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Local Food

We Have the ‘In-Cider’ Information

in Business Spotlight/Featured/Local Food
Liberty Lake cider production

Cider lovers can now breathe a ‘cider’ relief: The Trailbreaker Cider Tasting Room will be holding a soft opening towards the end of June with the anticipation of a hard opening in July.

Liberty Lake cider production
Multi-level seating and production viewing area

Co-owner, Trent Maier, is excited to finally be opening their new facility located on the corner of N. Madson Rd and E. Appleway in Liberty Lake. The cidery will have approximately 12 of their own ciders on tap in addition to beer, wine, and a great food menu where you’ll find some traditional German style foods such as brats and sausages, plus a salad bar. The owners may switch it up and offer a baked potato bar, taco bar or maybe even a mashed potato bar.

The facility has a large seating capacity and having multiple levels makes the floor plan very versatile to hold meetings, events and entertainment. The two-story seating space will accommodate every persons seating preference and the upper level offers great views of the entire production facility.

Maier states, “We plan on being open 7 days a week to start. We want to feel out the community. Our hope is to be open every day beginning at 11am to accommodate the lunch crowd and stay open later into the evening.”

Be sure to like their Facebook page and follow them for updates

Café 19 – A Hidden Gem in Liberty Lake

in Business Spotlight/Featured/Local Food
Cafe 19 salad bar
Bekka Weitman chef
Bekka Weitman, Café Chef

I’m happy to put an end to the rumor of Café 19 closing. As it turns out, Café 19 is not closing. As a matter of fact, they’ve hired Bekka Weitman as Café chef, and Bekka is excited about the future of the Café.

Owned by Tim Mitchell and Matt Logan of Mangia Catering Company, Café 19 is a cafeteria style café, who relies heavily on the honor system. Customers ring up their own food and beverages and cash out by paying with a credit or a debit card.

The café is open Monday – Friday from 7:30am to 10:00am for breakfast. Customers can choose from breakfast burritos, omelets, French toast, a breakfast combo, biscuits and homemade gravy or Sweetwater Bakery items.

Lunch is available from 10:30am – 1:30pm, where you can choose from a trip to the salad bar, deli bar or healthy snack hummus bar. But wait, there’s more!

The café also offers a variety of burgers, a quesadilla, chicken strips, and a few sandwich options including their newest mouthwatering addition, a crispy chicken and Belgian waffle sandwich with bacon, a spring mix and maple mustard.

Additionally, Café 19 offers Grab & Go items such as, chips, candy, cookies, Craven coffee and a large assortment of bottled and fountain beverages.

If you’re pressed for time or ordering for a large group and don’t want to wait, Café 19 invites you to log in and place your order online at

The café is located in the Liberty Lake Business Park at 22425 E. Appleway Ave. DOOR 19

Latest Version of Liberty Lake Farmers Market Set to Sprout

in Featured/Local Food/Things to Do in Liberty Lake
Liberty Lake Farmers Market

Rain or shine, the 18th annual rendition of the Liberty Lake Farmers Market will roll out this Saturday, complete with new features and a lineup of over 50 vendors.

Longtime market manager, Holli Parker, says the opening of the open-air venue at Town Square Park – 1421 N. Meadowwood Lane – signals the beginning of the warm-weather season for many.

“One of my co-workers said to me the other day, ‘Oh, the market’s starting, that must mean that summer’s here,’” Parker said. “For a lot of people, it’s the sign that the weather’s going to get better.”

The market’s 2019 debut on Saturday, May 18, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., will include new arrivals selling pies, burgers, pastries, and frozen drinks. Staples like Crepe Café Sisters, Veraci Pizza, and Desserts by Sara will also be part of a vendor array that will number 54 on opening day. Parker said the overall vendor count for the season – which runs through Oct. 12 – stands at 70. The folk stylings of local musician Brad Keeler will also be part of the atmosphere on Saturday.

Market regulars will miss the site of Lenny Munguia’s Jalapeno Heaven truck this year. One of the market’s inaugural vendors from 2002, Munguia has decided to shelf the salsa and burritos for now, although he still serves on the market’s board of directors.

Parker said that while fresh, local produce may not be as abundant early in the season, marketgoers will find plenty of plant and flower starts. There is also a vendor selling “micro-greens,” tasty roughage perfect for healthy salads.

Based on standards established by the Washington State Farmers Market Association, markets throughout the Evergreen state must account for at least half of their sales coming through local farmers. Parker said she and other board members are “observant and thoughtful about who we’re bringing in.”

“We want a good variety,” she said. “We’re not just going to bring in 50 Rice Crispy Treat people.”

Parker can remember the market’s debut on a drizzly Saturday 18 years ago when eight vendors huddled beneath plastic tarps while a paltry crowd wandered by.

“From where we started to where we are now, it’s amazing,” she said. “I’m so proud of this community and these people. I love our vendors and I love our board. We all work so well together.”

Holli’s uncle, Jim Frank and her mother, Susan Parker, first came up with the idea for the Liberty Lake Farmers Market as a way to support local farmers and create a friendly community gathering place. Almost two decades later, those goals and more appear to have been accomplished.

“It’s fun to see it get better every year,” said Frank who is a regular at the market each Saturday. “It is a Liberty Lake institution and really contributes to a strong sense of community.”

Holli said it’s gratifying to see vendors like Veraci’s start from market roots and establish successful brick-and-mortar sites like their restaurant in Kendall Yards. Another recent vendor, Glorious Bakery, found a landing spot over the winter, selling bread and other products at My Fresh Basket.

Market highlights this year include the Italian Festival (July 13), Pie Festival (Aug. 10) and Art at the Market, pared down to one day this September with a date to be announced.

Besides serving as manager in all but two years of the market’s existence, Parker says she relishes the opportunity to shop for groceries, reconnect with old friends and soak up the market’s positive energy.

“I just love going to the market,” she said. “Even though it’s a Saturday, I know I’m not going to sleep in.”

To learn more about the Liberty Lake Farmers Market, visit:

Liberty Lake – Home of the “Grilling Gods”

in Featured/Local Food
Grilling Gods bbq

Grilling Gods logoLiberty Lake couple, Casey McClarty and Cassie Molloy, are the real Grilling Gods. The couple began as sales reps for a food and spice related business, then consulted for a local spice company prior to beginning their own business. They reside in Liberty Lake and create their rubs in a commercial kitchen in Spokane Valley.

Grilling Gods was born after the couple received a phone call from a friend who worked at the Gozzer Ranch in Harrison, Idaho. He asked them to create a rub that the ranch could use for their pork ribs because the head chef wanted to support a local business. Hence the birth of “Sweet Backyard BBQ.” After learning the chef and their customers loved their BBQ rub, Casey and Cassie created three more blends and started their brand “Grilling Gods.”

They now have four flavors, all of which are Gluten Free and have no MSG. The first three below are also sugar free.

  1. “Steak & Bake” – Is their top selling flavor which takes the best parts of a Montreal style and incorporates California grown garlic and mustard seed.
  2. “Salt of the Gods” – Is their newest and has quickly become a top seller. This amazing all-purpose seasoning is loaded with tons of domestic garlic, fresh pepper, onion, sea salt and smoky hickory flavor, creating a Johnny’s style rub without any sugar, msg. or fillers!
  3. “Southern Heat” – If you like a little heat with a whole lot of flavor, this may be the one for you. It has a unique combination of Cajun and Hispanic flavors, creating an absolutely outstanding profile with just the right amount of heat.
  4. “Sweet Backyard BBQ” – This rub is the Grilling Gods take on a traditional sweet BBQ dry rub with the flavors of fresh chili powder (without any heat) and an amazing cinnamon sugar blend that has half the sugar of traditional brown sugar rubs.

Grilling Gods does not have a retail store, however you can purchase any of these online at, at Yoke’s Fresh Market, Sonnenbergs, Tim’s Meats and at FMI Equipment. Grilling Gods will also be at Fairwood on Tuesdays, Kendall Yards on Wednesdays, the Spokane Valley Farmers Market on Fridays and the Liberty Lake Farmers Market on Saturdays.

Grilling Gods is a small family business working hard to build a loyal following for their brand by focusing on customer service, amazing flavors and affordability for families. They also donate to Soldiers’ Angels through special sales throughout the year.

Grilling Gods rubs

Fujiyama Adding Sushi Bar to Liberty Lake Location

in Featured/Local Food
Fujiyama sushi bar in Liberty Lake

The Liberty Lake community will soon have another opportunity to please their palate.

After receiving many requests, Fujiyama will be opening their new sushi bar on Thursday, May 16th.

General Manager, Laura Cael states, “We’ll be offering at least 15 specialty rolls plus many traditional rolls. Fujiyama is growing along with Liberty Lake and it’s exciting for us to be a part of it. We’re looking forward to bringing more sushi options to the community. We’ll also be opening our patio area with all new furniture on Thursday.”

Summer hours are currently:

  • Sunday Noon – 9 p.m.
  • Monday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Big Island BBQ in Liberty Lake (Review)

in Featured/Local Food
Big Island BBQ sign

Generally, when a new restaurant opens in Liberty Lake, my family and I rush to try it. Big Island BBQ was no different.

It wasn’t love at first sight.  

Big Island BBQ coupleOn opening day, the first day of March, we attempted to give it a try but found there to be a long line of other Liberty Lake residents hungry for some new flavors. A few food allergies require me to ask some questions the first time we visit a new establishment, so we decided to skip it and try again when Twenty Questions wouldn’t be such a burden.

After a few days, the reviews started coming in and they were not all positive. Some were frustrated with disorganization over the first days of operation and others didn’t care for the food. With this information and not yet verifying what menu items would work with my food allergies, we didn’t rush to give it another try.

On April 14, six weeks after opening, a friend invited us to brunch at Big Island for a Meals on Wheels fundraiser.

It was love at first bite.

Big Island BBQ in Liberty Lake plate

The staff was extremely friendly and helpful; the portions were generous, and the food was delicious. I was there to visit with friends and cover the event, but I couldn’t stop eating. I am not embarrassed to share that I cleaned my plate and then started picking at my wife’s plate.  The steamed clams, pork adobo, and citrus salmon were great. Sauce options with different citrus and spice flavors added a nice kick to the rice.

At this point, I was hesitant to write a review as it didn’t align with some reviews I had seen. So, I gave them another try.

Since that first experience, we have been back twice. We tasted various sides, the pulled pork, short ribs, and curry meatballs. The food was superb both times. At each visit, we learned a little more about the food as the team explained some of their island roots and traditions.

In addition, it is refreshing to find a restaurant where most of the menu is dairy and gluten-free.

What about the haters?

Big Island BBQ in Liberty Lake plate

All that being said, I can see where some guests may not have cared for it. Some of the reviews I heard describe the meat as tough or fish as dry.  Most of the food is pre-made and sits in covered food wells where controlling the moisture and temperature of meat is challenging.

This hasn’t been my experience at Big Island, but I expect it might be some day. I won’t mind if it is tough or dry some time. The benefit of “fast-food” that is not bland or greasy is so appealing to me that I would be ok with a little over cooked fish or chicken.

Bottom Line

Overall, I found Big Island to be a good value, provide fast service, have dedicated owners, friendly staff, and deliver delicious, diverse flavors.

I recommend giving Big Island BBQ a try and if you weren’t impressed on your first visit; give it another try.

For more information on Big Island BBQ hours and location, visit their website:

Did You Know: All of the Liberty Lake Golf Courses include Restaurants

in Did You Know/Featured/Local Food
did you know golf courses

It is difficult to miss Palenque; the Mexican restaurant sharing a building with the Trailhead Golf Course pro shop. It is visible from the intersection of N Liberty Lake Lake Rd and E Country Vista Dr.

However, unless you are a golfer or live around the course, you might not know that the other two courses have restaurants as well.

Both MeadowWood Golf Course and Liberty Lake Golf Course include restaurants. They are both open to the public during golf season.

We have added their addresses and phone numbers to our Liberty Lake restaurant list.

25 Percent of Restaurants in Liberty Lake are Pizza

in Featured/Local Food
Liberty Lake pizza at 25%

In my opinion, Liberty Lake has become 5% better over the last year.

In September 2017, I reported that 30% of the restaurants in Liberty Lake were pizza.

With the recent additions of Phở Liberty (Vietnamese), Fujiyama (Japanese), Cafe 19, and Big Island BBQ (Pacific Islands), the community gained more diversity in flavor and choices for dining.

Here is the updated list:


  • Brother’s Office Pizzeria
  • Domino’s Pizza
  • Fieldhouse Pizza & Pub
  • Papa Murphy’s Take N’ Bake Pizza
  • Piccolo Artisan Pizza Kitchen
  • Pizza Hut

Not Pizza

  • Barlows Family Restaurant
  • Big Island BBQ
  • Bobby’s Cafe & Catering
  • Cafe 19
  • Carl’s Jr.
  • Cork House
  • Ding How
  • Eat Good Cafe
  • Fujiyama
  • Hay J’s Bistro
  • Jimmy John’s
  • McDonald’s
  • Palenque
  • Pho Liberty
  • San Francisco Sourdough Eatery
  • Subway
  • Taco Bell
  • Taco Time
  • The Well
  • True Legends Grill

Which pizza place is your favorite?

What restaurant would you like to see move into Liberty Lake?


  • These numbers do not include places that serve food, but food is not their primary product. (Starbucks, Just Chillin’, Yoke’s, etc.)
  • These numbers do not account for restaurants or places where you could order pizza. (Farmers Market, True Legends, etc.)
  • As of Aril 15, 2019
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