Five for Friday

My wife and I are reinstating date night. Or at least trying to. We're aiming to get out of the house - without the kids - twice a month. At least. And we still feel like we need a vacation.

But since a vacation for just the two of us is not currently an option, a date is better than nothing. A hockey game a few weeks ago, furniture shopping last weekend (don't knock it until you try it), and tomorrow night we're heading out to dinner with friends. I am looking forward to Texas Roadhouse.

Bekah and I are fans of Texas Roadhouse and have been for several years. We considered it good news when they announced they were opening a Coeur d'Alene location. So far, they've yet to disappoint. It is our favorite new restaurant. Coeur d'Alene's newest eatery is easily one of my favorites.

That's got me thinking. Mid-priced dining options are limited around here. I'm tired of Applebees and I burnt out on Olive Garden years ago. MacKenzie River Pizza was great when they opened but the service leaves something to be desired and the quality of food has declined. What does that leave? Chili's? Red Lobster? (I don't like seafood so that second option is out.) Texas Roadhouse it is.

But there could be more. here are five dining options I wish we had in Coeur d'Alene.

1. Old Chicago. The closest options are either in Boise or Bozeman - both over 350 miles away. Since I don't want to drive all day to get dinner, we need one here. Denver has one. Sioux Falls has one. Oklahoma City has one. I've eaten at all three. I'm bewildered that there are two in Boise but nothing around here, not even in Spokane. Great pizza, fantastic pastas. Their Italian Nachos is one of my all time favorite side orders anywhere.

2. Camille's Sidewalk Cafe. Bekah and I fell in love with Camille's while we lived in Sioux Falls. They make killer paninis and wraps. I'm sure someone around here makes a them, but I've not been able to find a suitable replacement. They use jalapeño-cheddar tortillas that have no rival. When we moved back to Idaho, I didn't realize that there were other Camille's Sidewalk Cafes. Turns out, they're all over. Unfortunately, none here. The closest is in San Francisco. We need one.

3. TGI Friday's. There used to be one in Spokane, but not anymore. What happened? I loved that place. Now, I'd have to drive to Nampa or Boise to eat there. Sad.

4. Sanford's Grub & Pub. This is one of my favorite places in Cheyenne (other than my grandparent's house). If you're ever in Cheyenne, it is a must see kind of place. It appears to be decorated by an obsessive-compulsive mechanic with a penchant for flair, their food is named in an auto-shop theme and it is all delicious. There are several locations in Wyoming but not much outside of the Cowboy State (Rapid City and Fort Collins being the outsiders). Could they make an exception and open one in Coeur d'Alene? Probably not, but it would be nice.

5. Hu Hot. Yes, I know there is a Hu Hot in Spokane. And yes, I realize there is a Mongolian Grill in Coeur d'Alene. But Hu Hot is far superior over Mongolian Grill. And I don't want to drive out to Spokane just to eat a meal. We need one here in the Lake City.

And for good measure ...

6. We probably don't need any more fast food options. After all, fast food is disgusting and unhealthy and should not be consumed. By anyone. But if there were a new fast food joint to open in Coeur d'Alene, I wouldn't object if it was a Culvers. ButterBurgers. Frozen Custard. Yum. We used to frequent the Sioux Falls location, and it's a customary visit every time we go to Cheyenne. The closest location to us is in Midvale Utah. It is mostly a Midwest franchise, but I think if Utah has one, we should too.


  1. Steve and I LOVED Europa. It's an awesome Italian restaurant in downtown Spokane. It's an amazing date restaurant! If it's like what it was 10 years ago, you will not be disappointed. We actually used to work there. It's on 125 Wall St.

  2. http://europapizzaria.com/

  3. Anonymous6:44 AM

    We have an Old Chicago in Cheyenne:)Love you, Mom

  4. I just realized how redundant my first reply was. Sorry.

  5. Anonymous11:29 AM

    Oh we are old and we are foodies
    ready to hunt for a good Chuck o Rama like Salt lake City has..but the best is Porky G's in CDA.
    for now then it is home to watch the FoodNetWork..or go to the gym