A Taste of Texas in the Northwest

My husband and I have recently discovered Dickey’s Barbecue Pit which offers up a taste of Texas style pit BBQ. Dickey’s smokes all of their meats on-site which includes beef brisket, pulled pork, polish sausage, ham, turkey, and chicken. Along with the smoked meats, Dickey’s offers up a long list of homestyle sides and rolls.

Sauces are available on the side which is fantastic for someone like me who does not enjoy BBQ sauce. So far all I have had is the Smokehouse Salad featuring beef brisket, romaine lettuce, cheddar cheese, fried onion tanglers (think small onion rings) and ranch dressing with a roll on the side. I love this salad so much I cannot order anything else. Yes, it’s that good!

Dickey's Smokehouse Salad

Dickey’s Smokehouse Salad

My husband has tried their pulled pork sandwich as well as the beef brisket, both of which he enjoyed with a selection of self-serve sauces. He also tried the homestyle mac & cheese which didn’t impress him, the baked beans which he enjoyed and the potato casserole which was covered in cheese and chives.

For iced tea fans, there is a choice of unsweetened or southern style sweet tea and all drinks are refillable.

If you are still hungry after your meal you can help yourself to a complimentary ice cream cone station. The vanilla soft-serve is ice cold and refreshing. My husband ended his meal by adding some soft-serve to his cup and adding root beer for the perfect treat.

If you are in the Spokane area, Dickey’s is located near the Wandermere movie theater (12628 N. Division).

A Bit of France in Spokane

With several writing assignments due, I decided that I needed a change of scenery to get my creative juices flowing, so I chose to go to Petit Chat this morning. Petit Chat means kitten in French and you can tell that the owners of the Petit Chat Village Bakery love animals from the cat statue decor to the homemade dog treats for sale.

Located behind a gas station on the North Side of Spokane, close to the beautiful Holmberg Park, Petit Chat takes up an entire strip mall.

Pulling up to Petit Chat

Pulling up to Petit Chat

It isn’t until you step through the doors that you are transported to a French Patisserie. The bakery is filled with patrons anxious for a fresh pastry the size of a child’s head.

Patrons waiting in line for a fresh pastry

Patrons waiting in line for a fresh pastry

The line begins alongside the pastry display where I had to decide between croissants drizzled with chocolate, piles of fluffy cinnamon buns and fresh bagels topped with melted cheese. When it was my turn to order, I chose a cheese danish along with a hot tea. The perfect snack to rev up my creativity. Also when I am out with my husband I never get anything with a cream cheese filling because we usually share and he hates cream cheese. So this was my chance to choose something just for me.

My cheese danish and hot earl grey tea

My cheese danish and hot earl grey tea

I chose a seat at a sturdy wooden table from among the many available tables (the dining area is quite large).

Window seating at Petit Chat

Window seating at Petit Chat

While munching on my moist, flaky pastry and sipping my creamy earl grey I knocked out three assignments in a single hour. I have never been so productive, so it must have been that heavenly danish along with the soothing tones of the bakery.

After I finished my work, I sat back with my tea and people watched (one of my favorite hobbies). Across from me was a group of older men drinking coffee and enjoying their morning get together. Beside me sat three women eating quiche quietly. Behind me was a young man talking about time that he spent in Nicaragua. Moms with strollers, young college students and retirees came and went, lending a neighborhood feeling to this place.

Now back to the bakery itself. Often times when pastries sit out they also dry out, but not the pastries here. Somehow they manage to make extra large, very moist, fresh pastries. My guess is they don’t last long enough to dry out (judging by the never-ending lines).

Pastries and buns

Pastries and buns

Another aspect I find heavenly is the coffee/tea bar. I like to make my own tea just the way I like it (1 sweetener and lots of half and half). Petit Chat has a collection of mugs and a help yourself hot beverage bar where you can make your coffee or tea just to your liking.

Coffee and tea bar

Coffee and tea bar

Along with pastries, Petit Chat also makes artisan breads such as Rosemary Cranberry, Cinnamon Chip Swirl, Sourdough three-cheese, Hearty Whole Wheat and Rosemary Ciabatta. Roasted garlic rosemary butter can be found in the cooler along with loaves of Banana bread and gluten free Chocolate Raspberry bread. Last week my husband and I picked up a loaf of Rosemary bread from the day old rack which we used for roast beef sandwiches.

Artisanal breads on display

Artisan breads on display

Bread menu

Bread menu

For those who love homemade granola, you can buy it here along with homemade bread crumbs and lavash crackers.

Homemade granola

Homemade granola

Homemade cookies and pies in several varieties are also for sale. Fire roasted apple and cherry pie were both on sale while I was there, in both full and single serving sizes. I think single serving pies are genius. There are a lot of people out there who want some portion control. Not everyone wants to find themselves up at midnight with a fork and an empty pie tin if you know what I mean.

Homemade pies

Homemade pies

For those looking for a meal, Petit Chat offers a variety of quiche, hot croissant sandwiches, signature sandwiches and salads. Bottles of beer, Italian sodas and iced tea are also available.

Menu board

Menu board

Spending the morning at Petit Chat transported me to a small french village bakery through their artisan products, superb service and warm decor. I now have a favorite place to write.