Summer’s sweetest treat is enjoying a seasonal resurgence in Coeur d’Alene.
Both Pilgrim’s Market and Scratch Creamery & Pizzeria are offering a new rainbow of house-made flavors, ranging from strawberry balsamic and salted caramel, to roasted pear with gorgonzola and creamy peanut butter.
At Pilgrim’s Market, owner Joe Hamilton said he started researching the idea of adding organic ice cream to the deli at the natural food store during a trip to San Francisco’s famous Bi-Rite Creamery. Hamilton and Bi-Rite owner Sam Mogannam are both members of the Independent Natural Foods Retail Association and they will sometimes consult with each other about what is working at their stores.
“We share some ideas and we steal some ideas,” Hamilton said. “The ice cream is really more of a stolen idea. It has been so successful for them and it is such a fun thing. We use the same organic family dairy that they use from Northern California called Strauss Family Creamery, which is all organic.”
The Bi-Rite Creamery book on ice cream, “Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones” by Kris Hoogerhyde, Anne Walker and Dabney Gough, includes 90 recipes for the store’s inventive flavors and treats. It was released last year. The basic recipes are also used at Pilgrim’s, 1316 N. Fourth Ave. in Coeur d’Alene.
Hamilton said they are working with the Organic Valley dairy cooperative to get regional dairy for the ice creams. The closest processing plant is in Portland and Pilgrim’s hopes to begin buying the ice cream base, which is 14 percent butterfat, from Organic Valley soon.
Pilgrim’s offers a variety of flavors, all scooped in the store’s deli. During a recent visit, vanilla, melted chocolate chunk, coffee and cacao nibs, salted caramel and balsamic strawberry scoops were among the dozen flavors in the glass-covered freezer case. There are dairy-free options too, including sorbet and ice creams made from a coconut milk base. Mango sorbet, green tea and ginger and dairy-free coconut vanilla were in the case last week. Gluten-free cones are an option.
The ice cream is only sold by the scoop right now for $3 for a single scoop. Double scoops are $4.25. Customers will be able to buy pints and quarts soon.
For customers who want a bigger punch of nutrients and vitamins, the 13-year-old store added green smoothies to the offerings in April. The smoothies – made with fruit, leafy greens and other vegetables – are also sold at the Kootenai County Farmers Markets at the Fat Tire Powered Green Smoothie booth. Ride the bike, donated by New Belgium Brewing Co., to power the battery that in turn runs the blender used to make smoothies.
The store is just coming off of its biggest sales days – which coincide with the Ironman triathlon – and Hamilton said plans to rearrange and expand some departments will start later this year. The produce, bulk and meat department will get more room when the work is complete.
Pilgrim’s Market is open daily, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
At Scratch Creamery & Pizzeria, chef and owner Jason Rex is making 13 flavors of homemade ice cream. The new creamery and pizzeria is located just behind Scratch restaurant, 501 Sherman Ave., on Fifth Street in Coeur d’Alene. It opened about a month ago.
In addition to the regular flavors on the menu, Rex will add seasonal flavors inspired by the produce ripening in his garden and on the fruit trees at his house. The current lineup of flavors includes huckleberry, toasted coconut chocolate almond, maple bacon, roasted pear and gorgonzola, cotton candy, mocha and strawberry. The ice cream is $2 per scoop. It can be served on a waffle cone for an additional 75 cents.
“I start with a really thick, rich ice cream base. It is basically a crème brûlée batter,” Rex said.
The little shop also offers small pizzas for $7 to $8 each.
The pizzas are prepped throughout each day, so they only take about 10 minutes in the oven after a customer orders. Barbecue pulled pork, black mission fig, Thai peanut chicken, Italian sausage, pepperoni or mushroom are offered. The mushroom has an Alfredo sauce base. The Thai pizza is slathered with a Thai peanut sauce.
Scratch Creamery & Pizzeria is open noon to 7 p.m. daily, but will stay open later depending on business, Rex said.
Rex and business partner Connie Naccarato also own Scratch Restaurant & Rain Lounge in Spokane, 1007 W. First Ave.
Eat well at Eat Good
The café at the Meadowwood Technology campus in Liberty Lake is now Eat Good.
Chef Molly Patrick, formerly of the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort, Ella’s Supper Club and C.I. Shenanigans, said they want customers to be able to buy a lunch they feel good about for $6 or less.
“We’re trying to make food healthy in a fast-paced service. We feed a lot of people on their lunch break, so the goal is to give them healthy food quickly so you don’t have to feel guilty about eating out.”
Most of the food served is made from scratch at the café and they rely on foods from the Liberty Lake Farmers Market and other local farmers, including Dan Jackson from the Spokane Valley. Right now they have local greens, baby cauliflower, English cucumbers, radishes, bell peppers, carrots and tomatoes from local growers.
In addition to a set menu, the café has a salad bar, daily grill special and grab-n-go items. A calorie count for each item is posted on the menu. “I like to know what I’m putting in my body when I go out and eat and it seems to be where food is going,” Patrick said.
There are more details at www.eatgoodgroup.com or on the Eat Good page on Facebook.
The café serves as the cafeteria for the Meadowwood Technology campus, but it is also open to the public. It is open 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Reach Eat Good by calling (509) 210-0880.
EPIC opens at Northern Quest
The former Q sports bar at Northern Quest Resort & Casino is now EPIC.
Chef Michael Thornton, longtime executive chef at C.I. Shenanigans, now oversees a revamped menu in the remodeled lounge. Thornton also worked at Max at Mirabeau.
Mac and cheese, crab cakes, carrot cake, Kobe beef sliders and a surf ’n’ turf burger are all on the menu.
The remodeled lounge has a cozier feel with semi-private dining and comfortable furniture for relaxing. The giant 30-by-10-foot television is still there and there are more televisions throughout.
The new Studio E opened last week in the space that was formerly the SWX Sportscast booth. DJ Hype and DJ Mayhem will be there on weekends. It is also available for private parties and events.
Coeur d’Alene IHOP reopens
The Coeur d’Alene IHOP reopened Monday after six weeks of repairs and renovations. The restaurant had been closed since May 19 when a car slammed into it, causing serious damage to the building. No one was hurt.
Franchise owner Jay Jordan decided to remodel the restaurant while it was closed.
“When the accident happened, in addition to being extremely grateful that no one was hurt, we realized we could take a negative and turn it into a positive by using the opportunity to bringing our loyal guests the very latest IHOP design,” Jordan said in a news release. “While our guests may not recognize the new interior and exterior, what they will recognize is the same great IHOP food and service they’ve been enjoying for the past 10 years we’ve owned this restaurant.”
The restaurant’s team of 42 servers and cooks has returned to work. New dishes that were introduced at IHOPs while the restaurant was closed are now available, including the new jelly donut and tiramisu and banana graham pancakes.
The IHOP is at 2301 N. Fourth St. in Coeur d’Alene. It is open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Reach the restaurant by calling (208) 667-9600.
• Stir Eatery & Lounge has hired chef Darrin Stauffer.
Stauffer is the former deli manager at Main Market, where he worked for the last three years. He started at Hill’s Resort, at Priest Lake, where he worked with Scott Hill.
“Guests will be able to enjoy seasonal, healthy foods showcased on our fresh sheet,” Stauffer said in a news release. “I’m committed to preparing dishes using fresh, locally grown, and organic produce and meats, whenever possible.”
Stir Eatery and Lounge is at 7115 N. Division St. Reach the restaurant at (509) 466-5999.
• Chef Gerald Smith is now the corporate chef of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises.
Smith grew up in Spokane and went to the Culinary Institute of America. He studied under and worked with chefs across the country including Mario Batali, Robert Moore and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
Smith’s father was a chef and his grandparents owned the Good Numbers Café, a classic diner in Spokane, according to a news release.
Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises is a Chicago-based corporation with more than 80 restaurants nationwide. Smith works directly with founder and owner Rich Melman.