Kafka Coffee House -- Located on the ground floor of EWU's Brewster Hall, Kafka is bright and cozy, with a burgundy color scheme, hardwoods, a fireplace and booths conveniently wired with data ports. The coffee (and yerba and chai) was great. The lunch items (soups, salads, sandwiches and paninis) were tasty but, in some instances, a little problematic. The $5.95 paninis (the Tuscan, with sliced ham, fresh mozzarella, olive oil and lettuce, and the Roma, with sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, Italian herb dressing and lettuce) were really rather skimpy, lightly grilled sandwiches. The $4.95 Drunken Boat sandwich (with oven-roasted turkey, provolone, avocado, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo on wheat bread) was more robust and terrific -- save for the substitution of slimy prefab guac for actual avocado. The service was friendly. 410 Second Ave., Cheney Call: 235-2577 (MC)
Coffee House -- Coffee House (across the street from the Rock Pointe office complex) has an informal-but-inviting groove: not too cozy or too edgy, but somewhere in between. There are about a dozen tables, plus overstuffed chairs and plenty of windows for traffic- and people-watching. The coffee was excellent. They don't bake their own goods, but instead offer a selection from a handful of local bakeries. Ready-made sandwiches are available courtesy of the Viking. Soups have just been introduced. The scones ($1.70) are enormous and fresh with a homemade taste. The banana bread ($1.60) delivered a strong banana presence. The bacon and cheddar quiche ($2.95) was just okay. 1231 N. Washington. Call: 326-4005 (Sheri Boggs)
Vina Asian Restaurant -- The Vina menu is diverse and very easy to navigate. You'll find elements of Cantonese, Hunan, Mandarin, Thai, Japanese and Vietnamese, and meat choices that include chicken, pork and beef, squid and duck. The bargain-conscious will appreciate the affordable and easy-to-assemble combos at three price points ($3.99, $4.99 and $5.99). The Roast Duck noodle soup was served Vietnamese-style with egg noodles, green onions and cilantro in a chicken-based broth with roast duck portions, bean sprouts and lime on the side. The Mongolian Beef with tender beef strips mingling in a light sauce with sliced carrot, onion, water chestnut, baby corn and green peppers packed a surprising amount of heat. Service was speedy and friendly. 2303 N. Ash. Call: 328-2197 (MC)
Arny's -- Arny's serves up classic diner chow along with conversation and a big helping of attitude. 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)
Capsule reviews are written by Lauren McAllister (LM) and Mike Corrigan (MC), unless otherwise noted.