Northern Lights -- The Northern Lights brewpub's d & eacute;cor is spacious, inviting and enhanced by low lighting, rich greens and burgundies and recycled bowling alley butcher-block tables. The 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)
Crickets Deli -- Crickets Deli is a lunchtime gem with its colorful atmosphere, center-of-town locale and diverse choices. Owners Sam and Karen Yi provide a menu with an excess of 15 salads and sandwiches - all with witty titles. The Frenchy croissant ($6.25), the Love Song club ($6.75) and the Alfred E. Newman Club ($6.75) are just a few. The Chicken Teriyaki Bento (the house special) is a sure bet with sweet, tender meat over a bed of perfect white rice, and a side salad - all for $6. The Primo Pasta salad is a simple but perfect side dish. The Cary Grant's Judy sandwich is savory, salty and tangy all at once ($6.75), and comes with a pile of chips. (Reviewed 10/21/04, LS/MC) 601 W. Riverside Ave. in the Bank of America Financial Center. Call 456-7346.
Anthony's Homeport -- Anthony's has brought its Seattle style to Spokane, settling into one of the best spots in town, the former Salty's above the Spokane Falls. Seafood and freshwater fish dominate the menu. The $23 Northwest Duet (wild king salmon in a sweet pepper beurre blanc and Alaskan halibut) was perfectly cooked and flavorful. The $25 yellow fin ahi was marinated in a ginger soy sauce, chargrilled medium rare and served with homemade pineapple chutney. Soup or a salad is included with all dinners. Service is capable, though not outstanding. Reservations recommended. 510 N. Lincoln St. Call: 328-9009 (Reviewed 10/28/04, LM)
Moxie -- Moxie is back with a sophisticated new look and location (in the old Great Harvest space on Sprague), with a menu that features Chef Ian Wingate's signature fusion creations, which lean toward the Asian: wok-seared spiced orange stir-fry and coconut jasmine rice available with steak ($12), ahi tuna ($12) chicken ($10) duck ($12) tofu and eggplant ($10) and prawns ($14). Sweet ginger-glazed Rogue River salmon ($18) and sesame seed seared yellow fin tuna ($18) are also on the menu. And fear not, for good ol' American cuisine (charbroiled chipotle-glazed meatloaf ($14) with mashed potatoes) is represented as well. The flat iron steak ($16) was a succulent success, cooked as ordered, with a delicate miso teriyaki glaze and sweet chili-glazed vegetables. Service slumped a little, especially toward the end of our meal. 816 W. Sprague. Call: 456-3594. (Reviewed 8/19/04, 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)
Cheddar Chad's Hot Dog Cart -- Eating on the cheap. Yep, we're all for it. Chad Rattray is the smiling face behind the hot dog cart on the northeast corner of Howard and Riverside (in front of the Bank of America). Every day from 11 am-3 pm he's serving up sausages in buns. It's as simple as that. There's the popular Dollar Dog, The Jumbo and the Polish sausage ($2 each), the German ($2.50) and the smoked sausage ($3). Add a bag of chips and a can of soda to any dog for a buck more. The German sausage with sauerkraut, onions and self-applied sweet hot mustard had a satisfying bite. The Dollar Dog loaded with onions, relish and yellow mustard was pretty much what you'd expect: a standard white bread bun and a standard steamed wiener. Still, with chips and soda, it made for a tasty and incredibly inexpensive lunch. At the corner of Riverside and Howard. (MC)
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)
Bonsai Bistro -- The Bonsai Bistro (housed in a renovated concrete building just across the street from the Coeur d'Alene resort) is a fun restaurant with a cool concept and pan-Asian foods that range from mild and comfortable to fiery and stylish. The interior is understated, with warm earth tones complementing the chic lighting. The ginger chicken and broccoli ($12) is lovely, with the bright green steamed broccoli ringing the plate around a mound of tender chicken in a delicate and flavorful ginger sauce. The crispy beef Szechuan ($13) is hot and tingly, with lots of julienne carrots and celery, green onions and bean sprouts in a spicy sweet and sour soy sauce. Service by the helpful staff is excellent. 101 Sherman Ave., CdA Call: (208) 765-4321 (Reviewed 9/30/04, LM)