Spokane restaurant features award winning dish

Spokane restaurant features award...

SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Restaurant Wars put chefs to the test over the weekend and even though the trophies have been handed out, it's not too late to try one of the winning dishes.

Casper Fry Executive Chef Mike McElroy said he spent countless hours preparing the perfect recipe, which is why he's making sure people get a chance to try it.

Casper Fry was one of nearly 20 regional restaurants that competed for bragging rights in the vegetarian, meat and gastropub categories. McElroy's braised pork chop dish won the meat category.

It featured pork cheek on top of smoked cheddar herb grits. That was topped with local pickled peach, radish and a nectarine puree. Some of those ingredients were locally sourced and purchased just feet away from Casper Fry's entrance at the Perry Street Thursday Market.

The win was even sweeter for McElroy considering he's orginially from Spokane and has been working as a chef since he was in his teens.

"I almost cried in front of like 200 people. I've been second place a lot. I've had runner up, people's choice, but to actually take an award home after doing this for 25 years, it was very rewarding," McElroy said.

He noted this win was a team effort. "I did a lot of work on this, but so did every one who works here," McElroy said.

You can taste Casper Fry's winning dish for a short time this fall. It's being featured as a special right now.

Tortilla Union also took home top honors at Restaurant Wars, receiving recognition in the vegetarian category. A staff member said they'll be featuring a menu item similar to their winning dish. Palouse Bar and Grill also plans to offer a revised dish like the one they won the gastropub category with.