Big K BBQ, 3409 W. Chinden Blvd., recently opened a deli and take-out that offers its style of barbecue from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Friday.
Owner Steve Kubinski, a Chicago-born pitmaster who used to have a restaurant at the now-demolished Rodeway Inn on Curtis Road, has been catering at this spot in Garden City for about a year.
He just added bold red signage to the storefront’s window, making the little barbecue joint stand out along this busy stretch of Chinden. It’s hard to miss the custom smoker out front as well.
Kubinski uses a blend of apple and hickory woods to infuse flavor into pork baby-back ribs, chicken, pulled pork, kielbasa and tri-tip.
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The small menu features various sandwiches such as pulled pork sliders and the Santa Maria, the eatery’s signature sandwich that piles high a half-pound of smoky tri-tip on toasted garlic bread.
Kubinski goes light on the sauce and heavy on the smoke, but he puts out four different barbecue sauces to accent the meats. Expect to find a Carolina-style sauce (with mustard and vinegar) and a couple of thicker Kansas City versions.
Sides include spud salad, creamy slaw, baked beans and smoked baked potatoes.
Call in take-out orders at (208) 488-9527.
Enrique’s to move
Enrique’s Mexican Restaurant, 482 W. Main St. in Kuna, is making plans for a big move next summer.
The current location is 4,000 square feet, yet the new spot in the nearby Sandstone Plaza (345 W. Avenue E) will boast around 12,000 square feet. The extra space allows owners Enrique Contreras and Ana Paz to maximize their business with more seating, a full-service bar and a wrap-around patio that will connect to Cowgirls, a country bar next door.
There also will be a separate banquet area (with its own little exhibition kitchen) and a VIP room with a private patio for special events.
No firm date has yet been set for the opening of the new restaurant, but Ana Paz says they are aiming for July or August, if all goes well.
The popular Mexican eatery, formerly known as El Gallo Giro, has earned a loyal following over the years for its tasty food and incredibly friendly and efficient service. People come in droves for saucy enchiladas, campechana (seafood cocktail), chicken mole, carnitas and tacos galore.
Shanaz reopens with new hours
Shanaz Home Kitchen Cuisine, 520 S. Main St. in the Meridian Marketplace, reopened in early November after being closed since May.
Over the summer, owners James and Shanaz Davis, who also run a catering business, were busy feeding wildland firefighters near the lines in California and in Montana. After the fire season ended, they decided to make some changes at the restaurant.
The Southern-inspired eatery no longer serves lunch, but diners can still get some of the former daytime specialties on the dinner menu, which is offered 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday.
Shanaz now dishes up seafood gumbo every night instead of just on weekends like it did before. Besides delicious gumbo served with honey-glazed cornbread, expect to find chicken and waffles, jerk salmon, deep-fried macaroni and cheese balls and fried green tomatoes with a zesty buttermilk dipping sauce.
Muse Bistro & Wine Bar closes
Muse Bistro & Wine Bar quietly closed its doors in late October at 1435 N. Eagle Road near the corner of Fairview Avenue,
In an Oct. 26 Facebook post, the Meridian restaurant stated that it’s no longer open and won’t be open in the near future.
Muse held its ground in the land of corporate restaurants since 2011 with a seasonal menu of wine-friendly offerings such as artisanal cheeseboards and a seared pork belly appetizer with syrupy cherry gastrique.
Pollo Rey changes owners
After Pollo Rey opened in late 1995 on the corner of 8th and Idaho streets, it was followed months later by Bittercreek Alehouse next door. Both eateries have become staples of the 8th Street entertainment corridor.
But last week, the Mexican rotisserie at 222 N. 8th St. was taken over by its neighbor.
Downtown restaurateur Dave Krick and his partner, who own Bittercreek Alehouse and Red Feather Lounge, became the primary owners of Pollo Rey on Dec. 2.
Pollo Rey regulars can relax; the restaurant isn’t suddenly going to be turned into Bittercreek 2, Krick says. “We don’t have an immediate plan for any changes with it,” Krick says. “The good news is, it works the way it is.”
Yet Pollo Rey occupies a prime corner spot Downtown. There’s always potential for creativity and growth — even at a counter-order chicken burrito joint.
“We like the concept,” Krick says. “It might just evolve.”
Michael Deeds contributed to this article. Submit food news and tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.