Restaurant News

Refugee Restaurant Week in Boise spotlights chefs from Iraq and Congo

Grit chef Paul Faucher, left, with Hussein Jumaah.
Grit chef Paul Faucher, left, with Hussein Jumaah.

Taste cuisine from different parts of the world during the inaugural Refugee Restaurant Week Sept. 26-Oct. 2 at two Boise area restaurants.

The weeklong event, sponsored by the Idaho Office for Refugees and its Global Gardens program, will take place at Juniper, 211 N. 8th St. in Boise, and Grit American Cuisine, 360 S. Eagle Road in Eagle.

At Juniper, chef Aaron Wermerskirchen is teaming up with Aminata Kika, who originally comes from Republic of the Congo. After war raged in her home country, Kika resettled in South Africa, where she trained to be a chef at the prestigious Westin Cape Town Hotel. She moved to Boise six months ago and works for Mathieu Choux at Gaston’s Bakery.

She will be putting out a featured dinner entrée of Congolese cuisine Sept. 26-Oct. 2 in concert with Juniper’s regular dinner menu. On Sept. 28, starting at 7 p.m., Kika will prepare a four-course Chef’s Table dinner ($38 per person) with the help of Wermerskirchen and his crew.

Reservations are required for the Chef’s Table dinner. Call (208) 342-1142 to reserve a spot.

At Grit American Cuisine, guest chef Hussein Jumaah, who moved to Idaho about nine months ago, will put out a special Middle Eastern entrée that will supplement chef Paul Faucher’s regular menu for three nights Sept. 29-Oct. 1.

Jumaah hails from Iraq, where he owned and operated a restaurant for 20 years. He also ran a restaurant in Turkey, where he fled after war tore apart his home country. Jumaah recently graduated from the Create Common Good program and currently cooks at Kona Grill at The Village at Meridian.

For reservations, call (208) 576-6666.

For more information, visit

Eureka! to open next month

Bring on that Bone Marrow Burger.

Eureka!, a gourmet hamburger restaurant and bar moving into the former Aspen Leaf Frozen Yogurt spot at 800 W. Idaho St., plans to open at 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 17.

Known for intriguing food items such as its Bone Marrow Burger — plus a focus on craft beer and cocktails — Eureka! will bring a fresh vibe to The Mode building. The restaurant chain is based in California, but it makes a concerted effort to tap food, drink and cultural strengths of local markets. The Fresno Fig Burger, for example, will be made using bread from Boise bakery Gaston’s. Area musicians will perform on Thursday nights. A graffiti mural stretching along the wall ties in with art in the nearby Freak Alley.

Eureka! includes a large wraparound bar with 40 beer taps — 20 standing, 20 rotating — vaulting it into the large-selection territory of brew-geek neighbors Bittercreek Alehouse and Taphouse Pub & Eatery.

“We pride ourselves on our ‘eat drink American’ concept, which is all about local ingredients, local drinks, and events highlighting all that Boise has to offer,” co-CEO Justin Nedelman said in a news release. “Our commitment to quality at an approachable atmosphere makes our restaurant the perfect dining destination for all Boise residents.”

Brunch is planned on Saturdays and Sundays — including $5 mimosas and bloody marys.


Speedy Burger closes

Unfortunately, everything arrived quickly at Speedy Burger, a new restaurant in Boise — including the end.

After opening Jan. 17, the fast-food hamburger joint at 1680 N. Westland Drive announced this week on Facebook that it had closed.

Speedy Burger was near Pojo’s Family Fun Center in a building that formerly housed an Arctic Circle.

Greek eatery turns to Kickstarter

Wanna be a hero for a gyro?

New restaurant Meraki Greek Street Food recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $7,500.

Planned for the former Proto’s Pizza spot at 345 S. 8th St. in Boise, Meraki will serve gyros and other Greek goodies.

“As it turns out, things just cost more than I anticipated,” co-owner Aki Kalatzakis wrote at Kickstarter, “and the mounting costs do threaten the restaurant opening on time. If we can get the support that we need, we will be able to successfully open by the first week in October.”

The timing of the opening, not the opening in general, hinges on the success of the campaign.

“We will open in October,” Kalatzakis’ wife, Farrah, emailed to the Statesman this week.

Harvest Fest at Indian Creek Winery

Does stomping grapes and drinking wine sound like fun?

If so, you may want to check out the Harvest Fest at Indian Creek Winery, 1000 N. McDermott Road, in Kuna from noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 25.

The family-friendly event will keep the focus on the fall bounty with lots of harvest games, pumpkin decorating, live music, T-shirt printing and other fun activities.

And of course, there will be plenty of wine tasting and local food vendors on hand to feed everyone.

Here’s how it works: Purchase a ticket ($10 general, $7 wine club members, online at and you’ll receive a Harvest Fest glass and six wine-tasting tickets. The event is free for those under 21.

All food is sold separately from the individual vendors. The lineup includes Il Segreto Wood-Fired Pizza, Brother Browns Bar-B-Q, Cool Intentions Ice Cream, Genki Takoyaki, Nezzy’s Brazilian Sweets, Vogel Farms Country Market and Cabalo’s Orchard and Gardens.


Fall menu at 36th Street Bistro

Autumn is in the air at 36th Street Bistro, 3823 Garden Center Way, in Boise’s North End.

Chef Joe Leseberg introduced his menu of fall flavors Sept. 19. Expect to find dishes such as chorizo and gouda croquettes ($7) and pulled pork tacos ($11) with pickled carrot-dill slaw.

Another good pick is the spinach and quinoa salad ($8 half/$12 full) with candied almonds, shaved radish, roasted golden beets and lemon-tarragon dressing.

Larger plates include braised local beef ($15) in zesty roasted tomatillo sauce (served with jalapeno corn fritters) and wild sockeye salmon ($15) with almond pesto risotto.

Leseberg also gave the brunch and breakfast menus a seasonal tweak. Go for the brioche French toast ($10) stuffed with vanilla espresso cream cheese filling, topped with Nutella sauce for good measure. And you can’t go wrong with a wedge of freshly baked quiche ($7) made with Basque-style chorizo, gouda and artichoke hearts.

Make reservations now for the restaurant’s craft beer dinner ($35 per person) on Oct. 5 from 5 to 9 p.m. Leseberg and his crew will be putting out three courses of inventive fare to be paired with select beers from Payette Brewing.

36th Street Bistro is open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday (brunch only).

Phone: (208) 433-5108.


Saint Lawrence Gridiron Sunday Suppers

Saint Lawrence Gridiron, 705 W. Bannock St. in Boise, is resurrecting its Sunday Suppers program starting Sept. 25 with a menu that gives a shout-out to Bourbon Heritage Month.

The bourbon-spiked, four-course dinner ($45 per person) starts at 7 p.m. with a first course of shrimp and scallop ceviche with pineapple foam and crispy garlic.

Next will come pan-seared quail breast with bourbon beurre blanc, sweet potato gnocchi, sage chips and truffle oil.

The third course is mushroom-smoked bison loin with bourbon demi-glace, heirloom cauliflower succotash and pickled huckleberries.

Finish the night with bourbon doughnut bread pudding topped with apple-cherry compote and salted caramel.

Space is limited for the Sunday Suppers, and reservations are required. Reserve a spot at

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