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by Inlander Staff


The Park Bench -- Not in the mood to pack your own lunch for that afternoon romp in Manito Park? Why not let the friendly staff at the Park Bench do it for you? Its primo setting among the trees provides the perfect atmosphere for a welcome summer respite in naturally air-conditioned comfort. Sandwiches ($4-$6 with pickle spear and chips), a quad of salads ($5.85-$6.35) and a soup of the day (for $3) are on the menu, while hot dogs ($2) round out the offerings. The Tropical sandwich -- with ham, smoked turkey, Swiss, pineapple and lettuce on wheat bread -- was decent though rather ho-hum. For more interest, try the zingy Oriental chicken salad. The Curried Egg Salad sandwich with minced egg, olives and a hint of curry on lettuce and rye bread was mild but tasty. 1928 S. Tekoa St. Call 456-8066. (8/5/02, MC)





Thrifty Scotsman -- Man, saving coin never tasted so good. The Thrifty Scotsman gets most everything exactly right in terms of quality, price and friendly service. And that includes big, juicy burgers. The $2.59 Super Bacon is essentially a bacon double cheeseburger with the works (mayo, lettuce, tomato) spread out over the expanse of a six-inch Poor Boy bun. It's definitely a two-fister. And delicious as well. The $5.49 double fish and fries contains eight crispy and tender fish portions stacked on a bed of big, fresh, hand-cut fries. The drive-in's new smoke-free dining environment is a much-appreciated addition. 12024 E. Sprague. Call 927-2214. (MC)





The Wine Cellar -- The Wine Cellar has been a mainstay in Coeur d'Alene for years, attracting diners interested in good food, oenophiles eager to explore the vast wine selection and people just wanting to listen to a little live music. The menu is always changing, although a number of signature dishes are always available. In addition to several preparations of salmon, the Wine Cellar offers Pasta Milano with rock shrimp ($12), a basic dish distinguished by fresh zesty tomatoes, roasted garlic and fresh basil, as well as plum pork ($11), marinated in rosemary, garlic and white wine, oven-roasted and served over garlic parmesan mashed potatoes. As for the wine list, the Wine Cellar's does not disappoint, and it keeps you wanting to come back to try new vintners and varieties. 313 Sherman Ave., CdA. Call: (208) 664-9463 (7/22/04, LM)





The Beachouse -- Located just a mile or two from downtown Coeur d'Alene, the Beachouse makes the most of its faux nautical d & eacute;cor. The menu consists of basic pub fare, glammed up for an upscale crowd. There's a Cashew Chicken Salad ($8), a Crab Salad Sandwich ($9) and a Bacon Brie Buffalo Burger ($10). The Beachouse Tacos ($8) -- marinated mini-shrimp and whitefish in lightly fried corn tortillas -- were oily but delicious and served with perfect garlic mash potatoes. The Beyond the Reuben ($9) -- with stone-ground mustard and shredded cabbage in place of the usual Thousand Island dressing and sauerkraut -- was tasty but not the Reuben experience our tasters were looking for. Service was polite, if not terribly speedy or competent. 3204 N. Coeur d'Alene Lake Dr., CdA. Call: (208) 664-6464 (7/1/04, SB)





JoeCo Brazils -- JoeCo Brazils succeeds in offering Spokanites affordable gourmet. The shrimp rumaki ($7) appetizer was a great combination of sweet and salty and zesty. The prosciutto-wrapped scallops skewered on a rosemary sprig ($16) came together nicely in a delicate coconut cream sauce. The Guajillo rack of lamb ($18) was marinated in Guajillo pepper sauce, grilled, dipped into a red pepper jelly glaze and crusted in toasted pumpkin seeds. The lamb was fabulous, cooked to perfection and tender while the homemade taste and texture of the mashed potatoes was an inspired complement to the sophisticated rack. Service was pleasant and attentive. Food is served until midnight. 830 W. Sprague. Call 455-6955. (LM)





The Porch Public House -- The Porch's rustic yet sophisticated log cabin ambience is most inviting and compliments its Hayden Lake neighborhood. The menu resembles the Elk's in Spokane and is broken down into appetizers, salads, sandwiches and specialties. There is also a fine selection of tap beers, wine and hard liquor. The Pork Burrita's ($8.95) roasted chunks of tender, mildly spicy pork filled a large, crispy flour tortilla that had been folded once and grilled and topped with shredded lettuce, tomato-onion salsa and sour cream. It was huge and came with a generous portion of ranch-style black beans. The Salmon Cakes ($9.25) were moist on the inside and crispy outside, topped with a soothing light sour cream/dill sauce, and the bacon and smoked cheddar potato cakes were sublime. The service is efficient and accurate. 1658 E. Miles Ave., Hayden Lake. Call (208) 772-7711. (MC)





Publication date: 08/19/04

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