Cafe offers sweet morning treats from sticky buns, scones, muffins and the amazing twice baked almond croissant to afternoon sweets like cookies, cakes, tarts and pies. For the savory side of morning you can enjoy sausage rolls and assorted baguettes. Stop by in the afternoon or on the way home for dinner and dine on a rotating assortment of soups, salads, paninis, lasagna, pot pies and more.
In my review, I feel that there are three things that set Taste Cafe apart as a top notch business in Spokane; 1) Impeccable taste – in atmosphere, decoration, design (logo & print) and food. Everything is made with fresh ingredients and from what I ate, I can only assume that everything is amazing. Jane and Hannah wanted to give special recognition to their brand, web and print consultants, The Purple Turtle 2) Beer and Wine service – it is more common to enjoy a beer or glass of wine with lunch. The selection of each was small but included quality offerings for discerning customers. 3) To Go! – Being in a downtown urban core, there is not a lot of opportunity for drive by coffee service, but getting amazing breakfast and lunch delivered to your downtown business is perfect. Not only can Taste Cafe cater (and host) your office event or party, they are available to cater weddings, birthdays, and other special events.
- Taste Cafe is open 7am – 4pm Monday – Friday and on Saturday for brunch (and their regular menu) from 8am – 3pm.
Brunch is definitely on my upcoming calendar of things to do. Taste Cafe is a perfect excuse to head downtown on a Saturday morning for brunch before going shopping at River Park Square. Give them a call when planning your next event or party too. Let them prepare the sweet and savory, so you can enjoy your guests.
- www.facebook.com/tastecafespokane and www.twitter.com/tastybuns
- 180 S. Howard 468-2929 www.tastecafespokane.com
The Coffee: Taste Cafe serves Doma Roasting Company coffee. I enjoyed an Americano from their Vito’s Espresso blend.
- The Swirl: The cup was not clear but from what I could tell the color was very dark and was obviously a dark roast blend
- The Sniff: Great aroma – scores very high on the wake you up in the morning meter. Got a little dark chocolate and forest on the sniff
- The Sip: Much smoother than I expected. Not bitter like big brand espresso roasts. Finished with that hint of chocolate.
- The Score: Top notch a high 4
Life is meant to be enjoyed with friends. Stop by Taste Cafe, order up some coffee, wine or beer and DRINK.HAPPY!