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by Inlander Staff
Chapala #1 -- Though it appears tiny from the street, Chapala is cavernous and comfortable inside. The lunch menu features 28 different authentic Mexican selections ranging from tacos, enchiladas and burritos to more interesting fare like the $6.50 Mole de Pollo. The $7.25 Chapala Burrito comes with your choice of meat, beans, cheese, lettuce and mild salsa, wrapped in a flour tortilla smothered with red sauce, and dusted with melted cheese. It's fresh, zesty and nicely presented with a side of rice and beans, topped with a dollop of guacamole and sour cream and garnished with a tomato wedge. The complimentary chips and salsa appetizer included two kinds of salsa and a basket of warm chips. The service was also very good. 2620 E. 29th. Call: 534-7388. (MC)





The Palm Court at the Davenport Hotel -- The Davenport's Palm Court offers fresh, inventive cuisine in a quietly elegant setting. The pan-seared lump crab cakes ($14) -- crab mixed with a bit of onion and red pepper served and sides of sweet pineapple chili sauce and green curry sauce -- is an irresistible starter. The macadamia-crusted salmon ($22) on a bed of Udon noodles, nestled under a tower of slivered red and green cabbage and some crispy bean thread noodles and surrounded by lots of roasted pineapple broth, was nicely prepared, although the taste of the thin macadamia nut coating was hard to distinguish. For dessert, the chocolate mousse wonton ($7) was fresh and cheery: triangles of fried wonton stacked with layers of chocolate mousse, drizzled with chocolate and cream sauces and topped with big juicy fresh blackberries and raspberries. The restaurant's extensive wine catalog offers more than 350 options. 10 S. Post St. Call: 789-6848. (LM)





Quinn's -- Quinn's, well known for its exquisite dinner menu, is now open for breakfast and lunch. During-the-week offerings include both traditional morning grub along the lines of French Toast ($3.95) and Three-Egg Omelettes ($4.95) as well as nowhere-else-in-Spokane selections like Turkey Chili Ranchero ($6.95) and Redeye Ham and Eggs ($5.95). The Huevos Verde y Jamon ($6.95), a nest of grated cheddar, hash browns, proscuitto and two poached eggs topped with piquant tomatillo sauce open-faced in a browned flour tortilla was a zesty and delicious take on eggs Benedict. On weekends, Quinn's is open for brunch and serves up all of the daily items in addition to Idaho Trout and Eggs ($7.95) and Irish Joe's Special ($5.95). 830 W. Sprague. Call: 624-7017. (Sheri Boggs)





Arny's -- Arny's serves up classic diner chow along with conversation and a big helping of attitude. Grab a counter-side stool and get busy. It's breakfasts and lunches only, and all your faves are here. The Double Whammy is $6.19. The Stromboli with ham, provolone and homemade meat sauce on a French roll is $4.29. The colossal Bomber Omelet with six eggs, onions, green peppers, ham, stromboli sauce and cheese with 'browns and toast is $8.19. The Philly Steak sandwich ($6.49) with fries comes on a French roll and is bursting with more tender, savory beef strips, diced green pepper and onion than it can possibly contain. It's one helluva tasty sandwich. Be sure to try one of Arny's real ice cream shakes or malts. 1229 N. Hamilton. Call: 487-9588. (MC)





Old European -- The Scandinavian/Dutch-themed Old European restaurant sports a breakfast menu like no other in town. You can get lunch here, too, but the breakfasts boast extraordinary offerings, such as orange raisin nut French toast ($5.50), Swedish crepes ($5.95) and "the Ol' Fried Egg Sandwich" ($4.50). The German Potato Pancakes ($5.95) were"moist and flavorful, spiked occasionally with a little chunk of sausage." The stuffed French toast ($5.95) was "exquisite: three tender slices of thick bread, with just the right amount of egg batter on them, interspersed with two layers of scrambled eggs mixed with bits of flavorful sausage." The delicious Danish aebelskivers ($4.95) are fluffy, pancake-y balls that can be dipped in applesauce, or better yet, drizzled in syrup. 11520 E. Sprague Ave. Call: 928-6868. (Sheri Boggs)





Jimmy D's -- Jimmy D's has a new logo and name -- Stonegrill at Jimmy D's. The innovation? Each of the special plates has an inset of volcanic granite that is heated to 750 degrees. Upon this rock is your choice of beef or seafood, just seared on the outside. As you cut your food, you cook each bite a second or two on each side. Entrees are served with fresh vegetables and the starch of the day. There are a number of beef selections, including a New York cut ($19) and a ribeye ($18), but the filet mignon is billed as the ultimate Stonegrill experience (petite $17, large $19 and super $23). The ultimate surf and turf, a petite filet with the ahi tuna steak, was among the best tuna preparations I have had. The steak was similarly perfect, the Angus beef as tender as butter. 320 Sherman Ave., CDA. Call: (208) 664-9774. (LM)





The Shack -- They just don't make 'em like this anymore. The Shack is an early 1960s time warp (resplendent in knotty pine and pink neon), but its history stretches all the way back to the '20s. While the prices have changed over the years, the great, friendly service, big portions and extensive menu (featuring simple, old-fashioned favorites) has not. Here you can get it all -- breakfasts, burgers, liver and onions and more. The $7.49 Shack Breakfast Special (nicknamed "The Awesome Two's"), comes with two eggs, two pancakes, two bacon strips and two sausage links. Delicious -- and guaranteed to stick with you well past lunch. The hash browns in the $6.99 two egg-sausage-browns-toast combo were simply outstanding. 1301 W. Third. Call: 747-2713. (SB)





Ron's Drive-In -- Though it has a spacious dining area and drive-thru window, Ron's remains a classic walk-up at heart. The broasted half-chicken ($4.89), perched on a mountain of mild, tender shoestring fries, was very good. The crispy skin crumbled away to reveal very moist, tender meat inside. The Classic burger with bacon for $2.65 (1/4-pound meat patty with bacon, cheese, ketchup, onion, mustard, pickle, lettuce and tomato) was a neatly packed and satisfying fist-sized meal. The "Seafood Delite" (shrimp, fish, fries and onion rings for $5.74) was a deep-fried feast. All the components were flavorful and light on grease. And Ron's fish is easily some of the very best in Spokane. 12502 E. Sprague. Call: 924-4660. (MC)





Capsule reviews are written by Lauren McAllister (LM) and Mike Corrigan (MC), unless otherwise noted.

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