Words & Deeds

5 Things to Do This Weekend in Boise: Pay HOW MUCH for a grilled cheese fest? (Meltdown time.)

When word hit the street about the first-ever Boise Grilled Cheese & Beer Festival, the Statesman reported that our excited city was “having a meltdown.”

But the public meltdown is still to come. Right here. Because I just noticed the prices online for Saturday’s 21-and-older event at Cecil D. Andrus Park.

Almost 57 bucks —$49 plus $7.93 service fee — for a grilled cheese party?

That’s some crazy cheddar.

And that’s the cheap ticket. If you want to be a “Big Cheese” VIP — with access to a special seating area, full-sized beers and stuff — you pay nearly $103 ($89 plus $13.59 fee).

They’d better melt some pule for that price. That’s Serbian donkey cheese — the world’s most expensive at over $1,000 a pound. What, you hadn’t heard of it, peasant?

All I know is that a guy can buy a hell of a lot of Kraft Singles and Wonder Bread for $57 — let alone $103. And a bunch of cold brewskies.

Look, I totally understand why Boiseans are stoked. Who doesn’t adore gooey, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches? I’m sure local chefs will come up with inventive, tantalizing options. (“Sweet baby cheesus,” I saw one commenter drool on Facebook under a sandwich photo.) Even if most fancy options will probably be a “melt,” technically, not a “grilled cheese” — a discrepancy that infamously once sent a Reddit user into a frenzy titled “You people make me sick.”

Just remember, you’re dropping that coin for the opportunity to nibble bite-sized squares, not devour entire sammies at this festival. And to sip beer dispensed in 2-ounce pours, according to details on Facebook. Shot-sized beers? Don’t most Idaho breweries, like, give those out free when you ask for a taste? Can you two-fist? Or at least sneak in extra thimbles?

OK, OK. Even if the grilled cheese portions feel like mousetrap bait, you’ll probably be able to satisfy your inner glutton. It’s unlimited sampling — both the food and the beer.

But don’t plan on a record-breaking dining marathon. The Boise Grilled Cheese & Beer Festival is split into sessions: 12:30-3:30 p.m. and 4:30-7:30 p.m. Once your selected three-hour window closes, you have to either scram or get your wristband cut off.

About a dozen restaurants/food trucks and another dozen local breweries are listed as participants. And it’s nice that a portion of the proceeds will go to the Good Samaritan Home. (Hopefully, that portion isn’t also bite-sized.)

I admit it. The Denver-based organizers of this Boise event are probably onto something. They’ve already produced a similar event in other cities, so the formula must work. The festival has even warned us that “tickets will be more expensive at the door” — if they have any left.

If it sells out, don’t worry. You can come to my inaugural Boise Top Ramen & Beer Fest. All the instant noodles and Natty Light you can crush for $49.99 — including fees! I’ll even crank up a propane heater in my backyard.

Fine, be that way, cheese snobs.

Just try not to get melted Velveeta on your mittens Saturday if it gets chilly. Outdoor heaters aren’t planned in the park.

4 more things to do this weekend


Comedian Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias is back in Boise for a concert Friday at CenturyLink Arena, 233 S. Capitol Blvd. Tickets range from $34.50-$95 at the CenturyLink Arena box office. Doors open at 7 p.m., and you’d better get there plenty early. Remember, Idaho loves Fluffy. He drew 12,800 fans to his show at the Western Idaho Fair in 2018.


Here are highlights on the concert calendar:

James Coberly Smith CD release concert with LeAnne Town and Deborah Day: 7 p.m. Friday, The Sapphire Room, Riverside Hotel, 2900 W. Chinden Blvd., Boise. $15 general, $20 preferred. eventbrite.com. $20 and $25 at the door.

Jon Pardi: 7 p.m. Friday, Revolution Center, 4983 N. Glenwood St., Garden City. Sold out.

Martin Sexton: 8 p.m. Friday, The Olympic, 1009 Main St., Boise. $30. TicketWeb. $33 day of show.

The Shivas: 8:30 p.m. Friday, Neurolux, 111 N. 11th St., Boise. $10. TicketWeb. $12 at the door. Opening: Monsterwatch, Dirt Russell.

Amigo The Devil: 8 p.m. Saturday, The Olympic, 1009 Main St., Boise. $15. eventbrite.com. $17 at the door. Opening: King Dude, Twin Temple.

Austin Lucas: 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Neurolux, 111 N. 11th St., Boise. $10. TicketWeb. $12 at the door. Opening: Holy Camaro, Tularosa.

Ghostemane: 7 p.m. Sunday, Knitting Factory, 416 S. 9th St., Boise. $25 general ($27 door), $55-$70 reserved. TicketWeb. Opening: Lil Tracy, Harms Way, Horus The Astroneer, ParvO.

Com Truise: 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Neurolux, 111 N. 11th St., Boise. $20. TicketWeb. Opening: Altopalo, Beshken.


Here’s a Halloween haunted house you probably haven’t heard about: The Communication Building at Boise State. There’s a terror tour running from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Proceeds will help support educational opportunities for public relations and theater students. Here’s the inspiration: “Rumors about the haunted Communication Building have circulated for years. The stories focus on a ghost named Dinah. Supposedly, she was a former BSU student who was stood up at a school dance. ... As a result, she hung herself in the building.” Yikes. The haunted house is a partnership between Blue House Agency, a student public-relations training organization, and WRT, a student theater group. Tickets are $7 at the door. There’s a less-scary session for younger kids from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday.


Ski season is near. Get in the spirit with like-minded outdoor enthusiasts at the Backcountry Film Festival. Sponsored by the Winter Wildlands Alliance, this Friday event has two showings at the Egyptian Theatre in Downtown Boise — with a party wedged in between. For the early fest, doors open at 5 p.m., films start at 6; for the late edition, it’s doors at 9, films at 9:30. You’ll experience “climate action, environmental preservation, natural resources, snow culture, and of course, POW SHOTS.” There’s also craft beer, raffle prizes, swag giveaways and more. Tickets are $20, available in advance online at winterwildlands.org. Need more action? Jam to live music from Connor Jay Liess and his band at the official pre/after-party from 7 to 9 p.m. at The North Face, 802 W. Idaho St.

If you’re actually more about the beer than the snow, you’ll still be welcomed at the annual Pray for Snow party hosted by 10 Barrel Brewing, 826 W. Bannock St. The event happens outdoors from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday on 9th Street between the brewery and Yen Ching restaurant. It’s free to enter; beer tokens cost $5: “Beyond the films,” 10 Barrel promises, “we’ve got live music, massive gear giveaways, industry vendors, specialty beer, and enough beer to drown a flock of jerrys.”

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Michael Deeds is an entertainment reporter and columnist at the Idaho Statesman, where he also has been a sportswriter, entertainment editor and features editor. Deeds co-hosts “The Other Studio,” a one-hour music show, at 8 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM The River.