Monday, August 5, 2013

Monday Tidbits 8/5

Canton Vine *** Let's start the week of with a little Vine video, shall we? I have a Seattle friend I meet for lunch at Canton nearly every time he's in town. In fact, we've been meeting at Canton (113 N 4th St, CdA) since before current owner Alex took over the wok aeons ago (at least 7 years, I believe). My friend was in town this last weekend, and with all the Street Fair hullabaloo going on, the place was vacated and we got the place to ourselves. Food was tasty and fresh as per usual, and I decided to take a few minutes to record one of these new-fangled Vines the kids are doing these days on my iPhones. So, if you've never experienced the Glory of Canton first hand, here is a fairly decent simulation:

Ugly Fish to Close? *** We keep hearing rumors that the Ugly Fish Asian Bistro in Riverstone has a serious case of ich and is about to become Dead Fish Asian Bisto. For those paying attention, this might not be a terrible and complete shock, as the restaurant was holding very odd hours over the course of last winter, and at one point was actually closed for a month or so while the owners went to China on vacation. Anonymous sources close to the eatery's inner workings have told us that they will be surprised if it survives until the end of the summer season.

I've dined there twice and both times I left feeling very satisfied with the food, but not exactly thrilled to bits with the level of service - employees always seemed like they had been just hired that day and didn't have the tools they needed to help diners have a fully enjoyable visit. We asked for lemons for our water once and our server told us she would have to ask management if that was acceptable (???). I had a friend who took a waiting job there last year and quit as soon as he found out that he wouldn't get to keep his tips during some kind of "probationary training period". Is that even legal?

Why else could the Ugly Fish be swirling down that great toilet bowl of restaurant doom? In addition to their erratic hours, they had some serious menu troubles. They opened with a menu that weighed more than Saturn and took longer to read through than the Obamacare act, although it did have colorful photos that looked almost vaguely like the food that would actually land in front of you.

Naturally, it was difficult for the customers, staff, and most likely their food cost budget to keep up with so much stuff, and gradually menu items we taped over or marked out, leaving the menu looking like a battered and bandaged transient in Chinatown. Last Spring, Ugly Fish just decided to scrap the whole thing and created a new menu with only a small fraction of their original menu intact. Looking at the restaurant's facebook page, it is quite clear that customers missed their favorite items that had gotten the ax, and probably weren't thrilled to return. Basically, Ugly Fish sabotaged themselves by starting way too huge, and then committing menu-cide, leaving patrons with a very bad taste in their mouths.

How long Ugly Fish will keep swimming remains to be seen.

Elmer's Moving Into Former Perkins *** This item was stolen from Nils Rosdahl's, "Business Bits" column in the CdA Press, but it was reported that Elmer's Family Restaurant is moving into the former Perkins Family Restaurant spot on Appleway next to La Quinta Inn, behind Burger King.

I spent 9,568 hours at Perkins in high school drinking endless pots of coffee and smoking cigs until I wanted to puke (yes, I am that old - smoking was allowed in restaurants back then). I hadn't been in years, and the food was terribly rotten, but part of me felt like I was losing something when Perkins closed three-or-so years ago.

Happy to see that Elmer's is taking over the space. Their food is actually quite decent for a family restaurant and their waiters are *ahem* a little easy on the eyes. A full remodeling job is expected, so that adds to the excitement a bit. Opening day is expected to happen late August.

Long Ear 40th Anniversary Mega-Party *** The Long Ear record shop has existed since before even the Coeur d'Alene Resort existed, so you know they've been around for-ev-ah in this town. In fact the Long Ear has existed since yours truly was burping up formula and getting cranky for a diaper chance (I was 1).

Owners Terry and Deon Borchard weren't always Coeur d'Alene Royalty, in fact they opened the first version of their store in Big Bear, California as part of their Radio Shack franchise. Their move to CdA came at some point in the early 1980's, and they opened shop in a tiny spot in a strip mall on Government Way where they grooved along happily for many years, building up a faithful and massive crowd of customers along the way.

Eventually, the Borchards and crew pinned down a much larger and more visible location at 2405 n 4th, between I90 and Appleway, where they've been selling used and new vinyl Cds, and cassettes, along with hundreds of other fun items (their facebook describes it like this: "Body jewelry, incense & burners, stickers, posters, hookahs, tapestries, fair trade purses & clothing").

Incredibly, this October will mark the 40th anniversary of the Long Ear, and they are having ONE HECKUVA PARTY to celebrate. It's actually a few months early, most likely to take advantage of the summer sunshine, but this year's "Ear Fest" line up is very strong. Five-time Grammy winning blues guitarist and singer Robert Cray will be stopping by to performa, in addition to these fine local acts: Flying Mammals, Ditto, The Colourflies, Bridges Home, Kat & Angela Marie, Adam Android and the Artificial Intelligence, The Static Tones, Goodnight Venus, & Scatterbox.  The event is roundout out with appearances by Snake Pit Derby Dames, Bella Courbe & The Art on the Edge breakdance troop. 

MARK THE DATE. This is an event any music fan would call in sick to work with "explosive diarrhea" for! Here is a link to the full press release:

1 comment:

Michael Patrick said...

I hope the folk at Mustard Seed are eyeing your page....They would be a VERY welcome restaurant to replace Ugly Fish when they go belly up...