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Molly Patrick - Women in Food

Image courtesy of @amenphotographer

During the much-anticipated changes being made at the Blackbird, for those of you who need your fix can go to Chef Molly Patrick’s other Spokane favorite - Manito Tap House.

This casual eatery is tucked away on the South Hill in an unlikely spot in a shopping center (you can find them at 3011 South Grand Boulevard), but when you are inside, it’s an absolutely beautiful and relaxing environment with barn wood walls and industrial accents.

The food is the undercover star attraction at this popular gastropub. It’s all scratch-made and has a seasonal focus. This season’s offerings have been nothing short of incredible. When we were invited by the Manito team to come out and try their menu favorites, we had no idea what to expect and were astonished that we hadn’t yet been to this innovative spot! First, with Molly, be sure to expect BIG flavor. She is wildly creative, and is unhampered by conventionality, but boasts a playful take on mixing different cuisines to create a really delicious result.

Chef Molly’s inspiration for this menu was thinking about what she would like to eat if she happened to be a patron walking in to her restaurant. She says, “It’s warm and comforting, it’s different but it makes sense. There are lots of flavors inspired from different parts of the world, but it is familiar, too. To me, it says ‘Welcome home.’” Her assessment is spot on - it has the loveliest comfort food feel, but with an elevated sense of whimsy. The way that each of the elements is combined lends a pleasing sophistication to the familiar vehicles for these big flavors - burgers, sliders, mac and cheese and stew. In their dedication to making their food in-house, they even make their own burger buns. That’s love.

Our favorite menu items were, in this order; the totally fun and Thai-inspired peanut butter Jalapeno Crunch Burger, with jalapeno jam, chips and pimento cheese (available in gluten-free on request - and I literally CANNOT STOP THINKING ABOUT THIS ONE), the rich and dynamic flavors Moroccan Lamb Stew garnished with smoked yogurt, the Brisket Sliders with mesquite-smoked all natural brisket, brown sugar aioli and slaw, and the Pimento Mac and Cheese with pancetta, chipotle and crispy parmesan bottom with a sunny-side up egg (which is available with a vegan option on request). Each one had really exceptional elements that made the flavors so memorable, and we highly recommend them for a truly unique dining experience. They really consider the needs of all of their diners in offering many of their menu items for special diets, so if you have any questions about a unique preparation, feel free to ask their knowledgeable staff to help accommodate you.

They are serious about their beer, too. They have dozens on tap, and it’s a really fun to try something that you may not be able to get at other establishments in town. They take a highly professional approach to procuring and providing their craft beer selections, too. According to their team, “We have two Certified Cicerones® and five Certified Beer Servers on staff, and all our employees must pass a 45 question beer test. Our cellaring program includes 55 kegs and over 20 cases of rare beer, and the draft lines are cleaned according to the Draft Quality Manual from the Brewers Association.” You’re sure to find something absolutely perfect to drink to go with your meal, and maybe even find a new favorite that you just can’t live without.

They also sell whole cheesecakes that you can order ahead for a party or for a special occasion. The flavors that they offer are unreal! At just 40.00 for a scratch-made, perfect, rich cheesecake, you really can’t go wrong. With flavors like White Chocolate and Brie, Strawberry Shortcake, Peach and Thyme, French Toast, Maple Bacon and more, you will definitely find one with personality and complex, fun flavors. At least 35 options at the time of this article are available to patrons who will really, really love this beautifully crafted dessert. You can find all the flavors they currently offer here.

Like the Blackbird, it’s a dedicated eco-friendly establishment. From the Manito team, “The environment is (and should be) our passion, which is why we’re so proud to be the first Four-Star Certified Green Restaurant in Spokane ( keep the planet top of mind with everything we do. Our interior walls are lined with reclaimed barn wood, all our lighting is either LED or fluorescent, we compost, we recycle and our bathroom counters are even made from recycled paper.” This is the type of extra care that we can really get behind, because though the changes may seem small, they make a significant impact on the restaurant’s carbon footprint and working toward reducing as much waste as possible.” They really get that it’s not just about providing a great meal, but also being responsible business owners, and they go the extra mile to help our environment as well as our community.

Chef Molly Patrick is a force to be reckoned with in Spokane’s food community. Talking to her about the joy she feels in creatively approaching this business with an unrivaled passion for thinking outside of the box was nothing short of inspiring. Her willingness to embrace trends and take on new challenges in the restaurant industry is what keeps her a vibrant part of our city’s culinary landscape.

If you really want to go to a restaurant this week that really loves its food, it’s drink selections, AND its city through real, everyday dedication to doing things the right way, go to Manito Taphouse. You won’t be disappointed! While you’re at it, tell them we sent you and we’d be so honored that we helped you discover this fun little joint!

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The Spokane Culinary Arts Guild works to establish an integrated social and professional network across Washington and Idaho where local food enthusiasts, chefs, farms and restaurant professionals can connect, collaborate and find the resources they need to thrive within local food webs that stimulate stronger local economies, encourage social equity and sustain our natural resources. It is our mission to recognize exceptional restaurants and industry partners in our region, and acknowledge superior business practices, concepts and achievements in our local community.

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