Where to Dine: Emran Restaurant & Market | Food & Cooking | Spokane | The Pacific Northwest Inlander | News … – Inlander

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Nasrollah Mohammadi was a young child when he left Afghanistan to flee the Soviet-Afghan War in the 1980s. At the end of last year, Mohammadi and his wife, Samira, opened Emran Restaurant & Market on Division Street, just south of Indiana Avenue. The unassuming spot is now the first Afghan restaurant in Spokane.

Just as food helped Mohammadi learn about the people he encountered growing up, he and his family are offering their favorite dishes to Spokane and inviting the city into a deeper understanding and appreciation of Afghan and broader Persian culture.


1817 N. Division St.

Open daily 10 am-10 pm

“When people want to understand the culture of some people, I think that starts with food,” Mohammadi says.

Every day, Samira hand folds countless manto, Afghan dumplings stuffed with beef and spices, garnished with green herbs and bright orange lentils, and drenched in a garlicky yogurt sauce. She rolls bolani, a flakey flatbread filled with savory potatoes and leeks. And she prepares platters of pulau, a rice pilaf dish with a tender shank of lamb buried under piles of basmati rice, golden with curry and turmeric and sweetened with carrots and raisins.

Emran also offers chicken, lamb and beef kebabs, plus sweets like jalebi, spiraled dough fried in sweet saffron syrup, and coconut cookies sprinkled with pistachios. Mohammadi hopes to add Turkish and Iranian dishes to the menu as he figures out what Spokanites like to eat.


722 E. Lakeside Ave., Coeur d’Alene
Open Wed-Sat at 3-10 pm

Businesswoman Anna Lombard and sommelier Sam Lange have joined forces to create Lola Wine Lounge, a swanky new spot on Lakeside Avenue in Coeur d’Alene for novice drinkers and experienced palates alike. It’s not a wholesaler. There’s no wine club. It’s simply one of the coolest new places for a glass of wine and small plate.

Bottles from Napa, France, Spain and Italy line sleek black backlit walls. High tops, sofas and a bar offer plenty of comfortable seating. Pair a Miquel Pons with grapes, a baguette and berries. Bring a friend or take some alone time, and ask Lange any question — his range of expertise is only matched by his approachability and patience. (EB)

11110 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley
Open Wed-Sun at 11 am-8 pm (until 9 pm Fri-Sat)

A new type of dining experience is heating up in Spokane Valley. Hot pot is a traditional meal across Asia, with good reason. A pot of boiling broth sits in the middle of the table, and it’s up to you to cook whatever noodles, veggies, meat or tofu you like. It’s a delicious, memorable dinner that gets the whole table involved and lets everyone eat exactly what they want. Or, if you’re looking for something quicker, grab a quick bowl of pho or bun bo Hue, a spicy beef soup named for Vietnam’s ancient capital. (EB)

1913 W. Maxwell Ave.
Open Mon 12 pm-close, Wed-Fri 12 pm-close, Sat 7 am-close, Sun 10 am-close

Three friends turned an old cafe on Maxwell Avenue into a comfy new taproom in Spokane’s West Central neighborhood, complete with an ever-changing selection of small-batch brews, fresh bites, and early morning Premier League “football” games.

Nick Coons, Christopher Anderson, and Remington Oatman, all previously of River City Brewing, offer plenty of lower ABV options as well as traditional craft beers, plus foods that show off their love of fermentation. Snag a plate of spicy house-pickled veggies or eat ’em on top of a pork banh mi sandwich. The tomatoes and burrata small plate features a house-fermented tomato sauce. Or, get a grilled cheese for your kid and another for yourself. (EB)

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