Spike’s Philly’s & More

Just K-9

Spike’s Philly’s & More is a relatively large sports bar with a canine theme. Actually, saying “a canine theme” doesn’t drive home the overabundance of dog imagery, dog puns, and dog paraphernalia found at Spike’s. No opportunity to use the canine theme was missed, including the bone-shaped platter on which my food arrived.

I’ve never eaten at Spike’s Philly’s & More before, so I have no idea what their cheesesteaks are like, but after a really disappointing burger and fries at some other restaurant while out of town on vacation, I was hoping for something good to make up for it.

The Burger

Spike’s Philly’s & More is probably more concerned with cheesesteaks than with burgers, but that doesn’t mean their burgers have been ignored. Each of the 9 burgers on the menu feature hand-formed 1/3 pound patties, with an option to have a 10 oz patty instead. Each of the burgers come with 2 sides, which I’ll outline in the fries section below.

The Just K-9 burger was described as being “dressed the way you like it – with American cheese.” That’s it. Rather too sparse, if you ask me, since the burger also came topped with mayo, yellow onion slices, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles. All of it seemed fresh.

The bun was the ugliest part of the burger, being a bit smushed and untoasted, but it was soft, tasted good, and wasn’t too large, which is a common problem.

Ketchup and yellow mustard bottles were brought to the table along with the burger, so the option existed to add those as desired.

The meat was the predominant flavor, and was the single largest ingredient by far.
The patty was cooked perfectly, with no pink inside, but still juicy.

The burger tasted good, but something was missing and I can’t put my finger on what that was. Maybe there wasn’t enough salt and pepper on the patty, or perhaps the untoasted, unbuttered bun was to blame. At any rate, the burger was good, but not great, which seems a shame considering how great every other part of it was.

The Fries

Each of the burgers at Spike’s Philly’s & More comes with 2 sides. For your first side, you have a choice of 3 different types of fried potatoes: Shoestring fries, tater tots, or jojos. For your second side, you can choose between a house salad, coleslaw, a cup of soup, or just double up on your fries. In fairness to other restaurants I’m reviewing, I decided to get a double order of fries.

The shoestring fries were plentiful, hot, and perfectly cooked. They were crispy but chewy, and not overcooked at all, nor were they greasy.

The were, however, dramatically over-salted, and I say this as someone who loves salty fries. Even hours after finishing my meal, it seemed like I couldn’t drink enough water, and I could feel the salt still affecting my mouth.

The fries also came with a little cup of brown gravy. As a lover of poutine, I like gravy with my fries, but this gravy was sort of spicy and tasted odd to me, so I didn’t eat much of it.

The Price

The Just K-9 burger, which comes with two sides, will run you shy of $12 after tax.

The burger was pretty good, with perfectly cooked meat taking a front-row seat. Many hours later, I was still full without ever having felt disgustingly stuffed. Overall a decent value, but a few minor tweaks to improve the flavor of the burger would make this an excellent value.

The Restaurant

From the outside, Spike’s Philly’s & More isn’t much to look at. It’s clear some other restaurant with a completely different theme resided in the building previously. For whatever reason, the current owners haven’t modified the exterior to fit in with either the dog or sports bar themes.

Upon entering, there was absolutely no indication of where to go or what to do. I wandered into the dining room, and when the waitress noticed me, she welcomed me and told me to sit wherever I wanted to. While eating, I witnessed two other groups enter and suffer the same momentary confusion I did.

There were certainly no lack of seating options. At the bar, at tall tables, at short tables, at tables right by the windows, or at tables in a slightly darkened area by a bank of TVs. I chose to sit by the windows.

Speaking of TVs, you can’t get away from them. There are TVs all over the place, tucked away in every corner and on nearly every surface.

Everywhere I looked in the dining room, it was dirty. The carpet was stained, worn, and dirty. The tables were dirty. The chairs were dirty. My chair actually had a big sticky spot that I grabbed when scooting myself into the table. My water cup was dirty. The knife that came wrapped in a napkin was dirty.

The bathroom wasn’t dirty, but it wasn’t clean either. I couldn’t tell if the bathroom floor was actually sticky, or if my shoes were sticking to the floor tiles because of something I stepped in out in the dining room.

Another weird thing is that every table has a large condiment caddy on it, which contained only a pair of salt and pepper shakers. That seemed weird, especially when ketchup and mustard were brought to my table. Why put a big caddy on every table if you aren’t going to use them? And if you aren’t going to use them, why not remove them from the tables?

As a business, Spike’s Philly’s & More has a ton of potential. The restaurant seems like a great space, if only they’d clean it up a bit. The food was perfectly cooked, but the seasonings need to be adjusted.

It’s the kind of place that I want to give a higher score to, but can’t because of silly little things that could be easily fixed.

Spike’s Philly’s & More
718 E Francis Ave, Spokane, WA 99208
(509) 489-3647

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