Food & Drink

Russian Food Festival offers taste of Europe; new owners at Poppy Seed; and garlic workshop at the Co-op

Elena Sherman helped at last year’s Russian Food Festival.
Elena Sherman helped at last year’s Russian Food Festival. Provided by the Russian Food Festival.

Do you like borscht and other traditional Russian dishes? If so, you should check out the Russian Food Festival on May 19 and 20 at the St. Seraphim Russian Orthodox Church, 872 N. 29th St. in Boise.

The annual event (11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday) spotlights Russian culture with authentic food, live folk music and tours of the church. Entry is free, and all food items will be sold a la carte for $3 to $10.

This year’s menu includes Russian crepes, beef stroganoff, stuffed peppers, shish kebab, borscht (beet soup), piroshki, chebureki (deep-fried savory turnovers), assorted salads (cabbage salad, carrot salad and marinated mushrooms) and desserts such as flaky baklava, honey cake and other baked Russian goodies.

You can also get non-alcoholic beverages, in addition to a cold bottle of Baltika, a Russian beer.


New owners at Poppy Seed Bakery

Poppy Seed Bakery and Café, 3910 Hill Road, reopened May 17 under new ownership.

The Northwest Boise bakery, which debuted in November 2016 before closing months later, has been purchased by Kim Castor and Jeremy Franklin. The husband-and-wife team haven’t made any major changes to the original concept of serving freshly baked treats and good coffee.

Baked goods include muffins, fat brownies, cookies, scones and more. Diners can also score savory breakfast sandwiches, lunchtime sandwiches, salads and seasonal soups.

Poppy Seed serves Evans Brothers Coffee (from Sandpoint). In addition to espresso creations, the bakery offers pour-over coffee, drip coffee, chai tea and other specialty drinks.

Hours: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.


Blaze Pizza coming to Nampa

Blaze Pizza will open a second Treasure Valley location later this year in Nampa at 16375 N. Merchant Way, near the Karcher Road and Interstate 84 interchange.

The California-based pizza chain, with more than 100 locations nationwide, has enjoyed success since making its Idaho debut a few years ago at The Village at Meridian, 2206 N. Eagle Road, across the parking lot from the Boise Co-op.

Blaze Pizza is known for its Neapolitan-style pizzas that come out of the scorching, revolving-deck brick oven in about three minutes. Diners can choose customizable pizzas with a plethora of toppings (various sauces, meats, cheeses and veggies) that are kept in little pans on the order line for everyone to see.


Garlic workshop at the Boise Co-op

Boise Co-op will host a free green garlic workshop on Tuesday, May 23, from 6 to 7 p.m., in the classroom at its store at The Village at Meridian, 2350 N. Eagle Road.

Justin Moore, the fiddle-playing farmer from Fiddler’s Green Farm in Boise, will be on hand to show people the splendor of working with green garlic, otherwise known as spring garlic. Green garlic bulbs possess a mild, mellow flavor compared to fully mature bulbs, which get harvested a few months from now. Moore will be handing out recipes as well.

“Participants will get to taste green garlic and learn how versatile and delicious it is,” says Mo Valko, Boise Co-op’s marketing manager.

You can purchase green garlic from Fiddler’s Green Farm at the Boise and Meridian Co-op locations and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays at Moore’s booth at the Boise Farmers Market (you might even hear him rip a hoedown on his fiddle).

The Boise Co-op is always looking for new ways to connect shoppers with area food producers throughout the year. “This is part of a new, free monthly farm workshop series that we are hosting,” Valko says.

Reserve a spot in the green garlic workshop by going to

To check out other Boise Co-op events, visit

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