The menu at the new Moon Time in Coeur d’Alene elevates pub grub to new heights.
Instead of the classic beer accompaniments like pickled pig’s feet, try sinking your chompers into a Caribbean pork sandwich - meat basted in a ginger-orange sauce and served with carmelized onions. Or, a lamb sandwich is given a Greek accent with a side of tzaziki, the yogurt-cucumber salad.
The ale house and restaurant was recently launched at 1602 Sherman Ave. by John Grollmus, Jeff Meagher and Brad Fossen. They have transformed a former antique store-cafe into a homey, English-style pub complete with dartboards and a copper bar.
Fossen, who had previously worked at Jimmy D’s and at Luna when it first opened, is in charge of the kitchen.
He said his aim was to come up with some unusual twists on traditional dishes.
For instance, a tangy take on the Waldorf salad features apples, red onions and walnuts, with a spicy honey-chipotle dressing. That’s tossed with romaine and iceberg lettuce.
Soups are made from scratch daily and the changing rotation can range from a green chicken-curry soup with apples to a cold melon soup spiked with a hint of ancho chili powder.
Main dishes include a spicy gumbo with chicken, shrimp and sausage, and a chicken burrito built on a grilled tortilla. A number of the offerings are vegetarian such as the penne pasta with a sun-dried tomato and chipotle pesto sauce.
Put out the fire with one of 19 microbrews on tap, which include a Fuller’s ESB from England and a cask-conditioned beer, a naturally carbonated beverage that gives brew purists goosebumps. Moon Time also offers a few hard ciders and a selection of wines by the glass or bottle.
Meal prices range from $5 to $8 and food is served continuously from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. After 10, there’s a late-night menu.
Tonight is a grand opening celebration with live music beginning at 9. The phone number at Moon Time is (208) 667-2331.
Make mine a roasted garlic
I love the timing of this week’s Bennidito’s Pizza opening. It’s hot. Who wants to cook? Let’s order a pizza.
This East Coast-style-pizza parlor - strictly a take-out and delivery proposition - has a mouthwatering selection of pies.
In addition to the standard pepperoni-type toppings, there is a tempting lineup of specialty pizzas with sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, roasted garlic and goat cheese (the Florentine) and artichoke hearts, fontina cheese and pesto sauce (the 14th Avenue Primo).
They are all built on a hand-tossed crust made from dough prepared fresh twice daily. It’s covered with garlicky, made-from-scratch red sauce.
A selection of calzones, sandwiches and salads is also available.
Prices range from 99 cents for a slice of cheese (on Wednesdays) to $16.50 for a 19-inch specialty pie. Most pizzas are around $12.
Bennidito’s is located at 1426 S. Lincoln, just down from The Asian Cafe. The phone number is 455-7411.
It’s open Mondays through Thursdays 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays until 11 p.m.
No whining at this bar
Ankeny’s has introduced a wine bar that’s available in its lounge each Wednesday from 5 until 8 p.m. through August.
The wine bar will focus on a specific variety or wine growing region with three specially selected wines poured. The first Wednesday wine bar next week features California cabernets from The Hess Collection, Jordan and Beaulieu vineyards, all respected producers.
Wines can be ordered by the 2-ounce sample, 4-ounce glass or by the bottle. A special selection of appetizers will be suggested for pairing with the wine.
For additional information, call Ankeny’s at 838-6311.
Fast food news
Who says fast food is fat food?
Taco Time locations on North Monroe, at Five Mile and in Airway Heights have had some menu items approved by The Heart Institute’s Lite ‘n Hearty program. To make the cut, less than 30 percent of the calories can come from fat.
At those locations, you can pick up a card that breaks down the nutritional information on items such as the confetti chicken burrito (530 calories, 12 grams of fat) and the veggie salad (207 calories, 5.5 grams of fat, but that’s without dressing or chips, darn it).
In other taco-related developments, a Taco Bell Express has opened in the Texaco station on the corner of Third and Thor. The Express has a slightly shorter menu than the regular Taco Bell stores. Also, a new Taco Bell is under construction and should open soon at the corner of University and Sprague in the Valley.
Finally, while Chapala is not a fast-food place in the traditional sense, orders come out with incredible speed at this popular, locally owned chain of Mexican restaurants. A new Chapala opened recently in a strip mall on the northwest corner of Sprague and Evergreen in the Valley.
Seattle’s annual summer food gorge-fest is scheduled for July 19-21 at The Seattle Center. The Bite of Seattle features more than 50 restaurants, three beer gardens and several stages with entertainment. Among the more famous participants are the Dahlia Lounge, F.X. McRory’s and Ray’s Boathouse.
Food choices are all over the map, from a Hungarian goulash to oysters on the half shell.
I like the sound of an entree offered by a joint called The Hardened Artery. Appropriately, they’re serving up a pig sandwich.
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