Good eats for grad families

Palouse is home to a wide range of quality restaurants



The bar at Foundry Kitchen & Cocktails on Dec. 7, 2021, in Pullman.


Fall commencement means the inevitable arrival of friends and family coming to support their graduating Cougs.

It also means there will be lots of mouths to feed. 

In order to help our visiting families out, The Daily Evergreen has compiled this handy restaurant guide featuring a range of restaurants around the Palouse. 

The Foundry Kitchen & Cocktails

As graduation season begins, The Foundry is a great place to bring friends and families to enjoy high-quality traditional American food.

Front house manager Madison Nieoson has been working there since 2019, although The Foundry has been open since 2015. 

The Foundry strives to be a restaurant providing a nice, relaxed, homey and comfortable environment, she said. 

“We’ll usually run different specials based on the season. In the summer, we run a berry salad with fresh berries and a poppyseed dressing that we make, and in the fall, we switch to a stone fruit,” Nieoson said. “So we’ll do a pear salad and we’ll do different soups throughout the year based on the season.”

Along with salad specials, they also run seasonal pasta dishes, she said. In the spring, they’ll run a primavera pasta, whereas in the winter, they might stick to a heavier Alfredo pasta.

The jambalaya pappardelle pasta is a customer favorite, Nieoson said. The dish includes roasted chicken, spicy sausage, shrimp, bell peppers and mushrooms tossed with pappardelle and cajun cream sauce. 

She said customers also gravitate towards the turkey bacon avocado sandwich or The Foundry burger, served with a generous portion of hand cut fries. 

The Foundry is open and welcoming to every demographic, from big families to college-aged students, she said. 

“I just think the staff here is really friendly,” she said. “We all get along so great, and we’re really nice and accommodating to people.” 

Nieoson said on busy weekends such as Cougar Football games and graduation, The Foundry does not take reservations because they noticed walk-ins give more people an opportunity to eat with them. 

The Foundry is located in downtown Pullman at 125 Spring Street, sharing the same building as Roost Coffee & Market. 

The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. It is closed on Sundays. 

The Lumberyard

The entrance to Lumberyard, Dec. 7, 2021, in Pullman.

The Lumberyard is a super food court with a hint of night life, making it a place open for all ages.

General Manager DJ Goldfinger re-opened The Lumberyard with the goal of bringing the community together to enjoy something fun and different, compared to your typical restaurant setting. 

The Lumberyard has several different places to eat, Goldfinger said. Inside is the Greek restaurant Yia Yia Nikki’s, a poke bar named Poke-Man, Malo the Hawaiian restaurant and Timber, which serves a variety of items including chicken wings and hamburgers. 

The busiest time of the day is typically during lunch and dinner, Goldfinger said. People come in, grab some food and then get back to work. 

In the evening, bands and DJs come and perform as part of Lumberyard’s after-hours events that go late into the night, Goldfinger said. 

For upcoming graduates, Goldfinger said he plans to do a graduation party and host other events at The Lumberyard. On Thursday, The Lumberyard will be open all night to everyone over the age of 18. On Friday, there will be several discounts offered and a graduation party will be taking place on Saturday.

“We’re gonna celebrate with everybody,” Goldfinger said. “We want everybody to come by and experience this.” 

The Lumberyard is located on 305 North Grand and is open everyday except Monday. On Wednesday and Sunday, they are open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. On Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday they are open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. 


Lodgepole is an upscale fine dining restaurant in downtown Moscow, Idaho, focused on creating an intimate and unique experience for everybody. 

Alex Barham and his wife opened up Lodgepole in June 2015. His wife, Melissa Barham, is from Mexico, and Alex has experience working in various kitchens from all around the Pacific Northwest. He said they wanted to meld those two ideas together to create some flavorful dishes. 

With the variety of options Lodgepole has to offer, they also have a very keen interest in bringing over fresh seafood from Seattle, Alex said. They always have fresh shellfish, oysters, clams and other arrangements of seafood. 

One of the most popular menu items is the baked rigatoni, which is a braised beef rigatoni sauce with Cougar Gold Cheese from WSU, he said. Another favored entree is their pan roasted chicken inspired by a classic Mexican dish, pollo pibil. 

“A lot of our menu items are flavor profiles of Mexico meeting these ingredients and things we have here in the Pacific Northwest,” Alex said. 

With the large amount of families visiting town for WSU’s winter graduation, Alex said winter graduation reservations are fully booked for Friday and Saturday. Reservations can be made through Lodgepole’s website.

He said planning ahead is encouraged when making reservations for the upcoming spring graduation weekend.

They have created a flat rate reservation credit of $25 that goes toward your bill at the end of your visit, he said. 

“It really does get kind of crazy when people are trying to make reservations at different places,” he said. “We really wanted to ensure that we could get as many people in as we could.”

Lodgepole is located at 106 North Main street in Moscow and is open everyday from 4-9 p.m., except on Wednesdays. 

Cougar Country Drive In 

Customers wait for their food inside Cougar Country Drive In on Dec. 7, 2021. The Pullman staple has been open since 1973 and serves classic American fare.

Cougar Country Drive In first opened its doors in 1973, after founder Ray Stephens Sr. decided he wanted to open a restaurant in Pullman.

Alex Joyner, Cougar Country kitchen manager, said Stephens Sr. was on his way to Eastern Washington, trying to think up potential names for his restaurant when he passed a barn with the large words “Welcome to Cougar Country” across it. That is when the idea of “Cougar Country” struck him.

Joyner said Stephens Sr.’s family owned it for several decades before it was sold to the current owners, Mike and Terry Wagoner. 

“We were shut down for a year, and that’s when the current owner Mike Wagoner re-opened it. He has had it since 2019,” Joyner said. 

Joyner said the atmosphere at Cougar Country still has that 70s drive-in feel and is a nostalgic spot for the Pullman community, especially WSU alumni. 

“We’re always playing oldies on the radio and we have updated table menus, but we still have the old 1973 menus on the back wall,” He said. 

The most popular menu items are the bacon burger and the cougar super basket, Joyner said. 

The hours of operation are 11 a.m-10 p.m Monday through Wednesday and 11 a.m- 11 p.m Friday through Saturday.

Black Cypress

Black Cypress was opened in August 2009 by Nick Pitsilionis, who wanted to give back to the Pullman community that he valued so greatly. 

“I’ve always valued the wonderful things produced by the local farmers” he said. “I wanted to have a venue that could showcase all these things, but also had a continuity to it, and people can have dishes that they could rely on for years to come.”

Pitsilionis said he tries to get all produce from local farmers in the area and hopes to expand the local protein options as well.  

Black Cypress specializes in creating comforting, quality dishes that are inspired by holiday meals eaten at Thanksgiving and Christmas, Pitsilionis said. 

The restaurant’s most popular dish, the roasted chicken, was inspired by flavorful Thanksgiving turkey and is a staple at the restaurant, he said. 

“A big gold turkey on a plate probably won’t function in the restaurant context, so we scaled it down to chicken and incorporated everything I like about it,” Pitsilionis said. 

Pitsilionis said the average customer demographic is older than he would like. He is actively creating a menu, as well as operation hours, that are more affordable and accessible to all ages of the Pullman community. 

“We have tried to make a menu where people can come in and have a nice fast drink and a couple of snacks and not break the bank,” he said. “I’m trying to cast a wide net to make sure everybody feels comfortable they can come in.” 

Menu expansion extends beyond more affordable items. Pitsilionis said Black Cypress is planning to open earlier in the day and expand its brunch selection. 

Black Cypress is open 5-9 p.m Monday through Thursday and 5-10 p.m Friday and Saturday. 

Reservations are available upon request, but Pitsilionis said he tries to make Black Cypress a spot where you do not need to have a reservation in order to drop in. 

“This coming year, we’re looking to do a lot more stuff out of the restaurant, breakfast, brunch, lunch, all kinds of different things we’re excited about,” he said. 

If you’re interested in learning more about other restaurants around the Palouse, read our previous roots coverage from this semester.