Three Local LC Valley Food Legends Hunted By World Series Players & Fans

What’s the most asked question I field when fans and families start rolling in to Lewiston, Idaho for the Avista NAIA World Series?  From across the nation, here it is:

“Where do we find Fazzari’s, Efffie’s and Strike & Spare?”

Apparently, they’ve all got directions to Harris Field before they get here.

These three local restaurants have risen to legendary heights with officials, players and traveling baseball fans. What’s all the fuss about? Half the draw is that these are foods you just can’t get anywhere else; oh sure, other towns have pizza, burgers and sandwiches, but not like these. The other half must have its roots in competition because there’s an awful lot of “I ate the whole thing” boasting going on when I catch up with those who’ve ventured into these wilds of LC Valley cuisine and emerged victorious.

  • Fazarri’s Finest Pizza
    Pizza.  From top to bottom, Fazzari’s has got it going on when it comes to pizza. Hand-tossed crust made daily to homemade sauces, and toppings loaded on in signature combinations – we hear it’s not a just a pizza. We hear it’s a pie to die for. Fazzari’s is located at 1281 Bridge Street in Clarkston, Washington; Directions.
  • Effie’s Tavern
    The Effie Burger.  It’s big.  Really, really big.  A full pound burger on an 8” bun with all the trimmings – lettuce, onion, tomato, cheese, pickles. Word on the street is that every baseball player through the door is on a mission to eat a whole burger, on his own. Many have tried, few have succeeded. Effie’s Tavern is located at 1120 Main Street in Lewiston, Idaho; Directions.
  • Strike & Spare
    The Cock & Bull Sandwich. Every day, the Strike & Spare roasts enough turkey and prime rib to feed a small army. Then, they do their best to pile all of it between two slices of Texas Toast and serve it up with homemade curly fries. This is not a sandwich for the faint of appetite but it’s worth every delicious bite – we suggest you consider splitting one with a friend. Strike & Spare is located at 244 Thain Road in Lewiston, Idaho; Directions.

Scott McClure, Manager of Championship Sports at NAIA says, “Much like baseball, hot dogs and apple pie (which gets “played” up big time on Memorial Day at Harris Field), it’s become tradition … to go to Fazzari’s for pizza and Effie’s for the burger.  I also make at least one trip to the Main Street Grill each year for great food and to look at all of the World Series stuff on the walls – it’s like a baseball museum at the Main Street.  Oh, don’t forget the ‘fry sauce.’  It must be an Idaho thing.  I like it.  We recently added a chain restaurant in Lawrence that has French fry sauce…it made me think of Lewiston and the Series!  I can’t wait to get back this week for a slice of Schotzy pizza, an Effie Burger, some fry sauce…and a trip to the Strike & Spare!”

We’d love to hear about where you “must eat” during the 2012 Avista NAIA World Series in the LC Valley this year –share your story with us on Facebook and while you’re at the games, give a shout to@HellsCanyon on Twitter, I’d love to say hi!

Memorial Day Memories at the Ballpark in the LC Valley

2011 NAIA World Series Opening CeremoniesDo you know what I remember about Memorial Day? I remember barbecues where the number of hotdogs I ate in a day defied FDA regulations. I remember block parties where everyone was welcome and I remember neighborhood baseball games that started as soon as the sun came up and lasted well into the starry night.

Times have changed a bit but I still love a good old fashioned Memorial Day weekend filled with baseball, and I know where to find one of the best this side of the Rockies.

Come May 25th, you’ll find me at Harris Field smack in the middle of the NAIA World Series baseball tournament and I’m not coming out until there’s a 2012 champion crowned. 10 teams from across the nation play 19 games over 7 days; on real dirt in a ballpark large enough to make the homerun bombs memorable and small enough that every seat lets me smell the cut green grass of the field.

Did I mention the $1 Hotdogs, Soda and Popcorn on Memorial Day?

Let’s do a spot check.

Full supply of hotdogs? Check. Lots of friendly faces? Check. Baseball worth the watch? Check and double check! What do you say? If you don’t have your Memorial Day set, plan a road trip to the LC Valley – and don’t forget your mitt … fly balls make great souvenirs!

We’d love to hear about the Memorial Day memories you make in the LC Valley this year – share your story with us on Facebook and while you’re at the games, give a shout to @HellsCanyon on Twitter and we can exchange game notes – I’ll be the one glued to my seat.

~image property of LMTribune.com

7 Awesome Things To Do Without Leaving Hells Gate State Park

When is a park not just a park? When it’s Hells Gate State Park! Read on to learn about the unexpected adventures that await you during a stay beside the Snake River in the LC Valley …

Camp out
Breakout the JiffyPop, S’mores and dutch ovens for a stay at any one of the 104 spots available within the tree covered slice of heaven that is Hells Gate State Park Campground. Wether you love RV, tent or cabin camping, Hells Gate has you covered!

Big Game Expedition
Come face to face with 65 mounted game heads from around the world and learn about one of North America’s most successful outdoor writers and hunting enthusiasts, Jack O’Connor, at The Jack O’Connor Hunting Heritage and Education Center.

Pedal Away the Day
Don a helmet, check the air in your tires and head out for a ride through the park. There are three camp loops to explore and any number of paved or dirt trails that wind all over the public green spaces on the grounds – guaranteed smiles for miles.

Explore the Corps
Grab a compass and head into the Lewis & Clark Discovery Center to meet Weetxuwiis and the Nez Perce, just like Lewis & Clark did over 150 years ago. Everyone can wander through 2 acres of outdoor exhibits at their own speed and the live stream with hidden animal sculptures and footprints is a great scavenger hunt.

Become a Jr. Ranger
Kids and families can suit up and become a resident expert on raptors, bees, flowers, bugs, birdwatching and a whole lot more during the totally free and totally fun 3-hour Jr. Ranger Programs inside the park. Learn more about the Jr. Ranger Program on the Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau Events Tab on our Facebook Page.

Swim, Splash and Snorkle
Slap on the sunscreen and paddle around in the shallows or venture out into the deep end of the swimming area at the north end of the park.

Drop a Line
Kids 13 and younger don’t even need a license, so find a spot on the bank, bait your hook and you might just catch dinner!

If you come, don’t forget the camera – we’d love to see what adventures you had in the park and you can share it with us on the Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau Facebook Page.

Free Family Fishing in the LC Valley

If the inevitable infection of Spring Fever among kids of all ages is threatening to break out in your home, we suggest getting to the LC Valley for a little outdoor recreation.  A road trip and fishing might be just what the doctor ordered.

What’s that?  You have no fishing equipment?  You don’t really know what you’re doing?  No worries! Getting the family outside to enjoy spring fishing in the LC Valley just got a lot less stressful and a lot more fun in 2013, thanks to Idaho Fish & Game’s Take Me Fishing Trailer.

The Take Me Fishing Trailer is fully stocked with fishing equipment that can be checked out for free, on a first-come, first-served basis and has friendly, knowledgeable IDFG staff who can get you started in no time.

Everyone, of any age is welcome to use the equipment.  While anglers 13 and under are always able to fish Idaho waters for free, anglers 14 and older will will be granted a permit to fish without a license.  You can get information on Idaho Resident and Non-resident licensing here.

From March through June, the trailer is making eight visits to Lewiston, Idaho, at two ponds this year.  Here’s a Google Map of Lewiston Take Me Fishing locations, so you can find the ponds easily.

  • March 30 at Mann Lake, from 10am-1pm
  • April 6 at Kiwanis Park, from 10am-1pm
  • April 7 at Mann Lake, from 10am-1pm
  • April 14 at Kiwanis Park, from 10am-1pm
  • April 20 at Lewiston Wildlife Habitat Area, from 10am-1pm
  • April 28 at Kiwanis Park, from 10am-1pm
  • May 4 at Mann Lake, from 10am-1pm
  • May 5 at Kiwanis Park, from 10am-1pm
  • May 26 at Mann Lake, from 10am-1pm
  • June 1 at Kiwanis Park, from 10am-1pm
  • June 23 at Kiwanis Park, from 10am-1pm

What happens if your family gets hooked?  Come on back and fish again – maybe take a full-fledged fishing trip with one of the LC Valley’s fantastic guides.

If you come, check the weather and dress appropriately, bring something to drink and don’t forget the camera – we’d love to see your catch and you can share it with us on the Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau Facebook Page.

A Taste, A Glass, A Bottle and More …. Wine in the LC Valley

Wine by ~TankPhotographySome people will tell you that the best time to visit a new place is on a weekend.
Some people are wrong.
Each week (not weekend, mind you), restaurants in the Lewis-Clark Valley host a number of tailored events that cater to fun-loving, adventurous wine lovers, their search for a taste of the region and something new in a stemmed glass.
Mid-week starts with Wine Down Wednesday at Tomato Bros. where you can get 40% off the purchase of any bottle of wine all day.  Any wine … and there are some great labels on their wine list.  Pair your bottle with a 1/2 price appetizer during Happy Hour from 4 to 6pm and you’re set for nice how-do-you-do.
Wednesday also means Women Who Wine, from 5 to 7pm, at Quality Inn & Suites.  Not just for women – men are also welcome to enjoy complimentary tastes of featured wines along with 40% off all bottle purchases and glass pours of the featured wines.  Add a half price appetizer and it’s a complete night out with a river view.
Wine O’clock Thursdays, from 6-8pm, The Exchange in Red Lion Hotel brings something a little different to the table.  With the purchase of your choice of 3 different flights, ranging from $5 to $15, you’ll receive 10% off the purchase of any bottle of wine.  Each flight brings 5 tastes of wine and for those of you choosing to make a night of it, pair your flight and bottle purchase with dinner and receive 20% off the entire bill.
The Basalt Cellars Tasting Room, in Clarkston, Washington, is open Monday through Saturday from 12-5:30pm.  Be sure to taste the triple-award winning 2007 Merlot, when you go.
Regular tasting hours for Clearwater Canyon Cellars are on Saturdays from 1 to 5pm, May thru Christmas.  The Renaissance Red and Lochsa are local favorites and, if you’re lucky, there’ll still be some Carmenere.

image courtesy ~TankPhotography