Monday, July 7, 2008

Nine Silly Questions: Phil Corless

He's a "stay-at-home dad who writes about parenting, homeschooling, and life in North Idaho" according to the description of his massively popular blog A Family Runs Through It. Plus, he's an amazing photographer, a huge fan of the band XTC and the classic sitcom Seinfeld, and he really ought to make it out on the town sometime (1988? Um...that's 20 years!). He's Phil Corless and he's this week's victim on the Get Out grill.

1. Which North Idaho establishment serves to most delicious burgers and what makes them so great?

This is a tough one, since I cut way back on burgers some years ago. I think I've eaten a total of three burgers in the past three years. If I had to pick the most delicious, it was my most recent experience at Red Robin, where I enjoyed a delectable Banzai Burger, with pineapple slice and teriyaki sauce.

2. What's your favorite local place to go out on the town for a few drinks, maybe some live music or dancing and what do you like about it?

Here's where I reveal my true boring self. I haven't been out on the town for drinks since a night at Moscow's downtown Garden Lounge back in 1988. I hear it's still a cool place for the older college crowd down there. If I was to go out NOW, it might be to Capone's because of the laid-back atmosphere.

3. Who serves the best breakfast in North Idaho and what are you most likely to order when you go there?

Last big breakfast I had was at Old European Breakfast House in Post Falls. I always order Eggs Benedict when I'm eating out in the morning, which isn't that often actually. My usual breakfast at home is a small bowl of Cascadian Farms Oats & Honey Granola. Best cereal ever.
4. What is your favorite type of Asian cuisine and which area restaurant serves it up the best and why do you think so? What do you like to order?

I like Chinese the best, but Thai and Japanese are right there as favorites. The dish I always order for myself is Kung Pao Chicken. I get it all to myself because nobody else in my family likes the spicy stuff. I can't say there are any Coeur d'Alene area Chinese restaurants that serve up a perfect plate of Kung Pao Chicken. Surprisingly, Panda Express does it as well as any. My son is addicted to their Orange Chicken. I like that we can get a family-size feast for $25. For all-around Chinese food goodness, we'll drive all the way down to Moscow to the Old Peking on Main Street.

5. Which area Mexican restaurant is the best and why do you think so? What do you like to order?

Chulo Cafe, on Neider Ave., is my favorite, by far. It's quick, it's fresh, it's inexpensive. We've eaten there dozens of times, and I always order the same exact thing -- Sweet Pork Burrito, served Chulo Style, with salad instead of chips.

6. What's your favorite North Idaho activity that requires little or no money but provides a whole day of fun and entertainment?
My perfect North Idaho summer day is one spent on the NIC Beach with my kids. We bring a small cooler, a couple of beach chairs, and an umbrella. Once I get into the water, I could just stay in there all day. And I usually do. A day like that reminds me how simple life should be.

7. Where was the worst dining experience you¢ve had at a local restaurant/lounge and what was so rotten about it?

First I'll say that in five years in Coeur d'Alene, I've never had a really horrible dining experience. But not long ago we ate at the new Azteca in Riverstone and found it to be surprisingly mediocre. I knew right away something was amiss when they had our food out to us three minutes after ordering. I never expected Azteca to be a fast food or cafeteria experience, but that's exactly what the food tasted like. Horribly bland and tasteless. I've had better meals at Del Taco, and that's not saying much. There are way too many Mexican restaurants around here for a bad one to thrive. But because of it's location and people's willingness to settle for average food, I'm afraid Azteca will be successful. I won't go back, though.
8. Someone offers to but you a drink. What do you order and why?

I'm not a drinker, so it would be something non-alcoholic. Most probably huckleberry lemonade. You just can't go wrong adding huckleberry to anything.

9. What place, restaurant or otherwise, do you take out-of-town visitors to leave them with a good impression of North Idaho?

Most of our out-of-town visitors want to head downtown, and we've always had good luck eating at Cricket's. It's a fun atmosphere with unique dishes, and the location is perfect for walking off the meal on Sherman Avenue, around the resort boardwalk, and even up Tubbs Hill if we're not too full. Coeur d'Alene's downtown and waterfront never fails to impress our friends and family.

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