The Gyro Shack is back
After opening its latest location at 777 W. Main St. in Boise in November, the growing, Boise-based restaurant chain will pop up in Meridian at 1050 W. Fairview Ave. in early spring.
Originally slated for a December launch, the newest Gyro Shack is now scheduled to debut in mid-April. It will include two drive-thru windows and a patio for outdoor seating.
The Gyro Shack’s slogan is “Real Greek, real fast.” Gyros are made-to-order. Other options on The Gyro Shack menu include Greek salad and hummus and pita.
After beginning as a food truck and three drive-thrus in former coffee kiosks, The Gyro Shack is expanding steadily. The Meridian location is corporate-owned, but franchise Gyro Shacks are slated for North Idaho and in Washington later this year.
Mai Thai invited to James Beard House
Each year the fabled James Beard House, 167 W. 12th St. in New York City, invites hundreds of chefs and restaurants from around the country to strut their stuff at the historic house and dining room in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. In many ways, it’s the center of the culinary universe in the United States.
No restaurants from the Boise area have been chosen to put on dinners at the James Beard House in recent years — not since Mortimer’s presented an Idaho-centric menu there in 2005. But Mai Thai, 750 W. Idaho St., was invited to do a special dinner ($175 per person, $135 for James Beard Foundation members) on April 13 at 7 p.m.
Mai Thai executive chef Justin Scheihing and others from the Pan-Asian restaurant will make the trip to the Big Apple. He has written a five-course fusion menu with small-bite starters that pays homage to Songkran, otherwise known as Thai New Year. Diners will start things off with hors d’oeuvres such as fermented pork ribs, sai oua sausages, khao soi curry chicken wings, blood terrines and naem sausages with pickled mustard greens.
The first course of the tasting menu includes a nam prik trio (salted duck egg relish, grilled veggie relish and sweet pork relish) served with raw vegetables, fresh herbs and lettuces.
Next up, diners will receive fried catfish with green mango salad, followed by Northern Thai khao soi curry soup brimming with noodles, pickled mustard greens, fried shallot and a braised chicken leg.
The fourth course will come in the form of gaeng hang lay curry with Idaho beef cheek confit, pineapple, crispy pork skin and peanuts.
The dinner will conclude on a sweet note with coconut jelly and fresh fruit (woon gati mamung).
People planning to go to New York City for the dinner need to make pre-paid reservations by calling the James Beard House at (212) 627-2308 between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. (MDT) Monday-Friday.
Foodfort celebrity chef dinner
The Foodfort part of Treefort Music Fest kicks off on March 23 at the Basque Center, 601 W. Grove St., with a four-course dinner ($100 per person, including wine) that pays homage to Idaho-produced foodstuffs.
Celebrity chef Hugh Acheson was invited to town to cook for the wine dinner, which will run from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Acheson is a James Beard Award-winning chef and a judge on Bravo’s “Top Chef.” He owns several restaurants in Georgia, including Empire State South, The National, The Florence and Five & Ten.
Select wines from Cinder Wines will be paired with each course. The first course includes smoked sturgeon with potato, sturgeon caviar, pickled fiddlehead ferns, fried bread and mustard vinaigrette.
The second course is Snake River Farms pork belly with bronzed fennel, flageolet beans, collard green kimchi and pork dashi broth. After that, diners will receive a fermented chile-crusted New York strip steak served with black beluga lentils, fermented carrots, radishes and stewed greens.
The dessert course culls inspiration from Idaho as well as Georgia. Take care of your sweet tooth with stewed huckleberries, buttermilk panna cotta, fried sage and peanuts drizzled with roasted peanut oil.
Make reservations soon at treefortmusicfest.com/forts/foodfort.
Jersey Mike’s Subs plans Broadway opening
Jersey Mike’s Subs, a franchise chain out of New Jersey, will open its second Boise store at 1628 S. Broadway Ave., between Warren and Howe streets, on April 12.
The company’s first Idaho shop opened in June at 7610 W. State St., near Gary Lane in West Boise.
The new store is on a stretch of Broadway that has several new restaurants and businesses that target the Boise State crowd — Black Rock Coffee Bar, Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers, Pizza Hut, Popeyes and Noodles & Co.
With 1,500 stores nationwide, Jersey Mike’s is known for traditional Italian-style sub sandwiches and a signature seasoned red wine vinegar and olive oil blend it calls “The Juice.” The company serves hot subs, cold subs and wraps, and it does make a kids meal. You can order online at JerseyMikes.com and through the Jersey Mike’s app.
The Idaho franchise owners plan to open other Jersey Mike’s Subs in the Treasure Valley and around the state, but there are no definite plans yet. Online: jerseymikes.com.
City Buffet plans second Valley restaurant
City Buffet in Boise will serve up its modern twists on traditional Chinese and Japanese cuisine at a second location by fall.
The new City Buffet will be located in the Canyon County Plaza, 2102 Caldwell Blvd. (Suite 104) in Nampa, next to Shopko. There is no opening date yet.
The current location at the Shopko Plaza, 8049 W. Fairview Ave., in Boise serves up traditional Szechuan, Cantonese and Hunan specialties, hibachi-grilled items, sushi rolls and more buffet style. The all-you-can-eat price is $8.45 for lunch daily; $11.95 for dinner Sundays to Thursdays, $12.65 for dinner Fridays and Saturdays.
You can order takeout by phone at 888-8897 or online at CityBuffetBoise.com.
Authentic Italian restaurant opens in Northgate Center
A restaurateur who operated Italian eateries in Southern California for decades has set up shop in Boise’s Northgate Shopping Center.
New restaurant Vincenzo Trattoria opened March 14 at 6970 W. State St. in the former Jades Chopstick space.
Chef and manager Vincenzo Nicoletta, who was born in Italy, defines a trattoria as “a casual dining experience for those who enjoy authentic food at a reasonable price.”
Check out the menu at vincenzotrattorio.com. Hours: 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
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