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Dishcrawl Dominates Downtown

And Crush comes to Eagle

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The bar crawl is a prized tradition--stumbling from dive to dive, downing Purple Pantydroppers while a bullhorn-wielding tour guide tries to herd you on to the next location. But thankfully, DishCrawl Boise uses the word crawl in a less literal sense.

The new-to-Boise venture, which hosts similar events in cities like Austin, Texas; Los Angeles and Boulder, Colo., will bring foodies together for a guided downtown restaurant tour Wednesday, Nov. 14.

"We're going to have 25 people and we're going to tour four restaurants in one night. At each restaurant, you're going to get a little speech from the owner or the chef to talk about the food," said DishCrawl Boise's Elisia Schrauth. "Each place is serving up a sample of some of their most popular dishes."

Though Schrauth said Dishcrawl doesn't reveal the restaurant list until 48 hours before the event "to build suspense," she did give away some secrets.

"For ones that are definitely confirmed: Shige Japanese, which was the [Boise Weekly's] best Japanese restaurant in Boise. Then they're going to end it at Melting Pot for chocolate fondue. And there is going to be a food truck; I won't say which one," she said.

Schrauth said that each stop at the $39 event will include a vegetarian option and that the whole experience should take around three hours.

"I just want [people] to be more engaged with the local restaurants in the community. This is really good for the restaurants to get some exposure and be able to talk one-on-one with people who go there and get them excited about the food here in the city," said Schrauth.

As of press time, there were still 14 tickets left for the event. This won't likely be the last Dishcrawl event in Boise.

"Since the holidays are coming up, this will be the first and only one for 2012, and then we'll probably come back in January and do this once a month," said Schrauth.

Moving from crawls to crushes, Eagle recently got a new wine bar called Crush in one of the spaces adjacent to Brewforia Eagle.

"We're not your average wine bar," said co-owner Amy Allsop. "We've got a huge extensive wine list, we've got tapas, we've got great music, and we're a little bit funk on the inside; it's not quiet and wine bar-ish--no smooth jazz."

In fact, for Crush's grand opening celebration Oct. 27, Allsop and business partner Kevin Quinn brought in San Francisco rockers Soft White Sixties and local Desirae Bronson to perform.

Allsop said the 45-seat "stainless steel, crystal, dark wood" space will regularly feature up to 20 wines on tap including a variety of Idaho and Northwest wines.

"We've got wine from all over--anywhere from a $6 pour to a $450 magnum," Allsop said.

In addition, Crush also dishes up an array of apps.

"We are actually in partnership with 3 Girls Gourmet and Brewforia next door, so we offer Brewforia's flatbreads--you can order them right from us. ... From 3 Girls, we've got tapas, cheese plates, hummus plates, pulled pork sliders, chicken salad sandwiches, that kind of thing," she said.

Though Allsop doesn't have prior experience in the food service industry, she said it has always been a dream of hers to open a wine bar.

"I've always wanted to have a place where people would come and gather and love to come back and stay," she said.

Moving from a new concept to an old downtown classic, Moon's Kitchen Cafe has new owners. Gary and Shelly Torrey took over the cafe in July from Bob and Lisa Dempsey.

"When I first walked in, I told my wife I was probably going to buy this restaurant, and she started laughing," Gary said. "And it just ended up coming out that way."

The Torreys have kept most things the same at the classic downtown diner--including the name, the type of cuisine and the hours--but they have tweaked some menu items.

"Everything's fresh for our milkshakes now (it was canned before), strawberries, raspberries. ... We increased our burger size by two ounces; we hand-press our burgers now," said Gary. "Our Philly cheesesteaks are made out of filet mignon that's pounded down and really tender."

The Torreys also added three full-screen TVs and will soon be offering Dawson Taylor espresso drinks.

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