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by Inlander Staff


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)





Molly's Family Restaurant -- The little dog on the window knows what she's talking about. At Molly's you will be fed, and you will be fed lots. Unfortunately, you'll also experience rushed servers that might not notice your dirty coffee cup or sketchy silverware. The Trio of Eggs ($6.99) comes with three eggs ("over medium" was more like "over easy") browns, four sausage links and wheat toast. The Molly's Mess ($8.35) is a concoction of scrambled eggs, potatoes, sausage, peppers, onions and mushrooms, all blanketed in white gravy and cheddar cheese. The d & eacute;cor is dominated by country accents and many pictures of the owner's Pekingese. (224 S. Lincoln St. Call: 624-4413 (Sheri Boggs)





The MAC Caf & eacute; -- This quiet lunch spot is bright and sparkling with great views and lots of natural light. Menu items include soups like the house tomato basil bisque and a rotating chef's special ($2.50 a cup), salads like the Caesar ($5, $7 with the addition of smoked salmon or grilled chicken), and specialty sandwiches along with a daily selection of assorted house-baked scones, muffins, breads, pastries and other sweet and savory bits ($1.50-$2). There's a kid's menu, too. The generous and tender smoked pork tenderloin sandwich on grilled bread with cabbage slaw, sweet onion, bacon bits, honey Dijon and apple cider dressing ($7.50) lived up to its description. Details are well attended to and the service is friendly. Northwest Museum of Arts & amp; Culture main building at 2316 W. First Ave. Call 363-5358. (MC)





The Old Spaghetti Factory -- The Factory has been serving up steaming plates of pasta for 34 years to everyone -- older couples, teenagers dressed up for formal dances, families, and entire teams in matching jerseys. Entrees include the freshly baked bread, soup or salad, vanilla or spumoni ice cream, and coffee or tea. The most expensive thing on the menu is $9.95. The minestrone soup is zesty and filled with legumes, pasta and crisp celery. The Baked Chicken Greek-Style ($9.50) had a nice lemony flavor accented by just the right amount of potentially overpowering oregano. But this place is really built around spaghetti. There are five "treatments" -- meat sauce, white clam sauce, tomato sauce, mushroom sauce and browned butter and mizithra cheese ($6.50 to $7.95). Try two or three sauces for $8.25, or add meatballs or sausage to spaghetti and meat sauce for $8.50. Call 624-8916. (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 (cooked, not refried) 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, Idaho. Call (208) 772-7711. (MC)





S.S. Beryl -- This place has been around since the late '70s and has built up a devoted regular clientele. The Beryl specializes in seafood -- they prepare prawns at least five different ways -- but also features pastas with both seafood and chicken, and a selection of various beef dishes. It's the kind of stuff you would have eaten in Vegas before catching the Rat Pack show. The salmon Oscar ($18) was nicely pan-seared, moist inside with a crispy exterior and topped with a dollop of crabmeat. Hollandaise sauce and asparagus spears completed the presentation. Overall, a pleasant take on a venerable classic. Our server was delightfully sardonic -- a throwback to the good old days. Just like the S.S. Beryl itself. 6404 N. Wall St. Call 467-5490. (LM)





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: 06/24/04

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