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restaurant + bar guide Boise Weekly’s

2013

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inside

10

doN’T MiSS eaT + driNk by Neighborhood

Chefs return to offal meats for fantastic dishes

14/

The NoT-SoNaSTy biTS

36

20 diSheS uNder $10 Dine in style with only a Hamilton in your pocket

42

PuT aN egg oN iT Not just for breakfast anymore

58

CoCkTailS A new way to get your five servings a day

71

Downtown 18/ North Boise 20/ State Street 24/ Broadway 26/ West Boise 30/ Bench 38/ East Boise 44/ South Boise 46/ Garden City 48/ Meridian 50/ Eagle 54/ Kuna 60/ Nampa 66/ Caldwell also in this issue 32/ Day Trip 56/ Calendar of Events

PerfeCT PairiNgS

69/ Local Brews

The fine art of beer and food

>>> publisher: Sally Freeman Sally@boiseweekly.com office manager: Shea Sutton Shea@boiseweekly.com

Editorial editor: Zach Hagadone zhagadone@boiseweekly.com managing editor: Deanna Darr Deanna@boiseweekly.com listings: Harrison Berry, Jay Vail calendar@boiseweekly.com proofreaders: Amy Atkins, Rachael Daigle, Jay Vail contributing writers: Amy Atkins, Harrison Berry, Andrew Crisp, Deanna Darr, Josh Gross, Zach Hagadone, George Prentice, Christina Marfice, Tara Morgan

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staff advErtising Advertising Director: Lisa Ware Lisa@boiseweekly.com Account executives: Karen Corn, Karen@boiseweekly.com Brad Hoyt, Brad@boiseweekly.com Zach Ritchie, Zach@boiseweekly.com Jessi Strong, Jessi@boiseweekly.com Nick Thompson, Nick@boiseweekly.com Jill Weigel, Jill@boiseweekly.com CrEativE Art Director: Leila Ramella-Rader Leila@boiseweekly.com Graphic Designers: Jen Grable Jen@boiseweekly.com

photography: Laurie Pearman, Leila RamellaRader, Patrick Sweeney CirCulation Shea Sutton Shea@boiseweekly.com man About Town: Stan Jackson Stan@boiseweekly.com Boise Weekly prints 30,000 copies every Wednesday and is available free of charge at more than 750 locations, limited to one copy per reader. Additional copies of the current issue of Boise Weekly may be purchased for $1, payable in advance. No person may, without permission of the publisher, take more than one copy of each issue. Boise Weekly is owned and operated by Bar Bar Inc., an Idaho corporation.

To conTAcT us: Boise Weekly’s office is located at 523 Broad St., Boise, ID 83702 Phone: 208-344-2055 Fax: 208-342-4733 E-mail: info@boiseweekly.com www.boiseweekly.com Address editorial, business and production correspondence to: Boise Weekly, P.O. Box 1657, Boise, ID 83701 The entire contents and design of Boise Weekly are ©2013 by Bar Bar, Inc. boise weekly is An inDepenDenTly owneD AnD operATeD newspAper.

cover phoToGrAph by lAurie peArmAn w w w.b o ise w e e kly.c o m

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boiseweekly | RESTAURANT + BAR GUIDE 2013 | 7

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restaurant + bar guide/editor’s

note

In the past few years, a new word has been added to our lexicon: foodie. Yes, the quest for great food has become so serious that its most ardent devotees have their own appellation. But you don’t have to consider yourself a true foodie, or even a locavore, to appreciate good food—just like you don’t have to understand the finer points of making the perfect martini to enjoy a drink now and again. That’s why Boise Weekly proudly presents the 2013 edition of its Restaurant and Bar Guide. The restaurant and bar scene in the Treasure Valley can be a complicated thing to follow. With businesses opening, closing, moving, changing names or owners, it’s hard to keep track of what’s going on out there. That’s why Boise Weekly has done the hard work for you. We’re sharing some of our favorite eateries and watering holes to help you find the perfect place—or places—to satisfy whatever you’re craving. Boise’s restaurant and bar scene has gone through so many changes in the past year that we’ve decided to make some changes in our approach to this guide—namely, we’ve gotten more selective. This is by no means an encyclopedia of restaurants and bars in the Treasure Valley. Instead we’ve drawn on our knowledge of the local food and drink scene to offer a selection of some of our favorite places to visit; from the holes-in-the-wall that keep generations of patrons coming back, to the places where the cuisine is imaginative and cutting edge. Staying true to Boise Weekly’s longstanding tradition of celebrating what makes this area unique by focusing only on locally owned and operated businesses, you won’t find any chains or franchises here. While we appreciate the impact and offerings of chains, we like keeping it close to home and each establishment profiled here meets our criteria. Readers can always find more complete listings at our website, boiseweekly.com, where information is updated regularly—just the thing for our ever-changing food scene. Readers may also notice that we’ve organized things a bit differently. This time around we’ve categorized restaurants by the type of food each serves, making finding the perfect place to satiate that sudden craving all the easier. Hopefully this guide will inspire many memorable occasions. —Deanna Darr

Eat + Drink icons

Best of Boise Winner

Open Late

Full Bar

Live Music

Food

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Laurie P ea rma n

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$=$1-$10 $$=$11-$25 $$$=$26-$40 $$$$=$41 and up

The Not-so-Nasty Bits Chefs return to offal meats for fantastic dishes Tara Morgan | photographs by Laurie Pearman

Before British chef Fergus Henderson popularized the phrase “nose-to-tail eating,” or Spotted Pig chef April Bloomfield began featuring “not-so-nasty bits” on her West Village menu, Calvin W. Schwabe wrote this century’s official offal treatise, 1979’s Unmentionable Cuisine. “Because of prejudice or ignorance, we Americans now reject many readily available

foods that are cheap, nutritious and good to eat,” Schwabe wrote in the book’s introduction, before describing recipes for brain croquettes, stuffed spleen and calf’s head casserole. Though Americans tend to turn up their noses at these so-called nasty bits—offal meats like kidney, liver, bone marrow, tongue and tripe, or other animal byproducts like skin, tail

and trotters—adventurous chefs across the country are embracing the whole beast. And slowly, the trend is starting to find its footing in Boise. Brian Garrett, the meatmanic owner of the Saint Lawrence Gridiron food truck, dabbles in non-traditional meats on his menu—specials include a hunk of fried pork belly topped with house-made chicharones,

or deep-fried pig skin. “Honestly, when we started the truck, we were talking about doing offal Mondays and having one specialty item, a limited quantity offal. ... But the oxtail stew was the first experiment with that, and it was just an absolutely fantastic stew and it didn’t sell well,” said Garrett. “So we haven’t really given it a shot that much more except for

TONGUE

Lengua Tacos Azteca Food Truck

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TripE

Pho Pho Tam

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the chicharones.” But Garrett does offer offal to more courageous diners at the truck’s specialty pop-up dinners. “We’re building the pop-up dinners to be a little bit more adventurous,” said Garrett. “They’re themed and people buy the menu; they don’t have options. ... With that, the sinister side of us feels like once they buy the ticket, we’ve got them.” Some dishes Garrett has recently concocted include chicken gizzard ice cream, blood pudding tart and bone marrow on toast. But it’s not just the “yuck” factor that keeps Garrett from filling his menu with these weird bits. He said that despite their reasonable price tag, some of these items can be surprisingly difficult to procure in Boise. “We were trying to get beef tendons or even beef skin for one of the pop-up dinners that we were doing. I called every butcher I knew, every purveyor I knew, meat-packing plants locally, nobody would sell the weird pieces,” said Garrett. “It’s interesting. I think it just has more to do with the sales market than it does the availability of the product.” Meats Royale, an old-school butcher shop on Overland Road, carries a small variety of offal and other byproducts, but manager Jess Aldape said demand isn’t very high. “I have beef heart, beef liver, beef kidneys, oxtail, beef tail, whole hog’s head; I carry them,” said Aldape. “They’re not in the case but if you come in, I can get you heart or liver or kidney.” Aldape said he recently ordered a box of chitterlings (hog intestines) for one customer and sold hunks of tripe (cow stomach) to another making menudo, but said the majority of his offal meats are fed to house pets. “A lot of the heart that we sell is primarily for customers that are serving it to their dogs,” Aldape. “Liver, it’s about 50/50— cats, dogs and I have a pretty steady clientele that come in and want me to slice liver however thick and they actually fry it up with onions. That’s something their grandma did, and they remember it and want to try it again.” Aldape sources most of his offal from Gem Meat Packing Co., a USDA-certified meat-packing plant in Garden City. “The only thing we sell is the heart, the liver and the head,” said manager Tyler Compton. “All the other offal goes to [rendering company] Darling Delaware; they take care of all that stuff. They cook all that stuff down, and it’s a base for cosmetics.” Compton said that Gem Pack only offers cow heart, tail, liver and head because things like intestines can be difficult to clean. “There’s big plants that sell intestines, but we don’t do that,” he said. “We don’t sell any offal off the hogs, it’s just the beef.” Compton said Gem Pack delivers most of its organ meats to stores in Nampa and Caldwell, where there’s a large Hispanic population. Aldape also said his less traditional meat products are prized among Hispanic and Asian customers. “I know that it’s popular in a lot of other countries; we’ve just kind of gotten away from that,” Aldape said. “I have quite a few Asian people that come here that live here locally. They request these things because that’s what their parents did and their grandparents. They utilize every piece of the critter; there’s no waste in those countries. You eat the brain, you eat the liver, you eat the heart.” 12 | RESTAURANT + BAR GUIDE 2013 | boiseweekly

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yEllOw Tail cOllar

Hamachi Kama Sushi Joy

On a recent Friday night in downtown Boise, the smell of raw onions wafted from a small fluorescent-lit window on the Azteca Mexican food truck. A sign hanging on the truck advertised lengua (tongue) and cabeza (beef cheek) tacos. By just after midnight, though, the truck had completely sold out of both. “Everybody wants it, the way my dad cooks it,” explained Navil Velasco, as she handed a plate of corn tortillas heaped with shredded beef to a nearby patron. Velasco said the lengua and cabeza tacos are beloved both by the drunken bar crowd and those who have been frequenting the truck for years. On the Bench, another tiny fluorescentlit dive slings a significant amount of offal. Pho Tam’s signature dish is Pho Dac Biet, a cauldron of noodles and broth flecked with five-spice floating hunks of sliced meatball

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and slivers of tripe. “Every time, I tell them—if they are American—that No. 1 has tripe,” waitress Yesica Lopez told Boise Weekly. “Do you like tripe? Or do you want to do No. 1A that doesn’t? I let them know.” Not all places dishing up the weird bits do it for the sake of efficiency or novelty. Sushi Joy, a Chinese and Japanese palace perched on the outskirts of downtown, offers a menu item that’s prized in Asian cultures, but often overlooked by California rollloving Americans. Hamachi kama, the collarbone from a yellowtail, is a succulent mess of bones and grayish meat that might look like kitchen scraps to the untrained eye. “The Hamachi kama is kind of special,” explained manager Winnie Zhu. “We just have one or two for every day, or three if we’re really busy ... because we cut the fish every day.

Slathered in a rich mayonnaise-y lemon and black pepper sauce, the broiled Hamachi kama requires patience to dissect. You have to dig your chopsticks deep into the collar pockets to pinch off fatty slivers of meat while extracting thin bones from your mouth with each bite. But the effort is more than worth it. “The Asian people, the traditional Asian people, know what it is. But so many of the Americans ... when they trust me to try it, they always love it,” said Zhu. “No one’s complained so far.” Garrett and Aldape agreed with Zhu’s sentiment. Those who trust their tastebuds and shrug off the stigma attached to the nasty bits tend to realize offal’s not so awful after all. “It’s a mind-over-matter thing. ... It’s hard for people to put it in their mouth and try it and be completely unbiased, but it’s good,” said Aldape. •

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eat/barbecue BarBecue Goodwood BarBecue co. From the contemporary rustic decor to the menu steeped in barbecue, Goodwood is so smooth and polished it seems like it should be a chain. This Boise-based mini-chain dishes up just about everything Americana, but ribs and barbecue rule, so be ready to use the paper towels on every table. 7849 W. Spectrum St., Boise, 208-658-7173; 1140 N. Eagle Road, Meridian, 208-884-1021; goodwoodbbq.com. $-$$

+ delis

Mickeyray’s roadhouse BarBecue So, just what does a Northwestern state have in common with the South? We both have our “colorful” characters and we love us some properly grilled meat. This cultural common ground is celebrated at MickeyRay’s, where barbecue lovers can indulge their cravings for Southern-style cuisine. Some of the best offerings are actually the side dishes like hushpuppies and fried okra. 395 W. State St., Eagle, 208-939-7427; 980 N. Milwaukee St., Boise, 208-343-7427, mickeyraysbbq. com. $-$$$

delis a’Tavola Whether you’re in the market for an espresso and slice of quiche or a bottle of prosecco and a wedge of Camembert, A’Tavola gourmet market offers myriad prepared and to-go options. Cafe Shakespeare’s Lisa Peterson and head chef Tim Holley whip up colorful deli salads and rustic sandwiches along with fresh bakery treats and graband-go meals to enjoy in the simple white-washed space or at home. 1515 W. Grove St., Boise, 208-336-3641, atavolaboise.com. $-$$

eat + drink/downtown

Blue sky BaGels Bagel lovers know the real deal. From garlic to asiago, this shop knows its business, along with a full list of housemade cream cheeses, breakfast and lunch sandwiches and soup. 407 W. Main St., Boise, 208-388-4242; 3161 E. Fairview Ave., Ste. 130, Meridian, 208-855-9113, blueskybagels.com. $

Boise co-op deli After a recent overhaul, the kitchen cranks out fare like seitan enchiladas for its rotating hotbar. A burrito station, salad bar and a revamped sandwich menu—with options like tempeh avocado and roasted squash—make the deli a one-stop shop. 888 W. Fort St., Boise, 208-472-4500, boise.coop. $

BleuBird

LAuRie PeARMAN

This sunlit sandwich spot adds twists to the classics—grilled cheese with caramelized onions, dijon and fig preserves—while slinging more adventurous fare like a creamy pheasant soup. Though it has limited hours, its simpleyet-innovative menu is worth carving out time for. 224 N. 10th St., Boise, 208345-1055, bleubirdboise.com. $

coBBy’s

>>>

The sandwich is always being overlooked. But since 1978, Cobby’s has elevated its stature with piles of meats ranging from mortadella to turkey. Boiseans have turned to Cobby’s to renew their love for subs— and for its unlimited chip station. 1030 Broadway Ave., Boise, 208-345-0990; 6899 W. Overland Road, Boise, 208323-0606; 4348 Chinden Blvd., Garden City, 208-322-7401, cobbys.com. $-$$

Bar Gernika The spicy lamb grinder and some croquettes are worth the effort to find parking (page 50).

BiG city coffee The bakery selection may make you weep (page 16).

deli GeorGe

Bittercreek ale House

Goldy’s Breakfast Bistro

penGilly’s saloon

Try the Huntsman Burger (page 24).

You can’t go wrong with a salmon cake (page 53).

Great live music most nights (page 61).

cHandlers steakHouse

Happy fisH susHi and Martini Bar

Make time for a Ten Minute Martini in the bar (page 20).

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Belly up to the bar for the sashimi plate (page 46).

yen cHinG You’ve got to love a Chinese restaurant with a full bar (page 44).

Some know it as “that place with the upside down sign,” but regulars know this eatery as the place with dailyroasted beef, corned beef and madefrom-scratch salads. We recommend the cheesesteaks—there are five to choose from. 220 S. Broadway Ave., Boise, 208-323-2582, deligeorge.com. $-$$

Jenny’s lunch line Life is like Jenny’s: you never know what you’re going to get. Sandwiches, salads and soups area sold a la carte and the choices are ever changing, but everything is fresh, inventive and offers plenty of options for the vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free. 106 N. Sixth St., Boise, 208433-0092, jennyslunchline.com. $ w w w.b o ise w e e kly.c o m

www.thepiperpub.com

Upscale pub entrees Largest spirit selection in Boise  Daily lunch specials  Live music  Over 60 single malt Scotch  2nd story patio overlooking downtown  

150 N. 8ndth St. th 8 & Main, 2 Floor

Boise, ID 208.343.2444

Best happy hour in Boise!

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eat/coffee

houses & bakeries

coffee Houses and Bakeries alia’s coffeehouse Whether it’s a lazy Sunday with a bagel and the paper, or lunch with a gourmet sandwich, this downtown hub is a coffee joint for all occasions. Check the decadent desserts made daily. 908 W. Main St., Boise, 208-338-1299. $

BiG ciTy coffee Something amazing happens at Big City: Suddenly, eating a scone the size of your head seems perfectly rational. The baked good are over the top, as are the breakfasts, sandwiches and everything else. The eclectic vibe invites diners to relax, and the coffee isn’t bad either. 1416 Grove St., Boise, 208345-3145, bigcitycoffeeld.com. $

cafe crane The in-house bakery turns out fresh baked goods from cinnamon rolls to muffins, scones and bread every morning. Grab a cup of coffee and dig in to house-made soups, quiche and flatbreads. 3130 E. State St., Ste. 105, Eagle, 208-938-7790, cafecrane. com. $

The crux in Boise’s evolution to arts Mecca, The Crux may be the missing link. A coffee house in the Bohemian tradition, the walls are filled with local art, and Stumptown coffee and local beers help patrons of all ages enjoy the variety of local and touring musicians. 1022 W. Main St., Boise, 208-342-3213. $

dawson Taylor’s its slow-roasted beans create Dawson’s fresh-brewed French Roast, Sumatra and other rich coffees. Find colorful regulars and a great patio at its downtown location. 219 N. Eighth St., Boise, 208-336-5633; 216 W. 38th St., Ste. A, Boise, 208-376-2787; 8205 W. Rifleman Road, Boise, 208-658-5623, dawsontaylor.com. $

disTricT coffee house Amen and pass the sugar. This cafe in the subterranean corner of Boise’s historic Belgravia building serves what it calls “God’s perfect love” in the form of Arabica beans. Affiliated with Calvary Chapel, District also offers semi-regular live music. 110 S. Fifth St., Boise, 208343-1089, districtcoffeehouse.com. $

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flyinG M coffeeGaraGe

JiM’s coffee shop

The converted auto garage is a Canyon County outpost for food, music, art, events, gifts and, of course, coffee, coffee, coffee. Concerts by local and touring bands rattle the Coffeegarage’s walls on the regular. 1314 Second St. S., Nampa, 208-467-5533, flyingmcoffee.com. $

At Jim’s, the coffee’s always fresh and goes down well with whatever you’re eating, from the create-your-own omelets buried under hashbrowns, eggs and bacon, to the burgers that have made this greasy spoon a North end institution. 812 W. Fort St., Boise, 208-343-0154. $

flyinG M coffeehouse

Moxie Java

Flying M has reached legendary Throw a stone in the valley and you’ll status in probably hit a Moxthe Treasure ie Java—or someValley. it’s where one who’s ticked you can go to find about being hit by some of the best a rock. Make it coffee creations in up to him or her town served in the with a cup of joe glow of local art, from the Boise eccentric chain that roasts treasures, comfy its own beans. if places to lounge you happen to hit and tasty baked that person near treats. if you wait Moxie’s Garden long enough, City headquarters, you’re sure to run you could spring into nearly for lunch. 6625 tiM JoHnstone everyone you’ve N. Glenwood dJ aT 94.9 fM krvB The river ever met. 500 W. St., Garden City, Idaho St., Boise, 208-376-2299; Where do you like to eat locally? 208-345-4320, 245 S. Capitol Fork. flyingmcoffee. Blvd., Boise, com. $ 208-345-1744; What’s your favorite dish? 4990 W. Chinden Wild mushroom ravioli. Blvd., Garden City, JanJou 208-246-8528; Where do you like to drink locally? paTisserie 1575 N. Linder The Modern Hotel and Bar. Janjou is convertRoad, Kuna, ing American 208-922-4422; What’s your favorite drink? pastry fans to the 441 Milwaukee Whatever Michael [Bowers, Modern French tradition. St., Boise, 208bartender] is serving. Delicately baked 323-1131; 404 croissants, macaParkcenter Blvd., roons and petits Ste. 100, Boise, fours call out, begging to be washed 208-424-9463; 1122 Vista Ave., Boise, down with an espresso. Janjou also 208-331-5066. $ offers cheesecakes, coffee cakes and tarts to go so you can fudge your bakreMBrandTs coffee shop ing prowess at your next brunch party. Coffee is a religious experience—and 1754 W. State St., Boise, 208-297it feels that way at this church-turned5853, janjou.com. $ temple-of-joe. it’s now a cool, eclectic place filled with art, baked goodies and Java lunch staples like soups, sandwiches From the bright interior with the retroand salads. 93 S. Eagle Road, Eagle, chic kitsch, to the coffee and tempting 208-938-1564, rembrandtscoffeebakery offerings made in house, to house.net. $ the smattering of breakfast and lunch items, Java is just plain hip. But it’s the river ciTy coffee kind of hip that makes you want to grab This cafe has set out to make its mark a seat, fire up your laptop and spend with giant muffins, tasty sandwiches a few hours. 223 N. Sixth St., Boise, and caffeinated drinks in a pleasing 208-345-0777; 1612 N. 13th St., space along State Street outfitted in a Boise, 208-345-4777, javabowlofsoul. neo-industrial and bike theme. 5517 W. com. $ State St., Boise, 208-853-9161. $ w w w.b o ise w e e kly.c o m

eat/coffee

houses

salT Tears coffeehouse & noshery Neighbors congregate to nosh on homemade breakfast treats and Doma coffee, along with rotating weekly soups, sandwiches and family style dinners—all made from scratch with fresh, local ingredients. in the evenings, chill out with live music or wind down with a wine tasting. 4714 W. State St., Boise, 208-275-0017, salttears.com. $-$$

eat + drink/north

sol Bakery

Zeppole BakinG co.

Health-conscious carb cravers seek out Sol for artisanal breads and pastries made from scratch using locally sourced and organic ingredients. Some stay and linger over tea or Dawson Taylor coffee. 3910 Hill Road, Ste. 102, 208-570-7164, solbakery.com. $

A good way to judge a city is by the quality of its bread, and if that’s true, then Boise is in good shape. When it comes to Zeppole’s fresh-baked goodness, know that whether you’re buying a loaf, or popping in for a sandwich, the bread is going to be a winner. 983 E. Parkcenter Blvd., Boise, 208-338–1499; 217 N. Eighth St., Boise, 208-345-2149; zeppolebakery.com. $

wild wesT Bakery Maybe the West was won with fresh pastries, juicy burgers and sunlit patios instead of blood and sweat. This Wild West’s version is much tastier. 83 E. State St., Eagle, 208-939-5677, wildwestbakeryandespresso.com. $-$$

boise

>>>

LAuRie PeARMAN

13tH street puB and Grill The beet salad is fantastic (page 24).

cafe Vicino Fill up on the fresh Yukon gold potato chips with truffle salt (page 38).

HiGHlands Hollow You will never be able to order polenta anywhere else—it’s that good (page 26).

parrilla Grill Don’t miss $2 tacos on Thursdays (page 48).

36tH street Bistro Try the Highland Burger (page 28). 18 | RESTAURANT + BAR GUIDE 2013 | boiseweekly

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eat/fine

dining Bella Aquila

FINE DINING Barbacoa This place is as much visual spectacle as restaurant. Everything about this Latin-fusion eatery is epic: Entrees explode with flame, meat sizzles and all in a setting as theatrical as the food. The ingredients are fresh and the restaurant is filled with so much art, historic pieces and architectural flourishes that it could be confused for the set of a Robert Rodriguez movie—if it weren’t for the swanky bar. 276 Bobwhite Court, Boise, 208-338-5000, barbacoa-boise. com. $$-$$$$

eat + drink/state

With a name that means “beautiful Eagle,” this Italian eatery courts the well-heeled with its swank interior, well-trained staff and enviable riverside patio. Pair an order of beef carpaccio with a glass of pinot grigio near the Boise River, or sip a bowl of cioppino at a cozy inside table. 775 S. Rivershore Lane, Eagle, 208-938-1900, bellaaquilarestaurant.com. $$-$$$

Berryhill & Co. The restaurant describes itself as “fine, yet casual,” and while that might be a little modestly put, the food fits that description. It’s a balance of cosmo-

politan comfort food and light fare. Dinner ramps things up with Kobe cuts, racks of lamb and seafood. Happy hour specials are an event in the lounge. 121 N. Ninth St., Boise, 208-3873553, berryhillandco.com. $-$$$

Brick 29 Bistro Chef Dustan Bristol keeps diners on their toes with a seasonal menu that leans heavily on the fresh and local while playing up the innovative and delicious. From steaks to seafood to pastas to a serious weekend brunch, this Nampa eatery is upping the ante. 320 11th Ave. S., Ste. 100, Nampa, 208-468-0029, brick29.com. $-$$$

street

The Brickyard This steakhouse-meets-dueling-pianos bar draws the business set with a lunch menu of well-priced burgers, salads and sandwiches, while filet mignon and top-shelf Scotch beckon an upscale crowd after sunset. 601 Main St., Boise, 208-287-2121, brickyardboise. com. $$-$$$$

Chandlers Steakhouse When dining at Chandlers, you can expect top-notch service paired with excellent cuisine in sleek surroundings where the glow of blue neon and the strains of live jazz mix perfectly. Classic steak house offerings share space with inventive creations. Linger in the elegant bar with a signature Ten Minute martini. 981 W. Grove St., Boise, 208-383-4300, chandlersboise.com. $-$$$$

La urie Pearman

Copper Canyon Idaho is a meat-and-potatoes place, but that doesn’t mean the meat can’t be accompanied by an excellent sauce, does it? This longtime restaurant is one of the best places in the west valley to find just that. 103 Shannon Dr., Nampa, 208-466-1114, coppercanyonnampa. com. $-$$$

Cottonwood Grille

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Cottonwood has been a fine dining destination for years. The Northwestinspired menu offers steaks, seafood, salads and pasta, and a long list of game meats raised nearby. In the summer, reserve a table on the Greenbelt-adjacent patio. 913 W. River St., Boise, 208-333-9800, cottonwoodgrille.com. $$-$$$

The Dutch Goose

The Lift Bar and Grill

Check out the halibut fish and chips served on Fridays and Saturdays only. (page 24).

Holy Oly Night means 50cent cans of Olympia every Tuesday (page 26)

MerritT’s Country Cafe The “home of the scone” is worth visiting (page 53).

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Pizzalchik The Wild Forest Mist pizza includes elk, wild mushrooms and rainbows (page 34).

Salt Tears Coffeehouse and Noshery A must for weekend brunch (page 18).

Emilio’s

Westside Drive-in Get in line early for the prime rib (page 38).

Find cocktails and well-crafted fare at Emilio’s in the Grove Hotel. Ingredients from local purveyors help create fresh dishes. Pair with a cocktail or one of the 450 wines. 245 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise, 208-333-8002, emiliosboise.com. $$-$$$

Red Feather Lounge A go-to for foodies craving creative fare with rotating seasonal specials. Red Feather wears its local pride on its sleeve, serving delicious items from some of the region’s top farms. The artistry continues behind the bar, where mixologists craft a dizzying array of cocktails. 246 N. Eighth St., Boise, 208-429-6340, bcrfl.com/ redfeather. $-$$$ w w w.b o ise w e e kly.c o m

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eat/steak

& seafood

steak and seafood fresh off The hook Fresh seafood is the focus while sandwiches and salads are available for the fish-averse. Choose from an assortment of fish and chips, split fish tacos with a friend or go for the Alaskan cod and blackened salmon filets. The BODO location offers a more upscale dining experience. 507 N. Milwaukee St., Boise, 208-3229224; 401 Eighth St., Boise, 208-343-0220; freshoffthehookseafood.com. $-$$$

Jaker’s

lucky fins in its classy casual interior, Lucky Fins offers Asian, Mexican and Northwest cuisine, with sushi, pasta and burgers. The raw oyster bar is a favorite, as are the drinks. A second location is set to open on Grove Plaza. 1441 N. Eagle Road, Meridian, 208-888-3467, luckyfinsgrill.com. $-$$

The orchard house resTauranT

ken Bass dJ aT 94.9 fM krvB The river

The dark wrap-around bar is Where do you like to eat locally? filled with Fujiyama. happy-hour revelers and the What’s your favorite dish? booths are packed The Godzilla roll. with those taking advantage of Where do you like to drink locally? steaks, seafood, Bardenay. sandwiches and more. Not that What’s your favorite drink? hungry? Check out A huckleberry martini. the smaller-portion menu. 3268 E. Pine Ave., Meridian, 208-288-0898, jakers.com. $$-$$$

Yes, it’s a bit out of the way for the average Treasure Valley resident, but think of it as a mini-vacation destination where you get to eat great classic fare in a restaurant perched on the Snake River. even better, make it a stop off along your tasting tour of Canyon County’s wineries. 14949 Sunnyslope Road, Caldwell, 208-459-8200, theorchardhouse. us. $-$$

sTaGecoach inn

kahooTZ sTeak and alehouse Kahootz prides itself on not having a deep fryer. And we must admit we’re impressed. With 43 beers on tap, 28day dry aged beef and fresh seafood, the folks at Kahootz like to say, “Your friends are here.” They may be right. 603 N. Main St., Meridian, 208-8959861, gotokahootz.com. $-$$

lock sTock & Barrel it’s not the number of steaks that counts: it’s how they’re prepared. All of Lock Stock’s are hand-cut, aged and seared on the grill. With a menu that includes pastas, sandwiches and a salad bar, you can get it all. 1100 W. Jefferson St., Boise, 208-336-4266, lsbboise.com. $$-$$$

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The Stagecoach inn has been around about as long as idaho has been a state, and the retro-fab interior won’t do much to change that impression. in time-honored tradition, it’s known for steaks, jumbo prawns, prime rib and classic desserts. 3132 Chinden Blvd., Garden City, 208-342-4161, stagecoachboise.com. $-$$

Tavern aT Bown crossinG A host of interesting menu options make this Bown steak house the place to take out-of-towners. Order the pot-roast nachos, a bowl of Japanese street noodles, or indulge in artfully crafted maki and nigiri. Pair with something from the extensive wine list and your visitors might soon be your neighbors. 3111 S. Bown Way, Boise, 208-345-2277, tavernatbown.com. $$-$$$ w w w.b o ise w e e kly.c o m

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eat/vegetarian,

american + pubs & breweries

VEGETARIAN

AMERICAN

Shangri-La Tea Room

Shanaz

Tea devotees will think they’ve reached Shangri-La at this vegetarian and vegan paradise. It has one of the most impressive selections of teas around, along with vegetarian delicacies like raw mock tuna sandwiches, curry wraps and tofu scrambles. 1800 W. Overland Road, Boise, 208424-0273, shangri-latearoomandcafe. com. $-$$

You can wait until the weekend when Shanaz dishes out its specialty gumbo, or enjoy some down home cookin’ any time, like fried green tomatoes, catfish, collard greens, chicken and waffles, jambalaya-stuffed peppers and freshly baked cornbread. 520 S. Main St., Meridian, 208-922-6433. $-$$

eat + drink/broadway

PUBS and BREWERIES

Solid Sip cocktails on one of its two vast patios or dine in one of its shady nooks, Solid’s polished but relaxed atmosphere has made it a downtown staple. 405 S. Eighth St., Boise, 208-345-6620, solidboise.com. $-$$

Willowcreek Grill Casual, contemporary and Northwestern describe both the atmosphere and the menu of sandwiches, salads and entrees. It’s full of Northwestern nods. 2273 S. Vista Ave., Ste. 150, Boise, 208-343-5544; 1065 E. Winding Creek Drive, Eagle, 208-938-3010, willowcreekgrill.com. $-$$

avenue

13th Street Pub and Grill You won’t find a better people-watching spot than the patio at this Hyde Park favorite, but it’s hard to look away from your food. Try the pub fare (baked brie, burgers) or some of the finer entrees (Idaho trout and pale ale mushroom risotto). 1520 N. 13th St., Boise, 208-639-8888. $$

Bardenay

La uri e Pe arman

Know this about Bardenay: No. 1 it makes its own hooch, and No. 2 it is home to two of the best patios around. Bardenay also has a diverse selection of sandwiches, burgers, salads and entries that are fresh and plentiful. Don’t forget the creative cocktails. 610 Grove St., Boise, 208-426-0538; 155 E. Riverside Dr., Eagle, 208-938-5093, bardenay.com. $-$$

Ben’s Crow Inn Ben’s has more than one surprise within its well-worn walls. Halfway between Boise and Lucky Peak along the Greenbelt, Ben’s is a favorite pit stop where folks can sip beers and empty buckets of clams. 6781 Warm Springs Ave., Boise, 208-342-9669. $-$$$

Bittercreek Ale House

>>>

In a town that loves brewpubs, Bittercreek has earned a special place—and not only for the impressive list of microbrews. The food is fresh and hyper local, straddling the line between comfort food and innovative cuisine. The Eighth Street patio is the ultimate place to spend an evening. 246 N. Eighth St., Boise, 208-345-1813, bcrfl.com/ bittercreek. $-$$

Big Jud’s Burgers of gargantuan proportions (page 34).

Boise Fry Company Indulge in the Bourgeois fries (page 34).

Bier:Thirty

Cosmic Pizza The Craters of the Moon pizza includes sliced potatoes and a baked egg (page 30).

The End Zone Being a member of the mug club has its benefits (page 62).

R Bar Deli George The Turkey Bacon Avocado salad is a must (page 14).

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The laid-back bar is full of diversions to keep eveyone happy (page 62).

Tapia’s Gourmet Nightly take-home dinner specials (page 30).

More than 400 craft and imported bottles line its shelves, 10 of which are featured on rotating taps. But even without the beer, the clean design and the pub cuisine are equally intoxicating. Grab a 3073 S. Bown Way, Boise, 208342-1916, bierthirty.com. $-$$

Dutch Goose It looks like a dive bar but the cuisine is far from average—the ingredients are prime (local, all-natural burgers), the dishes are delicious and the deals are worth checking out—especially the halibut and chips on Fridays and Saturdays. 3515 W. State St., Boise, 208-3428887, dutchgoose.com. $-$$

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CHEERS TO A UNIQUELY IDAHO EXPERIENCE

THE NATION’S FIRST RESTAURANT DISTILLERY Boise • Eagle • Coeur d’Alene www.bardenay.com

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eat/pubs

& breweries

GraMercy park This newbie takes gastropub favorites up a notch with clever and fresh twists. Dishes like pork belly sliders and cauliflower veggie wings share menu space with more traditional entrees and burgers. 1626 Wells Ave., Ste. 115, Meridian, 208-854-7979, gramercypizzagrill.com. $-$$

ha’ penny irish puB Ha’ Penny harkens to the pub culture of the emerald isle, with a full menu of pub-style favorites like fish and chips and shepherd’s pie, plenty of libations and a steady supply of live music. 855 Broad St., Ste. 250, Boise, 208-3435568, hapennybridgepub.com. $-$$

eat + drink/west

hiGhlands hollow Brewhouse Though it’s at the foot of Bogus Basin, you don’t have to strap on skis to strap on a feedbag or down a few brews at this longtime Boise favorite. Locals dig this brewery’s slate of handcrafted beers and distinct apps like the barley bread sticks and soba salad. 455 Harrison Hollow Lane, Boise, 208-3436820, highlandshollow.com. $-$$

hyde park puB and Grill elwood Blues: it’s a grilled chicken breast smothered in chili-garlic mayo, jalapenos and Tabasco sauce. it’s just one of the heaping sandwiches, burgers, salads and wraps you can chase with a pitcher of inexpensive beer. Hang out on the patio or stay in the dining room and watch your team on TV. 1501 N. 13th St., Boise, 208-3369260, harryshydepark.com. $-$$

The lifT Bar and Grill

piper puB & Grill

You wouldn’t expect a place that has a Holy Oly night—cans are 50 cents on Tuesdays—to offer much in the way of edibles. But you can pair your Oly with Basque clams, a prawn salad or The Lift’s fish tacos, which are reason enough to fight the State Street traffic. 4091 W. State St., Boise, 208-3423250, theliftboise.com. $-$$

When Boiseans need perspective, they head to Piper to peer from the wraparound second story patio. Feel above-it-all with quality pub food and happy hour specials. The top-notch Scotch selection might have something to do with that change of attitude. 150 N. Eighth St., Boise, 208-343-2444, thepiperpub.com. $-$$

o’Michael’s puB & Grill Both bar flies and hungry Boiseans flock to the full menu and bar, featuring burgers and sandwiches and a selection of favorites including corned beef and Bailey’s french toast. Stop in late for a drink to see why it’s a mainstay. 2433 N. Bogus Basin Road, Boise, 208-342-8948, omichaelspub. com. $-$$

redheaded finn The Finn brings heaven to earth, serving from a brief but thought-out rotating tap beer selection. The food menu is no less divine, with leg of lamb grinder and a ginger curry salad. 705 W. Bannock St., Boise, 208-947-3111, redheadedfinnpub.com. $-$$

rick’s press rooM its packed with a newspaper theme but it’s the tasty, unusual bar fare (try the salmon) made with fresh, homemade ingredients that is the real news. 130 E. Idaho Ave., Meridian, 208-288-0558, rickspressroom.net. $-$$

boise

LAuRie PeARMAN

rudy’s puB and Grill Don’t let the TVs and games fool you. Rudy’s has a sports bar feel, but try finding dishes like dill salmon filet or prime beef stroganoff in your typical sports bar. 2310 E. Overland Road, Ste. 150, Meridian, 208-884-4453, rudyspubngrill.com. $-$$

schooners A Meridian favorite, Shconers has a few dozen beers on tap to complement its full menu of burgers, wraps, salads and more. Be on the lookout for the special beer dinners. 499 S. Main St., Meridian, 208-884-3737. $-$$

sockeye Brewery

>>>

Brew it in-house and pair it with pub grub: That’s Sockeye’s motto. Whether you’re washing down the Coho club with Power House Porter or the ranch chicken wrap with the HellDiver Pale Ale, you’ll see why Sockeye is a favorite. 3019 N. Cole Road, Boise, 208-6581533, sockeyebrew.com. $-$$

tHe eGG factory Specialty pancakes include red velvet and gingerbread (page 53).

sully’s fresH off tHe Hook

lindy’s steak House

Get a big bowl of clam chowder (page 22).

Arguably the best fingersteaks in town (page 64).

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willi B’s The muffuletta is a favorite (page 28).

Sully’s is worth the trip to Star. The eatery offers pub fare with a contemporary spin in a relaxed vibe. While the interior is expansive, it’s the giant patio where the fun is. Don’t forget Sunday brunch. 11123 State St., Star, 208-2867743, sullys-idaho.com. $-$$ w w w.b o ise w e e kly.c o m

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eat/pubs

+ bistro & wine

TaBlerock BrewpuB

duTch oven cafe

This institution pioneered microbrewing in Boise. Since 1991, Tablerock has turned out quality micros, but its menu of sandwiches, salads, pub standards and more has grown with its output of suds. 705 Fulton St., Boise, 208-3420944, tablerockbrewpub.com. $-$$

Open for more than a half-century, The Dutch Oven moved to new digs on North Orchard Street, near Fairview Avenue in late 2012. Big breakfasts and lunches are served Mondays through Saturdays. 1621 N. Orchard St., Boise, 208-353-1535. $-$$

willi B’s saloon Willi B’s calls what it does “bunkhouse cooking,” but that doesn’t do justice to the homemade sandwiches and comfort food that rolls out of the kitchen. it also offers some of the best drink specials around. 12505 Chinden Blvd., Boise, 208-331 5666, willibs.com. $-$$

Bistro and wine 36Th sTreeT BisTro This American bistro boasts a seasonal menu with grass-fed Highland beef sandwiches at lunch and stuffed quail or seared salmon at dinner. Don’t miss the weekend brunch. 3823 N. Garden Center Way, Boise, 208-433-5108, 36streetgardencenter.com. $-$$

The flicks Catch a movie with a glass of wine and spend the rest of an afternoon nursing a beer and lasagna, a burger or salad on The Flicks’ secluded patio. 646 Fulton St., Boise, 208-342-4222, theflicksboise. com. $

MattHew caMeron clark

Where do you eat locally? i tend to gravitate toward big flavor for lunch. Taj Mahal, Yokozuna and Pho Tam are all standards for me. For dinner, i want time and variety. Cafe Vicino and Bittercreek are both fantastic. Sono Bana has been added to the family favorites since we moved to the Bench. What’s your favorite dish? Nothing beats really fresh uni, but the grilled halloumi at Bittercreek is made of salty magic. Where do you drink locally? Gernika feels like home, The Modern feels celebratory, Bittercreek has a great beer list and Matador has good food, late. What do you drink? i like beer i can’t see through and gin cocktails that aren’t sweet. The usual is a Mutton Buster Brown from Payette Brewing poured right here at BCT.

Bacon Breakfast and lunch are better with bacon—vegetarian and low-fat options, coffee, beer, wine and Bloody Marys. Grab a mimosa to wash down brioche french toast or bacon lasagne, or nosh candied bacon, tempeh or pancetta by the strip. 915 Idaho St., Boise, 208387-3553, baconboise.com. $-$$ 28 | RESTAURANT + BAR GUIDE 2013 | boiseweekly

fork

Boise conTeMporary TheaTer arTisTic direcTor

This eatery takes its name from the farm-to-fork movement, offering Northwestern fare prepared with seasonal and local ingredients. Fork packs in locavores and gastronomes alike. exposed brick and warm wood make Fork a primo happy hour or date night destination. 199 N. Eighth St., 208-287-1700, boisefork.com. $-$$$

Grape escape

A large selection of wine is the biggest draw, but a menu of filling, fresh breakfast, lunch and dinner items make this eighth Street hangout a go-to destination for weekend brunch—especially when you can spend it on the excellent patio. 800 W. Idaho St., Boise, 208368-0200. $-$$

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eat/bistro

& wine + pizza

life’s kiTchen

Miss TaMi’s

pacific riM

Tapia’s GourMeT

The menu constantly changes as chefs train at-risk young adults to master culinary skills. Sandwiches, salads and desserts are always great, as are the prices. Visit the website for weekly menus. 1025 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise, 208-331-0199, lifeskitchen.org. $-$$

Miss Tami’s celebrates the tradition of high tea, but lunches are great, too. Sandwiches, salads and soups are served in an over-thetop girly atmosphere. Reservations recommended. 1031 N. Main St., Meridian, 208-888-1770, misstamis. com. $-$$

The wine shop has blossomed into a bistro and wine bar, complete with appetizers, wraps and even a tidy little dessert menu. 2870 W. State St., Boise, 208-342-3375, pacificrimwinestop.com. $-$$

Bistro fare that eludes the ordinary. The menu is full of the simple but unusual, like ginger chicken with grilled nectarines and phyllo-wrapped salmon. 2132 S. Broadway Ave., Boise, 208906-8755; tapiasgourmet.com. $-$$

locavore This Bown hot spot celebrates local fare by serving delicious gourmet eats and savory libations like seasonal berry mimosas. 3110 S. Bown Way, Boise, 208-338-8887. $-$$

Muse Muse amuses discerning palates with a rotating weekly menu of creative and well-executed fare of meat and seafood. The wine list and desserts keep epicures elated. 1441 Eagle Road, Meridian, 208-855-5951, musebistroandwinebar.com. $-$$

The press Ample wine and beer are served during a generous happy hour. Try a simple meat and cheese plate, a pear gorgonzola salad or a panini. 212 N. Ninth St., Ste. B, Boise, 208-336-9577. $-$$

eat + drink/bench

pizza casanova piZZeria A longtime favorite of Boise Benchers, Casanova serves up some of the best pizza in town. And holy cow, that crust. Casanova also features more than a few intriguing sandwiches as well as a well-curated beer and wine selection. 1204 S. Vista Ave., Boise, 208-3313535, casanovapizzeria.com. $-$$$

cosMic piZZa

LAuRie PeARMAN

With decor reminiscent of The Jetsons’ living room, arcade games and futuristic ‘za toppings like tater tots and jalapeno peppers, Cosmic Pizza hits Boise’s sweet spot where eats and entertainment intersect. Not jonesing for pizza? Grab a burger, sandwich or salad. 1221 W. Boise Ave., 208-258-3871, cosmicpizzaboise.com. $-$$

>>>

flaTBread neapoliTan piZZeria

Bosnian express The gyros will keep you coming back for more (page 54).

cHianG Mai The tom-kah-kai is some of the best in town (page 50).

cucino di paolo Grab some heat-and-serve homemade meals if you want to impress guests with “your” cooking (page 38).

tanGo’s eMpanadas Go authentic with the Gaucho (page 54).

crescent “no lawyers” Seriously, no lawyers (page 62).

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With certified Neapolitan pizza and a bevy of inventive thin-crust creations and pastas, this is the kind of place adults love more than kids, thanks to gourmet pies, great cocktails and slammin’ lunch specials. Kids are more than welcome—they can even help make their own pie—but you won’t find a costumed mascot. 615 W. Main St., Boise, 208-287-4757; 3139 S. Bown Way, Boise, 208-343-4177; 830 N. Main St., Ste. A, Meridian, 208-288-0969; flatbreadpizza.com. $-$$

flyinG pie piZZaria Seeing your pizza dough spun in the air is strangely reassuring. Not only does Flying Pie do some hardcore whirling but the crew tops those crusts with gourmet ingredients. The eclectic, family friendly place is getting better this year with the addition of a new Meridian location opening in May. 4320 W. State St., Boise, 208-3840000; 6508 Fairview Ave., Boise, 208376-3454; 601 S. Main St., Meridian, 208-888-9500, flyingpie.com. $-$$$

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day trip

Filling your culinary cravings on the road sun Valley Boca 131 washington ave., ketchum, 208-928-7773, bocaketchum.com

Colorful Latin-inspired cuisine. caVa caVa 230 walnut ave., ketchum, 208-727-1800, cavacava-sunvalley.com

Focusing on local, natural ingredients with a Mediterranean flare. ck’s real food 320 s. Main st., hailey, 208-788-1223, ckrealfood.com

Local and regional ingredients and a hyper-sustainable focus. della Mano 260 n. Main st., ketchum, 208-721-7351, dellamanorestaurant.com

despo’s

pioneer saloon

zou 75

406 washington ave., sun valley, 208-726-3068, despossv.com

308 n. Main st., ketchum, 208-726-3139, pioneersaloon.com

416 n. Main st., hailey, 208-788-3310, zou75.com

Healthy, tasty Mexican fare.

Western attitude with big grilled steaks and traditional fare.

Elegant and creative sushi.

GloBus restaurant

power House puB

291 sixth st. e., ketchum, 208-726-1301, globus-restaurant.com

411 n. Main st., hailey, 208-788-9184, powerhouseidaho.com

Fine dining from around the world.

Fresh pub food in a super bike-friendly home.

il naso 480 washington ave., ketchum, 208-726-7776, ilnaso.com

Fine Italian dining. laGo azul Mexican restuarant 14 w. croy st., hailey, 208-578-1700

Authentic and fresh Mexican.

Fine rustic Italian dining using local products.

ricksHaw 460 washington ave., ketchum, 208-726-8481, eat-at-rickshaw.com

Asian street food becomes creative small plates. VintaGe 231 leadville ave., ketchum, 208-726-9595

Fine dining with a local menu that rotates constantly.

Mccall Mccall BrewinG coMpany 807 n. Third st., Mccall, 208-634-3309, mccallbrew.com

Handcrafted brews and tasty pub fare. tHe narrows at sHore lodGe 501 w. lake st., Mccall, 800-657-6464, shorelodge.com/dining/ the-narrows

Lakeside fine dining. pancake House 209 n. Third st., Mccall, 208-634-5849, mccallpancakehouse.com

A McCall staple with giant breakfasts. ruperts at Hotel Mccall 1101 n. Third st., Mccall, 866-800-1183, hotelmccall.com

Fine dining with a Northwestern flavor. foGlifter cafe 1003 n. Third st., Mccall, 208-634-5507

>>>

Fresh breakfasts and light lunches. •

LA uRi e Pe ARMAN

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pizza/eat fronT door

lulu’s fine piZZa

Pizza and beer are often thought of as frivolous, but Front Door takes both seriously. The pizzas are gourmet and the nearly endless beer list is filled with microbrews—no domestics here. For aficionados, neither pizza nor beer are laughing matters. 105 S. Sixth St., Boise, 208-2879201. thefrontdoorboise.com. $-$$

Lulu’s is a popular North end neighborhood restaurant serving up New Yorkstyle pizzas. enjoy standard options like tomato with mozzarella, or specialty varieties like the artichoke heart and kalamata olive. The diverse salad menu, rotating beer and wine list and a cozy location make Lulu’s a welcome respite. 2594 Bogus Basin Road, Boise, 208387-4992, ilovelulus.com. $-$$

Guido’s There’s nothing like a slice of Guido’s New Yorkstyle pizza. Stromboli, salads and a healthy roster of suds complement a daily selection of pies. 235 N. Fifth St., Boise, 208-345-9011; 12375 Chinden Blvd., Ste. G, Garden City, 208-376-1008; guidosdowntown. com. $-$$

idaho piZZa coMpany

MessenGer piZZa

Jess flynn ceo of red sky puBlic relaTions and all-around foodie Where do you eat locally? Bleubird, A’tavola, Alavita, Red Feather Lounge and Le Coq Rouge. What is your favorite dish? Comfort food: bolones at Alavita or grilled cheese at Bleubird. Breakfast: oatmeal souffle at Red Feather.

The eclectic pizza joint oozes a hip vibe with a lowkey atmosphere and a selection of microbrews. How can you not be considered cool when you bequeath names like the Chuck Norris and the Red Velvet Nun on signature pizzas? 1224 First St. S., Nampa, 208-4610081. $-$$

it’s hard to come Where do you drink locally? up with feel-goodpapa Joe’s Modern Hotel and Bar. about-yourself This longtime justifications to What is your favorite drink? Boise pizza place eat pizza. But The Layover. sits on the edge when the ingrediof Boise State ents come from university, and local and regional while it draws a sources, it’s a fair number of students, it’s a favorite little easier to drop any guilty feelings. for those looking for not only pizza, but 1677 Broadway Ave., Boise, 343-1011; an extensive menu of pastas, apps 3053 S. Cole Road, Boise, 208-362and even steak. 1301 S. Capitol Blvd., 7702; 4218 W. Overland Road, Boise, Boise, 208-344-7272, papajoesboise. 208-343-5455; 6840 N. Glenwood St., com. $-$$ Garden City, 208-853-1224; 7100 W. Fairview Ave., Meridian, 208-375-4100, pie hole idahopizzacompany.com. $-$$

lucky 13 piZZa/ The GaraGe When it moved to from Hyde park to east Boise, its clients went with it. A stone’s throw from the Greenbelt and boasting a picturesque patio, locals in bike gear drop by to chow on pizzas, stacked sandwiches and salads while refueling with selections from the beer list. 3662 S. Eckert Road, Boise, 208-3446967, lucky13pizza.com. $-$$ w w w.b o is e w e e k ly. com

The late-night crowd knows Pie Hole’s claims to fame: late hours, $1 PBRs and the potato bacon pie. Grab a slice after last call or split a huge 19-inch pie with friends. Try one of the daring daily specials like hot Cheetos, chicken, jalapenos, onions and barbecue sauce. 205 N. Eighth St., Boise, 208-344-7783; 1016 S. Broadway Ave., Boise, 208-424-2255; 946 N. Main St., Meridian, 208-8880482; pieholeusa.com. $-$$ boiseweekly | RESTAURANT + BAR GUIDE 2013 | 33

eat/pizza

+ burgers

piZZalchik

BurGers and driVe-ins

A portmanteau of pizza, salad and chicken, Pizzalchik serves robust salads, unusual pies and chickens roasted to perfection. unique toppings include elk, and many are made in house. The wine and beer selection is great, too. 7330 W. State St., Boise, 208-853-7757, pizzalchik.com. $-$$

sMoky MounTain piZZa Pizza standards like pepperoni and not-so-standards like curried chicken get you there, but beer and wine, pasta, salads, sandwiches and burgers keep you going back. 1805 W. State St., Boise, 208-387-2727; 415 E. Parkcenter Blvd., Boise, 208429-0011; 127 E. State St., Eagle, 208-939-0212; 980 E. Fairview Ave., Meridian, 208-884-1067; 2007 N. Cassia St., Nampa, 208-461-7333, smokymountainpizza.com. $-$$

Bad Boy BurGers When your grandpa talks about how great burgers used to be, take him to Bad Boy and he’ll feel like a kid again— especially when he sees the daily specials and friendly service. 815 S. Vista Ave., Boise, 208-331-1580; 7000 W. Fairview Ave., Boise, 208373-0020. $-$$

BiG Bun drive-in

roBert franz Boise philharMonic Musical direcTor Where do you eat locally? Barbacoa, Red Feather, Pho Nouveau, Yoi Tomo and Bonefish. What is your favorite dish? i love the guacamole at Barbacoa and the pho at Pho Nouveau. Where do you drink locally? Chandlers.

Since fusing with Boise mainstay Fanci Freez, Big Bun has added frozen treats to its own menu of drive-through favorites. You’ll have to get in line for a burger and fries, or an order of fish and chips. 5816 W. Overland Road, Boise, 208375-5361. $

BiG Jud’s

Big Jud’s takes burgers seriously. What is your favorite drink? So much so that Chopin Vodka martini straight up the burger-eating and dirty ... shaken, not stirred. challenge is legendary. But you sun ray don’t need a chalcafe lenge to indulge it’s hard to miss Sun Ray, with its bright in the pie, grilled cheese sandwiches, yellow paint job and sunny patio. Pizza, fries or 1-pound Big Jud. You only need salads and sandwiches fill this cafe’s a love of good food and an appetite. menu. if you’re a beer drinker, check the 1289 Protest Road, Boise, 208-343daily specials you won’t want to miss. 4439, bigjudsboise.com. $ 1602 N. 13th St., Boise, 208-3432887, sunray-cafe.com. $-$$$

Boise fry coMpany

Tony’s piZZeria TeaTro Nestled into a slim storefront, the street-cafe vibe of Tony’s could convince a visitor they’ve traveled to Little italy. Thin-crusted Neapolitan pies come in myriad varieties. Pair it with a glass of wine or bottle of Peroni. 103 Capitol Blvd., Boise, 208-343-1052. $-$$

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Burgers are side dishes here, where the fries are the unabashed stars. But that doesn’t stop the burgers from being some of the best in Boise. There are more varieties of fries than you’ll know what to do with; just pick the potato and the cut. 111 Broadway Ave., Ste. 111, Boise, 208-495-3858; 3083 S. Bown Way, Boise, 208-965-1551, boisefrycompany.com. $

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20 disHes under $10 Dine in style with only a Hamilton in your pocket BaGuette deli

isHtar

Grilled Beef Bo Nuong

Beef Shawarma and Fava Bean Salad

Page 50

Page 52

le cafe de paris

flatBread coMMunity oVen

Salad de Chevre chaud Page 54

MoMo duMplinGs

Combo Confession Page 46

island kine Grinds

Mini “Da Grinds” Mix Page 48

sono Bana

Tempura Bento Page 46

pHo nouVeau

Bun Ga Cha Gio Page 50

JanJou patisserie

Chai Tea and Bostock Page 16

Pick Two lunch special Page 30

BerryHill and co.

Seared Mignonette Salad Page 20

Green cHile

Chiles Rellenos Page 48

Mai tHai

Happy Hour Izakaya Menu Page 50

pollo rey

Fish Taco Combo Page 50

Mickeyray’s

Brisket Sandwich with fries Page 14

Bardenay

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chimichanga

sHanaz HoMe kitcHen

Page 24

Jambalaya Stuffed Peppers

siMple susHi

Page 24

Bonnie Roll Page 46

tHe Basque Market

casanoVa pizzeria

Small Juno Page 30

Paella Page 50

fork

Buttercake Page 28

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eat/burgers

& drive-ins + italian

delsa’s

hawkins pac-ouT

rockies diner

if you need an excuse to eat dessert first, look no further than Delsa’s, where the all-American diner food is a nice accompaniment to the main entree: homemade ice cream in an impressive array of revolving flavors from vanilla to licorice. 7923 W. Ustick Road, Boise, 208-377-3700. $

This iconic burger joint serves crispy tots, malts and the Herby Special. in the winter, find cheese-and-meat respite in the Hungry Boy special. When the weather heats up, sundaes and softies are a perfect treat. 2315 N. Bogus Basin Road, Boise, 208-3389627, hawkinspacout.com. $

“Good ol’ days” invokes the neon signs, shakes and burgers of 1950s America. That’s Rockies in a nutshell. The kids will dig the waitresses on roller skates and rock on the jukebox. That will keep them occupied while you dig into a Johnny B Good burger. 3900 Overland Road, Boise, 208-336-2878, rockiesdiner.com. $-$$

hunGry onion

fanci freeZ Fanci Freez is about as classic Boise as you get. Get your fill of burgers, tots and drive-though classics, as well as modern options like the meat-free mushroom burger. But the star is the soft-serve ice cream, served on cones, dipped in candy shells or mixed with a variety of toppings to create amazing shakes, including the awe-inspiring Boston Shake. 1402 W. State St., Boise, 208-344-8661. $

eat + drink/east

Hungry Onion is a classic, where driveup service is provided by roller skating waitresses. The joint has been around for nearly as long as Meridian has, and still dishes out burgers, fries, onion rings and assorted Americana. 334 N. Main St., Meridian, 208-888-0051. $-$$

wesTside drive-in With burgers, finger steaks, barbecue ribs and classic American grub, we’re pretty sure this place has everything. it’s a drive-in that serves take-out prime rib prepared by an actual esteemed chef. The landmark is also known for its signature dessert: the ice cream potato. 1939 W. State St., Boise, 208-342-2957; 1113 Parkcenter Blvd., Boise, 208-424-0000, cheflou.com. $-$$

italian alaviTa From agnolotti to cavatelli to linguine to pappardelle, it’s all about fresh, housemade pasta. The casual interior adds a splash of sass with cozy bar booths. Whether you’re craving cocktails or innovative antipasto, you can relax over dishes made with fresh, often local, ingredients. 807 W. Idaho St., 208-780-1100, alavitaboise.com. $$-$$$

asiaGo’s Asiago’s is a bright, open escape in the heart of downtown. Try sauteed wild mushrooms over maltagliati, or gnocchi in gorgonzola cream sauce, or any of the other housemade pastas and non-typical italian dishes. 1002 W. Main St., Boise, 208-3365552, asiagos.com. $$-$$$

cafe vicino

boise

LAuRie PeARMAN

Chef Richard Langston slings italian fare with French and Spanish flair at this intimate white linen eatery. Vicino courts a casual lunch crowd with daily quiches, grilled portobello sandwiches and steak salads, but cranks up the charm in the evening with seasonal specials like grilled quail, cassoulet and braised wild boar. in warm weather, settle into a patio table with a glass of bubbly and a cone of criss-cut potato chips dusted with truffle salt. 808 W. Fort St., Boise, 208-472-1463, cafevicino.com. $-$$$

cucina di paolo

>>>

Paul and Mary Jean Wegner insist that Cucina di Paolo is a “word-of-mouth” business. But that’s assuming customers aren’t filling their mouths with lasagna (five varieties) or “old fashioned” chicken pot pies. Some folks like to sit while others grab a heat-and-serve entree to go. 1504 Vista Ave., Boise, 208345-7150, cucinadipaolo.com. $-$$

BarBacoa House-made guacamole is a highlight (page 20).

Ben’s crow inn Kick back with a bucket of clams (page 24).

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Bier:tHirty Try whatever is new on the rotating taps (page 24).

lucky 13 The Lucky 13 Supreme pizza has it all—if you’re a carnivore (page 33).

davinci’s Billing itself as casual italian the way a wolf dons sheep’s clothing, daVinci’s serves delicacies like veal piccata sauteed in white wine, capers, garlic and lemon, or breaded eggplant parmigiana over angel hair. it’s all served up in a repurposed bank building in the beating heart of downtown eagle. 190 E. State St., Eagle, 208-939-2500, davincis2.com. $-$$

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>>>

put an eGG on it Not just for breakfast anymore

alaVita

tHe Green cHile

rice

Grilled Broccolini

Stacked Enchiladas

Rib Eye Basil

With crispy poached egg, balsamic vinaigrette and Rolling Stone Chevre (page 38).

Three corn tortillas layered with beef, cheese and onion. Topped with an egg (page 48).

Sliced rib eye steak with basil garlic sauce, asparagus, onion, bamboo shoots, bell pepper, zuccini, mushrooms and topped with a fried egg. (page 50).

cosMic pizza

Craters of the Moon Pizza With potato, applewood smoked bacon, baked egg and white sauce (page 30).

fork

LA uRi e Pe ARMAN

Crispy Bacon and Quail Egg Salad With arugula and spring mix, tea poached local quail eggs, crisped bacon, cracked walnuts and Dijon balsamic vinaigrette (page 28).

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island kine Grinds

Loco Moco Beef patty topped with a fried egg and brown gravy. Served with white rice and macaroni salad (page 48).

sHiGe Japanese cuisine

Tobiko Ikura Uni Sea urchin with quail eggs (page 46).

le cafe de paris

solid

Croque Madame

Doc Hudson Burger

With smoked ham, gruyere, dijon, garlic creme sauce and a medium duck egg on housemade country bread (page 54).

With fried egg, ham, caramelized onions, cheddar and swiss cheeses (page 24).

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eat/italian,

chinese + indian

Gino’s iTalian risToranTe

Mancino’s

Fine italian dining isn’t necessarily congruous with a strip mall in the middle of housing developments on the northern edge of Meridian, but Gino’s pulls it off. The spacious interior is draped in purple and the menu is long enough to make your eyes cross, but dishes include both traditional fare as well as local favorites like wild boar shank and knock-your-socks-off dipping sauce. 3015 W. McMillan Road, Ste. 108, Meridian, 208-887-7710. $-$$$

louie’s Louie’s has been a valley staple since it relocated to the area from Sun Valley decades ago. American-italian favorites like thin crust pizza, eggplant parmigiana, tortellini and cannelloni keep families coming back. 2500 E. Fairview Ave., Meridian, 208-884-5200, louiespizza.com. $-$$

eat + drink/south

Pizza fans can find no-frills pie with hearty ingredients, but italian grinders are the specialty. 6564 S. Federal Way, Boise, 208-333-1383; 2412 Cleveland Blvd., Caldwell, 208-459-7556. $-$$

The sTuffed olive Whether it’s eggplant parm or baked Tuscan penne, this under-the-radar italian eatery is ideal. And though it offers an array of sandwiches—from a Philly cheesesteak to a tri tip dip—you won’t find stuffed olives. 404 S. Eagle Road, Ste. A, Eagle, 208-938-5185, thestuffedolive.net. $-$$

in diner-style atmosphere. The dim sum menu might entice you to “stop in for tea” frequently. But so might the chow mein. They’ll even deliver it to your door, but only if you use the magic word. 3504 W. State St., 208-3849200, asian-wok.com. $-$$

Golden phoenix orienTal express Find combo dinners pairing Mongolian beef with soup and a side, or sample General Tso’s deep-fried tofu. A healthy list of staples and excellent vegetarian and vegan options make it a no-brainer. 110 N. 11th St., Boise, 208-345-8868. $-$$

norTh end chinese cHinese asian wok Low-key locally-owned Chinese joint offering up all of the usual suspects

This take-out and drive-through Chinese joint is the go-to for North enders with Asian cuisine cravings. 1806 W. State St., Boise, 208-343-1080. $

boise

panda Garden Offering Far east cuisine, Panda Garden has some familiar dishes: chow mein and ginger chicken, as well as Japanese favorites like tempura and sushi to mix and match. 2801 Overland Road, Boise, 208-433-1188, boisepandagarden. com. $

Twin draGon This classic American-style Chinese eatery has served sweet and sour pork, shrimp toast and egg foo young since before the city was on anyone’s top 10 list. The menu has remained the same for decades, and it won’t break the bank. 200 Fairview Ave., Boise, 208344-2141. $-$$

wok-inn noodle This old-school Chinese joint might confuse diners with its front entry but back in the kitchen, the chef makes all of his noodles fresh in house. 4912 Emerald St., Boise, 208-343-7262. $-$$

yen chinG

PATRiCK SWeeNeY

Yen Ching concentrates on the food with authentic specials, dim sum and a full bar. The menu is vast and served quickly, fresh and hot. it’s a casual and economical place to enjoy what has consistently been voted Boise’s favorite Chinese place. 305 N. Ninth St., Boise, 208-384-0384, yenchingboise.com. $-$$

indian BoMBay Grill inside the idanha Hotel tender lamb vindaloo and the-back-for-seconds butter chicken are favorites but don’t miss out on specialty dishes, sides and dessert. The lunch buffet is a true deal. 928 W. Main St., Boise, 208-345-7888, bombaygrillonline.com. $$

>>>

MadhuBan

tHe creperie Try the De Poulet for a savory crepe (page 54).

Goodwood BarBecue coMpany Rib lovers rejoice (page 14).

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le coq rouGe The best escargot in Boise (page 54).

twisted tiMBer

Famous among vegetarians for an extensive menu brimming with potatoes, lentils, fruits and savory sauces. Drop in for the aloo palak or lamb cooked in tomatoes, onions and spices. Check out the lunch buffet for hot, fresh food that won’t break the bank. 6930 W. State St., Boise, 208853-8215, madhubanindiancuisine. com. $-$$

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eat/indian

+ japanese & asian

TaJ Mahal resTauranT Taj Mahal lets customers to fill a to-go lunchbox from the buffet line. But if you’d prefer to stay and enjoy the full buffet for a few bucks more, you can do so in a cafe space decked out with indian decor and bathed in the dulcet tones of sitar music whilst enjoying a tasty beer. 150 N. Eighth St., Ste. 222, Boise, 208-4737200, tajmahalofboise.com. $$-$$$

Japanese and asian fuJiyaMa Slinging specialty rolls and mountains of fresh sashimi. The lunch menu is loaded with screamin’ deals. 283 N. Milwaukee St., Boise, 208-672-8227, fujiyamaboise.com. $-$$

eat + drink/garden

happy fish sushi & MarTini Bar Nothing washes back slabs of fresh hamachi and salmon like an ice cold gin martini. Happy Fish nails both in its small, swank BODO locale. 855 Broad St., Boise, 208-343-4810, happyfishsushi.com. $-$$

MoMo duMplinGs These meat and veggie dumplings slathered in orange sauce won Boise’s heart. Since hanging its shingle in Meridian, Momo has given the savory flavors of the Himalayas a prized position. 3223 E. Louise Dr., Meridian, 208-5142137, momodumpling.com. $-$$

raw sushi As quick as they can say, “east meets West,” customers at RAW jump for quality affordable rolls. Make sure to

ask your waiter about the RAW deal. 2273 Vista Ave., Boise, 208-343-0270, rawsushiboise.com. $-$$

sakura sushi More than a Japanese steak house or sushi joint, Sakura has a full selection of noodles including sukiyaki and seafood kimchee soup. Add to that a healthy selection of sushi, sashimi and tepanyaki and you’ve got a full-service Japanese joint. 3210 E. Chinden Blvd., Eagle, 208-938-1599, boisesakurasushi.com. $-$$

shiGe Japanese cuisine Sushi master Shige Matzuzawa presides over this institution, making mean sushi rolls, tempura, sashimi and teriyaki. He goes beyond sushi staples with Japanese cuisine. Check out the steak house and lounge downtown, but don’t forget Shige

city

Terikyaki and Shige express in Meridian. 100 N. Eighth St., Ste. 215, Boise, 208-338-8423; 450 S. Meridian Road, Ste. 15, Meridian, 208-888-0663, shigejapanesecuisine.com. $-$$

siMple sushi Bar You won’t find any over-fished species at this sustainable sushi spot in downtown Nampa. Simple Sushi abides by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch guide, slicing up fresh fish shipped in from Honolulu the day after it is caught. But Simple also supports feel-goodery with a sizeable sake list. 1214 First St. S., Nampa, 208-4644663, simplesushibar.com. $-$$

sono Bana Find bliss at Sono Bana, one of Boise’s longest-standing sushi restaurants. it offers a wide variety of rolls, from tuna sashimi to sake maki make for a menu sure to please even new sushi diners. 303 N. Orchard St., Boise, 208-3238822, sonobanasushi.com. $-$$

LAuRie PeARMAN

superB sushi Superb Sushi can be as open, casual or intimate as you want, serving classics like the spicy tuna roll and irregulars like the Dragon’s eye. 208 N. Eighth St., Boise, 208-385-0123, superbsushidowntown.com. $-$$

sushi Joy Sushi Joy is a misnomer. Not because it isn’t joy inducing, but because this downtown stop features both Japanese and Chinese items, ranging from shrimp katsu to a pu pu platter. 2275 W. Main St., Boise, 208-433-8888. sushijoyboise.com. $-$$

yoi ToMo

>>>

This BODO stop draws ravenous eaters with all-you-can-eat sushi specials. There’s an entire menu of movie-themed rolls—like the Jaws roll with deep fried soft chicken thigh, fried shrimp, spicy crab and Japanese sweet red radish. 405 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise, 208-3443375, yoitomo.us. $-$$

sopHia’s Greek Bistro The homemade pita will blow you away (page 52).

yokoZuna Teriyaki payette BrewinG coMpany Watch for occasional popup dinners with beer (page 65).

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rancH cluB Shot specials and smoker friendly to boot (page 65).

coBBy’s Fill up on classic subs (page 14).

Whether it’s a rice bowl or yakisoba, this Bench joint offers affordable and tasty meals. Choose from chicken, salmon, steak or tofu to accompany stir-fried veggies. 824 S. Vista Ave., Boise, 208-377-3064, yokozunateriyaki. com. $-$$

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eat/japanese, Zen BenTo The menu may be simple, but Zen Bento does wonderful things with simple. This mostly take-out eatery offers healthy bento boxes, as well as tasty salads. 1000 W. Main St., Boise, 208-388-8808; 342 E. State St., Eagle, 208-938-4277, zenbento.com. $-$$

island

island + south of the border Overland Road, Ste. 110, Boise, 208376-4380, ckhawaiianbbq.com. $-$$

island kine Grinds We could all use a little aloha spirit. Besides, Hawaiian plate lunches are so tasty. This place offers a taste of the islands in Canyon County. 3116 Garrity Blvd., Nampa, 208-389-8475, islandkinegrinds.com. $-$$

reef Scarf a burger on the rooftop deck while a band plays inside, or sip cocktails in the Hemingway Room over a crusted rib eye. With a menu that’s all over the map and a Caribbean vibe, Reef has plenty of options. 105 S. Sixth St., Boise, 208-287-9200, reefboise.com. $-$$

soutH of tHe Border

kana Girl

ck hawaiian BBq Say Aloha to lomi lomi salmon or aku poke or enjoy other Pan Asian fare, like teriyaki and Korean short ribs. 7709

enjoy recipies passed through generations to craft authentic Hawaiian grub from Spam musubi to kalua pork. 3912 W. State St., Boise, 208-391-8731. $-$$

andrade’s Javier Andrade serves some of the best authentic Mexican fare around. The

eat + drink/meridian

service is great, portions generous and prices won’t leave you feeling empty. 4903 Overland Road, Boise, 208-4248890, andradesboise.com. $-$$

cafe ole Boise’s first sit-down Mexican restaurant and it’s still going strong. The food is already affordable, but the happy hour specials in the bar are a steal. 404 S. Eighth St., Boise, 208-344-3222; 210 N. Milwaukee St., Boise, 208-322-0222, cafeole.com. $-$$

el Gallo Giro kuna

PATRiCK SWeeNeY

The mouth-watering authentic Mexican food is only part of the reason the valley loves el Gallo Giro. The maze-like restaurant is always packed with people having a good time and the friendly staff sets everyone at ease. Don’t miss the bubbling stone molcajete bowls, tableside guacamole or impressive tequila selection. 482 W. Main St., Kuna, 208-922-5169, elgallogirokuna.com. $-$$

The Green chile This eatery doesn’t serve Mexican, it serves Southwestern, highlighting the unique flavors of the region. Hatch chiles brought in from New Mexico and the dishes are packed with flavor and care. 5616 W. State St., Boise, 208853-0103, greenchileidaho.com. $-$$

iMelda’s Mexican food

>>>

it’s all authentic at this hole-in-the-wall. From the handmade tortillas to meats from guisado, barbacoa and chorizo, the flavors are rich and the meals affordable. 2414 Cleveland Blvd., Caldwell, 208-454-8757. $

epi’s Basque restaurant Go authentic with the inkfish (page 50).

Gino’s italian ristorante The lamb shank is amazing (page 50).

lucky fins seafood Grill The oyster bar is a great deal (page 22).

Miss taMi’s cottaGe and tea rooM One of the best Monte Cristos around (page 30).

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Muse Bistro The rotating menu is worth exploring (page 30).

los BeTos

corkscrews Check out the frequent buyer punch card (page 65).

Popular with the late-night crowd, Los Betos is open 24/7. in fact, the gargantuan breakfast burritos do the trick if you’re just crawling out of or into bed. 5220 W. Fairview Ave., Boise, 208-658-1185; 6906 W. State St., Boise, 208-8531494, 143 Magic View Drive, Meridian, 208-887-4711. $

parrilla Grill This Hyde Park hot spot leans toward Tex-Mex, but the food is fresh and tasty, the drinks are fun. The same can be said of the atmosphere, which is casual and inviting, especially when the dining room is opened to let the air in. 1512 N. 13th St., Boise, 208-323-4688. $-$$

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eat/south

of the border, thai & vietnamese + basque

pollo rey

chianG Mai

pho nouveau

rice

it’s fresh, affordable and fast as the crew grills and assembles each order in front of you. Whole chickens are always on the rotisserie and the fish tacos are fantastic. Or go idaho-style and try one of the stuffed baked potatoes. 222 N. Eighth St., Boise, 208-345-0323; 7709 W. Overland Road, Boise, 208-3754642, polloreyboise.com. $-$$

This Thai temple tempts connoisseurs and novices alike with its bubbling cauldrons of tom-kah-kai, dry cooked string beans with ground pork and generous portions of old faves. 4898 W. Emerald St., Boise, 208-342-4051, boisethairestaurant.com. $-$$

Though pho is the focus at this hip downtown Vietnamese bistro, comfort food specials like chicken curry and grilled beef on rice noodles keep the hungry hordes happy. items like the green papaya salad or the sizzling Saigon crepe keep the epicures elated. 780 W. Idaho St., Boise, 208-3671111, phonouveau.com. $-$$

Serving favorites like green beans with sweet chili and Sriracha, and fresh options like duck curry with Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean flavors. 228 E. Plaza St., Ste. Q and R, Eagle, 208-939-2959, riceeagle.com. $-$$

tHai and VietnaMese BaGueTTe deli One bite of the flaky French bread and you’ll be hooked on this no-frills Vietnamese spot. in addition to serving some of the best value banh-mi, it also slings piping hot bowls of meat filled pho and brightly hued bubble tea. 5205 W. Franklin Road, Boise, 208-3362989, baguettedeli.net. $

Mai Thai From the fountain running the length of the dining room to the sleek glowing bar, Mai Thai is where Thai food gets cosmopolitan. Downtown Boise’s go-to Thai restaurant has a swank vibe and great specials, making it a favorite place to relax. The cocktails are colorful and unusual and the happy hour izakaya menu makes it a destination in its own right. 750 W. Idaho St., Boise, 208-344-8424, maithaigroup.com. $-$$

pho TaM Pho Tam stands as some of the best pho in town. Affordable eats include Vietnamese sandwiches. Split an order of shrimp goi cuon or cha gio over lunch or dinner. 1098 N. Orchard St., Boise, 208-473-2386. $-$$

sa-wad-dee This eatery tempts diners with an extensive menu of everything from the traditional (orange beef) to the adventurous (frog leg basil). 1890 E. Fairview Ave., Ste. B, Meridian, 208-884-0701, sawaddeethai.com. $-$$

Thai cuisine Promising “healthy taste” and “healthy choice,” Thai Cuisine is a Boise favorite, offering Thai and Vietnamese. 6777 W. Overland Road, Boise, 208-6580516, boisethaicuisine.com. $-$$

Basque

eat + drink/eagle

Bar Gernika

LeiLA RAMeLLA-RADeR

if you traveled to the heart of Boise, you’d end up at Bar Gernika. The restaurant is at the center of Boise’s Basque food scene and has long been a favorite among those willing to cram into the tiny interior. The pub serves Basque favorites like beef tongue, chorizo paella, croquettas and lamb grinders, all made on an even tinier grill. 202 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise, 208-344-2175, bargernika.com. $-$$

The Basque MarkeT Not only can you pick up all you need to make your own Basque feast, but you can also sample Basque-style tapas, wine and soups. Don’t miss lunchtime paella cooked in front of the shop several times a week or the regular sheepherders breakfasts. 608 W. Grove St., Boise, 208-433-1208, thebasquemarket.com. $-$$

>>>

epi’s Basque resTauranT

Bella aquila The house-made pastas are worth the trip (page 20).

wild west Bakery One of the best burgers around (page 30).

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Bardenay Sip a mojito on the riverside patio (page 24).

reMBrandt’s coffee House Grab something sweet from the bakery case (page 16).

The term “family style” doesn’t quite do justice at epi’s, where diners feel like they are an intimate member of the family as soon as they walk in. The small, converted house in downtown Meridian serves some of the best Basque cuisine around with plenty of traditional dishes. Reservations are always a good idea. 1115 N. Main St., Meridian, 208884-0142. $-$$$

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eat/basque

+ mediterranean

leku ona

MaZZah

A mainstay on Boise’s Basque Block, Too good to be fast food and Leku Ona serves a slice of the old too casual to be fine dining, country and washes it back with a Mazzah boasts pitas stuffed with sliced splash of Spanish wine. Whether you’re lamb or chicken, hummus, falafel and digging into a plate baklava, and of beef tongue in vegetarian-friendly the second floor menu options. dining room or Wash it all down popping crowith a pot of quettas in your Turkish coffee. mouth on its 1772 W. State see-and-be-seen St., Boise, 208wrap-around patio, 333-2566 404 E. Leku—which Parkcenter Blvd., means “good Boise, 208-333place” in 2223, mazzahBasque—lives up boise.com. $-$$ to its name. 117 S. Sixth St., TaZah Boise, 208-345erin ruiz kaBoB 6665, lekuonaid. arTisT Bold flavors liven com. $-$$ up Middle eastern Where do you eat locally? cuisine. Steaming Lorena’s ... unassuming little shack helpings of rice with the best Mexican food worthy Mediterraoffset, as you nean and of a grandmother’s approval. might guess, a seMiddle lection of kabobs eastern What’s your favorite dish? and other PersianThere’s a place called Sushi Joy leaning fare. Fresh ... They’ve got the best sweet and caZBa korma beef and sour chicken i’ve had in all my resTauranT a weekends-only years. and opa buffet are not to lounGe be missed. Both Where do you drink locally? Tazah Kabob and i’ve got to go with Mai Thai. They Middle east meets the adjacent Kabul have a killer selection of cocktails Mediterranean at Market are gems. and the atmosphere is swank. Cazba with a 5755 W. Overland diverse menu Road, Boise, 208What do you drink? including kabobs, 376-0333. $-$$ My go-to drink these days is a dolmades and shawarma wraps. Opa upstairs serves up drinks in a lounge atmosphere. 211 N. Eighth St., Boise, 208-381-0222.

Moscow Mule: ginger beer, vodka and lime. Mai Thai makes a great one, and it’s tough to track down a place that stocks ginger beer.

$$

The Gyro shack This neat blue-and-white hut offers authentic gyros. You’re going to want to try the Delux Gyro: a beef/lamb combo. 6935 W. Overland Road, Boise, 208375-7424; 5602 W. State St., Boise, 208-853-2684, thegyroshack.net. $-$$

ishTar Don’t let the linoleum floors and lighting fool you: ishtar’s kabobs, falafel and yogurt drinks make this an authentic Persian dining experience brought to you by friendly waitstaff. 4516 W. Overland Road, Boise, 208-275-8437. $-$$

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sofia’s Greek BisTro

Sofia’s is where the Greeks go to find Greek in Boise. The bright, airy eatery specializes in gyros, souvlaki, rice bowls and mammoth burgers piled with feta and lamb to make the American classic Acropolis-style. 6748 N. Glenwood St., Garden City, 208-8530844, sofiasgreekbistro.com. $-$$

Breakfast The capri The Capri has saved so many lives with its French toast, biscuits and gravy and formidable chicken fried steak that it should probably get some kind of award. 2520 W. Fairview Ave., Boise, 208-342-1442. $ w w w.b o ise w e e kly.c o m

breakfast + diner/eat The eGG facTory

Joe MaMa’s

Breakfast hordes vie for a pancake selection bordering on exotic. The menu is filled with breakfast and lunch favorites—many from scratch. 6882 W. State St., Boise, 208-853-2037; 8061 W. Fairview Ave., Boise, 208322-0191; 820 Caldwell Blvd., Nampa, 208-4662728, eggfactorycafe.com. $-$$

Feel like chicken-fried steak? How about a crab cake eggs Benedict? This eagle eatery has plenty of options for breakfast or lunch. 600 S. Rivershore Lane, Ste. 170, Eagle, 208-9393917, joemommaseatery.com. $-$$

Goldy’s/ Goldy’s corner

daVe Bieter

diner addie’s Breakfast is served right, with items like chicken fried steak, omelets, veggie sausages and endless coffee. Lunch follows in the grand diner tradition as well. 501 W. Main St., Boise, 208-3881198. $-$$

Goldy’s Mayor of Boise has been Boise’s favorite Where do you like to eat locally? breakfast it’s kind of a long list. Leku Ona destination for and Bar Gernika are obvious more than a enough. ... i think Fork has done decade. its a great job ... i think the Brickyard eclectic, has done a pretty good job. comfortable Jerry’s interior hosts What’s your favorite dish? breakfast fare sTaTe i don’t miss many meals. The beef with a gourmet tongue at Gernika is as good as it courT cafe twist and a gets. Also, fish and chips or finger Jerry’s makes it waitlist to match steaks at the Dutch Goose. fresh and serves its delicious eats. it plentiful. From Try the salmon Where do you like to drink locally? breakfast straight cakes, array or All of the above. But the commute through to dinner, eggs Benedict or is so convenient and the happy the focus is on stop by for lunch. hour is so good at The Brickyard. quality ingredients Around the and thoughtful corner, Goldy’s What do you like to drink? touches. Jerry’s Corner helps cut i don’t know if this is good or bad. i even has a full down the wait drink a lot less beer and more cockgluten-free menu. with breakfast tails these days. A vodka martini 6767 W. Fairand lunch options with idaho vodka: Glacier vodka, view Ave., Boise, in a more casual the Bardenay vodka, Blue ice or 208-376-6767, jerlocation. 108 S. Revolution vodka. i think James rysstatecourtcafeCapitol Blvd., Bond is a vodka guy, too. boise.com. $-$$ Boise, 208-3454100; 625 W. MerriTT’s Main St., Boise, 208-433-3934, goldysbreakfastbistro. it might not be pretty, but this institucom. $-$$ tion is home of the scone. Traditional diner food reigns, and the fact that it’s The Griddle open 24 hours on the weekends doesn’t hurt. 6628 W. State St., Boise, Pancakes? Pile ’em high. Scrambled 208 853-1801, merrittscafe.com. $ eggs? Wreck ’em. This is breakfast at its most traditional. Lunch follows with homemade favorites. 2310 E. Overland Moon’s kiTchen cafe Road, Meridian, 208-288-1848; 177 Moon’s has been a tradition for genEagle River St., Eagle, 208-939-9070; erations. Stop by for hearty breakfast, 404 E. Parkcenter Blvd., Boise, 208sandwiches, burgers and more. Make a 297-7615; thegriddle.com. $-$$ special trip for one of the hand-dipped milkshakes. 712 W. Idaho St., Boise, 208-385-0472, moonskitchen.com. $-$$

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eat/diner,

french, european & latin + food trucks

The Trolley house

le cafe de paris

No longer part of Boise’s streetcar system, the Trolley House is still a stop for breakfast and lunch. Diner classics take on new life in classed-up versions of eggs Benedict, and in a list of Trolley specialties. 1821 Warm Springs Ave., Boise, 208-345-9255, trolleyhouse. com. $-$$

This european-style cafe serves crepes and mimosas as well as full breakfasts and lunch. Don’t miss the assortment of desserts and freshbaked bread. Dinner also makes a great night on the town. 204 N. Capitol Blvd., Boise, 208-336-0889, lecafedeparis.com. $-$$

european and latin

le coq rouGe

frencH The creperie explore savory crepes filled with cheese and meats or sweet crepes that will satiate your sweet tooth. 7709 W. Overland Road, Ste. 130, Boise, 208949-3536, thecreperieboise.com. $

Whether you’re wedging a fork into a bubbling platter of buttery escargot, or depleting a carafe of red wine, the South Boise bistro is the real deal. Le Coq Rouge plates some of the best French fare in town. Reservations are a must. 1320 S. Maple Grove Road, Boise, 208-376-9463. $-$$$

Bosnia express Gyros stuffed with fresh-shaved lamb are a staple of this restaurant and market. Caprese paninis, turkey pastrami on baguette and beef goulash in a bread bowl are other mainstays, perfect with fresh turkish coffee. 4846 Emerald St., Boise, 208-433-9955. $

casaBlanca cuBan Grill The sweet, subtle flavors of Cuban cuisine have finally found a home in the City of Trees. 5506 Overland Road, Boise, 208-331-2370. $-$$

russian Bear cafe Promising everything is made from scratch, this cafe serves up beef stroganoff, potato pancakes, borscht and what the owners claim are the “best

cabbage rolls west of the Kremlin.” 600 S. Rivershore Lane, Ste. 160, Eagle, 208-939-1911, caferussianbear.com. $-$$

TanGo’s Tango’s offers Argentine empanadas ranging from savory to sweet. They’re all crave-worthy and ridiculously affordable. 701 N. Orchard St., Boise, 208322-3090, tangos-empanadas.com. $

Tres Bonne cuisine Go for themed dinners, sassy commentary or Old World specials like homemade pierogi and bratwurst. Don’t miss the expansive selection of european brews. 6555 W. Overland Road, Boise, 208-6581364, tresbonnescuisine.com. $-$$

food trucks archie’s place

eat + drink/kuna PATRiCK SWeeNeY

Sloppy Joes for meat-eaters and vegetarians alike alongside homemade soups and mashed potato bowls. archies-place.com. $

BoB’s Texas sTyle BBq Pulled pork, beef brisket and sides done Texas style. 9990 W. State St., Boise, 208-921-9646, bobstexasbbq.com. $

Brown suGa soul food Southern-style classics. brownshugasoulfood.com. $

BurGerlicious Burgers and fries with inventive toppings. Location changes daily. $

a cupcake paradise

>>>

The “sweetest truck in town” slings mild-to-wild cupcakes. acupcakeparadise.com. $

el Gallo Giro Check out the vast selection of tequilas (page 48).

cowGirls Dancing on the bar—literally (page 70).

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lorena’s Mexican Grill Serving authentic, fresh Mexican. 5950 Fairview Ave., Boise, 208-713-3658. $

riceworks All the Asian favorites, from egg rolls to crab rangoon to teriyaki beef. $

lonGHorn lounGe

sainT lawrence Gridiron

With the 4-es and Red eye Saloon, it’s the ultimate bar crawl (page 70).

This “gastrotruck” has some of the best pub fare in town. saintlawrencegridiron. com. $ • w w w.b o ise w e e kly.c o m

LAuRie PeARMAN

saturday, april 13

Taste 208 Powerhouse events Center, Boise taste208event.Com

it’s all about the drink at this event celebrating Northwest and idaho-made wine, beer and spirits accompanied by regional food. The grand tasting event packs in hundreds to take advantage of tastes from dozens of purveyors. Tickets cost $35 or $10 for designated drivers.

tHursday, May 16

Culinary Walkabout Boise Centre, Boise elksmealsonwheels.org

each year the elks Rehab Hospital’s Meals on Wheels program gathers several dozen of the area’s best chefs to pamper ticket-holders with a full night of food, wine, music and a silent auction. Participants wander among the chefs, sampling creations as they go. The event raises money for the Meals on Wheels program, which makes sure that house-bound seniors in Ada County get hot meals. Tickets cost $60.

of events

>>>

eat+ drink /calendar

friday, May 17saturday, May 18

Russian Food Festival st. seraPhim of sarov orthodox ChurCh, Boise stseraPhimBoise.org

each spring, the community comes together for two days of celebration with not only food, but traditional Russian folk tales, crafts and tours of the St. Seraphim of Sarov Orthodox Church.

friday, June 7saturday, June 8

Greek Food Festival saints Constantine and helen greek orthodox ChurCh, Boise serfes.org

No party is bigger for the Treasure Valley Greek community than the two-day Greek Food Festival. The grounds of the Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church are filled with the enticing scents of classic Greek dishes. And as with any good party, there’s always a wine and beer garden, music and dancing. Opa!

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sunday, June 9

Savor Idaho idaho BotaniCal garden, Boise savoridaho.org

each June, the idaho Grape Growers and Wine Producers Commission gets wineries from across the state together for an afternoon in idaho Botanical Garden, wine glass in hand, sampling the fruits of the labor of idaho wine makers. And since nothing goes better with wine than a little food, some of the best chefs from around the area are on hand with an array of offerings. Tickets cost $45.

tHursday, June 20friday, June 21

Deli Days ahavath Beth israel Congregation, Boise ahavathBethisrael.org

Deli Days is the ultimate kosher celebration in the Treasure Valley, and it’s sometimes the only two days when you can find homemade pastrami, corned beef on rye and kosher hot dogs. The event is a fundraiser for the congregation, housed in the oldest synagogue west of the Mississippi River. But Deli Days is about more than food. The festival also features music from local musicians, as well as community spirit. But, yeah, it’s mainly about the food.

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wednesday, June 12saturday, June 15

Emmett Cherry Festival emmett emmettidaho.Com

it’s an old-fashioned community celebration of the fruit that makes emmett a choice place to visit come June. Check out carnival rides, music, entertainment, vendors and, yes, cherries.

tuesdays, June 25, July 30, auG. 27 and sept. 24

The Garden Table idaho BotaniCal garden, Boise idahoBotaniCalgarden.org

iBG has combined two of its previous events—uncorked in the Garden and The Garden Plate—to create monthly celebrations of wine and food in the garden. idaho wine makers are on hand with tastings, followed by cooking demonstrations using produce from iBG’s own vegetable garden. The event runs from 5:30-8 p.m. on the last Tuesday of the month. Free with iBG admission.

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GuY HAND

>>>

calendar of events/eat+ drink

saturday, July 6

tHursday, sept. 12

Bars and Stripes

A Chefs’ Affaire

Boise weekly, Boise Boiseweekly.Com

Boise Centre, Boise idahofoodBank.org

To celebrate both Boise Weekly’s annual Coldest Beer issue and the independence Day weekend, grab your bike and get ready to sweat. This alley cat bike race leads competitors to a dozen Boise bars in a quest for first place as they make their way across town on a scavenger hunt that leads to an end-of-race party.

enjoy an evening of fine dining created by some of the area’s top chefs while bidding for the chance to have one of the chefs create a custom meal at your own home. Live and silent auctions also include weekend adventures. Money raised from the event supports the idaho Foodbank.

saturday, July 13

Rocky Mountain Oyster Feed eagle eagleChamBer.Com

After a year of separation, the Rocky Mountain Oyster Feed and eagle Fun Days are back together. After the Wet and Wild parade, golf tournament and assorted community fun, what better way to celebrate than by chowing down on fried bulls’ testicles? You can get your fill of the delicacy while supporting the eagle Fire Department.

saturday, oct. 5sunday, oct. 6

Fall Harvest Festival idaho BotaniCal garden, Boise idahoBotaniCalgarden.org

Celebrate the harvest with the annual Scarecrow Stroll, live music, hay rides, family activities and a farmers market boasting local fare. indulge in seasonal food, beer, wine and fresh cider.

friday, noV. 29

Empty Bowls

friday, sept. 20sunday sept. 22

Sun Valley Harvest Festival sun valley sunvalleyharvestfestival.Com

The annual event includes wine tastings, a restaurant walk, chef demos and everything from a river guide cooking contest to a martini and caviar party. Of course, it’s the Grand Tasting that caps off three days of foodie-centric happenings. Best yet, nearly every offering shows off the very best in local and regional cuisine.

grove Plaza, Boise idahofoodBank.org

each year on the day after Thanksgiving, lines stretch nearly a block at times as people queue up for gourmet soup made by some of the city’s favorite restaurants. But more than just a warm meal, everyone takes home a handcrafted bowl donated by local potters and pottery shops. The bowls are the cherry-on-top of the knowledge that all proceeds are used to help the idaho Foodbank.

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cocktails

A new way to get your five servings a day alaVita

Cucumber + Salt + Smoke Pisco, mezcal, lemon juice, egg whites, bitters, sea salt (page 38).

Bardenay

Greek Cocktail Absolut Peppar, Crown Royal, Clamato, splash of banana pepper juice, banana pepper (page 24).

Mai tHai

High Maintenance Margarita Tequila, agave nectar, jalapeno, cilantro, egg white, lime juice (page 50).

Bonus/ Check the rotating cocktail menu of seasonal specials.

tHe Modern Hotel and Bar

Catch and Release Sherry infused with caraway, gin and yellow Chartreuse (page 61).

Bonus/ The Modern has a constantly rotating cocktail menu using seasonal ingredients.

>>>

red featHer lounGe

Shoreditch Red-pepper infused margarita (page 20).

LA uRie PeA RMA N

Bonus/ Check the rotating cocktail menu of seasonal specials.

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drink/boise

downtown & fringe

Boise downtown and frinGe 10Th sTreeT sTaTion Stiff drinks are served in the basement of the idanha Hotel, a la Cheers. They might not all know your name, but they really are always glad you came. 104 10th St., Boise, 208-344-2677.

Balcony cluB A gay- and straight-friendly bar with drag revues and a never-ending dance party. Home to some of the best people watching in town, too. 150 N. Eighth St., Ste. 226, Boise, 208-336-1313, thebalconyclub. com.

Basque cenTer

crickeT’s Bar

it’s the official watering hole for many of Boise’s Basques, but it also has a rep for killer drinks and fun crowds. 601 W. Grove St., Boise, 208-3315097 or 208-342-9983, basquecenter. com.

The Boise State set heads here for cheap drinks, pool and karaoke. it’s the place where tomorrow’s leaders drink today. 1228 Oakland Ave., Boise, 208-344-6235.

GaMekeeper lounGe it’s old school in the best way. The dim interior is filled with deep booths inviting patrons to sink in, martini in hand. The regular live jazz enhances the atmosphere. 1109 W. Main St., Boise, 208-343-4611, owyheeplaza.com.

dirTy liTTle roddy’s

cacTus Bar Like the roadhouses and dives of yore, it’s cash-only, but hey, there’s an ATM outside and you never know who you’re going to meet standing in line for the cash machine. 517 W. Main St., Boise, 208-342-9732.

china Blue it’s party central: multiple bars, a ViP area with bottle service, thumping music and a packed dance floor. 100 S. Sixth St., Boise, 208-345-9515, chinabluenightclub.com.

it’s tough to drink and ride a mechanical bull at the same time, but many a 21st birthday has been spent here attempting just that. 100 S. Sixth St., Boise, 208-345-9515.

faTTy’s Join the mostly college-aged crowd looking for everything from beer pong to hip-hop concerts to cheap shots and, of course, fat drinks. 800 W. Idaho St., Ste. 200, Boise, 208-514-2531, drinkfattys.com.

eat + drink/nampa

Gil’s k-9 Bar The neighborhood bar feel is knocked up a notch with surprisingly fantastic bar food. On Fridays and Saturdays, try the insane shrimp cocktail and crab salad or jumbo bar prawns. 2506 W. Main St., Boise, 208-345-4420.

Grainey’s/ Grainey’s BaseMenT Two bars, one iD check. Head upstairs to take in the pub feel or go downstairs for a low-ceiling club vibe. Check the lineup of musical acts and assorted diversions. 109 S. Sixth St., Boise, 208-345-2505.

huMpin’ hannah’s

PATRiCK SWeeNeY

For decades, this has been Boise’s hoppingest dance floor, where all types of party-seekers groove to live tunes from the Rocci Johnson Band. There’s enough kitsch on the walls to keep you entertained while you fight to get to the bar. 621 Main St., Boise, 208-3457557.

liquid This pillar of BODO has it all: cocktails, live music, laughs and eats. it has become Boise’s go-to comedy spot, pulling in national and local comedians. A kitchen shared with Solid offers late-night bar food. 405 S. Eighth St., Ste. 110, Boise, 208-287-5379, liquidboise.com.

>>>

lucky doG

MessenGer pizza and Brewery Try the jalapeno popper pizza (page 33).

Brick 29 The menu is seasonal and the Kobe burger is amazing (page 20).

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flyinG M coffeeGaraGe Grab an Americano and check out the live music (page 16).

This happening gay-friendly bar serves strong drinks at great prices. it makes with the purple decor and wicked sweet karaoke. 2223 Fairview Ave., Boise, 208-333-0074, luckydogtavern.com.

Main sTreeT BisTro When the walls of the entryway are papered with confiscated iDs, you know you’ve come to a hoppin’ college bar. The Bistro’s big Main Street-facing patio is the best vantage point to watch the kids at play. 609 Main St., Boise, 208-345-9515.

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downtown + state street/drink Modern hoTel and Bar Craft libations are near the level of art as master mixologists perfect the classics and create new concoctions. Bartender Michael Bowers was voted Best of Boise in 2012. The Modern has a downright enticing food menu as well, and it’s all done in hip surroundings. 1314 W. Grove St., Boise, 208-424-8244, themodernhotel.com

MulliGans Mulligans serves ’em stiff and cheap. And if you need something to soak up the booze, check out the pub fare. Bonus: bar games and a patio. 1009 W. Main St., Boise, 208-336-6998.

neurolux While known to host a regular roster of bands big and small, don’t mistake Neurolux as a one-trick pony. Karaoke nights, Bloody Mary Sundays and a rockin’ red pool table make Neurolux a mainstay. 111 N. 11th St., Boise, 208-343-0886, neurolux.com.

PacMan to Galaga. Grab a beer and stake out a machine in your quest to beat the high score. Watch for regular tournaments and music. 200 N. Capitol Blvd., Boise, 208-918-0597, spacebararcade.com.

syMposion First, you have to know it’s hidden behind a grove of trees off Fairview Avenue. Second, take your dog. Third, be ready to relax, because this place is low key. 2801 Fletcher St., Boise, 208-342-9420.

The Torch What can we say about The Torch that its iconic pink and purple sign doesn’t? it’s home to one of Boise’s original bikini bars and is a local landmark. Add plenty of drinks, great wings and nightly specials, and you’ve got a bar with some serious draw. 1826 Main St., Boise, 208-3440218.

state street

penGilly’s saloon

44 cluB

Pengilly’s is one of Boise’s favorites for good reason. The dark interior has a historic bar, wooden booths and a stage from which you can catch some of the area’s best musicians. 513 W. Main St., Boise, 208-345-6344.

This dive bar is a shanty-esque relic of years long past. it doesn’t even have taps—just bottles. The only modern thing is the karaoke book, one of the biggest in town. 4340 W. State St., Boise, 208-344-0693.

The red rooM Tavern The Red Room is worth leaving the din of Main Street. Bar flies of all stripes filter into the red-tinged tavern to cozy up under delightfully tacky velvet portraits and catch a slew of bands spanning every genre. Peruse a menu of mac ’n’ cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches. 1519 W. Main St., Boise, 208-331-0956, redroomboise.com.

silly Birch TVs broadcasting almost every game, darts, pool and Golden Tee complete the Silly Birch’s sports bar feel. On weekends the vibe changes to a chill hangout with cocktails and domestic and craft suds. 507 Main St., Boise, 208-345-2505.

spaceBar arcade Spacebar has filled its subterranean space with classic video games, from w w w.b o is e w e e k ly. com

Brews BroThers This is a hole-in-the-wall in the very best way. With 23 taps, Brews Brothers knows how to keep it real. 6928 W. State St., Boise, 208-853-0526, brewsbrothersonline.com.

The drink Bar and waTerfronT Grill Three theme bars in one: Whammy’s is the sports bar, Blarney Stone is the restaurant/club and the Tiki Bar is the joint’s floating bar, located on a dock on the lake. 3000 N. Lakeharbor Lane, Boise, 208-861-9094.

fireside inn exudes a regulars-only vibe, but everyone is welcome. Dark, windowless and with its own certain scent, it’s like a little cavern—full of drinks and pool tables. 1610 N. 31st St., Boise, 208-342-9075.

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drink/state,

broadway avenue, bench + east boise

Mccleary’s puB

Broadway aVenue

This is one of those roadside wonders of a bar. Wander through the dark bar to the back yard, where you’ll find a game-filled oasis. Horseshoe pits, barbecues and assorted distractions make it a great place to while away a day. 9155 W. State St., Boise, 208-853-9910, mcclearys.net.

Broadway Bar Here’s what you need to know about the Broadway: the drinks are stiff and inexpensive and the interior looks like it’s where John Travolta came-to after the ’70s. 1712 Broadway Ave., Boise, 208-342-9951.

end Zone Terry’s sTaTe sTreeT saloon

allen ireland owner penGilly’s saloon and neurolux

it looks like it could fall down at any minute, but the crowd knows how to get the party started. The clientele is a cool mix of blue collar and North enders, and Terry’s provides that place where everyone can meet in the middle—and sing karaoke. Be warned though: You’d better know what you want to drink when you get your 10 seconds with the bartender, because this staff doesn’t wait for wafflers. 3301 N. Collister St., Boise, 208-331-8225.

Turner’s

Where do you eat locally? Saint Lawrence Gridiron’s pop-up dinners. These are uniquely themed multiple-course, sit-down dinners in unconventional locations. Brian [Garrett], an architect with a chef in a food truck, has served some of the most creative and delicious meals i have eaten in Boise. What is your favorite dish? My favorite is always changing. The spicy lamb burger at Red Feather Lounge is good if ordered a point. Where do you drink locally? When i go out it is usually for dinner and that’s when i have a cocktail. it’s great to see the restaurants giving as much attention to the ingredients and preparation of the drinks as they do the food.

every town needs a college dive bar and the end Zone fits that bill. Patrons can drink on a budget and play horseshoes or shuffleboard. 1010 Broadway Ave., Boise, 208-3840613.

JiM’s aliBi This place is full of friendly witnesses who come to hang out in this haunt that happens to boast some great outdoor space. 2710 S. Broadway Ave., Boise, 208-342-9220, jimsalibi.com.

r Bar

Not only is it conveniently located near What is your favorite drink? campus, but it’s a i like the complex craft cocktails friendly sort of at the restaurants but have an old place filled with standby: Campari and soda on nearly 360-degrees the rocks, no gin, no garnish ... at of flatscreens. home. Watch the schedule of events for game nights. 1041 S. Broadway Ave., Boise, 208-629-0029, rbarboise.com. sporTs Bar

Though you can buy bait and tackle in the same building, Turner’s is all about cocktails. if you’re looking for a place to liaise with a seedy P.i., you won’t do better than Turner’s. 4022 W. State St., Boise, 208-342-9090.

suds Tavern Affordable beers, occasional live music and free taco nights make this a favorite for college students looking to have some fun without breaking the bank. 1024 Broadway Ave., Boise, 208-345-9656, sudstavern.com.

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BencH crescenT no lawyers Bar/Grill Seriously, no lawyers allowed. But the rest of us can enjoy plenty of sportstuned TVs, drinks and a full menu. Try the Lawyer Fries, aka Rocky Mountain oysters. 5500 W. Franklin Road, Boise, 208-322-9856, no-lawyers.com.

quinn’s Both the proletariat and Boise’s culturati are there for the same reasons: it’s mind-bogglingly cheap and there’s karaoke. Weekend brunch ain’t bad either, and St. Patty’s Day isn’t complete without a visit to this lounge. 1005 S. Vista Ave., Boise, 208-3450135.

sTuBs sporTs puB Jo’s sunshine lounGe Jo’s packs a lot into a small space attached to the Rodeway inn. it offers not only dancing but cheap drinks, live music, karaoke and a pool table. 1115 N. Curtis Road, Boise, 208-376-2700, jossunshinelounge.com.

JuMpin’ JaneT’s A longtime favorite of Boiseans looking to have some fun, Janet’s has great happy hour deals as well as a surprisingly tasty menu of bar food. 572 Vista Ave., Boise, 208-342-7620, jumpinjanets.net.

liTTle duTch Garden it doesn’t hurt to make sure it’s the bar you’re entering and not a neighboring house, but once you do find LDG, grab a beer and head to the back yard for horseshoe tournaments. 1910 S. Owyhee St., Boise, 208-342-9034.

Mccleary’s puB McCleary’s has two locations. This one fully embraces the irish pub ideal: The walls are painted green, there are plenty of taps and the happy hour deals are like finding your own pot of gold. 604 N. Orchard Ave., Boise, 208-3423007, mcclearys.net.

navaJo rooM The place is an ode to the spaghettiWestern cowboy bar. With pool tables, a dartboard and the karaoke corner, there are plenty of diversions. 4900 Emerald St., Boise, 208-343-5817.

overland Bar Whether it’s the schmuck’s corner, the Jaegermeister dispenser, affordable beer or daily karaoke, there’s plenty to love about this dark little bar. 3907 W. Overland Road, Boise, 208-336-4707.

if you’re not watching sports on one of Stubs’ many TVs, you’re checking out sports memorabilia on the walls. if you’re as tough as a fullback, try a pickled egg. 3662 S. Findley Ave., Boise, 208-336-7882, stubs.com.

The Torch 2 The Torch’s little sister is housed in an unlikely looking log-cabin-style building on the Bench, but step inside for bikini-clad entertainers dancing to DJ music. 610 S. Vista Ave., Boise, 208-336-4747. thetorchlounge.com.

visTa Bar One of the grande dames of the Bench bar scene. There are always plenty of regulars hanging out with friends and neighbors, enjoying a game of pool and some brews. 813 Vista Ave., Boise, 208-345-5058.

woody’s This haunt has it down by the numbers: two patios, more than 55 international beers and one eclectic jukebox. Kick back and relax with a full menu of bar food. 650 S. Vista Ave., Boise, 208-336-1790.

east Boise easTside Tavern With plenty of video games, karaoke, poker leagues, a jukebox and tons of pool tables, eastside is an excellent place to spend a whole day. 610 E. Boise Ave., Boise, 208-345-3878.

The refuGe it has a neighborhood pub feel and a respectable beer and wine selection. The full menu is an impressive list of sandwiches, salads, burgers and even steaks you can eat while watching the game. 404 E. Parkcenter Blvd., Ste. 300, Boise, 208-424-8211, therefugeboise.com. w w w.b o ise w e e kly.c o m

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drink/west

+ south boise saM’s place

west Boise

Treasured turf of cowboys and frat boys alike, this is a hoppin’ spot for shuffleboard, beer and an old-fashioned good time. 3395 N. Five Mile Road, Boise, 208-376-0074.

The Beerhouse essentially an old house serving beer, this joint draws equal parts regulars and sand volleyball aficionados. it’s a perennial summer barbecue with foosball, darts, horseshoes and volleyball courts. 9751 Cory Lane, Boise, 208-322-9958.

Buddies Buddies offers affordable drinks and piled-high deli sandwiches to loyal regulars and newcomers alike. 8654 W. Overland Road, Boise, 208-658-0906.

Buffalo cluB

villaGe puB

MinerVa Jayne Boise’s Blonde BoMBshell Where do you eat locally? Solid. They have a great late-night menu and impeccable service. What is your favorite dish? Their risotto bites are DiVOON little bits of heaven! Where do you drink locally? Anywhere with a liquor license but i love Red Feather for a drink best of all!

While it’s been around for years, recent facelifts have kept up with the times, filling its warm interior with booths and a central fireplace. Play a game of pool or grab a menu and check out the lunch specials. 9936 Fairview Ave., Boise, 208-3753085.

q’s Billiards and eaTery Q’s defines the term “pool hall.” You’ll probably hear Ted Nugent blasting in the background as you drink your brews and line up your balls for the next shot. 6570 Fairview Ave., Boise, 208-3229122.

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TwisTed TiMBer it’s a bit of a Jack-of-all-trades—there’s a great beer selection, a menu of pizza and sandwiches, a coffee shop, a pool table and shuffleboard. Whatever you’re looking for, you will probably find some semblance of it here. 4563 S. Cloverdale Road, Boise, 208-362-7157, ilovethetimber.com.

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MiN eR VA JAY Ne PHO TOGRA PH BY TYLe R BuSH

We all need to go a little cowboy and soutH What do you drink? there’s no finer Boise Champagne, darling! Of course! place than this, with line dancing hooliGan’s lessons, poker, puB pool and live music. 10206 W. Fairview Hooligan’s has its fair share of loyal Ave., Boise, 208-321-1811. regulars along with an ample share of pool tables—and skilled players to lindy’s dominate them. it’s the kind of place While there’s a steak house attached, that encourages lounging, thanks to a the real action is in the bar, where you menu of pub food. 10704 Overland can not only order off the full menu of Road, Boise, 208-376-9800. tasty eats, but grab a drink and game of shuffleboard. 12249 W. Chinden leGends sporTs puB Blvd., Boise, 208-375-1310. Wrap your hands around frosty mugs of regional beers. A full bar is available as The pockeT well for sports-loving patrons who come Venture inside this expansive pool hall, in for the big games. 7609 Overland where patrons of all abilities gather for Road, Ste. 100, 208-377-1819, a cold brew or a stiff cocktail. 1487 N. legendspubandgrill.com. Curtis Road, Boise, 208-375-2474.

garden city, eagle + meridian/drink GARDEN CITY Boulevard Bar This is a solid blue-collar bar filled with regulars who know that beer is spelled one way: Budweiser. 4079 W. Chinden Blvd., Garden City, 208-383-9035.

Shorty’s Saloon The first rule is that you’d better love country music. If you meet that criteria, swig a beer or two, play some pool or learn a little line dancing so you can properly bust a move. 5467 Glenwood St., Garden City, 208-378-7363.

Crooked Fence Brewing This Garden City brewery may have just celebrated its first birthday but this beer baby is growing fast. Make sure it’s open before you go because hours at the tasting room are limited. 5242 Chinden Blvd., Garden City, crookedfencebrewing.com.

Kilted Dragon Brewing This newcomer on the brewery scene offers a slew of unique beers. Hours are extremely limited, though, so check before you go. 9115 W. Chinden Blvd., Garden City, 208-254-2012, kilteddragon.com.

Moe’s Place This hub features all kinds of fun, with billiards, dart boards, video games, dance music three days a week and happy hour every day. 3933 W. Chinden Blvd., Garden City, 208-343-1243.

Payette Brewing Company Whether it’s the mutton buster, the nut brown or the IPA—even the tap water at this local microbrewery is worth swilling. With an everexpanding tap list, which features craft and seasonal varieties, Payette is now a Garden City go-to. 111 W. 33rd St., Garden City, 208-344-0011, payettebrewing.com.

Players Pub & Grill Beer and bowling are the drinking man’s cheese and crackers. Here, the bowling is pretty good and so are the food and beer. The bar happens to be filled with TVs, too, making it a great any-sports escape. 5504 W. Alworth St., Garden City, 208-376-6563, playerspubandgrill.com.

The Ranch Club The Ranch Club isn’t hard to spot: Look for the massive bucking bronco. Peruse a list of reasonably priced drinks and sample bar food until the wee hours. Since Boise went smoke-free, this Garden City standby has become a haze-filled oasis. 3544 W. Chinden Blvd., Garden City, 208-343-7447.

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EAGLE Gathering Place Tons of seating, pinball, pool tables, shuffleboard and live bands make this one of Eagle’s finest drinking establishments, and the only one that falls firmly into the “bar” category. 50 E. State St., Eagle, 208-629-4369.

MERIDIAN Busted Shovel It’s a biker bar that’s not just for bikers. While summer means a long line of shining Harleys out front, the bar is friendly, open to all and serves a full menu, including weekend brunch. 704 Main St., Meridian, 208-288-2217, bustedshovel.com.

The Construction Zone It was Bill and Lynn’s since time immemorial, but the location now has a whole new vibe, a new patio, karaoke and live music. Apparently it was just the kind of construction project this long-standing bar needed. 229 W. Franklin Road, Meridian, 208-8884075.

Corkscrews This little low-ceiling joint is a low key hangout for the crowd that likes its wine fine and its music smooth. 729 N. Main St., Meridian, 208-888-4049, corkscrewswineshop.com.

Kay and Traci’s 127 Club Country music, darts, pool, country dancing … yup, this is one tried-andtrue country bar. Kay and Traci’s has a standout food menu complete with homemade soups and Friday night prime rib specials and live music every weekend. 127 E. Idaho St., Meridian, 208-884-0122.

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drink/meridian,

caldwell + nampa

kiT kaT kluB

whiTe waTer saloon

vicTor’s hoGs-n-horns

One of the valley’s longest-running strip clubs, the Kit Kat Klub has slowly expanded its operation, but the basics remain the same: beer only and no touching the dancers. 4842 W. Franklin Road, Meridian, 208-888-7731.

if a bar wanted to go to a bar, this is where it would go. There’s no food, no kids and smokers can do as they please. You’d probably be stared down if you ordered a frou-frou drink here. 1646 N. Meridian Road, Meridian, 208-888-3063.

This bar has been a cowboy hub for more than 25 years and serves up Western and Cajun grub. 3110 Cleveland Blvd., Caldwell, 208-4551956, victorshogsandhorns.com.

The new fronTier cluB Catch a glimpse of Meridian’s true character and stop by The New Frontier Club for a chat and a beer. The bar is deceptively large and there are plenty of ways to while away an evening. 116 E. Broadway Ave., Meridian, 208-8889034, newfrontierclub.com.

slanTed rock Brewery Four signature beers are on tap in the tasting room, but check the hours before you make a pilgrimage. 2374 E. Cinema Dr., Ste. 100, Meridian, 208288-2192, slantedrock.com

naMpa caldwell duTch Goose The Canyon County version of the valley favorite serves up 17 beers on tap as well as a cravable menu of favorites like homemade finger steaks, steamed clams and sandwiches. 2502 Cleveland Blvd., Caldwell, 208-459-9363, dutchgoose.com.

1918 lounGe Old-school at its best. That’s all you need to know. 10 13th Ave., Nampa, 208-467-3273.

firehouse sporTs puB This sports pub has seven big screen TVs, games, pool and a full menu of sandwiches, burgers, pizza and even breakfast. You just have to go home to sleep. 1515 N. Midland Blvd., Nampa, 208-463-0167, firehousepub.biz.

eat + drink/caldwell

>>>

LAuRie PeARMAN

iMelda’s The handmade tortillas are fantastic (page 48).

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Mancino’s Try the No. 6 italian Combo (page 44).

tHe orcHard House Grab a glass of local wine and dinner on the patio in wine country (page 22). w w w.b o ise w e e kly.c o m

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Local Brews

From IPAs to porters Boise has a beer for everyone Payette Brewing Company

Outlaw IPA 111 W. 33rd St., Garden City, 208-344-0011, payettebrewing.com

Years Brewing: Two

Highlands Hollow Brewhouse

Fiegwild 2455 Harrison Hollow Blvd., Boise, 208-343-6820, highlandshollow.com

Years Brewing: More than 20

Slanted Rock Brewery

Red Ale 2374 E. Cinema Drive, Meridian, 208-288-2192, slantedrock.com

Years Brewing: Two

Sockeye Brewing

Dagger Falls IPA 3019 N. Cole Road, Boise, 208-658-1533, sockeyebrew.com

Years Brewing: 10

TableRock Brew Pub

Hopzilla IPA 705 Fulton St., Boise, 208-342-0944, tablerockbrewpub.com

Years Brewing: Seven

Crooked Fence Brewing

3 Picket Porter 5242 Chinden Blvd., Garden City, cfbrewing.blogspot.com

Years Brewing: One

Kilted Dragon

Knuckle Dragger Porter Years Brewing: Less than one w w w. b oi s e w e e k ly.com 

Jen G ra bl e

9115 W. Chinden Blvd., Garden City, 208-254-2012, kilteddragon.com

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drink/nampa,

kuna + star

Monkey BiZness

cowGirls

The live monkeys are gone, but the fun lives on with a full bar and live music. 724 First St. S., Nampa, 208-4671507.

A bar so wild it has a shuttle between Boise and Kuna and handlebars on the ceiling for when the ladies decide to dance on the bar. 353 Ave. E, Kuna, 208-922-9522, cowgirlskuna.com.

overflow Bar Happy hours, Jell-O wrestling and karaoke. With so much beer and entertainment, you might overflow, too. 114 13th Ave. S., Nampa, 208-461-3377.

lonGhorn lounGe The only place in town where booze and bar eats can be found late. Grab a drink and hit the dance floor or sidle up to the horseshoe-shaped bar. 458 W. Main St., Kuna, 208-922-4163.

peTe’s Tavern unassuming from the outside, it’s anything but on the inside at this neighborhood tavern. 11 12th Ave. S., Nampa, 208-466-9280, petestavern.net.

Tiny’s lounGe This friendly, shady lounge calls a century-old building in the heart of downtown Nampa home. 10 12th Ave. S., Nampa, 208-4671717.

The woodshed

trey Mcintyre Trey McinTyre proJecT arTisTic direcTor Where do you eat locally? i eat mainly at Red Feather Lounge, Bleubird Cafe and Alavita. What is your favorite dish? The Crudo appetizer at Alavita is mindblowing. i’ve never had a sandwich that wasn’t excellent at Bleubird, but the Reuben is my fave. And the kale Caesar at Red Feather is delicious. Where do you drink locally? Red Feather Lounge, The Modern Hotel and Bar and at Spacebar. What is your favorite drink? My favorite drink is the Shoreditch at Red Feather Lounge.

At this low key, neighborhood bar you’ll feel like you’re one of the regulars. 817 E. Karcher Road, Nampa, 208-467-7952.

kuna 4-e’s Bar A hybrid between a living room and a lounge, it may be the friendliest bar in Kuna has flower curtains on the windows and bar games. 379 W. Main St., Kuna, 208-922-1853.

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red eye saloon This dark little corner is perfect for watching NASCAR or joining the theme parties that the owners throw from time to time. 414 W. Main St., Kuna, 208-922-9797.

star helina Marie’s wine Bar

even Star needs a wine bar. Helina Marie’s always seems to have something going on, whether it’s tastings, karaoke or live music. 11053 Hwy. 44, Star, 208286-7960, helinamaries.com.

saM’s saloon While it may no longer be the only bar in Star, it has maintained its reputation for being a choice location for playing horseshoes and pool on a hot summer day. 10937 W. State St., 208-2867794. •

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Perfect Pairings The fine art of beer and food

Payette Brewing Company (page 65) Christina Marfice

Pairing food and booze in ways that complement the flavors of both is an age-old art. Books and online

La urie Pea rma n

guides offer hundreds of pages of tips for pairing a wine or beer with a meal, and even beginner sommeliers study intensively for months and shell out thousands for their training. For those whose palates gravitate away from fermented fruit and toward a cold brew, Boise’s growing trend in beer dinners slake both thirst and hunger. Sheila Francis, director of marketing and events at Payette Brewing Company, has helped pair Payette’s beers with fare from restaurants and food trucks across the Treasure Valley. “We’re doing more and more,” she said. “It’s definitely something we’re working to add more of.” Brian Garrett, owner of Saint Lawrence Gridiron, has hosted several such dinners at Payette. In one of them, each course of the meal was made with a Payette beer. “Our suggestion was, if they wanted to drink the beer that was in the food it would be a good complement,” Garrett said. Boise restaurants, like the Front Door Northwest Pizza and Tap House and Red Feather Lounge, regularly offer dinners with suggested beer pairings. The key to a good pairing, Francis said, is balancing flavors in the food and the beer served with it. “For example, your IPAs are going to have more of a hop flavor, so if you pair that with something spicy, it’ll kind of amp it up, which is pretty great,” she said. • 71 | RESTAURANT + Bar GUIDE 2013 | boiseweekly

Sockeye Grill and Brewery (page 26) The Front Door Northwest Pizza and Tap House (page 33)

Red Feather Lounge (page 20) Cafe Vicino (page 38) Tres Bonne Cuisine (page 54) 13th Street Pub and Grill (page 24)

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Boise Weekly Restaurant and Bar Guide 2013