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by Inlander Staff


Lenny's -- Lenny's is not fancy -- in fact, in a former life it was a drive-in burger joint-- and the tiny dining room makes for tight quarters. Service is brisk, the menu is vast and dinner entrees include your choice of soup or salad. (The homemade minestrone is a real treat.) The requisite spaghetti with meatballs or Italian sausage ($10.50) is here along with more interesting fare such as the chicken ziti primavera ($12.50) and the Halibut Lenny ($16) stuffed with shrimp, crab, mussels, and clams. The zesty pollo arabiata ($12.50) had spaghetti tossed with sliced chicken breast, prosciutto, fresh Italian parsley, artichoke hearts and lots of freshly sliced mushrooms. The shrimp scampi pesto ($14) featured saut & eacute;ed shrimp, fresh basil, olive oil, garlic and Parmesan in a very bland light cream sauce. 1204 First St., Cheney. Call:235-6126. (LM)





The Bite Me Caf & eacute; -- The diverse and value-packed menu here has a noticeable south-of-the-border influence with breakfasts (served all day), burgers, sandwiches, fish and chicken baskets, burritos, tacos, sides and appetizers. The breakfast burrito (a large grilled flour tortilla stuffed with eggs, cheddar cheese, hash browns and ham, bacon or sausage for $4) was bursting with quality, tasty ingredients and was rendered even better with the addition of the homemade medium salsa. The #2 biscuits and gravy meal (with one biscuit, hash browns and two eggs for $4) was flavorful and quite filling, with eggs that were actually "over medium" as requested. The two-egg breakfast sans meat (with hash browns and toast only) at $3.75 is a home run deal. Service is conscientious and courteous. 113 W. Indiana Ave. Call 326-0359. (MC)





Rock City Grill -- Rock City took over the spot vacated by Chevy's at River Park Square late last year and toned down the d & eacute;cor a bit with deep earth pigments and dark stained wood. The wood-fired oven pumps out pizzas and calzones and there are also a wide array of entrees and sandwiches on the menu. Most come with a house Caesar salad -- on others, it'll cost ya $2.25. The deluxe calzone ($13) with four meats, red onions, black olives, ricotta and mozzarella cheeses was golden brown with a pretty braided edge and tasty filling ingredients. The Tequila Chicken Pasta ($15) with mushrooms and cilantro in a garlic cream sauce was all right (the chicken had a nice delicate flavor of lime and tequila) but seemed oily and bland after a few bites. Service is adequate -- and that pretty much describes the food as well. River Park Square. Call 455-4400 (LM)





Twigs Bistro -- Twigs offers food and atmosphere that manages to transcend commonly held food court dining conceptions. The lunch menu of the day offers an array of intriguing and competitively priced choices, including sandwiches and wraps ($5-$6), soups, salads, topped baked potatoes, combos and a section called "hot off the grill" where you choose among seven options (battered fish, cheeseburger deluxe, crispy chicken sandwich, ham and Swiss melt, etc.) and get fries and a 16 oz. soda in the deal for $5.95. The Chicken Caesar Wrap with chips ($5.50) was a winning mixture of tender chicken, romaine lettuce, diced tomatoes and artichoke hearts with tangy Caesar dressing in a basil flour tortilla. Delicious and surprisingly filling -- and worth the 20-minute wait we experienced. 808 W. Main Ave. in Riverpark Square. Call 232-3376. (MC)





The Clark House -- A relic of opulent turn-of-the-century times, Hayden Lake's Clark House offers more than just a meal. Its history is steeped in mystery and tragedy. Dinner here is by reservation only and is a five-course affair. Entrees change each night, although there is always a beef tenderloin with some type of sauce. Prices are from $48 to $54 per person, with an additional and mandatory 20 percent gratuity. The main courses on our visit included the fresh salmon stuffed with Dungeness crab, cream cheese and chives and covered in a Dijon buerre blanc sauce. It was nicely prepared and rich with lots of sweet crabmeat inside. The Clark House tenderloin of beef with forest mushroom bordelaise was nothing short of massive, and very tender, cooked pink as ordered. The sauce added a pleasant counterpoint. In all, this was a very satisfying plate. 5250 E. Hayden Lake Rd., Hayden Lake, Idaho. Call (800) 765-4593. (LM)





Cap'n Juicy's Super Duper Weenies -- A hot dog is a hot dog is a hot dog, right? Not at Cap'n Juicy's, where you walk up to the order window and choose from creations featuring the standard-sized all-beef New York deli-style dog, or, for about a buck more, one of the quarter-pounders -- kosher hot dog, kosher Polish sausage, Longhorn German sausage and Red Hook Beer-basted bratwurst. The $2.69 New York Coney (with chili sauce, mustard and onions over a kosher dog) is satisfying with mildly spicy meat sauce and sweet, diced onions. The $2.69 Reuben Classic (sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and special mustard over a Polish sausage) came with a blanket of kraut-laced melted real Swiss filling the bun gap above a moist Polish sausage. Big and juicy they are, so grab lots of napkins. 114 N. Howard St. Call 455-6750 (MC)





The Park Inn Park Plaza -- Nothing ever changes at the P.I. And that's the way we like it. It's old skool pub grub all the way in a super-casual atmosphere: burgers, deli sandwiches, pizza, soups, salads, some dinner entrees and "others," such as the delectably dangerous-sounding chili dog ($5.75). For pizza, try the 12-inch ML Special ($13.75), with sausage, beef, mushroom, olive, onion and fresh tomato. It's generous with a thin crust, a hint of sauce and a mountain of toppings. The grilled cheese sandwich ($4.75) was delicious and gooey with cheddar and provolone melted between two buttery, toasted slices of rye bread. The side of homemade chili (ordinary but perfectly mouth-watering, with a mound of cheese and onions on top) was a little bowl of satisfaction. The service was friendly, efficient and frequently hilarious. Smoking at the P.I. is most definitely allowed. 107 W. 9th Ave. Call 624-8111. (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)





Pete's Pizza plant #2 -- Pete's doesn't look like much from the outside. Or the inside, either. But who cares? It's the calzones, dummy. Eat in or get 'em to go, because they are huge, flaky and delicious -- possibly, the best in Spokane. The expansive selection includes fancy constructions (with ingredients like artichoke hearts, feta cheese and pesto), but it's the classic combos that really excel. The Cheeseless calzone ($5.45) was a low-cal winner with red sauce and choice of any three filling items (we chose spinach, fresh mushrooms and kalamata olives). The $5.95 lunch special (served from 11 am-4 pm) is a good deal and consists of a salad and a mini-calzone (with your choice of three regular toppings). It was delicious and just the right size for lunch. 2328 W. Northwest Blvd. Call 326-1900. MC





Capsules are written by Lauren McAllister (LM), Mike Corrigan (MC) or Marty Demarest (MD), unless otherwise noted.





Publication date: 07/01/04

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