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The Inlander Staff & r & & r & CHING HUA GARDEN & r & & r & Family-style is the way to go at this Asian haven behind the red-barn fa & ccedil;ade. The surprise hit of the night was the vegetables with fried tofu -- big chunky triangles of deep-fried tofu teamed with vibrant stir-fried carrots, celery, zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms, onion, baby corn, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts and thin slices of garlic in a brown sauce that was rich in flavor but not overwhelming, letting the vegetables shine. This dish won over even a tofu skeptic. Sweet and fresh scallops with vegetables were presented in a light, almost clear sauce, and the chow mein aficionados at the table loved the pork chow mein: celery, bean sprouts and onions in lightly thickened sauce and topped with a sprinkling of finely minced barbecue pork, served over crispy noodles. The liberal use of garlic enhanced everything we tried, and presentation was beautiful. And Ching Hua uses no MSG. 18203 E. Appleway Ave., Greenacres, Wash., 926-8422 (AC)





OLIVE OILZ


The d & eacute;cor at Olive Oilz doesn't scream Italian -- it's more Americana -- but the menu is all Mediterranean, from Spanish paella ($25) to several pasta dishes and a dozen enticing antipasti (appetizers). The soups at Olive Oilz are outstanding -- the creamy tomato vegetable soup with Gorgonzola and the rich creamy curried lentil alone are worth a visit. Among entr & eacute;es, the orzo pasta with chicken featured tender chunks of chicken in a lemon-basil cream sauce ($18). The New York strip steak with wild-mushroom Gorgonzola sauce ($22) arrived in bite-size pieces, and it was almost melt-in-your-mouth tender. The pasta with large prawns ($18) -- angel hair pasta in a tomato-saffron sauce with Italian sausage and prawns -- was amazing and popular. Two breads, baked in-house, accompanied the meal. From bread to dessert, Olive Oilz is friendly, cozy and comfortable. 2812 E. 30th Ave., 535-3104 (DN)





MAGGIE'S SOUTH HILL GRILL


The interior at Maggie's is bright and sunny, especially in the morning, with rough-hewn sunflower-yellow walls and stained-glass upper windows. Brunch is a weekend treat. The crab benedict ($11) is a highlight -- but don't miss the pumpkin pancakes ($5.75), a stack of four fluffy cakes that entice with the aroma of pumpkin pie; they were thick but light, with subtle flavors of pumpkin and spice. The stuffed French toast ($8) layers grilled French toast with cream cheese, bacon, blueberries and strawberries. For lighter appetites, there's the yogurt-granola parfait, layered with fruit in a pint glass ($4.50), along with kids' breakfast choices for only $4. Maggie's is the kind of place where you don't have to dress up to go out and get a weekend breakfast that's comfortable and familiar but just different enough to be special. 2808 E. 29th Ave., 536-4745 (AC)





THE VIKING TAVERN


Whether you want classic breakfast or something from the lunch menu, the Viking aims to please with its 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)





ANGELO'S RISTORANTE


The dim interior at Angelo's is decked in nostalgic Italian and religious iconography, and the menu features handcrafted foods, mostly organic. Starters include calamari saltate, antipasto misto and grilled eggplant parcels with goat cheese, basil, tomato and pine nuts in a sun-dried tomato. The list of entr & eacute;es is impressive -- numerous selections under the headings of pasta, chicken, veal, seafood and steaks. The lobster ravioli ($21) -- al dente pasta pillows stuffed with lobster -- sparkled with flavor. The half order of the grilled polenta cake salad, with sun-dried tomato vinaigrette and a lump of creamy goat cheese was filling but yummy for $7 more. Cr & egrave;me br & ucirc;l & eacute;e and tiramisu, made on the premises, were both rich and creamy and not too sweet. 846 N. Fourth St., Coeur d'Alene. Call (208) 765-2850 (LM)

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