Despite the name, Sprouts Fresh Cafe isn’t exactly a health food restaurant. The newly opened eatery serves wholesome, healthful, nutritious meals made from scratch, but the menu is designed to appeal to everyone.
“We have good, lean ham, turkey and turkey pastrami for deli sandwiches. We’re not limited to the granola crowd, but we have that, too,” said Marla Emde, who owns the place with her husband, Michael.
Marla brings a lot of experience to this fledgling operation. While she was growing up in the Puget Sound area, she worked in her parents’ restaurant. More recently, she was manager at Fitzbillie’s.
The fairly short menu at the new full-service cafe not only emphasizes natural, low-fat foods, it also focuses on local, specialty food purveyors. The tofu used in some of the dishes is from Small Planet Soyfoods near Newport, Wash. Fresh juices come from Spokane Produce. Coffee drinks, including soy milk lattes, are made with beans from Craven’s.
Among the interesting sandwich selections is a concoction called Zeus’ Favorite, which features hummus, spicy black beans, brown rice, cucumbers, feta cheese, tomatoes, red onions and bean sprouts on a whole wheat tortilla. An eggplant sandwich includes artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers and bean sprouts in a whole wheat pita. I tried the tasty Thai tortilla: curry-seasoned brown rice, carrots, sprouts and peanut sauce wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla.
More mainstream sandwiches include turkey with Swiss cheese and avocado and a tuna salad made with yogurt and spices instead of the calorie-laden mayonnaise. Those are made with honey-wheat bread baked on premises.
Soups vary daily and are made from scratch. Salads range from a sun-dried tomato and artichoke to the regularly featured blackened chicken salad, which is served with an oil-free lemon-honey dressing and a chunky pepper-tomato relish.
A small selection of full meals are also served including a vegetarian lasagna, a turkey meatloaf and a grilled polenta topped with fresh marinara. Entrees come with a salad or soup.
Prices are extremely affordable with sandwiches topping out at $5.25 and main dishes all under $6.
Finally, if you’ve saved room, there’s a selection of good-for-you goodies such as a guilt-free apple crisp and Emde’s signature fennel cake.
Sprouts Fresh Cafe is located at 1009 N. Washington. It is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Call 324-0383 for take-out orders.
Spuds on special
A special menu has been cooked up at The Coeur d’Alene Resort’s Dockside Restaurant to showcase Idaho’s bountiful food products.
The diverse selections include beef, wine, grains and specialty food products. Featured dishes include barley and vegetable salad nicoise, Idaho sharp cheddar cheese soup along with a smoked, hot roast beef sandwich. And what Idaho food-studded meal would be complete without an Idaho ice cream baked potato? (It’s not really a potato, but ice cream sundae that looks kind of like a spud.)
The Dockside is open from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Call (208) 765-4000 for reservations.
Cellar hasn’t checked out
Jimmy D’s Wine Cellar is now going by simply The Wine Cellar. New owners of Jimmy D’s restaurant across the street wanted to avoid confusion.
Anyway, this cozy spot is serving an eclectic menu designed to complement its extensive wine list.
Savory starters include an antipasto with roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese and caponata ham served with a crostini pita bread. There’s also a house pizza, focaccia bread and Penn Cove mussels steamed in white wine and pesto butter for appetizers.
Main course choices that hit on various ethnic tastes include a Cajun gumbo, a Spanish-inspired paella featuring shellfish and a homemade chicken Italian sausage, Oriental beef kabobs, an Indian-spiced tandoori snapper and boneless pork stuffed with dates, spinach and pine nuts.
All dinners are priced under $10 and diners have the option of ordering their meals without salad for $1 less than the cost of a full meal.
The Wine Cellar is located at 313 Sherman Ave. in Coeur d’Alene. Call (208) 664-9463 for reservations.
Readers rave about Kristian’s
Almost simultaneously, I received a heartfelt letter and a phone call from readers who were singing the praises of an undiscovered gem in Chewelah, Wash.
Jan Lecture of Addy, Wash., wrote that the food at Kristian’s Dinner House is worth making the trip from Spokane. She enjoyed a seafood dinner so much that she later returned for the weekend brunch.
Lucy Gurney called to add that the atmosphere at this home-turned-restaurant is cozy. The couple who own it, former Seattle residents, go out of their way to make diners feel welcome, she said.
Kristian’s Dinner House is located at 8 W. Main in Chewelah. Dinner is served Tuesdays through Sundays. A brunch is served on the weekends. Call 935-8965 for reservations.