Saturday, November 14, 2015

All the better to see you with...

Ever try to buy new glasses on your own? There you are staring hopelessly at the wall of frames before trying on countless pairs, while looking around desperately for any random passerby that can give you an opinion. 

Welcome to GlassesShop, a whole new affordable way to buy perscription glasses. 
GO - Log onto

SHOP - Choose a Collection. Cat Eye, Full Frame, Round. Not sure? Click on Bestsellers or New Arrivals. Use the filter to narrow down your choices. 

TRY - After you choose a frame, click on the Try On icon. You can upload a photo or use the webcam. Try as many as you like as this shop is open 24-7

SHOW - Share on facebook, save photo or post to a website. Listen to your friends or ignore their advise. 

BUY - Enter you prescription, including pupillary distance. Use code to save. 

At GlassesShop, you get prescription eyeglasses at 50% off already great prices by using a code. Buying cheap glasses allows you to stock up so you can change your style with your mood and get sunglasses as well. Just use the special coupon code GSHOT50 This will give you 50% off on eyeglasses and sunglasses with free lenses (sale frames excluded). Free Shipping with minimum purchase.  

My experience was great and my glasses came quick. Just think, I shopped for them in my pajamas. The frames I choose were Myra Cat Eye -Tortoise. The first of many sassy styles I plan on having. 


I may just be a pizza snob. Life's too short for doughy bland ZA. So when BLAZE PIZZA first contacted me as writer/blogger to be a guest at their new Spokane location, I was initially excited but then not so much. Though impressed with the marketing materials and swag they sent me, I summed up how the experience would be based on similar concept restaurants. I was very wrong. 

Nestled in the U-District is a fantastic and delicious dining experience. BLAZE PIZZA is a modern day "pizza joint" serving up artisan ZA that's both fast and affordable. Expect custom built pizzas which are generous in size for around $8 that can be paired with the creative salads. 

The interactive open-kitchen format allows patrons to customize their pizza or tweek one of the menus signature pizzas. I give extra points for the genuinely friendly and attentive staff that combined with the restaurant's cool design contributed to our meal. 
Like with most dining experiences, it's the quality of ingredients that separates good from great. You may get a your pizza in lightening speed but in anticipation of your arrival the pizzasmiths are hard at work making dough from scratch which requires a 24-hour fermentation period. Hmm, it's slow food in disguise. It's obvious a critically acclaimed chef behind the carefully sourced ingredients and delectable flavors combinations in the signature pizzas. Nuances such as extra virgin olive oil and sea salt add to the taste. Craft Beer and Wine are also available and although it may be a franchise, the company developed a turn-key in-restaurant fundraiser program that returns 20% of an event's proceeds back to local organizations. Uh-oh, I have a crush on a franchise.  Interesting tid bit is that LeBron James and Maria Shriver are investors. 

It's no surprise, Blaze Pizza is one of the fastest growing franchises developing a cult following. Okay, I may have initially been skeptical but after one visit and I'm a raving fan. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015


What more can I do? 

It is a question that, when asked, stretches the mind and the heart to envision extra ways we can help one another. It is a question, whose answer can have long lasting and often life changing results. It is also a question many are asking when it comes to helping Kaley Dugger, a Spokane resident in need of a kidney.

One random Saturday in February 2004, then first-grader Kaley woke up not feeling well. Her flu-like symptoms quickly escalated, and soon she was at the hospital where doctors discovered she had contracted meningitis. The medical team was forced to put her in an induced coma. She didn’t wake up for a week. Kaley nearly lost her life. As a result of this aggressive bacterial infection, both of her legs were amputated, several fingertips were lost, as well as much of her skin, and, tragically, her kidneys were destroyed. Her story became well known, dominating the local news in 2004, as people rallied around this young girl. She was blessed to receive a kidney transplant nine years ago from a living donor. That kidney is now failing. It’s not uncommon, as the average life of a transplanted kidney is about 15 years. This time, however, it’s more complicated, because Kaley’s body actively produced anti-bodies in its attack on the transplanted kidney. With so many antibodies, about 85 percent of the population will not be a match for her. To find a match, a larger pool of potential donors is necessary.

Kaley’s parents, Mike and Debbie Dugger, sadly, are not matches for their daughter, but they plan on being evaluated in the hopes that they can do a paired donation for someone else in need. A paired donation is a process where one of their kidneys would go to someone with a similar matching problem, and their donor’s kidney would then go to Kaley, assuming everyone matches up. It may be another long shot, but not impossible. This is a relatively new practice and it can involve several people in a chain donation. Kaley also will be placed on the cadaver kidney list, but that usually entails a long wait and cadaver kidneys usually don’t last as long as kidneys from a live donor. Time is of the essence as she may have to go on dialysis in the next year or so, an unpleasant and short-term solution. 

The more people that are tested, the better are Kaley’s chances of finding a match. Age is a consideration, but anyone 20-50, preferably blood type O and in good health is a potential candidate. If you feel led, but are too old to donate to Kaley, or are not a match, there is always the option of entering the paired matching program (mentioned above) or simply sharing this article with others. Kaley is in great need, as are so many others.

To have a reasonable chance of finding a match, a great number of people need to be tested. All testing is confidential and can be done at a local lab. As a donor, surgery can occur near where you live, with the kidney flown to Seattle. Any costs will be covered by insurance or by grants available for donors. Mike and Debbie feel extremely grateful to the dear friend who gave Kaley her first donated kidney; likewise, they are immensely thankful to anyone who has been tested or is considering being medically evaluated.

Kaley graduated from Ferris High School with honors earlier this year and is attending Seattle University. Now 18, she has had her prosthetic legs longer than she had her real legs, thriving despite circumstances challenging her. To give you an idea of her attitude, her twitter handle is “@nolegsnoprobs.” At this time, Kaley has her sights set on becoming a physician’s assistant in the field of nephrology (kidneys). We are cheering her on and asking you to pray, share and if led, get tested. Ask yourself the simple question, what more can I do?  The answer will be clear and could range from sharing Kaley’s story to being tested. Any response can make the difference. If you have an interest, please contact Diane Gould at Swedish Hospital (, 206-386-3660). If necessary, leave a message for Diane that you are interested in being a kidney donor for Kaley Dugger.

As published in Spokane Coeur d'Alene Living magazine November 2015

Happy Birthday Nadia!

Like the rest of the world I watched the 1976 Olympics and was obsessed with stoic little gymnast from Romania and the unprecedented perfect scores. I was so in awe of Nadia, I hung up ice skates for awhile to pursue gymnastics. Not a unique endeavor as after the Montreal games, gyms were flooded with little Nadia want-to-bes. Of course, my always supportive parents not only had me enrolled in a local club but my Dad had me training in Quebec with an elite club. The good news was due to my years of figure skating, athletically I could keep up with the other gymnasts but the disciplines were all new and required me to be fearless. I competed in a few meets and pushed my limits of what I thought was possible, especially when it came to the balance beam and uneven bars. A couple years later I returned to figure skating but I have fond memories of this athletic detour. Happy Birthday Nadia!  Thanks for the inspiration even if it didn't stick.

(Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated)

Friday, November 6, 2015

Drinking with the STARS! Celebs in the wine biz.

Celebrities are in drenched in WINE. 
Introducing the drinking with the STARS cast list.

Photo Credit: LVE
***"OLIVE me loves OLIVE you" Okay, so maybe that's not quite how it goes but one thing is for sure - Music superstar, John Legend has entered the wine biz. LVE: Legend Vineyard Exclusive has produced a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and a Chardonnay with the help of Raymond Vineyards.
Photo Credit: Palm Springs Life
***GoGi is the passion project of actor Kurt Russell, who has quietly been making Pinot Noir in Santa Rita Hills since the 2008 vintage. With the help of Peter and Rebecca Work of Ampelos Cellars (as well as their son Don Schroeder, head winemaker at nearby Sea Smoke Cellars,) Kurt’s GoGi label has grown from a minuscule 25 case production in 2008 into a serious outfit that now produces truly exceptional boutique wines. The Chardonnay is appropriately called Goldie.
***Rumor has it Lady Gaga has been spotted roaming around Sonoma County looking for a vineyard to buy In Spring of 2012. The stilettos may have been a sure sign, she wasn't a local. The singer, who is currently worth over 90 million is apparently quite a fan of red wine and believes that grapes could be her next creative venture. Can't you just imagine the packaging? 

***Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie:
The celebrity power couple will launched their own rose wine March 2013. Rumor has it that the wine is charmingly good. The pair has teamed up with the French winemaking Perrin family to develop the Miraval Cotes de Provence label, named after their Chateau Miraval estate in the south of France, Marc Perrin said. The wine, produced from the couple's sprawling estate near the town of Brignoles, will be priced at around 15 euro ($19.40) a bottle. Jolie and Pitt acquired the 500 hectare estate in 2008 for around 40 million euros (approx $516 million) and have used it as a summer residence. The estate includes around 50 to 60 acres of vines.

The following is a list of celebrities already in the biz.

*Madonna: Ciccone Vineyard and Winery Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan Collaboration with her father Silvio "Tony" Ciccone  

Fess Parker: Fess Parker Winery Santa Ynez Valley, California Was featured in the movie Sideways.

Tommy Smothers: Remick Ridge Vineyards Sonoma County, California

Sam Neill: Two Paddocks Central Otago, New Zealand

Gerard Depardieu: Chateau de Tigne Anjou, Loire Valley, France Also owns vineyards in Bordeaux, Languedoc, Algeria, Argentina, Morocco, Spain, Sicily and United States

Mario Andretti: Andretti Winery Napa Valley, California Founded winery with former K-mart CEO Joe Antonini

Vince Neil: Vince Neil Vineyards Sonoma County, California

Greg Norman: Greg Norman Estates South Australia and California Collaboration with Beringer Blass

Ernie Els: Ernie Els Wines Stellenbosch, South Africa Collaboration with Engelbrecht Els Vineyard

Savanna Samson: Savanna Samson Wines Tuscany and Lazio, Italy Her first wine Sogno Uno is a red blend consisting mainly of the obscure Italian grape variety Cesanese 

Joe Montana: Montagia Wines Napa Valley, California Collaboration with Ed Sbragia, former winemaker of Beringer Wines

Raymond Burr: Raymond Burr Vineyards Dry Creek Valley, California Established by the late actor in 1986.

Bruce Cohn: B.R. Cohn Winery Sonoma County, California Cohn is the manager of The Doobie Brothers. Bruce gets props for almost being local as he and his wife spend significant time at their lake place in North Idaho. 

***Train: It probably took years to get Train's "Drops Of Jupiter" out of your head (likely replaced by "Hey, Soul Sister") but it looks like you might be humming it again. Join Train's brand new Save Me San Francisco Wine Club (yes, really), and sample the "fruit-forward, instantly lovable red" 2009 Petite Syrah titled Drops of Jupiter.  The band recently announced a chocolate project with Ghirardelli.

John Lasseter: Lasseter Family Winery Sonoma County, California

Drew Barrymore
***Drew Barrymore: Barrymore Wines. Her first offering is a Pinot Grigio from Italy was recently released.

Diane Marie Disney: Silverado Vineyards Winery Napa Valley, California Owns winery with husband, former professional football player Ron W. Miller

Carmen Policy: Casa Piena Yountville, California

Nancy Pelosi :Zinfandel Lane Vineyard St. Helena, California Also owns Skellenger Lane Vineyard in Napa Valley. Pelosi sells her grapes to other California winemakers instead of producing her own wine.

Tom Seaver: GTS Vineyards Napa Valley, California

Dan Ackroyd
*Dan Aykroyd: Dan Aykroyd Wines Ontario, Canada Also produces a Sonoma County, California, series of wines.

Mario Batali: La Mozza Tuscany, Italy Collaboration with Italian winemaker and author Joe Bastianich

Lorraine Bracco: Bracco Wines Tuscany, Italy Produces wines from several Italian wine regions.

Nick Faldo: Nick Faldo Wines Coonawarra, Australia Collaboration with Katnook Estate

Mick Hucknall: Il Cantante Sicily, Italy Collaboration with Italian winemaker Salvo Foti

Olivia Newton-John: Koala Blue Wines South Australia Founded in 1983 with business partner Pat Farrar.

Cliff Richard: Adega do Cantor Algarve, Portugal Collaboration with Quinta do Miradouro.

**Mike Weir: Mike Weir Wine Niagara Peninsula, Canada.

*Francis Ford Coppola:  Rubicon Estate Winery Napa Valley, California

Wayne Gretsky: No. 99 Estates Winery Niagara Peninsula, Canada Collaboration with Creekside Estates.

Lil Jon: Little Jonathan Winery Central Coast, California Collaboration with California winemaker Alison Crowe.

Alex Spanos: SpanosBerberian Winery Napa Valley, California Also owns Bell Wine Cellars in Yountville.

Dick Vermeil: Vermeil Wines Napa Valley, California Collaboration with OnThEdge Winery.
Francis Ford Coppola

Kevin Buckler: Adobe Road Wines Sonoma County, California

Frank Arciero: Arciero Family Vineyards Paso Robles, California Also owns EOS Estate Winery in Paso Robles. Owned racing teams that featured Al Unser, Bobby Unser, Parnelli Jones, Dan Gurney and Michael Andretti.

Randy Lewis: Lewis Cellars Napa Valley, California.

Arnold Palmer: Arnold Palmer Wines California Collaboration with Luna Vineyards.

Mick Fleetwood: Mick Fleetwood Private Cellar Lake County, California Collaboration with Langtry Estate and Vineyards.

Jonathan Cain: delaCain Vineyards Sonoma County, California Collaboration with California winemaker Dennis De La Montanya

Kyle MacLachlan
* **Kyle MacLachlan Pursued by Bear Wine Columbia Valley, Washington Collaboration with Washington winemaker Eric Dunham.

**Drew Bledsoe: Double Back Wine, Walla Walla Valley, Washington Collaboration with Washington winemaker Chris Figgins of Leonetti Cellars.

Maynard James Keenan: Caduceus Cellars Arizona Also owns Merkin Vineyards in Arizona.

Richard Childress: Childress Vineyards North Carolina.

Dave Matthews: Blenheim Vineyards Charlottesville, Virginia

**Jason Priestley: Black Hills Estate Winery Okanagan, British Columbia The British Columbia born actor is a co-owner in the estate.

Antonio Banderas
*Antonio Banderas: Anta Banderas Ribera del Duero, Spain.

**Robert M. Parker, Jr.:Beaux Freres Vineyards and; Winery Willamette Valley, Oregon Co-owns winery with brother in law. To avoid a conflict of interest with his wine rating publication The Wine Advocate, Parker delegates the task of rating Oregon wines to another associate.

Dave Del Dotto: Del Dotto Vineyards Napa Valley, California In 2007, experimented with fermenting wine in amphorae.

Mike Ditka: Mike Ditka Wines Mendocino County, California Collaboration with the Mendocino Wine Company.

Dan Marino: Vintage 13 Marino Estates California 

Charles Woodson: TwentyFour Wines Napa Valley, California Under NFL regulations, Woodson is currently prohibited from endorsing his own wines publicly until he retires.

Cathy Schembechler Bo Schembechler: Wines California Named after her late husband, former University of Michigan Football coach Bo Schembechler.

Jeff Gordon
*Jeff Gordon: Jeff Gordon Wines Napa Valley, California Collaboration with August Briggs Wines
Carole Bouquet Sanguo d'or Sicily, Italy.

Jacques Parizeau: Coteau de l'Élisette Languedoc, France.

David Ginola: Coste Brulade Côtes de Provence, France In partnership with the Coste Brulade co-op at Puget-Ville.

Michael Seresin: Seresin Estate Marlborough New Zealand.

Jarno Trulli: Podere Castorani Abruzzo, Italy.

Valeri Bure: Chateau Boswell Winery Napa Valley, California In partnership with his wife - actress Candace Cameron.

Günther Jauch: Weingut von Othegraven Mosel (wine region), Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany Prestigious vineyard from at least the 16th century, listed cultural heritage site, since 1805 owned by Jauch's ancestors. Jauch, one of the most popular Germans, is owner in the seventh generation.

Bode Miller: Thinks wine making is in his future. The larger-than-life American has no immediate thoughts of quitting top level alpine racing -- he is having too much fun -- but according to Reuters he planned a future as a professional wine-maker when he finally lays down his skis. Miller has purchased land near his home town of Franconia, New Hampshire, with this project in mind and is still conducting studies to find out what sort of wine the land can produce. Maybe there will be wine medals in his future.

*David Cloverdale: From record label to wine label. "Whitesnake" Zinfandel with De La Montanya Winery."Is this love?"

*Photo credits: Coppola: A glass after work, Fleming Jenkins: Fleming Jenkins, Ciccione: Ciccone Vineyard, Antonio Banderas: Anta Banderas Ribera del Duero: Drink Ribera, Kyle MacLachlan: Food & Wine, DanAykroyd: brandweek, Jeff Gordon: restrictorplated, Drew Barrymore: Barrymore wine
** Pacific Northwest *** New 2012/2013/2014

The Rocket Market: Out of this world cuisine.

I'm a frequent flyer at the Rocket Market, atop the South Hill. It's a little like a Trader Joe's, only better and more authentic. This unassuming stop is intimate and local with a commitment to fresh food, good coffee, tempting baked goods and a inproportionately large selection of wine. The Wine Guy, Matt Dolan personally tastes EVERY wine they carry (Damn, his lot in life) and personally writes handwritten notes by every bottle. Your purchase is well...a sure thing. A place to frequent is the "Great Wine under $10" shelf where you'll discover affordable and remarkable wine. I've been known to return to the scene of the find and scoop up the rest of the inventory.  

I was already smitten when years ago they added the quaint and delicious Jupiter Bistro, which nestled in the produce section. I was immediately  impressed but skeptical, demanding to know who was back there concocting the spectacular cuisine. Ah ha! I knew it wasn't just some part-time barista assembling sandwiches. The beloved chef, Shilo formally the executive chef at Luna had returned inconspicuously to Spokane's culinary scene. The menu seasonally changes but you'll always going creative grilled  panini's, delicious homemade soups, inspiring salads all with the nuances and flavors of an experienced chef. 

Some weeks, they probably wonder if I even have my own kitchen. 


Where locals go that are in the know. On your maiden voyage to Stella's Cafe, you'll like the hip, laid back vibe of this unpretentious sandwich shop. But at first bite, the gig is up. There's no hiding there's a talented and creative chef behind the casual eatery. His name is Tony Brown. If you haven't been, GO already. You are definitely missing out. If you're wondering what to order, it doesn't matter as it's all brilliant. How's that for an endorsement?

Photo: Stella's

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Dear Readers....

As a writer, there are perks. Tickets to events, products sent to try and my favorite, invitations to be wined and dined. Yep, it's pretty great. For those of you that just now decided to open a blog, go for it but be prepared to be in it for the long haul. Countless posts and hundreds of thousands of page views later, yes there are perks. It takes time, commitment and consistency. The implied return is to write, post and tweet about it. Like many writers with a following, I take this seriously and my endorsement means something. If I'm not impressed, rather than give a poor review, I personally decided early on that I would decline to write about it at that time. Please know, if that happens to you, I'm cheering you on and will most likely be back. For example, the decision to make wine or opening a restaurant is no easy task and the proveyor is usually not an overnight success. Typically they are however excited and anxious to get influencers like writers in the door. But like many things in life if it were easy, everyone would do it. The truth is there's a lot of trial, error and working out the kinks that happen, especially in the beginning. For that reason, I usually skip grand openings. I'll announce them but not endorse them. As a self appointed ambassador for our region, to me this means promoting the positive which there is plenty of. As a reader, fan or follower please know if I send you somewhere or suggest trying something, I have personally tried it or experienced it and am at the very least comfortable endorsing it. Okay, usually I'm gushing about it. THANK YOU so much for reading. Without you, this is a diary. 

Thought you should know. 

Life's fast, sip slow. 
Laurie (aka SIP)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Highland Dancing & Scotch Mints

Like every little Canadian girl of Scottish dissent, at a young age I was enrolled in Highland Dance classes. Imagine tidy little girls all in row with their tartan skirts, crisp white blouses, knee-hi's and black dance shoes. Then there was me. My unruly cropped hair wouldn't cooperate in being contained into the traditional dancer bun. My shirt may have started out tucked in but one side inevitably untucked itself and my skirt zipper would end on the side or front instead of in the back. Even my sun kissed freckled face seemed defiant in comparison to other little girls who resembled Scottish dolls that stood perfectly still and quiet on the shelf at the store. I still find it difficult to be still and quiet at the same time. 

On the first day we sat in a circle with our legs stretch out in front of us and our toes touching in the middle. I was the only one with multiple bruises and scraps down my legs. I recall one curious dancer sweetly whispering "What happened?" in reference to my embattled limbs. Surely she thought I'd been in car accident. The truth was I didn't really know what happened. Sure some wounds were badges of honor from my epic tree climbing adventures but there were simply too many marks on me to keep track of.

Although I didn't practice outside of class and stomped through a few of the feather light steps, I was good enough to advance to the SWORD dance. For those of you unfamiliar with this particular dance, the dancer's steps take place within the four quadrants of two crossed swords precisely placed on the ground. Of course, the swords had my full attention and I was much more interested in playing pirate than placing them gently on the ground. Despite my lack of ability to conform, my dance instructor encouraged me to keep dancing and my parents cheered me on like I had the talent to be a world famous dancer.

My Scottish Grandad in particular seemed pleased with me when I danced. I remember Grandad  being quite gruff but pleasing him had an upside. He was never without Scotch Mints candies and would hand them out when you "did well". These white candies had a hard candied shell but were soft and sweet in middle. Kind of like Grandad. I was convinced these distinct candies were rare and that he must have brought them with him from Scotland. I recall being rather concerned he'd run out and never quite clear about how to earn one. My Grandad would tell me with a slight smirk that I was a "good girl...seldom" as he rationed out a single mint. Not knowing what the word seldom meant, I'd thank him, pop the candy in my mouth and be on my way. 

I only participated in Highland dance for a few years and soon enough was back to full time tree climbing and strategizing about how to be blessed with the elusive Scotch Mint.

Photo credit: Scotland Dance Festival, Edinburgh 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

THE LIST - BEST OF Spokane/Coeur d'Alene

Written by Katie Collings Nichol, Sarah Hauge, Jennifer LaRue, Kathy Minnerly, Susan Joseph Nielsen, Jim Riggers Laurie L Ross and Blythe Thimsen

Let’s celebrate The Best of the City with our annual “Best Of” readers survey results! We’re writing about the Gold winners, and showcasing the Silver and Bronze winners in the over 120 categories shown below, but you,our readers, provided the results by voting in our annual BEST OF THE CITY ballot, which was in the June 2014 issue. The results are in, and you officially have permission to scoff at anyone who dares to grumble there’s not enough to do in Spokane. This is one of the BEST cities there is, and we’ve got the goods to prove it. Read on to see why we live in the BEST city ever, and exactly what makes it so great!



A pillar of the community’s food scene with a funny name, Clinkerdagger has been serving prime-aged, rock-salted steaks and mouthwatering seafood to adoring couples and well-dressed businesspeople for over 40 years. With sweeping views of the city’s skyline and the Spokane River gushing below, this local classic knows the way to a Spokanite’s heart. (KCN)
SILVER: Wild Sage
BRONZE: Churchill’s
IDAHO: Beverly’s

Feeling like a fresh fish frenzy? Just for the halibut, we’re not clamming up when it comes to Anthony’s! This is the restaurant that will sockeye it to you in fresh, season-filleted fashion! Not only will the food tantalize your taste buds, the waterfront view will leave you gushing about your dining experience. (KM)
SILVER: Milford’s
BRONZE: Red Lobster
IDAHO: Fisherman’s Market
Flamin’ Joe’s 
Whoever Joe is, we like him. And, apparently, he likes using his brain and getting creative with wing rubs and sauces for every taste, trivia nights, parties, a peanut butter and jelly burger, and rabbit food with or without bacon. By the way – Tyrannosaurus Rex and chickens are related. (JL)
Silver: Buffalo Wild Wings
Bronze: Waddell’s
Idaho: Wingstop
Churchill’s Steakhouse
Size does matter when it comes to a steak. Churchhill’s Steakhouse has every size steak and cut, from an 8-ounce Filet Mignon to a 28-ounce Porterhouse Steak, all perfectly prepared in a custom radiant broiler. Your steak eating experience is going to be an unbridled consumption of meat. (SJN)
SILVER: Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops
BRONZE: Wolf Creek Steakhouse
IDAHO: Wolf Lodge in Coeur d’Alene
Readers’ favorite new restaurant is NUDO, the ramen house downtown serving up Asian fusion with a causal, pop-art vibe. Try the ramen bowls—delectable combinations of ramen noodles, savory broth, meat or seafood, and vegetables—or the burger, which sandwiches a Kobe beef patty between ramen noodle buns. (SH)
SILVER: Wandering Table
BRONZE: The Boiler Room
IDAHO: Satay Bistro
Want to start your night off right? Twigs really fires up readers’ al fresco palates at three of their local hotspots – the River Park Square location is technically indoors overlooking the wide-open atrium, but let’s not quibble. Heaters and fire pits will tempt you to call the sitter because you’re going to be a little later than you planned. (JR)
SILVER: Clinkerdagger 
BRONZE: Ripple’s Riverside Grill 
IDAHO: Bardenay
Domini Sandwiches

They’re large and in charge. Meaty and uncomplicated. Thick, dough-y slices of homemade bread piled high with pastrami (et al), cheese, and hot mustard… the two Italian guys at Domini’s stuff their deli-style sandos with inches of pick-your-protein goodness. The accompanying pickles and popcorn come dangerously close to stealing the show. (KCN)
SILVER: Caruso’s Sandwich Co.
BRONZE: Stella’s Café
IDAHO: Capone’s Pub & Grill
Sweet Frostings
Fluffy. Colorful. Whimsical. Buttery. Sweet. Frosting. Cupcakes. Oh, and lets’ not forget “happy” or “moist.” Whether you are a cupcake aficionado, or sweet treats enthusiast – Sweet Frostings is ready to treat your cupcake designated sweet tooth to something that will melt in your mouth. (KM)
SILVER: Celebrations Bakery
BRONZE: Love at First Bite
IDAHO: Stacie’s Cakes
Flying Goat
They are a neighborhood watering hole that takes pride in their ability to climb mountains, and apparently fly, to bring excellent food and beverages to their customers as well as a unique and comfortable environment that is sensitive to the environment with sustainable and repurposed materials. They sustain us. (JL)
Silver: South Perry Pizza
Bronze: Bennedito’s Pizza
Idaho: Fire Artisan Pizza
Red Robin
“Red Robin…YUM!” is a slogan that resonates big with burger lovers. With four Red Robin locations nearby and 26 different classic and gourmet burgers to choose from, you’ll have the best burgers around, your mouth will water and it will definitely be yummy in your tummy. (SJN)
SILVER: Five Guys Burgers and Fries
BRONZE: D’Lish’s Hamburgers
IDAHO: Hudson’s Hamburgers
Finger-licking good food is the name of the game at Longhorn BBQ. Ribs, burgers (the patties are made from ground chuck brisket), chili, and all the other vittles you’re craving are on the menu at this Texas-style BBQ joint. (SH)
BRONZE: Dickie’s Barbecue Pit
IDAHO: Porky G’s Southern BBQ
Twigs gets the nod again for their wide array of fresh options. From their Toasted Pecan to the Pear & Roasted Beet with gorgonzola and roasted walnuts, their selections are amazing. If you want to add some sizzle, the Fajita Salad comes with steak or chicken and will absolutely get you popping. (JR)
SILVER: Hay J’s Bistro 
BRONZE: Herbal Essence 
IDAHO: Seasons of Coeur d’Alene 
Victor’s Hummus
Vegetarians (and everyone else): we know your secret. You eat Victor’s Hummus straight. With a spoon. Basil, jalapeño, lemon zest, toasted sesame, caramelized onion, roasted garlic—even chocolate h’mousse—Victor Azar has hit creamy gold with his Middle Eastern-Mediterranean staple produced right here in Spokane. (KCN)
SILVER: Lighthouse Dressing
BRONZE: Fletcher’s Hot Sauce
Downriver Grill
Where to start at Downriver Grill? With the starters, naturally! Fresh, local food prepared for you with a dash of delicious and a sprinkle of elegant while surrounded by the gorgeous Audubon Park neighborhood. Let your taste buds be your guide when choosing from six scintillating starters. (KM)
SILVER: Wild Sage
IDAHO: Beverly’s
Thai Bamboo 
Upon stepping into any one of the four Thai Bamboo restaurants, you can’t help but feel that you’ve suddenly been transported to an exotic location; the décor, the sounds, and the smells remind you that local and global are only different by a couple of letters and a little spice. (JL)
Silver: Bangkok Thai
Bronze: Thai Kitchen
Idaho: Asian Twist
Sushi swooners say eating great sushi is better than sex. With terms like “deep fried shag roll,” it makes you wonder! Sushi lovers unite at with an extensive menu of fish, seafood, chicken, tofu and sauces galore from wasabi to soy. Raw, rolled, deep fried, balled, baked or “shagged,” has beautiful bites for all your fishy tastes. (SJN)
SILVER: Ding Howe
BRONZE: Ginger Asian Bistro
IDAHO: Syringa Japanese Cafe
Red Dragon 
Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living readers love Red Dragon’s take on Chinese-American cuisine. This popular local chain has all of your Chinese food bases covered—sweet and sour chicken, chow mein, fried rice, wonton soup… Prefer to eat yours out of a little white carton? Delivery always available. (SH)
SILVER: China Dragon
BRONZE: Chan Bistro
IDAHO: Canton
Max at Mirabeau
Max is a staple dining experience in the city of Spokane Valley that is proud to support area growers. The menu features many local foods like the Cougar Gold & Washington Apple salad. Most of the wine list is from Washington and Oregon, too. Brunch runs until 2 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, and live music and dancing until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights. (JR)
SILVER: Ambrosia Bistro 
BRONZE: Hay J’s Bistro 
Downriver Grill

Fine dining where everyone knows your name? For regulars and out-of-towners alike, the DRG elicits neighborhood-y feelings with a dash of gourmet flair tucked into Audubon Park. Where else can you get slow-braised osso buco with a sage pork jus and gorgonzola fries? North Spokanites feel right at home at the Grill and wouldn’t have it any other way. (KCN)
SILVER: Mustard Seed

BRONZE: Waddell’s Brewpub
Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? We’re not sure about Mary’s garden, but Luna’s own backyard garden is splendiferous. Not only do they provide you with the freshest garden eats, they proudly serve up the finest artisan breads the top of the South Hill has to offer. Brunch, lunch, dinner, desserts and even gluten free menu options await you at Luna! (KM)
SILVER: Casper Fry
BRONZE: Manito Tap House
At Masselow’s, they welcome you to come as you are and enjoy an experience inspired by the Kalispel people that includes food from the plains and the sea. As the only AAA four diamond restaurant in the greater Spokane area, they aim to please. (JL)
Silver: Chaps
Bronze: Italian Trattoria
Fleur de Sel 
Ooh-la-la and oui-oui please give me more fabulous French cuisine. The French have been known to be stingy, but you will be gastronomically delighted at Fleur de Sel. With a regional bistro feel and northern Italian dishes, Fleur de Sel is highbrow French deliciousness–in Post Falls, Idaho. Très magnifique! (SJN)
SILVER: Berverly’s 
BRONZE: Angelo’s Ristorante
Gordy’s No website listed
This charming hole-in-the-wall restaurant on the South Hill offers stellar Sichuan. With a diverse, fresh, and flavorful menu (dishes like Savory Tofu, Suan La Beef, and Dan Noodles), Gordy’s will leave you yearning for a repeat dining experience. (SH)
SILVER: Ding How
BRONZE: Mustard Seed
IDAHO: Bonsai Bistro
Pho Van
Vietnamese pho is becoming more popular, and again Pho Van on Division came in as your favorite. Patrons love digging into the large portions and readily-available takeout. Diners slurp on the roasted duck soup and gnaw on huge spare ribs and chomp on the bun cha. If you like it hot and spicy, this is the spot for you. (JR)
SILVER: Vina Asian Restaurant
BRONZE: Pho Saigon 
IDAHO: Pho Thanh 

A fantastic Taco Tuesday (and Thursday!), mucho grande portions, and a good ‘ole American success story keeps us yo quiero’ing year after year. The Jalisco-native Ramos family prides themselves in “dependable food and reasonable prices” which is why their citadel de comida in downtown Spokane ranks numero uno. (KCN)
SILVER: Casa de Oro

BRONZE: Rancho Viejo

IDAHO: Mexican Food Factory
Italian Kitchen
Mama mia! You’re hungry for Italian and know that only the finest Italian ristorante will suffice. At Italian Kitchen you’ll have a plethora of authentic Italian pastas, seafood, chicken and appetizers to choose from in a warm, yet engaging and comfortable setting. Buon appetito! (KM)
SILVER: Luigi’s Italian Restaurant
BRONZE: Tomato Street
IDAHO: Angelo’s Ristorante
Two Columns No website listed
Located on Sprague Avenue near Bowdish, this hidden gem has a genuine, old world feel; the owner cooks and serves recipes from his ancestors, including authentic gyros, gluten-free and vegetarian options, the best baklava ever, and a fine list of wine and beer. (JL)
Silver: Azar’s Restaurant
Bronze: Renatus
Idaho: The White House Grill
Taste of India 
Mild or wild, the authentic curried cuisine at Taste of India will be an adventure for your taste buds. With Indian mixed pickle, raita, shrimp, chicken, lamb, fish, naan and other fresh made breads and plenty of vegetarian choices, their mile long exotic menu gives you plenty to meditate on. (SJN)
SILVER: Top of India 
BRONZE: Swagat Indian Cuisine
Once Spokane’s purveyor of exclusively vegetarian dining, Mizuna has expanded its menu to accommodate omnivores while still maintaining an extensive list of delicious, meat-free options. The little alley that serves as Mizuna’s outdoor dining space is completely charming, and worthy of a visit on its own right. (SH)
BRONZE: Boots Bakery & Lounge
IDAHO: Uva Trattoria
Dutch Bros. 
With eight hot spots between Spokane and Coeur d’Alene, Dutch Bros. is on their way to wherever you’re going, and will help fuel drive to get there. They’re servers are always willing to mix up whatever half-caff double-whip concoction your craving, hot or cold, year-round, and their energy drinks fuel your drive up to the mountains or over to the coast. Don’t forget the “not-so-hots” for your backseat crew. (JR)
SILVER: Wake Up Call 
BRONZE: Atticus Coffee & Gifts 
IDAHO: Post Falls Coffee Co. 
Frank’s Diner

Breakfast in a fancy-railcar never gets old. Especially when thick slices of smoked bacon, extra-large eggs, and crispy hash browns are made fresh daily and served with a smile. Two locations (downtown and North) satisfy our breakfast-frenzied tummies. Just make sure to arrive early— Frank’s Diner is beloved and busy! (KCN)
SILVER: Old European

BRONZE: Dave’s Bar and Grill

IDAHO: Garnet Café 
Melting Pot
So you want a dining experience that stirs up some romance? 4 Fans the flames? Melts his or her heart? It may sound cheesy, but we think that sharing a long stemmed fork, dipped into cheese, chocolate and broth fondues at The Melting Pot would create the perfect spark! (KM)
SILVER: Clinkerdagger
BRONZE: Anthony’s Home Port
IDAHO: Beverly’s
Rocket Bakery 
With many locations in area neighborhoods, the Rocket Bakery is all about local flavor. Each location has their own specialties and they know how to make a customer feel beloved; their food is fresh and wholesome, their coffee is farm direct, and the décor is uber cool. (JL)
Silver: Petit Chat Village Bakery
Bronze: Celebrations Bakery
Idaho: Bakery by the Lake
The views of the Spokane River from the tables at Clinkerdagger have nothing on the dessert options at this four decades old reader-loved establishment. From their infamous Burnt Cream to six more classic dessert favorites, their dreamy desserts are the cherry on top of any meal or after event treat. (SJN)
SILVER: Melting Pot
BRONZE: Wild Sage
IDAHO: Dockside
Froyo Earth 
Customers wield the power at Froyo Earth, where they choose their preferred frozen yogurt flavor (or mix and match them), then cover it with any of the dozens of topping options. Go big, go small, go bold, go plain—your taste buds’ destiny is in your own hands. (SH)
SILVER: Didier’s Yogurt and More
BRONZE: Blu Berry Frozen Yogurt
IDAHO: JAMMS Frozen Yogurt
The Scoop 
This teeny-tiny hole-in-the-wall across from Wilson Elementary is your place to go for ice cream, even when the weather turns not so ice cream-y. They have an ever-changing variety of flavors, so grab that scoop of Dirt (chocolate with Oreos) while you can, because next time it may be replaced by Pear Sorbet, Salted Caramel or Cakey Dough. (JR)
SILVER: Baskin-Robbins 
BRONZE: Brain Freeze 
IDAHO: Roger’s Ice Cream & Burgers 
Golden Corral 
Your 10-year-old only eats burgers. Your 4-year-old is a pasta fanatic. The 6-year-old will go for anything, as long as it’s followed by dessert. Enter Golden Corral, where everyone’s favorite is on the menu, and even Mom and Dad can have what they’ve been craving most: dinner in peace. (SH)
SILVER: River’s Edge, Northern Quest
BRONZE: Timber Creek Buffet
IDAHO: Coeur d’Alene Casino
You have to hand it to Twigs, when your sign says “martini bar,” you’ve set the bar high – and boy do they come through. The menu includes a Crimson Manhattan made with pomegranate liqueur or the Mucho Mango for a fruity flavor. Try the Jalapeno Cilantro Margatini or Cable Car for bolder flavor. With 36(!) signature martinis, they’ve got your month – and a month of Sundays covered. (JR)
SILVER: Churchill’s Steakhouse
BRONZE: Bistango Martini Lounge 
IDAHO: 315 Martinis and Tapas 

Food that comes fresh from the garden deserves an equally striking bottle of vino. Luna’s grass-fed filets, whole Idaho trout, and bubbling bowls of tagliatelle are in good company as the restaurant maintains an impressive cellar beneath its dining room. Whether your palate is primed for a moody red or a spritely white, Luna’s pages-long wine list satisfies the most intellectually-driven drinker. (KCN)
SILVER: Italian Kitchen

BRONZE: Left Bank Wine Bar

IDAHO: Beverly’s
Manito Tap House
99 bottles of beer on the wall! Take one down… On any given day you can find 99 bottles of beer or 50 tap handles that will easily pour 99 glasses of various ales, ciders, fruit beers and IPAs here. If ‘locally owned,’ ‘craft beers’ and ‘gastropub’ are in your vocabulary, so should be this name: Manito Tap House. (KM)
SILVER: No-Li Brewhouse
BRONZE: Post St. Ale House
IDAHO: Capone’s Pub & Grill
No lie, No-Li has quite the history, kind of like a love story: hometown boy loves beer, does right by it, meets a girl, does right by her, makes a friend who also loves beer, changes its name to appease someone on the east coast and, did someone say beer? (JL)
Silver: Iron Goat Brewing Co.
Bronze: Steam Plant Grill
Idaho: Trickster’s Brewery
The chic vibe cocktails and eats aplenty at Zola create quite a buzz during their daily happy hour. Heck, where else can you eat, drink and be happy (without getting dizzy) in a tilt-a-whirl booth? Zola has made a lot of folks happy, happy, happy. Oh yeah, Sunday it’s HH all day! (SJN)
SILVER: Steam Plant Grill
BRONZE: Prospectors Bar & Grill
IDAHO: Bardenay
Hugo’s on the Hill 
Bowling food and libations have rarely looked this good—or been this affordable. Happy hours are extra happy at Hugo’s, where they run every day of the week with draught pints for $3, glasses of 14 Hands wine for $3.50, and martinis for $6, as well as food specials. (SH)
SILVER: Madeleine’s Cafe
BRONZE: Steelhead Bar and Grill
IDAHO: Oval Office
Knitting Factory
Dancing is mandatory at The Knit. No, really – seating is extremely limited but there is plenty of room on the dance floor. Although, drinks are served in designated zones, you needn’t be 21 to shake your groove thing. A wide variety of acts pass through, from local faves to up-and-coming national singers, their lineup is frequently updated so get out there and rock. (JR)
SILVER: Impulse at Northern Quest 
BRONZE: Irv’s Bar
IDAHO: Iron Horse 
Arbor Crest Wine Cellars

Sweeping views, solid wine, and live music on balmy nights— what else could a winery-seeker ask for? Family-run since 1982, Arbor Crest boasts acres of gardens and historic landmarks, including a croquet court, life-size checkerboard, and a tasting room situated in the Florentine-style Cliff House circa 1924. Come for the Sunday concerts, but stay for the estate-bottled sparkling wine and Dionysus red blend. (KCN)
SILVER: Barrister Winery
BRONZE: Townsend Cellars
IDAHO: Coeur d’Alene Cellars Winery
Flying Goat
You can’t get closer to an England, Scotland or Ireland fashioned watering hole and pub in Spokane, than you can at the Flying Goat. Tasty craft beers and the option of Guinness beef stew to compliment any one of their six gourmet pub style sandwiches. You baaaa-tter believe it! (KM)
SILVER: Waddell’s Brewpub
BRONZE: Manito Tap House
IDAHO: Cricket’s Restaurant
Swinging Doors 
Family owned for over 30 years, the Swinging doors has 60 TV sets that are plugged in to every sports channel so you’ll never miss a game, their own golf club, huge portions of good food, a full bar, and free wireless. I might never see my husband again. (JL)
Silver: Northern Quest’s Epic
Bronze: Buffalo Wild Wings
Idaho: Paddy’s Sports Bar & Grill
Schweitzer Mountain Resort 
If it’s gnarly, carving, downhill or cross country, snowboarding or soufflé dure or pow wow snow, you’ll find it at Schweitzer Mountain Resort above Sandpoint. The lodge, hotel, restaurants and lounges are nice distractions for snow bunnies. Whatever your snow appetite, you’ll get it with a pampered stay on this mountain. (SJN)
SILVER: Mt. Spokane
BRONZE: Silver Mountain 
Northern Quest 
Roll the dice with Northern Quest Casino, where they’ve got slots, table games, and poker, plus tons of concerts and special events. If relaxation, rather than high stakes, is your thing, check out the full bevy of services offered at La Rive Spa. (SH)
SILVER: Coeur d’Alene Casino
BRONZE: Hugo’s on the Hill
Coeur d’Alene Resort 
So much praise to heap on the Coeur d’Alene Resort – nearly a dozen restaurants and lounges, a rejuvenating spa, the floating green, and the boardwalk that’s open to the public. Each June, the Resort hosts thousands of world-class athletes for the Ironman Triathlon, and just days later is back to being the beachside beacon of North Idaho. Follow that beacon and spend the day, or the week, at this jewel. (JR)
SILVER: Hill’s Resort 
BRONZE: Granite Point Park 
Oz Fitness
No need to drool over the sun-soaked bods of beach-romping Aussies when you have a little bit of “Down Unda” fitness-flava in your own backyard. Spokane-based chain Oz Fitness has fully-equipped locations throughout the region, many offering Olympic-sized pools, physical therapy, nutrition classes and on-site childcare. Put down your Vegemite sandwich and get thee to the gym! (KCN)
SILVER: Anytime Fitness

BRONZE: Crossfit Spokane

IDAHO: Kroc Center
Davenport Hotel
Grand. Rich with history. Lush. Elegant… and so much more. Places to dine, relax and pamper yourself in the spa and sleep in sweet, sweet splendor! You’ll know you picked the right spot from the moment you walk in the doors. We think it’s Worthy and are sure you will too! (KM)
SILVER: Northern Quest Resort & Casino
BRONZE: Holiday Inn
IDAHO: Coeur d’Alene Resort
Built in 1916, Downriver is one of the oldest courses in Spokane. It runs fairly straight along the river with plenty of trees to keep a player honest. Don’t worry, they’ll keep your secrets even if you do hit them; what happens on the course, stays on the course. (JL)
Silver: Meadowwood
Bronze: Hangman Valley
Idaho: Coeur d’Alene Resort
Four distinct seasons + hundreds of outdoor activities + fitness fanatics + gotta have the best equipment = go see the experts at REI. From rafting supplies and camping, to learning about wilderness survival or how to change a bike tire, REI is ready to outfit or teach you what you need to know. Ready, set, go outside and play, do and explore! (SJN)
SILVER: Cabela’s 
BRONZE: General Store
Davenport Hotel 
The lovely, historic Davenport Hotel is an ideal location for an elegant wedding. With beautiful ballrooms for large groups, unmatched accommodations, spa services, dining and drinks, all in the heart of downtown, the Davenport has everything you’ll need when you’re ready to say “I do.” (SH)
SILVER: Beacon Hill
BRONZE: Chateau Rive
IDAHO: Coeur d’Alene Resort
Lincoln Center 
The Lincoln Center just north of downtown is establishing a foothold as the go-to gathering place in Spokane. With two large ballrooms and several smaller meeting spaces, they are flexible to house almost any reunion, wedding or celebration you desire. The on-site catering is top-notch and proudly provides beer, wine and cocktails, should you desire. They even have free on-site parking. (JR)
SILVER: Davenport Hotel 
BRONZE: Glover Mansion 
IDAHO: Hagadone Event Center 
Two Cooks with Love
We love Scott and Roxanne’s attention to detail, abundant presentations, and signature flair. Their culinary prowess begins with stress-free customer service and ends with a spectacular event that has charmed each and every guest. Whether the dynamic duo is bartending, butler-ing, or wedding-prepping, they never fail to wow us. (KCN)
SILVER: Couple of Chefs
BRONZE: Fery’s Catering
IDAHO: Greenbriar Catering
Spokane Civic Theatre
Their mission: to foster and operate a volunteer live community theater of high artistic merit. And luck be a lady – they’ve done it! Since 1947, the Spokane Civic Theatre and its volunteers who serve as actors, crew members, house managers, ushers and board members continue to uphold their mission in one of the oldest community theatres in the country. Bravo! (KM)
SILVER: Interplayers Theatre
BRONZE: Christian Youth Theater
IDAHO: Lake City Playhouse
For too long, Dorothy got all of the attention but what of the witches of Oz? Who were they before they encountered Toto? And how did one end up a puddle on the floor? A mix of reality television, drama, a love story, and a dash of horror, Spokane loves a good witch story. (JL)
Silver: Les Miserables
Bronze: Gypsy
Simply Dance Studio 
If you’ve dreamed of making it onto “Dancing with the Stars,” you can find your groove and perfect your dance moves at the Simply Dance Studio. Ballroom gets the royal treatment at this ballroom dance school, but there’s room for a wilder side, with the weekly Saturday Night Salsa, with Marianna. Zesty! (BT)
SILVER: Ballet Arts Academy
BRONZE: Spokane Elite Dance Studio
IDAHO: Ballet School of Coeur d’Alene
Union Gospel Mission 
Union Gospel mission is dedicated to restoring lives of the needy in our community, providing shelter and meals, crisis assistance for women and children and programs dedicated to recovery employment skills. You voted UGM as your favorite local charity, and they have many ways to help – you can shop their thrift stores, buy or donate a vehicle, and they can always use volunteers. (JR)
SILVER: Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery
BRONZE: Catholic Charities
Pumpkin Ball 

Let the pumpkin carving begin! Gourmet dining, high-end live and silent auctions and outstanding entertainment only begin to describe this beloved black-tie gala. Best of all, 100% of the net proceeds support the important work of the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery and Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital— two leading organizations who serve the neediest children in our community. (KCN)
SILVER: Epicurean Delight

BRONZE: Cobra Polo Classic
92.9 KZZU
Turn that dial to 92.9 KZZU FM radio and hear what’s hip, happenin’ and all the rage on and off the radio. Let the hosts of morning madness – Dave, Ken & Molly, get your day off to a start where hilarity ensues! Dan Roberts will take you into the afternoon with hip hop pop tunes until Jackie Brown drives you home at 5! (KM)
Cami Bradley 
Singer-songwriter Cami Bradley’s definitely got talent. Bradley, who rose to national fame on America’s Got Talent, blends genres including indie-pop, folk, and jazz, crafting tunes to represent the self-described “normal gal” who’s given us all plenty of hometown pride. (SH)
SILVER: Kozmik Dreamz
BRONZE: Ryan Larson
Dave, Ken & Molly, 92.9 KZZU 
We’re glad that Ken left the farm, that Dan left the survey crew, and that Molly graduated from preschool because now, they keep us laughing long after their show ends every weekday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on KZZU. It’s a zoo out there; might as well keep it interesting. (JL)
Silver: Jay & Kevin, 99.9 KXLY-FM
Bronze: Jackie Brown, 92.9 KZZU
Diane Maehl Photography
All you want is to look amazing, thinner, younger and basically flippin’ fabulous! You’ll have no worries or notice any wrinkle lines with Diane Maehl Photography. From indoor studio and outdoor action shots to photo booth craziness and on location event photography (including exotic locales), Diane Maehl can capture the moment brilliantly with finesse, fun and frivolity. (SJN)
SILVER: Gary Peterson Photography
BRONZE: Crystal Madsen Photography
IDAHO: Rocky Castaneda & Creative Solutions
Harold Balazs
Now in his mid-80s, Harold Balazs is one of our region’s most celebrated and prolific artists, known for his fearlessness in working with a vast array of media to create everything from abstract metal sculptures to murals, enamels, paintings, and stained glass. (SH)
SILVER: Ric Gendron
BRONZE: Melinda Melvin
Dan Kleckner, KHQ 
Our readers love to “connect with Kleck,” and they’ve been doing so for nearly 30 years. Currently teaming with Stephanie Vigil at 5 and 6 p.m., Dan Kleckner started as sports director and now, with over a decade in the anchor chair, his is the voice viewers turn to for big stories, and the face we like to see when we turn on and tune in our television sets. (BT)
SILVER: Randy Shaw, KREM
BRONZE: Sean Owsley, KHQ
Stephanie Vigil, KHQ 

Recipient of the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award and multiple Emmy’s, Stephanie has been brightening our news hour for over 17 years. A newly tapped ‘Zag professor and an advocate of unsung heroes, our favorite female anchor delivers fine-tuned information and inspiring stories with style and grace. We appreciate Stephanie for keeping us entertained and in-the-know! (KCN)
SILVER: Nadine Woodward, KREM

BRONZE: Robyn Nance, KXLY
Tom Sherry, KREM
This guy does it all! He can tell you if a blizzard, a heat wave or an intense haboob (god bless you!) is headed our way! He also continues to conduct Tom’s Turkey Drive, the single largest turkey drive in the Inland Northwest. Now that’s worth gobbling about! (KM)
SILVER: Kris Crocker, KXLY
BRONZE: Mark Peterson, KXLY
Dennis Patchin, KXLY
He’s been in your living room, your man-cave, your car, and your favorite watering hole sharing your enthusiasm. He’s been with you at Hoopfest, Bloomsday, and every game including your local high school football game.4 You know Dennis, Dennis knows sports, and we high-five him. (JL)
Silver: Sam Adams, KHQ
Bronze: Keith Osso, KXLY
Craig T. Nelson
This CoachPoltergeist and The Incredibles film and sitcom star still remembers Spokane as his hometown. These days, Craig T. Nelson (70) stars in the TV series Parenthood, is an auto-racing enthusiast who owns Screaming Eagle Racing. If you’ve never heard of The Return of Count Yorga, you’re not alone. But we’re pretty sure you’ve seen Blades of Glory, The Proposal and My Name is Earl. (SJN)
SILVER: Patty Duke
BRONZE: Megalyn Echikunwoke
Patrick Treadway
Is there anything Patrick Treadway doesn’t do? The actor, voice over and visual artist performs with Actor’s Repertory Theater, Interplayers, Lake City Playhouse, and others, plus he makes puppets and props, paints portraits, creates costumes and parade floats, and the list goes on—it’s no wonder he’s our readers’ favorite. (SH)
SILVER: Ellen Travolta
BRONZE: Kathy Doyle-Lipe
David Condon
The 44th mayor of the City of Spokane, Mayor Condon was born and raised in Spokane. His efforts and passion to make Spokane the “City of Choice” in the Northwest are unmatched! (KM)
SILVER: Cathy McMorris Rodgers
BRONZE: Kevin Parker
IDAHO: Steve Widmyer
Jewelry Design Center
Who hangs out with Mikimoto, Simon G., Roberto Coin and Dabakarov? You can find these extraordinary brands at Spokane’s Jewelry Design Center. This jewelry store has everything your heart desires, from “the world’s most perfectly cutdiamond,” customized design work and watches, to dazzling gemstones and diamond fashion. I’ll take one of everything please! (SJN)
SILVER: Tracy Jewelers
BRONZE: Pounders Jewelry
IDAHO: Clark’s Diamond Jewelers
Fashion-forward is the focus at Swank, where you’ll find the most on-trend clothing and accessories. With brands like Free People, J Brand, and Hudson Jeans as well as shoes, décor, and gifts, it’s no mystery why readers who’ve been bitten by the fashion bug love Swank best. (SH)
SILVER: Fringe Salon & Boutique
BRONZE: Apricot Lane
IDAHO: Velvet Hanger
Tin Roof
When looking for fun, functional furniture, The Tin Roof on Sprague is where you like to shop. Calling themselves “relaxed, but upscale,” from couches to lamps, dressers to accessories, Tin roof provides what you need to turn your home into your signature. (JR)
SILVER: La-Z-Boy Furniture
BRONZE: Ashley Furniture 
IDAHO: Runge Furniture 

When we’re seeking something sleek, Dania makes your interior designer-hearts pitter patter. Offering Scandinavian and mid-century designs, Dania merges beauty and functionality while providing quality craftsmanship that may cause you to rethink your next trip to Seattle’s Ikea (unless you’re really just going for the hotdogs…). With pieces that should please both swanky cocktail party-throwers and families with little ones, Dania’s contemporary simplicity makes modern living just a little bit easier. (KCN)
SILVER: Concept Home

BRONZE: Ennis Fine Furniture

IDAHO: Koerner’s Furniture
Jacob’s Upholstery & Patio
Totally tubular! Aluminum, that is! In addition to wrought iron, wicker, wood and teak, Jacob’s Upholstery & Patio can deck out your back yard in all-weather style. Don’t table your patio discussion any longer! (KM)
SILVER: Falco’s Fireplace & Spa
BRONZE: MOR Furniture For Less
IDAHO: Wild West Log Furniture
Walker’s Furniture 
If you need something for the place you call home, they’ve got it and they make it easy for you to get it. Whatever your taste or style, they’ve got you covered with quality, value, and good service with many convenient locations and a handy website. At Walker’s, you’re home. (JL)
Silver: National Furniture
Bronze: Ashley Furniture
Idaho: Koerner’s Furniture
Sleep Country USA Bed & Mattress 
Momma’s not happy if she doesn’t get a good night’s sleep, so I suggest she visit one of the seven area Sleep Country USA locations. Give me the best firm king sized mattress, slippers, a sleep mask and sound machine (all available in-store) and I’ll sleep soundly for at least eight hours–no…zzzz…problem…! (SJN)
SILVER: Northwest Bedding Company
BRONZE: Sleep Number Beds
IDAHO: National Mattress 
Once Upon a Child 
Raising growing kids means managing an ever-changing wardrobe. Once Upon a Child buys and sells used clothing, toys, and furniture, giving you cash for the items your little ones have outgrown, and offering the affordable, gently used items your family needs now. (SH)
SILVER: Other Mothers
BRONZE: Global Neighborhood Thrift
IDAHO: Beau Monde Exchange
Devin Galleries 
Devin Galleries in the heart of the Lake City is your pick for artwork and calls to you as you stroll down Sherman Avenue. Devin has glasswork, prints, and sculptures – even jewelry, and proudly participates in the monthly Artwalk from April-December. (JR)
SILVER: Painter’s Chair 
BRONZE: Art Spirit Gallery 
Liberty Park Florist

If the earth laughs in flowers, then Liberty Park Florist must be one joyful place. Tucked into the lower portion of the South Perry district, this charming florist and nursery has been bedecking our gardens and greenhouses since 1928. Whether it’s perennials or poinsettias, the friendly flower people at Liberty are our favorite. (KCN)
SILVER: Just Roses

BRONZE: Appleway Florist

IDAHO: Hansen’s Florists and Gifts
Boo Radley’s / Atticus
Shopping for someone who has everything? Then we advise you to walk, (don’t run) to either of these shops on Howard! Wacky, fun, shocking, laugh out loud items adorn these shops. Novelty items, edgy decorations and t-shirts, old age, new age, your age! You’ll leave with more than you went in for and an odd sense that you need to read “To Kill a Mockingbird” again! (KM)
SILVER: Simply Northwest
BRONZE: Made in Washington
IDAHO: Figpickels Toy Emporium
Saunders Cheese (in Chocolate Apothecary) 
Located at Chocolate Apothecary in the Flour Mill, Saunders Cheese is the place to go to get a fromage fix. Forget simple cheddar and think unique delights that even the lactose intolerant can partake in. Be hypnotized by their glowing display case and taste heaven. (JL)
Silver: Huckleberry’s Natural Market
Bronze: Main Street Market
Uncles Games, Puzzles & More
Who knew the Pokémon League, My Little Pony, Dungeons & Dragons and the Yu-Gi-Oh gangs could be found in downtown Spokane and the Spokane Valley at Uncle’s Games, Puzzles & More? In addition to hundreds of different games and puzzles, the downtown location just got a facelift. Games keep us young, laughing, thinking and having fun! (SJN)
 SILVER: Whiz Kids
BRONZE: Boo Radley’s
IDAHO: Figpickels Toy Emporium
Chocolate Apothecary
Richly satisfying, chocolate is a dark and creamy prescription for a host of maladies. This chocolate pharmacy operates in the old-world tradition providing a warm atmosphere and a host of healing confections. For the most decadent medicine in Spokane, Chocolate Apothecary is just what the doctor ordered. (KCN)
SILVER: Hallet’s Chocolate

BRONZE: Spokandy Chocolatier

IDAHO: Coeur d’Alene Chocolates
One need not be ‘old-fashioned’ to appreciate vintage design or fashion. You can find collectible treasures for the shabby designer, the country fashioner, the industrial devisor or the eclectic engineer! You’ll want to set up shop here as new inventory and an eye for design is what’s what at Roost. (KM)
SILVER: Vintage Rabbit
BRONZE: Tossed and Found
IDAHO: Paris Flea Market
Valente Chiropractic & Massage

Tension headaches, vertigo, and joint pain, BE GONE! Voted best chiropractor for over 10 years, Dr. Valente and his team know a thing or two about helping the body heal itself. For aching muscles, misaligned bones, or fraying nerves both chronic and acute, we know we are in good hands at Valente Chiropractic and Massage. (KCN)
SILVER: University Chiropractic

BRONZE: Sicilia Chiropractic

IDAHO: Unlimited Health Chiropractic
South Grand Veterinary Clinic 
Offering a full range of veterinary medicine, South Grand employees love your pets, just ask Furball. “Well yes, the raccoon got some good jabs in but he won’t be back; I saw to that and, at South Grand, they took care of me like it never happened. Right? It never happened.” (JL)
Silver: Hunter Veterinary Clinic
Bronze: Cat’s Meow
Idaho: Animal Medical Center
Spokane Teachers Credit Union 
It began in 1934 in a tiny classroom at Lewis & Clark High School where money was kept in a shoebox and customers pulled a rope attached to a bell to get service. Now, more modern conveniences make service a whole lot easier for their 129,000 members. (JL)
Silver: Numerica Credit Union
Bronze: Global Credit Union
Idaho: Icon Credit Union
Washington Trust Bank
Sometimes, older is better, and banking is definitely one of the oldest professions around. WTB is the oldest and largest privately-held commercial bank in the Northwest (112 years old to be banker precise!). Banking is personal, because after all, it’s your money, right? WTB is local, family owned and firmly grounded in our community. Sounds pretty personal to me. (SJN)
SILVER: Bank of America
BRONZE: Banner Bank
IDAHO: Idaho Independent Bank
They’ve got everything you need for Fido and Fluffy—plus the hamster, birds, turtle, fish, and chameleon. Petco also offers training classes for your dogs, pet grooming—and if you bring your pet shopping with you, they’ll even get a treat at the checkout. (SH)
SILVER: PetSmart
BRONZE: Northwest Seed and Pet
IDAHO: GoodDog
A mainstay near the Division “Y”, Ritters is the go-to outlet for a potted herb garden or a lawn that requires a lawn tractor, or bulbs and seeds for all seasons. Their knowledgeable staff can help with fertilizers or pesticides, or colorful lawn decor and banners to brighten any landscape. (JR)
SILVER: Northwest Seed & Pet 
BRONZE: Plant Farm 
IDAHO: VanHoff’s Garden Center

Protecting our homes, loved ones and businesses for over a century, ADT has what it takes to make us feel safe and secure. Leading the market in product innovation, ADT’s authorized dealer, located on Euclid Avenue, ups the ante with stellar customer service and lightning-speed response times. Peace of mind has never been so accessible…or affordable! (KCN)
SILVER: Allied Security

BRONZE: Certified Security
Once you step foot into the gallery, you’ll know there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Whether you need lighting design for commercial or residential projects, new ceiling fans or just want to ‘Go into the light’ Firefly Lighting and Design will illuminate your experience! (KM)
SILVER: Revival Lighting
BRONZE: Evergreen Lighting
IDAHO: Idaho Lights
McVay Brothers 
They do windows and everything else it takes to dress up your house for every season, every holiday, and every whim of Mother Nature. They’ve been doing it since 1933 and have grown up with our fair city, making neighborhood drives much more beautiful. (JL)
Silver: VPI Home Solutions
Bronze: Pella Windows and Doors
Idaho: Coeur d’Alene Window Company
McVay Brothers 
Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain, tellin’ me just what a fool I’ve been. That rhythm will stay outside your home if you use McVay Brothers. Owning property means taking care of the big and small stuff. Siding and roofing is pretty big stuff, so make sure it’s done right, by professionals. McVay Brothers has been around for 81 years–no foolin’. (SJN)
SILVER: Specialty Home Products
BRONZE: Inland Roofing
IDAHO: Jimbo’s Seamless Raingutters
Berry Built 
Ready to rip up the old linoleum, tear out the dated appliances, and create the kitchen of your dreams? Berry Built is readers’ go-to kitchen design company—whether you’re resurfacing cabinets or building from scratch, they’re here to help. (SH)
SILVER: Huntwood Cabinets
BRONZE: Gina’s Design Center
IDAHO: Wingren Design
Mario and Son 
Need to rock your bathroom or kitchen countertops? Look no farther than Mario & Son in Liberty Lake. Each piece of granite is unique, so you get to be bold making your statement – this is home. Their commercial work can also be spotted at the Davenport Hotel, the INB Performing Arts Center. (JR)
SILVER: RW Gallion 
BRONZE: Granite Transformations
IDAHO: Gargoyle Granite & Marble 
Huntwood Cabinets
Well, aren’t we lucky ducks? The leading custom cabinetry maker in North America has its corporate headquarters located in our own backyard. Huntwood’s new 567,000 square foot showroom is based in Liberty Lake and boasts the most advanced woodworking plant in the world. From design to denouement, Huntwood fulfills our built-in ambitions. (KCN)
SILVER: Affordable Custom Cabinets

BRONZE: Freeze Furniture and Manufacturing

IDAHO: Tapley Cabinet Works
Sam Rodell Architect
If he builds it… you will be astounded. Whether you’re building a home, office or private retreat, Sam Rodell will take your vision, needs and unique reflection and transform them into a space that nurtures your family, secures your dreams and makes work a natural, comfortable environment. (KM)
SILVER: Integrus Architecture
IDAHO: Architects West
Land Expressions 
Land Expressions give voice to the environment, allowing it to express itself as it should, creating incredible and thoughtful outdoor spaces that blend well with architecture and where others can commune with nature or hug a tree in public or private places. (JL)
Silver: Greenscape Landscaping
Bronze: Copper Creek Landscape
Idaho: Escapes Landscape Architecture
Apollo Spas
Your backyard, deck or patio can easily become a private, relaxing spa. Nothing can ease sore muscles, distress or warm you up faster than a hot tub or spa. From music, mood lighting, waterfalls and scented water to floating beverage holders, massaging jets and spa pillows, Apollo puts the “ahhh” in “spa.” (SJN)
SILVER: Pool World
BRONZE: Falco’s Fireplace & Spa
IDAHO: Coeur d’Alene Spas
Sherwin Williams 
Whether you’re having trouble selecting the right finish for your family room or finding the tools to touch up your siding, the pros at Sherwin-Williams will answer your questions and have you out the door, paint cans in hand, in no time. (SH)
SILVER: Miller Paint
BRONZE: Wahl Paint Center
IDAHO: Rodda Paint
Great Floors 
With three Spokane and North Idaho Outlets, you don’t have to drive far to get Great Floors covering your home. Laminate – check. Vinyl or ceramic tile – check. Plush or commercial carpet – check. Ceramic and stone – got that too. Great Floors is ready to cover your castle. (JR)
SILVER: Northwest Trends 
BRONZE: United Flooring 
IDAHO: Carpet Warehouse Color Tile 
Gold Seal

Locally-owned and operated for over four generations, Gold Seal has grown from a two-man shop to the largest and most reliable licensed plumbing firm in the region. Famously reengineering the Davenport Hotel’s turn-of-the-century plumbing system, we tip our hats to Gold Seal for their punctual, efficient, and all-around warm and friendly service. (KCN)
SILVER: United Plumbing

BRONZE: 1st Response Plumbing

IDAHO: Always Available and Affordable Plumbing
California Closets
Not enough room in your closet for your latest shopping spree? Are the toys for your tots too bountiful to fit in a bin under their beds anymore? Invite the fine designers from California Closets to refine your space to allow you just what you need; storage solutions with priceless benefits! They even have designers in place to create a ‘Man Cave’ for that special guy in your life.   (KM)
SILVER: Cabinet Systems
BRONZE: The Closet Guys
Larry H. Miller Dealerships 
Larry pitched a mean softball, won awards from business, civic, and non-profit organizations, and always believed in having a little fun, making a little money, and taking care of the customer. You spend a lot of time in your car (while never texting), might as well buy from the best. (JL)
Silver: Wendle Motors
Bronze: Appleway Toyota
Idaho: Dave Smith Motors
Larry H. Miller Dealerships 
From luxury to fun, your car makes a statement about you, so you might as well love it. With four dealerships in the area, the folks at Larry H. Miller make owning a Lexus, Honda, Hyundai, Scion or Toyota part of your personality. So, what’s your type? Luxurious, practical or sporty? (SJN)
SILVER: Jennifer’s Auto Sales & Service
BRONZE: Wendle Motors
IDAHO: Dave Smith Frontier Sales and Service
Mechanic’s Pride 
The team at Mechanic’s Pride offers everything from tune-ups to A/C repairs to custom wheels to fuel injections. Plus, their complimentary shuttle service will get you back to your home or office while your own wheels are out of commission. (SH)
SILVER: Perfection Tire
BRONZE: Clark’s Tire and Automotive
IDAHO: Silverlake Automotive
DAA Northwest 
To handle that bumped bumper or shopping cart scratch, readers head out to the West Plains and DAA Northwest. The staff takes care to make sure your car is as safe to drive as it is pleasant to look at, and they do so with a commitment to earth-friendly products and a healthy work environment. They want your vehicle to leave in better condition than before yore collision. (JR)
SILVER: Craig’s Automotive and Collision Repair 
BRONZE: Ed’s Premier Auto Body
IDAHO: Lake City Auto Body 
Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children’s Hospital
The time to have the very best bed side manner and experts surrounding you is when you or a loved one are in the hospital. Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children’s Hospital has more world class docs, nurses, specialty areas and award winning health care teams than can fit here. (SJN)
SILVER: Deaconess Hospital Rockwood Health System
BRONZE: Valley Hospital Rockwood Health System
IDAHO: Kootenai Medical Center
Next Day Dry Cleaning 
For local dry cleaning, you selected Next Day Dry Cleaning – a service that comes to you. Their varied routes ensure that they get to each neighborhood in our region once a week, press and service your items – returning them the very next day. Next Day also does mending, alterations, and even non-clothing items like draperies and sleeping bags. (JR)
SILVER: Clark’s Cleaners 
BRONZE: Scollard’s Cleaners
IDAHO: Coeur d’Alene Laundry 

Brooke Cloninger, DDS

Have you ever walked into the dentist’s office in a good mood? Dr. Brooke’s patients apparently do! Her joyful spirit, gentle touch, and good humor inspire us to take care of our pearly whites— now that’s something to smile about. (KCN)
SILVER: Andrew T. Biggs, DMS

BRONZE: Comfort Dental

IDAHO: Coeur d’Alene Dental Center
Richard Weigand, DDS
A dentist that offers pillows, blankets, headphones and warm, scented towels? Not to mention state-of-the-art laser technology – not only for your pearly whites, but for your gums too. Invisalign (invisible braces), smile design, crowns, whitening and much more are what you’ll find here. You’ll be jumping into photo opportunities so fast once you visit Richard Weigand, DDS, you’re nickname will become “Photobomber”! (KM)
SILVER: Ken Collins, DDS
BRONZE: Ellingsen Paxton Orthodontics
IDAHO: Riverstone Dental Care
The Kidds Place 
506 E Hastings Rd, STE B Spokane WA 99218
(509) 252-GRIN(4746)
- and -
Kidd’s Dental 
At Kidd’s Dental in Liberty Lake, there’s a slide in their waiting room and they love balloons, making children of all ages feel welcome. To them, children’s oral health is important as is their smile so, when they’re older, their selfies will be sparkling. (JL)
Silver: Hero Dental
Bronze: Children’s Dental Village
Idaho: Pediatric Dental Center of North Idaho
Advanced Dermatology 

Beauty is much more than skin deep, which is why Advanced Dermatology takes an integrated approach to skin care. For prevention and treatment, whether cosmetic or medical, AD’s group of healthcare professionals in the Valley or Coeur d’Alene will get you glowing! (KCN)
SILVER: Louisville Laser and Spa

BRONZE: Ritual Skin Care

IDAHO: North Idaho Dermatology
14th and Grand 
Cut the words “bad hair day” from your vocabulary by scheduling your next “hair therapy session” at 14th and Grand. Bedazzle yourself with highlights, lowlights, or curls that would make Shirley Temple envious. From children to adults and trims to event styling, you’ll walk out in style with happy hair and a happy smile! (KM)
SILVER: Oasis Hair
BRONZE: Bliss Hair Studio
IDAHO: Embellish Salon & Spa
Spa Paradiso 
Life can be stressful. At Spa Paradiso, they aim to sooth you from the top of your head to the tips of your toes, offering the body everything it needs to find peace, comfort, and beauty in order to seize the day with a new sense of “bring it on because I feel mah-valous.” (JL)
SILVER: La Rive at Northern Quest
BRONZE: Davenport Spa & Salon
IDAHO: Coeur d’Alene Resort Spa
Foxy Nail Salon and Spa 
Nail fashionistas unite! Your fingernails reflect your personality and style. Foxy Nail Salon and Spa delivers on shellac, crystal, silk, French, gel and acrylic–plain, with stickers, patterns or logos. Expert technicians, mega color choices, chair and hand massage and a great atmosphere await you at Foxy Nail Salon and Spa. (SJN)
SILVER: Top Nails
BRONZE: Vida Nails
BrickHouse Massage and Coffee Bar 
BrickHouse Massage and Coffee Bar brings together things people love: pampering and caffeine. With a variety of massage packages, facials, waxing, spa parties, and other services (many of them available in tandem), it’s about time to schedule a “me” day. (SH)
SILVER: Elements Massage
BRONZE: Valente Chiropractic and Massage
IDAHO: Body Tech Message Therapy
Sunny Buns 
Now with two locations, on the South Hill and in the Garland District, Sunny Buns really brightens our readers’ day. Sunny Buns offers both bedded and sunless tanning as you prepare for your Hawaiian vacation or just want to beat the winter doldrums. Hair, massage, and nail service all add up to a fabulous spa day at Sunny Buns. (JR)
SILVER: Coconutz
BRONZE: Slick Rock 
IDAHO: Rejuvenating Rays 
Spokane Plastic Surgeons, P.S. 
Offering cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery for more than 30 years, the team at Spokane Plastic Surgeons provides their patients with safe and effective treatments. Surgical procedures run the gamut from body contouring to reconstructive surgery; non-surgical aesthetics include Botox, Juvederm, and Latisse. (SH)
SILVER: Spokane Center for 
Facial Plastic Surgery
BRONZE: Shape Cosmetic Surgery
IDAHO: Owsley Plastic Surgery
Oz Fitness 

The Aussies have done it again! Oz Fitness has five gyms throughout greater Spokane offering group classes, personal training, a KidZone (free for the first hour!) and other exercise amenities in a clean and welcoming atmosphere. Achieving your personal rockin’ physique has never been so convenient…or fun! (KCN)

BRONZE: Gold’s Gym

IDAHO: Snap Fitness