Junipers has a big menu for casual dining

June 9, 2009

By Jim Feehan

If you’re looking for a casual meal north of Interstate 90, stop by Junipers at the Holiday Inn. The restaurant, off the main lobby of the hotel, offers a wide selection of salads, soups and sandwiches. House specialties for lunch included salisbury steak ($10.95), northern Pacific cod and chips ($9.95), chicken fettuccini gorgonzola $10.95) and grilled chicken teriyaki ($10.95).

I selected the daily special of grilled salmon with rice pilaf and steamed vegetables ($10.95). The salmon was tender and flavorful, and the steamed vegetables were cooked to perfection. The rice pilaf was uninspired, but passable. The prices were quite reasonable given the ample portions.

My dining companion selected the northern Pacific cod and chips. The fish was flaky and delicious, and not greasy. It was good with tartar sauce, catsup, just a bit of lemon and even plain. The fresh fruit, swapped for cole slaw, was a ripe mix of cantaloupe, honeydew melon, pineapple and strawberries.

The sandwich selections include a natural angus burger served on a Kaiser roll, with lettuce, tomato and onion and either Swiss, pepper jack or cheddar cheese ($8.95); basil chicken sandwich with melted provolone, lettuce and tomato served on a Kaiser roll ($8.95); the classic Rueben ($9.25); prime rib dip ($10.95); and a tuna wrap rolled into a flour tortilla ($7.95). All sandwich entrées come with either french fries, chips, a small house salad or fruit.

If you have a craving for penne, pasta primavera or pizza, skip Junipers because they have no pasta dishes for lunch.

If you can wait until 5 p.m., the dinner menu has two pasta dishes, a pasta ravioli ($16.95) and a fettuccine entrée ($18.95).

If you can’t decide between steak and chicken, try the Issaquah two-step that has grilled chicken béarnaise and top sirloin with mushroom sauce ($17.95).

Meat lovers will delight in the selection of steaks: filet mignon ($24.95), top sirloin ($19.95) and flat iron steak ($15.95). Seafood entrées include cedar plank salmon $18.95, Pacific cod piccata $16.95 and grilled prawn skewers ($22.95).

Junipers’ approach is unabashedly contemporary. It was fun to imagine where some of the travel-weary guests had arrived from as they checked in at the front counter. The service was prompt and friendly. The food server filled our water and iced tea glasses and didn’t flinch when we asked to have the tab split in half.

For those early risers at breakfast, choices range from traditional favorites such as french toast, waffles, pancakes and eggs Benedict. Health conscious diners will like the low-carb omelet (a veggie and cheese omelet with broccoli) and the low-carb south of the border egg dish with slices of grilled chicken and fresh avocado garnished with salsa. Serving sizes are generous, so come with a hearty appetite.

So, whether it’s a sit-down lunch you’re looking for, a casual breakfast or a nice dinner, Junipers is a good bet.

Junipers Restaurant & Lounge

1801 12th Ave. N.W.

392-6421

Lunch entrées start at $7.95 and top out at $14.95. Breakfasts are from $6.75 to $10.25. Dinner entrées range from $15.95 to $24.95.

Restaurant reviews are a regular feature of The Issaquah Press. Reviewers visit restaurants unannounced and pay in full for their meals.

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