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Fresh and Tasty 

by Susan Hamilton & r & & r & Kid-Friendly RESTAURANTS & r & Junebugs Caf & eacute; is all about whimsy and comfort. Owners Ben and MaryAnn Delaney have created a unique restaurant in their South Perry neighborhood.

"We want Junebugs to have a community atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable," Ben explains. "Junebugs Caf & eacute; is different because it's based on a concept of togetherness.

When I stopped by the recently opened caf & eacute; on a late Sunday morning, the place was buzzing. A lively banter ensued among the customers seated in the comfy dining area. Friends were meeting over coffee and pastries.

But something is decidedly different at Junebugs. There are almost as many sippy cups on the cozy tables as coffee cups. And the kids are just as comfortable here as the adults. Some tykes are busy in the back playroom while others are relishing their meals with their parents.

Fun and inviting is what Junebugs' kids' food is all about. The Delaneys understand that presentation is as important to kids as it is to adults. The PB & amp;J sandwich looks like a ladybug, with chocolate chip dots, a cream cheese head and melon antenna. A side of fish crackers is a healthy alternative to the usual fries. Other kids' offerings include an all-natural ham and cheese sandwich as well as organic mac and cheese. For their tiniest customers, Junebugs offers organic baby food.

Adult fare is just as creative. Sundays feature baked French toast with whipped cream and raspberry sauce, two varieties of quiche and seven crepes. The savory crepe I sampled was a delicious blend of chicken, cheeses, red onion, cilantro and barbecue aioli. If you prefer your crepes sweet, try the nutella-raspberry-coconut special. Panini, soups and salads join the crepes on the weekly menu.

Organic coffee is the basis for Junebugs' myriad espresso drinks. Exclusive botanical teas are handcrafted by an herbalist. In-house pastries, like scones, coffeecake, muffins and specialty cookies, are yummy complements to Junebugs' beverages.

Junebugs Caf & eacute;, 1017 S. Perry St., is open Tues-Sat 7 am-7:30 pm, Sun 9 am-3:30 pm. Call 534-7733.

Calling All Foodies! FESTIVALS & r & This Saturday, the Festival of Foodies celebrates all things culinary in our region -- from sampling gourmet fare and libations to seeing the latest kitchen gadgets or planning a weekend getaway in wine country.

"It's an opportunity to taste what's out there in the Inland Northwest, as far as finer foods and beverages go, all in one place," says Chris Leinweber, event director for Clear Channel Communications, the event's organizer. "We have 55 vendors, with 85 percent of them offering tastings."

The fifth annual event features restaurants such as Anthony's HomePort, Luna, Bangkok Thai, Maggie's Grill, Caf & eacute; Marron, Scalawags and Commellini's offering tastes of their gourmet dishes to event-goers. Wineries and breweries like Basel Cellars Estates Winery, Kestrel Vintners, Pend d'Oreille Winery and Full Sail Brewing Company also present samples of their libations. To top it all off, you can partake of Cyrus O'Leary's pies, Hallett's chocolates, Hood River Distillers' spirits and Boyd's coffee.

Throughout the afternoon, area chefs will demonstrate culinary creations. Chef Deb Green of Caf & eacute; Mac prepares gnocchi with pancetta and broccolini in wine sage cream. Clinkerdagger's Chef Robert Aldred demonstrates chicken piccata stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in pancetta. Just American Desserts features creations in chocolate followed by Alpine Bistro and Bakery sharing its Swiss macaroni and cheese with ham and focaccia recipe.

"We've doubled the amount of food at this year's festival," Leinweber says. With two adult beverage coupons included in the ticket price, you won't leave hungry or thirsty.

The Festival of Foodies is on Saturday, Jan. 28, from 2-6 pm, at SCC's Lair. Tickets -- $10, $15 at the door -- are available at Vino (222 S. Washington St.), Hallett's Chocolate Factory (1419 E. Holyoke Ave.), Dinner's Ready (2622 E. 29th Ave.) and University Appliance (9907 E. Sprague, 3916 N. Division and 6960 Government Way, Coeur d'Alene). Call 242-2668 or 242-2505.

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