Restaurant News

Sports bar, restaurant opens in Nampa, then Boise; farmers markets switch gears

Josie Erskine from Peaceful Belly Farm works the crowd at the Boise Farmers Market.
Josie Erskine from Peaceful Belly Farm works the crowd at the Boise Farmers Market. Courtesy Boise Farmers Market.

Don’t get your feathers ruffled, Buffalo Wild Wings, but you’ve got competition.

Native Grill & Wings, a franchise sports bar based in the Phoenix area, opened Monday at 16808 N. Marketplace Blvd. in Nampa. The restaurant will hold grand-opening festivities Friday and Saturday that include specials and prizes.

A second Native Grill & Wings is projected to open at 7700 W. State St. in Boise in March 2017.

With about three dozen locations, mostly in Arizona, Native Grill & Wings is in the midst of an expansion that puts it on a smaller but similar playing field to ubiquitous Buffalo Wild Wings. Although there are similarities between the two restaurants — notably, wings, beer and tons of TVs — Native Grill has a more diverse menu, plus a game-watching atmosphere that some customers probably won’t find as over-the-top volume-driven as BWW.

The Native Grill menu includes 20 wing flavors, plus other food options such as pizzas, calzones, burgers, sandwiches and fish. There’s also a modest kids menu.

Native Grill was established in 1979 as Native New Yorker. The company claims its original owners were “the first to bring wings to Arizona.”

In 2014, the restaurant rebranded itself as Native Grill & Wings. It’s now focusing on growing in other states such as Idaho, Montana, Texas and others.

Hours at the Nampa location are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.

Phone: (208) 475-4799. Online: nativegrillandwings.com.

Boise Farmers Market heads inside

Boise Farmers Market will be moving to its indoor digs on Saturday for the remainder of the season, which wraps up Dec. 17. The food-centric market is setting up for the fourth year in a vacant warehouse, 516 S. 8th St., at the corner of 8th and Fulton streets from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Shopping for holiday foodstuffs is the modus operandi here. Besides the usual host of local agricultural and artisan food vendors, the market is also bringing in food produced in other parts of the country that’s perfect for the holiday dinner table. There will be vine-ripened cranberries from Cape Blanco in Port Orford, Ore., and you can once again get chewy, sweet dates from China Ranch Date Farm in California’s arid Death Valley.

“This is a great way to taste foods that aren’t common to our area,” says Karen Ellis, director of the Boise Farmers Market.

New to the market this year is real-deal maple syrup and sugar from Balsam Wood Farm in Connecticut.

Even though the market supplements its lineup with food from afar during the holidays, the focus is clearly still on locally produced food and beverages.

Longtime market vendors Matthews Family Farms and Malheur River Meats are now taking orders for Thanksgiving turkeys — to be picked up at the market Nov. 19. The Matthews family also produces raw, unfiltered honey at their farm in Weiser, and for a limited time you can reserve delicious honey pies.

Order big cuts of naturally raised beef, like prime ribs and roasts, from Desert Mountain Grass-Fed Beef and M&N Cattle, an American Kobe beef producer in the Hagerman Valley.

Boise Farmers Market chef Carolee Polser will be offering cooking demonstrations over the course of the next two months.

“Every week we will be doing a tasting for holiday dinners with recipes,” Ellis says.

Also expect to find freshly baked holiday breads from Gaston’s Bakery and Acme Bakeshop. Plus, you can score custom holiday wreaths made by Peaceful Belly Farm and other artisans (sorry, you can’t eat those).

Capital City Public Market holiday hours

Starting Saturday, the Capital City Public Market is gearing up for the holidays by offering a condensed version of its full-blown market on 8th Street (between Jefferson and Idaho streets) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Dec. 17.

Here you can enjoy hot cider and coffee while strolling around the outdoor market shopping for holiday foodstuffs and artisan gifts. Don’t worry about getting too cold, though, because the market management will be placing large heaters here and there so folks can periodically warm up along the way.

For more information, go to capitalcitypublicmarket.com.

Gyro Shack opens Downtown

The Gyro Shack chain has earned a loyal fan base over the years for its drive-thru eateries that put out fat gyros and other Greek specialties lickety-split.

Now, diners can go Greek at the recently completed City Center Plaza thanks to a sit-down version of the restaurant, which opened Oct. 21 in the Clearwater Building, 777 W. Main St., between Buffalo Wild Wings and the soon-to-open Dutch Bros. Coffee near the corner of 8th and Main streets.

Gyros are obviously the name of the game here. The menu features 11 variations of pita-wrapped sandwiches for carnivores and vegetarians alike. The Deluxe ($5.39) is packed with tender, fragrant gyro meat (mixture of lamb and beef), feta, tomato, onion and garlicky tzatziki sauce. The Veggie Pita ($5.29) comes with a crispy vegetarian patty or hummus topped with tzatziki, lettuce, tomato and onion.

You can also get sides and salads, including a fully-loaded Greek salad ($7.59 large/$4.99 small), hummus ($4.99/served with warm pita) and feta and Kalamata olives ($4.49). Don’t forget to try the flaky baklava ($3.99) made with honey and walnuts.

The Gyro Shack, which recently started selling franchises throughout the Northwest, will be opening a new drive-thru spot in Meridian at 1050 E. Fairview Ave. later this month.

Downtown hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Online: thegyroshack.com.

Boise Fry Co. comes to Nampa

Boise Fry Company recently opened in Nampa’s Belle District, at 224 12th Ave. S., across from the new library.

This is the fifth Treasure Valley location for the Boise-based fast-casual chain. The Nampa store is housed in a building that was a Cadillac dealership in the middle of the last century, and this explains the cool wrap-around windows that let in lots of natural light. There’s even a stylish, secluded rooftop patio where you can hang out and indulge in some fries and a burger.

Boise Fry Co. is known for its double-cooked fries (think Belgian-style) and beef, bison and vegan burgers. As for the fries, diners get to pick the type of spuds the want (chosen from russet, gold, yam, sweet potato and purple varieties) and their preferred cut, which includes regular, home-style, curly or shoestring.

Other Boise Fry Co. locations can be found in Boise, at 204 N. Capitol Blvd., 3083 S. Bown Way and 6944 W. State St., and in Meridian at 2020 E. Overland Road. Boise Fry Co. also has a hip spot on Burnside Street in Portland.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Online: boisefrycompany.com.

Aviation-themed eatery opens

Diners are flying into The Tower Grill, a new aviation-themed restaurant at the Nampa Municipal Airport.

A stone’s throw away from the Warhawk Air Museum, The Tower opened Oct. 12, serving breakfast and lunch at 105 Municipal Drive.

The locally owned restaurant will host a grand opening Saturday.

The Tower’s menu “showcases American, fresh, seasonal specials,” according to its website. Signature entrees include burgers (with a side) named the Spitfire ($10.49) and P-38 ($10.49), and a Spruce Goose grilled chicken sandwich ($8.48). Breakfast choices run the gamut from an A-10 Warthog Burrito ($10.49, described as a real “tank buster”) to “Full Flap” pancakes ($7.42), which are “landing-gear size” and served with two eggs.

Coming soon: Local draft beer, bottled beer, mimosas and weekend brunch.

The Tower, located on the building’s upper floor, has a seating capacity is 47. It also has an outdoor patio with a view of the runway.

Hours: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Monday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Online: thetowergrill.com.

Nepalese restaurant closed for now

If your restaurant routine includes an occasional stop for momo-style dumplings at the edge of Downtown Boise, you’ll have to take a break in November.

Mount Everest Momo Cafe, the Himalayan restaurant at 2144 S. Broadway Ave., has closed because of a family emergency in Nepal.

The restaurant will reopen Dec. 1, according to its Facebook page.

Mount Everest has been in business since 2013 at its present location, although it closed in 2014 after a fire tore through the Broadway strip mall. It reopened in 2015 with a larger kitchen and new decor.

Submit restaurant news and tips to scene@ idahostatesman.com.

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