Neighborhood Foodie Tour - Post Falls
Somewhere in between Spokane and Coeur d’ Alene lies a sleepy little town that you might not think about when you are looking for a culinary destination, but you’d be missing out on some pretty sweet spots that you’ll return to again and again. They don’t in any way pretend to be the “trendiest”, and that’s exactly why I love them. Unpretentious, delicious, honest food that you crave, served with a smile.
Post Falls, Idaho is the namesake of its founder, Frederick Post, who built a water-powered lumber mill on the river. Now it boasts a population of over 29,000 and some delicious destinations to keep its citizens well-fed. These charming favorites are worth a little detour on your way through, or even worth a little day trip to really experience what this underrated corner of our region (and my hometown) have to offer.
Post Falls has changed a lot over the years, but the quality of the dining at The White House Grill has not. Known for its bold, Mediterranean cuisine featuring as much fresh garlic as humanly possible (you can smell it down the street for blocks), it is beloved among locals and travelers alike. I am legitimately obsessed with their cacic, a homemade tzatziki sauce with fresh mint and olive oil that is served with warm pita. You’ll want to order extra pita - trust me. I am also a fan of their Turkish cigars, which aren’t what they sound like at all. Spinach and feta is wrapped in phyllo dough and lightly fried and paired with an addictive tomato-onion relish. The buftec is a particularly memorable dish, and I wish I had the recipe for their marinade. A perfectly prepared flat-iron steak grilled and served with patates kizartma and garlic green beans will round out any dinner on the patio and just might make you forget you’re in Idaho.
Their sister restaurant and bar - The Oval Office, features a menu filled with cheekily named drinks honoring individuals from across the political spectrum. They’re strong, so plan on sitting on the patio for a while with a selection of appetizers to share with friends. It’s also busy most of the time, so be prepared to be patient. Trust me - it’s worth it. I highly recommend the light-as-air calamari, gorgonzola lamb burgers, and ginger steamed clams. However, I don’t just recommend but cannot let you leave without ordering the sweet potato fries with gorgonzola sauce. In fact, now I have to go there tomorrow because I never can stop fantasizing about them.
New and notable in town is J&T Food Bunker and Bar, which is a veteran-owned business just off the freeway on Spokane Street. They serve up big, juicy burgers that are absolutely packed with flavor and made to order. If you’re eating keto, you can get any burger served as a lettuce wrap! This food truck has been a popular destination for locals, and their new brick-and-mortar location for the bar makes it even easier to enjoy their creations.
Republic Taphouse is tucked away in a darling house across from city hall that is oozing with charm and features live music from time to time on the deck. The crispy cauliflower packs a punch with a local hot sauce and blue cheese crumbles, and the decadent bacon Monte Cristo will definitely make you take a walk around Falls Park nearby to burn off the calories, but it’s so worth it. If you’re looking for something lighter (and vegetarian), the chickpea burger with a yogurt and cilantro sauce, avocado and a brioche is sure to hit the spot.
One of the sweetest places in town to grab a cup of great coffee is Terre Coffee on Spokane Street. They have a convenient drive-through if you’re in a hurry, but their cafe is cozy to stay for awhile and catch up with a friend. All of their baked goods are house-made, and they’re known for their bagels and fresh cinnamon rolls. You don’t even have to remind them to warm it up for you.
Looking for an incredibly special night out? You absolutely must go to Fleur de Sel. High above the city in the Highlands neighborhood, this darling French dining destination will surprise and delight you with their expertly prepared dishes. Get a reservation, because the dining room has limited seating and you won’t want to be left out. The menu is filled with beloved French classics, and though you may be intimidated by the menu - don’t worry. The staff will expertly guide you to a selection that will be a surefire hit if you are uncertain. The expert service here will guarantee a romantic night out with someone special. You can choose something as tame as macaroni and cheese, or as adventurous as grilled baby octopus (my absolute favorite) with roasted onions and Portobello mushrooms, red peppers sweet and sour piperade with capers. It is a dish you cannot find anywhere else in town. A true showstopper on their menu is the Pork Secreto - grilled pork flank steak with ravigote vinaigrette and ratatouille on a portobello with house bacon jam. Chef Laurent Zirotti is a master of his craft, and you’re in for a treat with any reservation.
Looking for something to do between meals here? You can walk or bike the Centennial Trail, go for a swim at Q’melin Park, float the river at Corbin Park to State Line, play frisbee golf on one of the courses nearby, go for a relaxing massage at the Highlands Day Spa, or learn about local native American history at Treaty Rock Park. The profound peace in small-town living (and visiting) has a ridiculously appealing charm that going downtown just can’t compete with sometimes. Either everyone already knows your name, or they want to. You’ll be eager for a return visit.