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. 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)
The Clark House -- A relic of opulent turn-of-the-century times, Hayden Lake's Clark House offers more than just a meal. Dinner here is by reservation only and is a five-course affair. Entrees change each night, although there is always a beef tenderloin. Prices are from $48 to $54 per person, with an additional and mandatory 20 percent gratuity. The main courses on our visit included the fresh salmon stuffed with Dungeness crab, cream cheese and chives and covered in a Dijon buerre blanc sauce. It was nicely prepared and rich with lots of sweet crabmeat inside. The Clark House tenderloin of beef with forest mushroom bordelaise was nothing short of massive, and very tender, cooked pink as ordered. In all, this was a very satisfying plate. 5250 E. Hayden Lake Rd., Hayden Lake, Idaho. Call (800) 765-4593. (LM)
Cap'n Juicy's Super Duper Weenies -- At Cap'n Juicy's, you walk up to the order window and choose from creations featuring the standard-sized all-beef New York deli-style dog, or, for about a buck more, one of the quarter-pounders -- kosher hot dog, kosher Polish sausage, Longhorn German sausage and Red Hook Beer-basted bratwurst. The $2.69 New York Coney (with chili sauce, mustard and onions over a kosher dog) is satisfying with mildly spicy meat sauce and sweet, diced onions. The $2.69 Reuben Classic (sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and special mustard over a Polish sausage) came with a blanket of kraut-laced melted real Swiss filling the bun gap above a moist Polish sausage. 114 N. Howard St. Call 455-6750 (MC)
Capsule reviews are written by Lauren McAllister (LM), Mike Corrigan (MC) or Marty Demarest (MD), unless otherwise noted.
Publication date: 04/08/04