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The Inlander Staff & r & & r & THE VIKING TAVERN & r & & r & Whether you want classic breakfast or something from the lunch menu, the Viking aims to please with its new Saturday morning breakfast lineup. The breakfast menu consists of four items -- meat (bacon or sausage) and eggs, a breakfast sandwich, a breakfast burrito or an omelet, priced at $4 with additional ingredients available for $1 each. It's basic, it's breakfast, and it's at a bar -- and sometimes that's all you really need. But you can also order off the regular lunch menu, greatly expanding the available offerings. The sandwiches are big and just as good at breakfast as at lunch. And if they've got bacon cheeseburger chowder, go for it. Service is prompt, friendly and comfortable without being pushy. As befits the general comfort level at the Viking, we lingered long after our meals were done. 1221 N. Stevens St., 326-2942 (AC)





PRAGO, AN ARGENTINE CAF & Eacute;


"Eat, drink and be merry" describes Prago, though not necessarily in that order. This is a place where spending time and conversing are the most important things. The chicken empanadas -- three small meat pies filled with ground chicken, green chiles, green olives, corn and raisins -- were warm and savory, accompanied by a spring greens salad, which I would have happily traded for a few more empanadas. The veggie panini -- diagonally cut bread with sliced tomato, red onion, mushroom, melted provolone cheese, mayo and sprouts -- was soft and gooey, really a treat, washed down with a glass of sweet iced peppermint tea. If you're looking for a place where food is the centerpiece, try someplace else. If food is just part of the experience for you, this might be your place. 201 W. Riverside Ave., 443-0404 (DN)





THE SAFARI ROOM


The faux-stone walls and Palladian windows of the Davenport Tower evoke a sense of utilitarian formality -- but inside, the safari theme offers an understated, whimsical counterpoint, with leopard print upholstery, zebra-striped pendant lights, and a border of watercolor African animals marching along the ornate crown molding. If you love barbecue, the Safari Room claims one of the few smokers in our region, with a choice of baby back ribs or pulled pork, either as an entr & eacute;e or an appetizer. We tried the crispy flatbread, roasted in the Safari Room's brick oven, topped with peppery arugula, thinly sliced pears, a sprinkling of mild bleu cheese and drizzled with honey ($8). My halibut ($20) entr & eacute;e came roasted and served with fresh green beans, fingerling potatoes and cherry tomatoes -- the vibrantly colored vegetables were the stars of the plate. The $2 desserts are a lot of fun; you can mix and match the "miniature servings." The Safari Room offers pleasant and relaxing dining, with food that is at once familiar and fresh. 111 S. Post St., 789-6800 (LM)





CAF & Eacute; MARRON


The sunny tangerine-hued north wall marks this casual-yet-upscale neighborhood gathering place as a daily source for morning meals that you'd expect to find at an indulgent weekend brunch. The presentation here lifts prosaic breakfast classics above the ordinary, and you can find surprises like salad and sandwiches for breakfast. The avocado sandwich ($9), with two poached eggs shimmying atop slices of avocado, bacon and tomato, all on Bouzies toast, delivered vegetables along with salty earthiness. And don't forget to go back at dinnertime, when the room shifts from bright to cozy. 144 S. Cannon St., 456-8660 (AC)

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