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by Inlander Staff & r & & r &


DAILY GRIND UPTOWN


Owner Lauren Izenberg and her staff take pride in knowing their customers and giving them great service -- not to mention scrumptious food. With daily specials like chicken pesto panini, a tuna melt and a meatball sandwich, you have to come back again to try regular lunch items. Rotating soups include roasted Yukon Gold potato, chicken basil chili and crab red-pepper bisque. Salads run the gamut from house to Greek to the fully loaded Hopped-Up. Choose from paninis and from deli sandwiches like a perfectly executed BLT on sourdough. The Riverside's turkey with cranberries on focaccia is a comforting m & eacute;lange of flavors and textures. Freshly baked scones are Izenberg's trademark, so don't leave without dessert. Moist pumpkin bread and creamy lemon bars are but a couple of her high-quality creations. 120 W. Riverside Ave., 448-1281 (SH)





DING HOW


The former Moxie space in Liberty Lake's shopping plaza has been transformed into a casually eclectic room that tips a hat toward the diversity of East Asian cultures, and the menu follows suit with Chinese, Thai, Korean and Japanese selections. Owner Bin Liu works in full view behind the sushi bar and glass-front display case filled with brightly colored chunks of fish; his freshly made sushi and sashimi offerings are works of art that taste as good as they look. The Ma Po Tofu is Chinese comfort food -- soft bean curd and garlicky ground beef in a rich spicy brown sauce. The Pad Thai is clean, light and colorful; the optional deep-fried tofu came crunchy and golden outside and pillowy white within. Service is briskly efficient, with new dishes delivered as soon as they're ready from the kitchen. 1332 N. Liberty Lake Rd., Liberty Lake, Wash., 921-1901 (AC)





SATELLITE DINER


A recent remodel has spruced the place up, but the top-notch diner food hasn't changed a bit. My Joe's Special omelet ($8) -- filled with a meaty blend of ground beef, saut & eacute;ed red onions, spinach and parmesan -- came with a generous serving of hashbrowns that were crusty and browned on the outside, potatoey and tender inside, without being mushy. Marty loved his cinnamon-swirl French toast ($5), and the steak-and-egg special ($5) made even a self-proclaimed beef snob talk about his meal for the rest of the day. Lunch is a treat, too, with soups -- like chicken Diablo chowder -- made onsite and served with such diner classics as a BLT or a burger. Service is confident, efficient and friendly without veering into perky. 425 W. Sprague, 624-3952 (AC)





Mamma Mia's


If you're longing for home-style Italian fare and atmosphere, Mamma Mia's has it all. The comfortable dining room oozes with Italian festivity. The Amicarella family offers southern Italian cuisine featuring pasta, meats and bread made from scratch daily. Try the make-your-own pizza or calzone extravaganza with a dizzying array of sauces, meats, veggies or fruit on fresh-made, herbed dough ($5-17). Cheese ravioli with pesto sauce ($13) is the ultimate, with homemade pasta squares, flavorful cheese, earthy basil and garlic pesto sauce. The eggplant parmigiana ($12) is slightly heavy on the breading but a tasty preparation with flavorful marinara sauce. Don't be put off by the chicken cacciatori's ($14) unappealing presentation. You'll be hard pressed to find a more tender, savory poultry dish. Finish off your meal with scoops of gelato or spumoni ($3). (SH)

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