208 Pho & Vegan plans to debut May 21 in the former Jim’s Coffee Shop spot at 812 W. Fort St. in Boise’s North End.
Owner An Nguyen has successfully converted the longtime diner space into a Vietnamese soup shop that will delight carnivores and vegetarians alike.
The menu consists of a 50/50 mix of meaty and vegan items done up in traditional Vietnamese style. Expect to find big bowls of pho (beef, chicken, seafood and veggie) ranging from $8.50 to $9.50.
Besides pho, don’t be surprised to find appetizers (egg rolls, summer rolls and fried wontons with shrimp) for around $6 and recognizable Vietnamese-style entrées such as vermicelli rice noodles and assorted rice dishes in the $8 range.
The eatery serves Vietnamese iced coffee (with sweet condensed milk) and 20 different kinds of Vietnamese tea. Diners will be able to get beer and wine in the coming weeks. 208 Pho & Vegan is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Frankie’s Java is serving breakfast, lunch in Meridian
Downtown Meridian has a new restaurant: Frankie’s Java, which opened two weeks ago at 112 E. Idaho Ave.
Owner Lisa Squires is the former co-owner of Java locations in Boise and Sun Valley, which are not affiliated with Frankie’s Java.
Named after Squires’ 12-year-old daughter, Frankie’s serves a variety of caffeine-charged drinks. Examples included the Ego Boost (espresso, coffee, Mexican hot chocolate, housemade whipped cream for $3.55/12-ounce, $4.20/16-ounce, $4.75 20-ounce) and an espresso-and-hot-water Americano ($2.25/$2.80/$3.25).
Breakfast options range from Frankie’s Benedict ($9.95) and the Tree Hugger Burrito (eggs, cheese, tomato, green onion, green chili, black beans, topped with creme fraise and cilantro, $8.95) to Frankie’s Homemade Granola ($5.95) and fresh-baked daily goods.
Unlike Squires’ prior restaurants, the lunch crowd so far has been bigger than at breakfast, she says.
Sandwiches and paninis, which come with kettle chips and a pickle, range from a Classic Club ($8.95) and Classic BLT ($7.95) to a Veggie ($8.95). Or grab a Chicken Quinoa salad or wrap ($9.75), or an Ultimate Quesadilla ($7.95).
Hours through May are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Starting June 1, Frankie’s Java will stay open until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and until 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
North End brew festival
Cloud 9 Brewery is putting on a beer, wine and food soiree from noon to 8 p.m. May 21.
In its inaugural year, “For the Love of Craft” will celebrate the local craft beer and wine scenes, as well as the burgeoning food truck culture. The event will run in conjunction with American Craft Beer Week.
The small North End brewpub, at 1750 W. State St., has secured a permit to close 17th Street between State and Franklin streets, where you will find a massive tent with 19 local breweries and wineries pouring a wide variety of libations.
Here’s how it works: Purchase a ticket in advance for $35 or show up the day of the event or buy a ticket at the gate for $45. You’ll receive 20 beverage tokens and a commemorative cup for tasting everything. Food costs extra.
Besides food and drink, the bike-friendly event (yes, there’s plenty of bicycle parking) will feature Radio Boise deejays spinning tunes throughout the day.
To buy tickets in advance (through May 20), go to fortheloveofcraft.eventbrite.com.
Kind Cuisine Cafe closes
Kind Cuisine Cafe, a vegetarian and vegan restaurant in Boise, closed earlier this month.
The eatery opened in 2014, serving vegetarian, vegan and raw dishes.
Kind Cuisine was at 4628 W. State St., in a shopping center that formerly housed Green Chutes Artists’ Collective and the Salt Tears restaurant.
The owners could not be reached. A post on the restaurant’s Facebook page said “many conditions led to the decision” to close, and the restaurant does not plan to reopen.
New eatery in Caldwell
Horsewood’s Kitchen opened May 13 in downtown Caldwell, at 212 S. Kimball Ave., in an early 20th century building that used to be a typewriter shop.
“This is a fully gutted space. We did a complete remodel, exhaust hood and everything,” chef and co-owner Aaron Horsewood says.
The décor boasts a blend of rustic and modern touches, with exposed brick walls and tables that came from a 1911 wooden ship. There’s even some local agricultural memorabilia and typewriter stuff as reminders of the past.
As for the cuisine, Horsewood, who comes from a long line of chefs, sticks close to the seasons and focuses on locally produced food for his eclectic, Idaho-inspired menus.
Appetizers include root beer float wings ($12.95), pork belly doughnuts ($10.95), Thai tacos ($3) and Basque-style Lonzino ham and clams ($13.95).
Expect to find larger plates such as Salisbury steak ($15.95), pan-seared trout with huckleberry beurre blanc ($17.95), elk finger steaks ($18.95) and a duck tamale with Nutella mole sauce ($13.95).
The menu also has lots of hybrid burgers and sandwiches, seasonal entrée-sized salads and assorted tarts with inventive toppings.
The wine list gives much play to Snake River Valley wines and local beers, the latter of which are offered on tap and in cans and bottles.
Horsewood’s Kitchen is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
For reservations, call (208) 453-8900.
Craft beer dinner
36th Street Bistro, 3823 Garden Center Way, is putting on a beer dinner ($35 per person) on May 25 from 5 to 9 p.m.
The popular North End bistro will be pairing handcrafted beers from Boise Brewing to a three-course seasonal menu.
Expect to start things off with a smoked bacon and pea soup with pink peppercorn crème, followed by a choice of whole-grain mustard-crusted pork tenderloin with apple cider reduction or five-spice dusted black cod with buttered asparagus and a sweet corn-Gouda polenta cake. The third course is semolina honey cake with toasted coconut and raspberry sorbet.
Reservations are recommended. Call (208) 433-5108.
Submit restaurant tips and news to email@example.com. Michael Deeds contributed to this article.