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by Inlander Staff

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)

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. Desserts are all made in-house. Food is served until midnight. 830 W. Sprague. Call 455-6955. (LM)

Metro Caf & eacute; -- The colorful menu boards change daily and feature sandwiches, casseroles, salads and something called the Daily Fresh Carve, a different roasted hunk of meat (turkey breast, meatloaf, ham, pork and roast beef) each day that is sliced and served hot and fresh. Soups are $2.25-$3 and salads are $3.50-$4.25 (for a regular). There are also beverages up the wazoo, including bottled beer. The Carve and Salad special ($5.35) came as a generous and delicious 1/3-pound pile of freshly sliced roast pork along with a choice of salad -- in this case, the spinach -- and a roll. The outstanding spinach salad (with bacon bits, mushrooms, mozzarella and zesty sweet and sour dressing) was complex in both taste and texture. 510 W. Riverside, Skywalk level. Call 747-8250. (MC)

Northern Lights -- The Northern Lights menu offers traditional pub grub with a sophisticated spin and some of the cleanest-tasting microbrewed beer in the Northwest brewed right on-site. Our server was very pleasant and attentive throughout our meal and was happy to describe each lunch special to us before we ordered. The Andouille sausage and mushroom fettuccini ($9.95) was excellent and festive with lean, flavorful sausage slices in a creamy sauce that was rich but not overdone, while the Hellfire Burger ($7.95) featured a full 1/3-pound lean Angus beef patty with provolone cheese, caramelized onions, fresh red onions, tomato and lettuce on an onion bun. It was substantial and very, very spicy. 1003 E. Trent Ave. Call 242-2739. (MC)

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

Publication date: 06/03/04

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