Nosworthy’s Hall of Fame, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
OK, now I’m reaching deep into my past. In the top half of the state of Idaho that is known as the panhandle sits the Lake City of Coeur d’Alene, a beautiful area 10 miles from Washington that is both cut off from the southern half of Idaho by part of the Salmon River and the Rocky Mountains and darn near impossible to remember how to spell in the best of times. Pronouncing it can be even trickier (it’s Kur-Duh-Lane), and because of that, most Idahoans simply call it CDA.
By any name, CDA is a fairly sizable city…by Idaho standards. As you might have guessed, unless you’re Boise, Idaho standards for large cities are not exactly high, and CDA is not exactly huge. Despite being just 30 miles from the legitimate city of Spokane, CDA only acknowledges a population of 45,000. That’s actually quite understandable, because many people like to come in the summer, enjoy the scenic lake views and then get the heck out before the weather turns nasty.
That doesn’t often lend itself to good restaurants, but I’m not one to just settle for any restaurant when I’m traveling, especially when I’ve just found a good one in the previous city I spent a day in. Any city that’s worth visiting is going to have something worth eating, and it’s merely a matter of finding it. In CDA, that means making your way over to Nosworthy’s Hall of Fame, a CDA institution known for both its omelettes and its burgers. I promise, that combination is not an Idaho theme.
Finding your way there can actually be a real chore, because Nosworthy’s appears to like being a CDA secret. Want to check out the menu beforehand? Sorry, you can’t do it. Nosworthy’s doesn’t have a website, and even though I’ve found menus for restaurants that lack a website online before, I haven’t done so in this case. Nosworthy’s is a step ahead of me on that one.
I’m not sure what the lack of self-promotion is about, although it could have something to do with the fact that Nosworthy’s hasn’t always been Nosworthy’s. Nosworthy’s began life in Twin Falls in the 1970’s as the Ground Round and opened up its second location in CDA five years later. The details of the name change aren’t clear, but it might be because that name was already taken by a Midwest chain place, forcing the name to switch to Nosworthy’s. All I can be sure of is that Nosworthy’s opened as the Ground Round, because if you’re at Nosworthy’s, you can still see Ground Round signs if you keep your eyes open.
Of course, the lack of self-promotion could be because word gets around when you do something well in a town that isn’t that huge, and Nosworthy’s certainly knows what it’s doing with eggs. I regret to say I cannot speak for their burgers, but on my one visit to CDA and Nosworthy’s, the omelettes are outstanding.
First, there’s the sheer volume of choices you have available to you. At most places, omelettes don’t really come in too many different ways. There’s about five basic ones, with the choice to add toppings if you so wish. At Nosworthy’s, 21 different omelettes grace the menu, all of them with creative, Ike’s Place-esque names.
The list includes choices such as the Blazing Saddles (chili and cheese), the Mr. Belushi (onions, peppers, bacon, tomato, chili and cheese), the Downhill (ham, mushrooms, tomato and American, an amazing combination if I do say so myself) and the Godfather, with Italian sausage and Italian sauces.
Of course, being the way I am, I had to go with something really unique, and that’s what I got with the Jack Cousteau. As I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, I love anything that involves mushrooms and seafood. When you put them together, the result is that I’m going to be very happy with my entree. When you throw in things like eggs, sour cream and avocado, things get really fantastic in a really short period of time.
The Jock Cousteau features all of those things, with its star being mock crabmeat. I’m not sure why mock crabmeat is so good to me, because it’s just pollock given a crab flavoring, but for some reason, I love it, which the employees at HuHot can attest to. Along with the “crab”, the Cousteau includes mushrooms, tomatoes and cheddar, and all of it is covered with avocado and sour cream.
I’ve honestly never had an omelet like this. The flavors are kind of busy at times, but somehow, the combination works. The eggs are done beautifully, the omelet is stuffed full, the filling is flavorful and the topping of the healthy avocado fat and the decidedly non-healthy sour cream provide a cool contrast to the heated omelet.
That’s before you throw on Nosworthy’s hash browns and some excellent buttered toast. I am a big fan of these two sides, and Nosworthy’s knows how to provide a perfect complement to its omelet lineup. Of course, that could have something to do with its location, given that it’s the home of famous potatoes. Even though great potatoes are grown in southern Idaho rather than in CDA, it’s still a part of the Gem State, which means you can’t find a bad potato anywhere.
The same seems to hold true for eggs here, and all of it is in a pretty enjoyable atmosphere, as Nosworthy’s successfully blends a lodge with a sports bar to create its decor. Maybe someday I’ll be able to come back through here with Amy and try one of Nosworthy’s burgers, but I know what I’ve got with the omelets here. CDA might be out of the way, but a detour here is certainly a good idea if you find yourself up north.
Time to go: Breakfast or lunch. Either omelets or burgers are a great option here, and you’ll have plenty to choose from.
Wait during my visit: Substantial, actually. Being a smaller city, CDA is not strong on restaurants overall, which means this place can get crowded. Plan accordingly.
Location: Nosworthy’s is at 4045 N. Government Way in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Cost: Most omelets are about nine dollars. This place isn’t cheap, but it’s good. One bit of warning: leave your plastic in your wallet. Just like Prince’s, Nosworthy’s is cash only. There is an ATM here, but it is best to plan ahead and have some dead presidents on your person when you sit down.
Parking: It’s Coeur d’Alene. There’s plenty of parking here.
Seating arrangement: Tables, chairs and bar seating
Specialty items: Omelets, burgers