Food Notes: Wasabi moves to East Boise; community-oriented deli opens in Meridian

Wasabi owners Hee Park and Sukie Cheong are on track to reopen their popular Japanese restaurant in a new East Boise space on Aug. 25.

They closed Wasabi at its Orchard Street location earlier this year, and opened a Korean restaurant, Gangnam, in its place in late June, with the intention of finding a larger home for Wasabi.

As soon as Noodle Korea announced it would be closing in East Boise, at 2325 S. Apple St., Park and Cheong jumped at the chance to score that spot.

The menu will pretty much be the same as it was at the previous location, with a large sushi and sashimi selection and plenty of hot Nipponese items such as ropy udon noodles, yakisoba, teriyaki and gyoza dumplings.

An ornate sushi bar was built at the new spot, giving people room to sit elbow-to-elbow while watching the sushi chefs twist maki rolls and slice shimmering fish for nigiri and sashimi.

The restaurant will offer half-price sushi specials daily.

Wasabi will be open 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Phone: (208) 343-0071

New deli pays it forward

Bread of Life Community Deli recently opened in the former Pot Belly Deli spot, 1535 W. Franklin Road, in Meridian.

This new deli breaks convention when it comes to a typical business model for running a restaurant. Most eateries, if not all, have set menu prices that aren’t open to negotiation, but at Bread of Life, customers pay what they want based on what they can afford.

“It’s important that everyone has a healthy, nutritious lunch every day. There’s no pain like hunger,” says owner Cameron McCown, who formerly owned Pot Belly Deli but changed the concept to a benevolent system in May.

His goals are to fight hunger, reduce food waste and build strong community ties. Bread of Life is not affiliated with any missions or non-profit organizations; McCown is just trying to pay it forward after working in the banking industry for five years.

McCown says most diners pay full market price for deli items (a typical sandwich is in the $6-$8 range), while some pay more and even volunteer their time. Around 20 percent of the diners pay less than market price or arrange a work/trade agreement to pay for meals by helping out around the deli.

Like at all restaurants, revenue from the deli helps to keep the doors open, and McCown donates his time and energy to local non-profit organizations such as the Meridian Food Bank.

The menu stays the standard deli course with lots of sandwiches, entrée-sized salads and daily scratch soups. It’s supplemented with weekly specials that reflect the seasons.

Expect to find clubs, cheesesteaks, Reubens and other specialty sandwiches. Try the La Ensenada, a spicy chicken sandwich made with pepper jack cheese and jalapeno mayonnaise.

Meatless sandwiches include the Dorado (made on whole-wheat bread with avocado, tomato, sprouts, cucumber, red onion and cream cheese) and an Italian-inspired veggie sandwich.

The deli offers free delivery (before noon) to businesses in the Meridian area.

Bread of Life Community Deli is open 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Phone: 887-1205

Taste 208 Speakeasy

Buy tickets now for the Taste 208 Autumn Speakeasy on Aug. 27 at the Linen Building, 1402 W. Grove St.

This late-summer soiree (6-9 p.m., $65 per person, cocktail-attire recommended), put on by event planners at Adrian and Sabine, will give locavores a taste of what’s ahead in the coming months around the region in the world of food, wines, spirits and seasonal craft brews.

Around 20 vendors from Idaho, Washington and Oregon will be on hand doling out samples of artisan food and pouring select libations. Don’t be surprised to taste offerings from Meriwether Cider Company, Sockeye Brewing, Proletariat Wine Company, Potter Wines and Pendleton Whisky, to drop a few names.

The event will be catered by longtime Boise Chef Peter Schott, of 13th Street Pub and Grill in Hyde Park, who will be using lots of food from local farms. Reel Foods Fish Market is planning to set up a well-stocked sushi bar. Acme Bakeshop will also be there with a mountain of freshly baked bread.

Some of the proceeds from the event will benefit Full Circle Exchange, a non-profit organization that teaches women and entire ethnic communities self-reliance through training, education programs and the opportunity to start small artisan businesses.

Tickets can be purchased at taste208event.com/tickets.

Murph’s adds beer and wine

Murph’s Corner Brew, a super-sleek coffeehouse and eatery that opened in June at the Boise Spectrum, 7709 W. Overland Road, recently added beer and wine to its line up of beverages.

Moviegoers can now grab a local craft beer or a glass of wine before catching a flick at Edwards Cinemas.

The cafe offers canned and bottled microbrews from Crooked Fence, Payette, Sockeye, 10 Barrel and Roque from Newport, Ore. The wine selection includes Idaho labels from 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards, Cinder and Sawtooth Estate Winery.

Murph’s Corner Brew is open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday; 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

Online: murphscornerbrew.com.