News & Comment » News

Recently Reviewed

by

The Inlander Staff & r & & r & MAGGIE'S SOUTH HILL GRILL & r & & r & 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 -- two poached eggs perched on top of crab cakes, with the requisite English muffin underneath and a light topping of hollandaise. Each crab cake is generous and distinctly crabby, with a light crunchy crust yet moist and savory inside with colorful flecks of minced celery, peppers and onions. The pumpkin pancakes ($5.75), a stack of four fluffy cakes, entice with the aroma of pumpkin pie; they're 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)





STILOS


Stilos is an architectural dream with Craftsman-style windows, a rock fireplace, and well-appointed design details like the geometric and floral motif on the ceiling. Expect no pseudo-multinational fusion foods here -- just good upscale surf-and-turf, expertly presented and served with panache under the direction of Chef Patrick Fechser. The sesame ginger tuna appetizer ($11) is fragrant and abundantly proportioned, with a spicy peanut sauce that had just enough bite. The Steak Oscar ($22) tops medallions of beef with a sizeable chunk of Dungeness crab, and comes with sweet roasted julienne vegetables over a garlicky mound of mashed potatoes smothered in b & eacute;arnaise sauce. Stilos is a lovely place for a special occasion when you're looking to dine out with style. 1400 N. Meadowwood Lane, Liberty Lake, Wash., 891-9192. (CS)





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, and the veggie panini, diagonally cut bread with sliced tomato, red onion, mushroom, melted provolone cheese, mayo and sprouts, was a soft and gooey 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 BEACON


Peering through the Beacon's floor-to-ceiling windows onto Sherman Ave. is a bit like watching television with the sound turned down. The moist and flaky beer-battered fish and chips is easily the most affordable in North Idaho -- $8 for three and a half large chunks of fish -- and the tartar was sweet and bold with a hint of capers. The potato hummus and grilled pita ($5) is a European twist on the original and is dense with garlic and a lemony bite. Eight draft beers, from Guinness to Bud Light to local Laughing Dog, and 22 bottled choices gave a casual beer consumer like me plenty of options. Service was excellent and the ambiance equally pleasant, making the Beacon a hip locale for tasty pub grub that's reasonably priced. 325 Sherman Ave., Coeur d'Alene, (208) 665-7407 (Reviewed 7/19/07, CS) n