306 Spokane St.,
Spam, Spam , Schnitzel, Marmalade, Spam, B.B.I.T and Spam.
“I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay/I sleep all night and I work all day” sang the Merry Lumberjack to his Mounties in the classic Monty Python comedy sketch.“I cut down trees, I eat my lunch/I go to the lavatory/On Wednesdays I go shoppin'/And have buttered scones for tea.” The menu at the Milltown Grill in Post Falls features that song’s distant, long-lost cousin, entitled “The Lumberjack’s Prayer”. In this version, instead of ending up in women’s clothing and hanging around in bars, our lumberjack eats everything in sight until he finally cries “With alum bread and pressed beef butts/Dear Lord! You damn near ruined my guts/Your whitewash milk and Oleorine/I wish to Christ I’d never seen.” Penned about a hundred years ago, it was a career highlight for humorist and labor activist T-Bone Slim, who according to the menu tragically “went wino after the Wobble movement busted up.”
In fact, The Milltown Grill is ripe with history. The walls display a Museum-worthy collection of interesting local artifacts and ephemera including town founder Frederick Post’s birth certificate, marriage license, and WalMart receipts. They’ve even got a copy of the transfer of the ownership of the land itself from Chief Joseph who traded it to Mr. Post for some French toast and a hot fluffy omelet.
A Sunday morning flavored late-fall fog hovered over the dense forests of West Riverview Drive as Q, and I wound our way into Post Falls via the scenic back way. Sometimes I like to keep our breakfast destination a secret until we get there. “Where are we going, anyway? You know I’m scared of Post Falls.” He glared at me. I did know this actually, and I’ve never been able to quite figure out this particularly odd quirk of his. “It’s okay,” I offered. “I won’t let mean old Post Falls getcha. We’ll just zoom in, eat, and zoom out again.” “I’m totally too hungry right now to care anyway” he growled, ignoring my sarcasm.”Are we almost there?”
Pulling into the Milltown Grill lot, the first thing we spotted was a sign touting the lofty acronym “B.B.I.T. Best Breakfast in Town.” Settling down near the door at the one empty table in the small, busy place, we discussed how we would have no choice but to take this B.B.I.T. business as a serious challenge; Frankly, the two of us have really been around the block a few times when it comes to local breakfast joints and to lay a claim to the title of THE best is rather boastful. Actually, “in town” would refer specifically to Post Falls, which narrowed down the competition quite a bit, since neither of us could really recall having breakfast anywhere else within those city limits recently enough to count. Ultimately, the Milltown Grill had us. They would have to be B.B.I.T. automatically by default.
“Observe me on my bended legs/I’m askin’ you for ham and eggs/And of the hottest custard pies/I like, Dear Lord, the largest size” continues “The Lumberjack’s Prayer”. Turns out that B.B.I.T. is an actual menu item, a mega-scramble of sorts with eggs, onion, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, ham, bacon, sausage, hashbrowns and covered in shredded cheddar cheese. I wanted to give it a whirl, but I was more enthralled with the idea of the “Schnitzel Breakfast” so I made Q. order the B.B.I.T. so I could just steal a few bites of his. Seems like their Steak and Eggs must rock as well, since all four folks who were seated across from us requested an order without even bothering with menus., They also feature a bunch of dishes with names that reflect Post Falls’ industrious past like the “Logroller Omelets”, the blueberry or buckwheat “Timberjack Pancakes”, and the “Traumatic Head Injury Oatmeal” with fresh berries.
Lunch options provoke the warm fuzzies with comfort classics like hot turkey and beef sandwiches with mashed potatoes and gravy and “Log Jam Soup”, a homemade vegetable variety presumably named to once again highlight the town’s heritage and not to highlight the soup’s digestive effects. A few token salads cater to the pursed lip crowd and their snotty trip about “healthy vegetables”, leaving the calorie-rich burgers and fries and deep fried halibut to work their deadly, delicious magic on everyone else’s arteries. A note on the menu claims “If you don’t see what you want, ask and we’ll make it.” I thought about coming up with something outrageous just to be sassy. “Um, I don’t see it on the menu but I’d like the Lobster Thermidor Aux Crevettes and a Poached Ostrich Egg sprinkled with White New Zealand Truffles and Spam.” I resisted the urge; our waitress was far too friendly and focused on her work to purposely confuse.
Weiner Schnitzel usually consists of a thin piece of veal or pork, but here the Schnitzel is a white chicken breast flattened out to a ¼ inch thick pulp, then breaded and cooked like a Chicken Fried Steak, resulting in a Chicken Fried Chicken. Mine was truly tender and flavorful, made even more so by the splash of zesty country gravy. I usually pick disinterestedly at hash browns, but these were texturally light and just the right amount of crisp. I made them a short-lived task, along with a perfectly flat, folded yellow square of scrambled eggs and a super-fine stack of burly hotcakes. No complaints at all from me. Q. also couldn’t find any real reason to challenge his B.B.I.T. Mostly, he raved about his Rye Swirl toast with orange marmalade, a substance which he astoundingly claimed to have never before tasted. We waddled out convinced that even if we had a bunch of other Post Falls breakfast experiences under our belts to compare it to, the Milltown Grill would still rise to the top of our bottle of Aunt Jemima.