A new Filipino food pop-up; plus, what's moving into Hills' downtown spot

click to enlarge Mango Tree's biryani rice dish. - CARRIE SCOZZARO PHOTO
Carrie Scozzaro photo
Mango Tree's biryani rice dish.

As soon as I heard about the pop-up Filipino nights at Garageland, delivered by BIG Mike's Cookout, I was on board. At the most recent edition March 7, the menu included four options, which made it easy to try (almost) everything on the menu. The biggest hit out of BIG Mike's kitchen for me was the bistek siopao, a steamed bun filled with thinly sliced flank steak and onions. At just $3 each, a couple of those could easily make a worthy meal on their own. But I had larger things in mind in the form of the breakfast-oriented dishes filling the menu. The tapsilog ($12) delivered some tasty beef slices along with garlic-fried rice, a perfectly fried egg and sliced tomatoes and cucumbers. The longsilog ($12) is essentially the same dish, but substituting a sweet sausage for the beef. The only dish we didn't try was the tortang talong ($10), a Chinese eggplant omelette. The menus change with each pop-up, and Big Mike is determined to introduce Filipino food to Spokane. Follow BIG Mike's Cookout on Facebook to know when his next Garageland pop up happens. (DAN NAILEN)

Mango Tree Grows

When one restaurant closes... another opens. The recent news that downtown Spokane dining fixture Hills' Restaurant closed after more than 25 years was met with some deserved nostalgia and sadness. The main reason for the closure was an offer to buy the restaurant's building. The Mango Tree Indian Kitchen + Tap House is moving into the corner space at Washington and Main, with a targeted opening between mid April and early May, says operations manager Casey Garland. He says the Spokane location's menu will mirror what's served at the Mango Tree's Coeur d'Alene location, which opened last year and is part of a Canadian-based franchise. (CHEY SCOTT)

Sante's Last Supper

The final day of service at Santé Restaurant & Charcuterie is scheduled for Sunday, March 17. After 10 years, owners Kate and Jeremy Hansen are closing the restaurant to rebrand the space as Smoke & Mirrors Saloon, which is planning to offer more of an upscale-casual feel and a "meat-centric culinary extravaganza with sausages, meatballs and steaks taking center stage" on the menu. Santé's charcuterie program will live on with the new iteration, including meat sold by the pound. Smoke & Mirrors is set to open on Monday, April 1. In the meantime, stop in Santé for one last hurrah and to sample a special St. Patrick's Day-themed menu served on the 17th between 9 am and 9 pm. (CS)

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