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March 20, 2008


Don't forget the Blue Canoe off hwy 78 south of Melba.

Tara, my idea of a really great Idaho weekend, especially in the fall is hiking at City of Rocks, eating at Sage Mountain Grill, and - if you want to stay overnight in the area - a room at the Marsh Creek Inn, a mom-and-pop motel just south of beautiful downtown Albion.

The latter two are within walking distance of one another. Although that bar and grill just outside City of Rocks has some great steaks, too.

good to know about El Gallo. I had wondered but I wasn't sure. I know Larry Grant is having an event there next month. I'm in Kiwanis with the owner Enrique and my daughter's best friend's mom works there.

One of the commenters above mentioned the place in Dietrich. It's called The Eagles Nest, and it's amazing. Chicken fried steak the size of your head...and soooo good. This place is worth a Sunday drive.

Really good Mexican food can be found at El Sombrero in Jerome. And, I concure about Garibaldi's, it's first rate too.

The Gallo Giro in Boise is not related to the one in Kuna. Same name, different owners.

The Blue Canoe is a great road trip spot. Oh, and how can we forget the Crow Inn? Kindy spendy, but a great bucket of steamed clams.

Food tastes vary, so I disagree with ajonesin about Pickles in Arco. Really bland, standard to sub-standard fare. The three times I've eaten there, anyway.

There's a restaruant in Cary, log structure with old west interior on the north end of town, that serves up a decent burger when you're passing through. Haven't been there in 3 years or so.

In Kuna, Ben's also serves up standard and thoughtless food. They clearly emphasize quantity over quantity.

I really miss the Cafe Royal in Bliss, great chicken fried steaks and good breakfasts. On my many trips to Twin and points east I would leave the Treasure Valley early enough to beat the traffic and stop there for breakfast. But then I was involved in The Statesman cook off to find the original Torch Cafe finger steak recipe recently.

I have to agree about the Mexican restaurants not having enough diversity, mostly Guadalajaran fare. My test of a Mexican restaurant is the seafood and none around here have pleased me well yet.

Under the Sun is not the only good cafe in town. For a good old-fashioned burger and an American comfort food club sandwich, try the Panhandle Cafe. Jill's Cafe offers at-home sandwiches, fresh salads, and foods-I-have-not yet tried. The Kootenai River Inn has a view (don't get me started on the food) and Mugsy's is a non-smoking, micro-brew tavern. But if you're passing through, some of the best food in town is on my table. If you're passing through in summer don't miss the Farmer's Market at 8am Saturdays, near the Visitor's Center for some fresh local produce, bread, desserts, breakfasts, etc.

Sandpoint has great southern food at Cafe Trinity, the best croissants this side of Paris at Pine St. Bakery, great soups at Spud's, pretty food at Sand Creek Grill, breakfast all day at Di Luna's, an unbeatable blackened salmon at Eichardts, and more places that I haven't yet visited. Hope has the innovative and delicious Wiley Widgeon Cafe that overlooks Lake Pend Oreille, as well as the Floating Restaurant. The Wiley Widgoen has creative omelets like blue cheese and bacon, as well as superb salads, sandwiches, and so forth. Brunch on Sunday is a must but make your reservation in advance.

If you're in Coeur d'Alene and feel the urge to try something experimental, visit Emery's, the Culinary Program's restaurant at North Idaho College. It's open T,W,Th, 11am to 12:30pm. The food varies from exceptional to good try, but at an average price of $5 for a three course meal plus drink, you can't go wrong. I've also grown fond of Cafe Carambola for south of the border sandwiches, salads and soups, and of Bella Rose, for the best coffees, salads, paninis, and granola (when they see me walk through the door they start making my coffee latte). Coeur d'Alene has several great eateries but I'm trying to get the locals to chime in.

In Post Falls you can smell the garlic while you're still on the I-90 and I'm talking about the White House and the Oval Office for great Turkish/Greek family style cuisine.

Many other excellent hole-in-the-wall, hidden in the woodwork restaurants exist in north Idaho but I need the other counties to make those shout-outs.

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