Saint Lawrence Gridiron, 705 W. Bannock St., recently bolstered its lunch menu with some daytime versions of popular dinner menu items.
“In the past, we mostly did sandwiches during lunch, but people started asking for the brisket platter and other stuff,” owner Brian Garrett says. “So we came up with a few greatest hits off our dinner menu that we can execute quickly for the lunch crowd.”
Chef Craig Wilson, who took over the kitchen earlier this year, has a flair for Americana fare as evidenced by his inventive menus that closely follow the seasons. Think of the cuisine as Northwest-inspired with serious Southern inroads.
The lunch menu has starters such as radish and fresh burrata cheese ($9), macaroni and cheese ($7) and a hybrid poutine ($7) that features hand-cut fries topped with Gorgonzola cheese sauce, house-smoked brisket and fermented black bean reduction.
Salads include a fall squash salad ($9) and cornbread panzanella ($7) with mixed greens, apple, red onion, sharp cheddar and herby buttermilk dressing.
For those with larger appetites, check out the Carolina-style shrimp and grits ($13), pork belly with smoked apple puree and bacon jam ($13) and the brisket platter ($15), an array of smoked brisket, house-made pickles, fennel chutney, scratch stone-ground mustard, grilled flatbread and charred scallion oil.
Wash everything down with a Lunch Buddy beer special, a 10-ounce draft microbrew for $3.
Lunch isn’t the only change at Saint Lawrence Gridiron, which likes to keep its menus as dynamic as possible. The eatery soon will upgrade its weekend brunch menu with a few lunchtime items.
Lunch hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Saint Lawrence Gridiron is open nightly for dinner and also serves brunch from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Brick 29 Bistro relocation delayed
In the grand scheme of things, Brick 29 Bistro chef and owner Dustan Bristol had hoped to be moved into his new digs by the end of the year. But because of engineering considerations, permits and all that important stuff, it’s looking more like spring 2017 before the popular Nampa eatery debuts the reinvented version of itself.
Brick 29 Bistro, 320 11th Ave. S., isn’t actually moving to a new location. Instead, a top floor is being constructed on the existing Masonic Temple building, where the new and improved restaurant will go from subterranean to a penthouse-like setting.
The restaurant will remain open downstairs until the construction is completed in the spring. This gives Bristol and his culinary team more time to come up with a menu overhaul, which will be introduced with the opening of the new space.
To get progress reports, go to facebook.com/brick-29-bistro.
Afternoon Tea at Chateau des Fleurs
Put on a fanciful hat and head to the Afternoon Tea service at Chateau des Fleurs, 176 S. Rosebud Lane, Eagle, on Wednesdays from 1 to 3 p.m. This month’s dates are Dec. 14, Dec. 21 and Dec. 28.
Served in one of the Chateau’s opulent ballrooms, the European-inspired Afternoon Tea ($34, $20 kids 10 and under) showcases a lineup of hand-blended, exotic teas from far away places and a multi-tiered array of house-baked noshes such as scones, flaky tarts, cookies, muffins, tea sandwiches and assorted quiches.
Make reservations at chateaueagle.com or by calling (208) 947-2840.
Desert Inn Cafe gutted by fire
Many folks heading to Bruneau Dunes State Park and C.J. Strike Reservoir over the years have enjoyed the diner fare at the Desert Inn Cafe, 1500 Sunset Strip, in Mountain Home. Unfortunately, the longtime eatery was destroyed by fire in the early morning hours of Dec. 2.
From the outside, the brick building, with its iconic neon sign, looks like it didn’t sustain much damage, yet the inside was completely destroyed by the fast-moving flames. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
People have traveled far and wide for the tasty, homespun food at this family-friendly diner in its various incarnations over the last 70 years — the place originally opened in the 1940s. In recent times, the eatery was called Pat’s Desert Inn Cafe, and diners came in droves for the codfish and chips, meatloaf, sloppy Joes, gravy-draped poutine, caramel apple French toast and big, juicy burgers served with hand-cut fries.
No word yet if the current owners plan to rebuild. Check facebook.com/patsdesertinncafe for updates.
Free Dawson Taylor coffee, doughnuts
Located at 1035 S. Lusk St., Roast is a slow bar at the Dawson Taylor coffee roastery and warehouse. You can feed your caffeine addiction — and your doughnut-loving face — with the gratis goodies from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Boise-based Dawson Taylor, which also has a Downtown coffehouse at 219 N. 8th St., has roasted coffee since 1995.
Michael Deeds contributed to this article. Submit restaurant news and tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.