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Idaho Voices

Well-known locals share their opinions on best food, nightlife

Several months ago, we took a look at which restaurants and nightspots made certain local residents light up with glee like a Christmas tree. Here’s the rundown on another three local movers and shakers.

DJ Brentano (Baja Bargarita/The Torch Lounge)

1. Favorite place to go for breakfast: “Depends on the time of day. If it’s when normal humans are awake then I usually go to the Breakfast Nook.”

2. Favorite place to grab a sandwich for lunch: “The big yellow coach sitting in the parking lot at Goodwill. Best Philly cheesesteak in town and the curly fries stretch out so far that they put the corporate fries to shame. The fry sauce is pretty darn yummy too, my little daughter loves it.”

3. Best Mexican restaurant: “Toro Viejo, of course.”

4. Best Chinese restaurant: “If you find a good answer for this I’d love to know where to go. Both the places downtown are not bad, but I still think something is missing.”

5. Best place to get sushi: “From Troy at Bonsai Bistro, definitely.”

6. Best fast-food joint: “Skipper’s – I love their chowder.”

7. Most frequented bar or nightclub: “Tough question here, I usually go wherever they pay me the most. I usually work most of the nights that are worth going out on so I’m stuck to make it the best it can be wherever I may be. Currently, that’s either the Torch Lounge or Baja Bargarita.”

8. Someone offers to buy you a drink. What do you order? “Depends who’s asking, I generally will always say Patron Platinum or Crown XR. However it’s few and far between that someone actually buys me those drinks. I usually always seem to wind up with a 44 Vodka and Red Bull.”

9. If you were a flavor of ice cream, what flavor would you be and why? “Half Baked. It’s a crazy concoction of chocolate and vanilla ice cream mixed with fudge brownies and gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough.”

Mark Rakes (Bassist, KITE)

1. Favorite place to go for breakfast: “For a ‘big’ breakfast, Michael D’s, or Rustler’s Roost if we’re in Hayden (love iced “MarketSpice” tea). For something lighter, Bakery by the Lake is great (either location).”

2. Favorite place to grab a sandwich for lunch: “Lately I like the club at Caruso’s. Of course make sure you order the half sandwich, not the full/whole loaf of bread version.”

3. Best Mexican restaurant: “Mexican Food Factory. Lisa and I love it, and the kids love it too. The danger for us is that it’s only about four blocks from the house. Luckily for us, Danny and his crew take the weekends off.”

4. Best Chinese restaurant:  “I guess the closest we come to Chinese would be something like Noodle Express, which we visit quite a bit for their kid-friendly menu, and we also love Teriyaki Tiki, which is pretty close to the house and really good.”

5. Best place to get sushi: “Syringa. I’m actually not a fish eater, but Viljo’s got several other great choices on the menu, and the staff always takes such great care of us.”

6. Best fast-food joint: “My favorite fast-food joint is Chipotle, but closest one of those is in Issaquah. Locally, my son is partial to the shakes at Sonic, so I’ll go with that.”

7. Most frequented bar or nightclub: “The Moon Time, although for food rather than drinking/music. After that, The Iron Horse or The Moose Market (depending on where friends’ bands are playing that night).”

8. Someone offers to buy you a drink. What do you order? “A diet soda – Not really a drinker. (I don’t drink coffee either, which is kind of a mortal sin around here, I know.)”

9. If you were a flavor of ice cream, what flavor would you be and why? “Probably Ben & Jerry’s ‘Chubby Hubby,’ but I aspire to be Häagen-Dazs “Five” Vanilla Bean someday – only contains five simple ingredients, simple and easily understood by the common man.”

Rebecca McNeil (local actress, director, playwright)

1. Favorite place to go for breakfast: “The Breakfast Nook – Tasty, cheap, and my kids love going there.”

2. Favorite place to grab a sandwich for lunch: “Moon Time – The best staff, fabulous menu, great atmosphere, and also not too pricey.”

3. Best Mexican restaurant: “Fiesta Mexicana. You reviewed it favorably, so I tried it, and now it’s my favorite. Love the food, and very kid-friendly.”

4. Best Chinese restaurant: “I just don’t do Chinese food in this town, though I have a sentimental attachment to Chinese Gardens.”

5. Best place to get sushi: “Syringa!!!!!!!!!!! I never thought a guy who drove a Nova in high school would turn out to make the best sushi in a 350-mile radius, but I was wrong about a lot of things.”

6. Best fast-food joint: “The Taco Works stand on Best. So good, so cheap. So, so cheap.”

7. Most frequented bar or nightclub: “Also Moon Time. I love the music they play, the people are incredible, the atmosphere is relaxed and fun, and there’s not a meat market bar feel to the place. Always a good time.”

8. Someone offers to buy you a drink. What do you order? “No one’s ever offered to buy me a drink. Usually I propose that if a guy will buy me a drink, then I won’t hit on him for the rest of the night. That usually gets me a Cosmopolitan or a Newcastle, depending on where I am.”

9. If you were a flavor of ice cream, what flavor would you be and why? “Dulce de Leche. Reminds of the years I spent breastfeeding my kids.”

Contact correspondent Patrick Jacobs by e-mail at


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