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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

For a well-cooked pizza, try the Park Inn

Several years ago — too many years to comfortably remember — my former Spokesman-Review colleague John Blanchette and I would go to the Park Inn. To drink, sure, but also to eat pizza. In those days, I was a vegetarian, and so we would usually order green pepper and mushroom. And when the pizza would come, in the PI's trademark Albano's cut, we would wash it down with cold pitchers of whatever beer was cheapest.

Hey, we were struggling sportswriters. Then I moved over to the features desk, and my tastes gradually changed. I found other pizza spots, and I stopped drinking so much beer.

The other night, though, I met my friend Jim at the PI. His wife had undergone a surgical procedure and was sleeping. So he walked across the street, we took a look at the menu — and then we ordered pizza. Only not the way I once did.

Jim prefers his meat, and I wasn't about to argue, so we ordered the ML Special, which was a combo of meats and cheese with fresh tomatoes spread over the top. And though it was a bit overcooked (the crust was so crunchy and brown that I could hardly cut it with a knife), and we had to eat it before the cheese congealed and became as thick as bubble gum, the flavor was as good as I recalled.

Oh, and for beer? Each of us had a cold corona. One Corona. Yeah, we're getting old. So old that the mess in the bowl at the bottom of the photo is the remains of the dinner salad I ordered just to make sure I was eating something healthy — besides the tomatoes.

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