A couple of weeks ago, we packed up Looscious (that’s my Rav4, and yes, I named my car, it’s what you do when you’re driving across the country with a woman named Lucky) and headed east, over the mountains, across the desert, and into Spokane to visit the loverly Samantha and family.
If you’ve never been to Spokane, I can’t recommend visiting it enough, especially with a tour guide like Samantha. She grew up there and knows her city well. And knowing me, she wanted to take us to the most interesting places to eat. For me, a good restaurant experience isn’t merely good food, but if they can throw in a side of adventure, I’m loving it. And the Steam Plant Grill does just that.
We visited the Steam Plant on a Saturday afternoon right after opening and essentially had the run of the place to wander around. Up until as recently as 1986, the Steam Plant provided heat to most of the major buildings in downtown Spokane until the guy pouring water over the lava rocks got tired and quit. Almost immediately after quitting, like ten years after, he put on an apron and started serving fancy olives to the public. Because Spokane didn’t need heat, Spokane needed olives!
The Steam Plant is now home to office space as well as the restaurant. Wouldn’t you want your office in a joint like this?
By the way, did you see me peeking at you in that first shot? I’ve got my eye on you.
We ordered a mess of appetizers.
What made the southwest chicken quesadilla ($10) awesome was the crispy garlic herb tortilla. I loved it and could easily eat this again (especially with a margarita).
James is still in his calamari ($9) stage, so we tried it. Crispy and light, a nice aioli on the side, it was good.
The famous olives come on the antipasti ($14) platter, but to be honest, they didn’t get much attention because everybody was fighting over the cheeses. If you want to be really nice to your mouth, smear a big blob of that goat cheese on a warm pita slice. It’ll thank you, man.
Banana bread cake with peanut butter frosting. I didn’t think it was anything special as I’m not a banana bread fan, but James was crazy for it.
While the food was tasty, the best thing was touring the place. And the bestest thing was standing at the base of one of the chimneys.
Maybe it’s more spectacular to get a view of what it looks like on the outside, and since I didn’t think to take a photo of the outside (what a goon!), I googled it and found a great article about Spokane that shows it here on the second page. So here are my specific instructions: visit Spokane. Stop by Samantha’s house and ask her to give you the tour. Go to the Steam Plant. Eat pitas with cheese. And stand at the bottom of the chimney (close your eyes until the door is closed or you’ll get an eye full of dust). Good, good times, man.