Calle 75 Street Tacos was shooting for a late-summer opening for its new Boise digs in the former Golden Phoenix Oriental Express space, at 110 N. 11th St., kitty-corner from The Record Exchange and Neurolux. But it’s now looking more like November before Downtown diners can get a taste of the scratch-made tacos at this fast-casual Mexican restaurant.
This will be the second brick-and-mortar location for owners Mike and Rosie Weems, who have made quite the name for themselves around here with their mobile-food business and quick-service eatery at The Village at Meridian’s Fountain Court.
The Weemses are experiencing the typical hang-ups that come with remodeling a restaurant, especially one as outdated as the Golden Phoenix was before it closed in 2013. The married couple is working around the clock to dial in their Downtown operation so its ready to go before the year’s end.
Graffiti-inspired artists from Sector Seventeen just completed a colorful mural on the alley-side of the restaurant that’s designed to make people hungry. It depicts the kind of fresh food — sliced red onion, tomatoes, heirloom corn and a head of lettuce — associated with Mexican cuisine.
The Weemses recently found out that they were approved for a hard-liquor license at the Downtown spot. Their original plan was to serve beer and wine only.
“We are going to have cocktails. It’s pretty exciting,” Mike Weems said.
The drink menu is still being conceptualized, but people should expect it to have fun twists on margaritas, mojitos and other cocktails.
“We will have something for everyone,” he said.
As for the food selection, diners will be able to enjoy a larger menu (compared to the Meridian restaurant) of street-style tacos, burritos, torta sandwiches and house-made salsas. The kitchen is under the direction of chef Tito de la Garza, who hails from Mexico City and went to culinary school in Guadalajara.
The kitchen staff will also make their own organic white and blue corn tortillas daily thanks to a large volcanic-stone grinder that pulverizes the heirloom corn into masa dough.
For progress reports, visit facebook.com/calle75streettacos.
Taco Bell to serve sharable plates and booze?
Speaking of tacos, Taco Bell recently announced that starting in 2022 it will be opening 300-350 “cantina-style” restaurants nationwide, primarily in urban settings.
The new fast-casual concept, which won’t have drive-through windows, will serve beer, wine, sangria and Twisted Freezes (slushy cocktails made with vodka, tequila or rum) to go along with the Chalupa Supremes and other favorites. This surely doesn’t sound like your parents’ Taco Bell of yesteryear.
Besides booze, the cantina-style eateries will feature locally commissioned artwork, digital menu boards and open kitchens that will pump out classic Taco Bell offerings and sharable plates of finger foods.
No word yet on whether or not one of these concepts will be coming to Boise.
October flavors at Guru Donuts
Guru Donuts, 928 W. Main St., has all kinds of fun creations in mind for doughnut lovers once October rolls around.
Next month’s flavors include The Great Pumpkin ($3; dark chocolate-drizzled Bismarck packed with pumpkin pie and cheesecake filling), Hansel and Gretel ($1.50; raised ring doughnut topped with icing and cinnamon crumbs) and a blackberry old-fashioned cake doughnut ($2) with a tart blackberry glaze.
Vegans are in luck, too, with the Cinderella ($3; Bismarck filled with cinnamon-spiced pumpkin pie, dunked in apple cider glaze and sprinkled with graham cracker pie crumbs) and the Dirty Chai ($2.25), a raised doughnut glazed with coconut milk-infused chai tea glaze and espresso-dark chocolate sauce.
Guru Donuts is open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Good deals can be found during the doughnut happy hour, which runs from 3 to 4 p.m. daily.
It’s almost Cowboy Formal time at Crossings Winery
Make reservations now for Crossings Winery’s annual Cowboy Formal winemaker’s dinner on Saturday, Nov. 4.
The event ($100 per person, including tax and gratuity) is slated for the winery in Glenns Ferry, at 1289 W. Madison Ave., and will feature a six-course cowboy-themed menu that will be paired to select wines from the estate offerings. As the name suggests, diners are encouraged to dress up in their fanciest cowboy duds.
The festivities will kick off with wine and cocktails in the wine cellar at 5:30 p.m., followed by the dinner at 6:30 p.m.
For reservations, go to crossingswinery.com.