I love days that start off without a specific plan, but manage to culminate in awesomeness. Most of my Sundays are pretty much seat-of-the-pants affairs. The most specific I usually get with my plans is that I will probably eat and drink something at some point during the day. Fortunately, this makes Sundays good days to do a little adventure-time exploring.
The Yards Bruncheon
Nothing starts off a Sunday adventure like a nice brunch. I’ve been hearing a lot lately about one of the newest additions to the Spokane restaurant scene, The Yards Bruncheon. Located in the embryonic Kendall Yards development, The Yards is one of the first restaurants to open their doors in the new community. Not only is this a new business for the burgeoning Kendall Yards community, it is something new and unique for the Spokane restaurant scene, a restaurant that features breakfast and lunch foods all day.
The atmosphere of The Yards is very much that of a retro diner, complete with checkerboard floors and classic booths. The feel of the place manages to evoke the feel of an old-school diner, without venturing into kitschy territory.
The Yards has a variety of breakfast cocktails on the menu, including staples like Bloody Marys and Mimosas. I chose a Bloody Mary to kick off my brunch. Although it wasn’t bad, I don’t expect to see the Bloody Mary from The Yards on any “best of” lists anytime soon. I was somewhat surprised, as I would expect a restaurant that specializes in brunch to offer something special in their breakfast cocktails.
Fortunately, the food did live up to the hype that I had heard thus far. Being the good southern boy that I am, I couldn’t help but order the chicken and waffles. The fried chicken was tasty, with more complex flavors that you often find in this dish. The side of jalapeños added some additional spiciness to the mix, which blended well with the sweetness of the syrup. The surprise standout from the meal was actually the coleslaw, which was absolutely delicious.
At this point The Yards still seems to get overly packed during peak weekend traffic, so expect service to be slightly on the slow side. That certainly isn’t to say that the service is bad, as I was very happy with our server, you just have to be patient if you visit during a busy time.
Monkey Boy Books
The next stop on our Sunday Funday tour was compliments of my friend Greg, who you might know better as @nomnerd on Twitter. I had seen Greg at Nectar earlier in the week, and he told me about Monkey Boy Books.
Have you ever been to one of those bookstores that make you hungry to read more? That’s Monkey Boy Books. Not only is the selection simply amazing, the prices are much more reasonable than I have found at most used book stores in the area.
If the only thing that I had found at this store had been this pulp beauty, the visit would have been worthwhile. Fortunately, the selection was impressively diverse, with everything from the classics to more modern fiction and non-fiction. I stupidly neglected to ask the gentleman’s name who worked in the store, but he was friendly, knowledgeable, and engaging, contributing to the altogether welcoming vibe of the place. In total, my wife and I purchased 14 books on our visit, which seems like a good barometer for how much we enjoyed the shop.
The Flame Out at Flamin’ Joe’s
To finish out the day, I went to watch the Gonzaga game (the less said about the actual game, the better) at Flamin’ Joe’s. Despite my love of wings and its proximity to my apartment, this was my first visit to this locally owned wingery.
I am always predisposed to choose local places over their chain counterparts, but it is always nice when the quality of the food validates that choice. I can’t imagine any reason for a South Hill resident to venture out into the valley to visit wing-slinging chain, Buffalo Wild Wings. The wings at Flamin’ Joe’s are at least as good as those that you will find at BWW, and they offer a wide range of sauces and dry rubs to provide some diversity.
Of course, the primary concern for those looking for a place to watch the game is that there are plenty of large televisions. No need to worry, Flamin’ Joe’s has you covered here. There are almost as many televisions as tables in the restaurant. I found myself eagerly looking forward to visiting on Sundays during football season.
While the beer selection is not as heavy on craft brews as I generally like, there are plenty of acceptable options, and it’s certainly not bad for a sports bar.
Not a Bad Way to Spend a Sunday in Spokane
I’m not so sure that my body would appreciate me eating like this every Sunday, but I do think I will have to spend more Sundays adventuring around the area. There are so many varied options to check out around Spokane, and it seems that every time I go out exploring I find a new treasure.
I’m always looking for new adventures, so if you have any recommendations for things to see and do in the Inland Northwest, feel free to drop me a comment.