The Bite Me Caf & eacute; -- The diverse and value-packed menu here has a noticeable south-of-the-border influence with breakfasts (served all day), burgers, sandwiches, fish and chicken baskets, burritos, tacos, sides and appetizers. The breakfast burrito (a large grilled flour tortilla stuffed with eggs, cheddar cheese, hash browns and ham, bacon or sausage for $4) was bursting with quality, tasty ingredients and was rendered even better with the addition of the homemade medium salsa. The #2 biscuits and gravy meal (with one biscuit, hash browns and two eggs for $4) was flavorful and quite filling, with eggs that were actually "over medium" as requested. The two-egg breakfast sans meat (with hash browns and toast only) at $3.75 is a home run deal. Service is conscientious and courteous. 113 W. Indiana Ave. Call 326-0359. (MC)
Rock City Grill -- Rock City took over the spot vacated by Chevy's at River Park Square late last year and toned down the d & eacute;cor a bit with deep earth pigments and dark stained wood. The wood-fired oven pumps out pizzas and calzones and there are also a wide array of entrees and sandwiches on the menu. Most come with a house Caesar salad -- on others, it'll cost ya $2.25. The deluxe calzone ($13) with four meats, red onions, black olives, ricotta and mozzarella cheeses was golden brown with a pretty braided edge and tasty filling ingredients. The Tequila Chicken Pasta ($15) with mushrooms and cilantro in a garlic cream sauce was all right (the chicken had a nice delicate flavor of lime and tequila) but seemed oily and bland after a few bites. Service is adequate -- and that pretty much describes the food as well. River Park Square. Call 455-4400 (LM)
The MAC Caf & eacute; -- This quiet lunch spot is bright and sparkling with great views and lots of natural light. Menu items include soups like the house tomato basil bisque and a rotating chef's special ($2.50 a cup), salads like the Caesar ($5, $7 with the addition of smoked salmon or grilled chicken), and specialty sandwiches along with a daily selection of assorted house-baked scones, muffins, breads, pastries and other sweet and savory bits ($1.50-$2). There's a kid's menu, too. The generous and tender smoked pork tenderloin sandwich on grilled bread with cabbage slaw, sweet onion, bacon bits, honey Dijon and apple cider dressing ($7.50) lived up to its description. Details are well attended to and the service is friendly. Northwest Museum of Arts & amp; Culture main building at 2316 W. First Ave. Call 363-5358. (MC)
JoeCo Brazils -- JoeCo Brazils succeeds in offering Spokanites affordable gourmet. The shrimp rumaki ($7) appetizer was a great combination of sweet and salty and zesty. The prosciutto-wrapped scallops skewered on a rosemary sprig ($16) came together nicely in a delicate coconut cream sauce. The Guajillo rack of lamb ($18) was marinated in Guajillo pepper sauce, grilled, dipped into a red pepper jelly glaze and crusted in toasted pumpkin seeds. The lamb was fabulous, cooked to perfection and tender while the homemade taste and texture of the mashed potatoes was an inspired complement to the sophisticated rack. Service was pleasant and attentive. Desserts are all made in-house. Food is served until midnight. 830 W. Sprague. Call 455-6955. (LM)
Metro Caf & eacute; -- The Metro has been serving lunch-hungry downtowners, cafeteria-style, at this location for 19 years. The colorful menu boards change daily and feature sandwiches, casseroles, salads and something called the Daily Fresh Carve, a different roasted hunk of meat (turkey breast, meatloaf, ham, pork and roast beef) each day that is sliced and served hot and fresh. Soups are $2.25-$3 and salads are $3.50-$4.25 (for a regular). There are also beverages up the wazoo, including bottled beer. The Carve and Salad special ($5.35) came as a generous and delicious 1/3-pound pile of freshly sliced roast pork along with a choice of salad -- in this case, the spinach -- and a roll. The outstanding spinach salad (with bacon bits, mushrooms, mozzarella and zesty sweet and sour dressing) was complex in both taste and texture. 510 W. Riverside, Skywalk level. Call 747-8250. (MC)
The Chalet -- The Eggs Benedict ($6.29) was perfect, served atop crispy English muffins with just the proper intermingling of thinly sliced ham, poached eggs and ever so slightly tart Hollandaise sauce. The French Toast and Egg plate ($5.49) arrived with two slices halved and arranged on the side of the plate, while a central whole slice provided the foundation for a poached egg in a small dish; two sausages were lined up front and rear. The French toast had a delicious buttery flavor and was among the best in the taster's recollection. The server struck that magical balance between hovering and neglect, achieving a perfect level of attentiveness. 2918 S. Grand Blvd. Call 747-6474. (Sheri Boggs)
Capsules are written by Lauren McAllister (LM), Mike Corrigan (MC) or Marty Demarest (MD), unless otherwise noted.
Publication date: 06/17/04