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Food News: What's Cookin' in Boise, Eagle and Meridian

Boise is booming—and it has the sushi, taco, ice cream, soda, beer, pizza and coffee joints to prove it

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As Boise and its suburbs continue to boom, attracting not only Californians but mountain-loving potato enthusiasts from just about everywhere, restaurants from nearby cities and states are moving in to accommodate a growing appetite, and eateries already in the City of Trees are sending out offshoots.

- The Heavy Metal Roll from Sushi Shack comes stuffed with cucumber, smoked salmon and avocado, and piled with tuna, crab salad, tobiko and more. -  - SUSHI SHACK
  • Sushi Shack
  • The Heavy Metal Roll from Sushi Shack comes stuffed with cucumber, smoked salmon and avocado, and piled with tuna, crab salad, tobiko and more.
Closest to home, Sushi Shack, a Boise-based catering company that serves up jaw-droppingly beautiful sushi roll arrangements for office parties, weddings and more, is on the move. Its first food truck hit the road Sept. 18 to add sushi rolls and poke bowls to the Treasure Valley brew and lunch scene. The chef behind the sushi is Hiroshi Parrish, who worked at Shige Express for 11 years, and whose creations are as much art as they are food. From “Basic Beaches” like California and spicy tuna rolls to specialties like the smoked salmon and crab salad Heavy Metal Roll, Sushi Shack has Boiseans covered for barside snacks, but Owner Dylan Cordry said he’s looking to corner the health food market next.

“Hopefully here real soon we might be going out to Bodybuilding.com,” said Cordry. “We’re really pushing for healthy, quick, quality food.”

Cordry has big plans for a brick-and-mortar location in the future, but for now it’s all about the bright red truck. Past stops have included PreFunk Beer Bar and Lost Grove Brewing, but it’s hard to say where it will roll up next—follow the Sushi Shack Facebook page to find out where to get your fix.

Another City of Trees eatery, Tin Roof Tacos, the sister-owned taco stand on Broad Street, will be opening a second location in Meridian next spring. Considering the duo has only been slinging its funky, Texas-style street tacos since January of 2016, expanding to another outpost is a bold move.

“We are so excited to bring [our] vision to life in Meridian, in a great location that will make us easily accessible to nearby businesses, schools and folks in the surrounding residential neighborhoods,” wrote Co-owner Susan Lloyd in a press release.

Tin Roof regulars who head to Meridian when the snow thaws can expect the same creative menu and made-to-order tacos, ranging from the fried chicken taco, which comes piled with coleslaw and drizzled with jalapeno ranch dressing, to the classic Texican filled with lettuce, ground beef, cheddar cheese and tomato.

Saveur described the ice cream at Reed's Dairy as "creamy and dreamy" and "supernaturally sumptuous." - OTTO KITSINGER
  • Otto Kitsinger
  • Saveur described the ice cream at Reed's Dairy as "creamy and dreamy" and "supernaturally sumptuous."

From a bit farther away comes Reed’s Dairy, an all-things-milk-based eatery that sources its eats from a dairy in Idaho Falls, where it already boasts two established locations and a home delivery service. Since opening in Meridian in early October, Reed’s has been serving up milk in all forms, from ice cream to gooey grilled cheese sandwiches, at its new location at the intersection of Chinden Boulevard and Linder Road.

"Almost weekly we have a dozen people from the Treasure Valley stop in at one of our Idaho Falls stores and beg us to open an ice cream shop in Boise,” said company President Alan Reed in a press release, adding that Reed’s plans to open two more Treasure Valley locations in the next few years.

In an effort to appeal to customers year-round, Reed’s offers 24 small-batch ice cream flavors alongside grilled cheese, soup and a selection of dairy products to go including milk, cheese, butter and, for the holidays, classic and chocolate eggnog . If you can’t get enough in store, Reed’s also offers home delivery to most of the Treasure Valley.

Sodalicious, a specialty soda shop out of Utah that plans to open four Treasure Valley locations this year, has cornered the after-school market in Eagle by taking over a coffee shop just a few blocks from Eagle High. The chain is staffed with “mixologists” who doctor up giant sodas with flavor shots, fruit purees and cream, serving them up alongside sugar-packed snacks like cookies and fudge that no teenager (or adult) can resist. Stop by for a seasonal sip like the Ginger Snog, a funky concoction made with ginger ale, eggnog and half-and-half.

In booze news, a new brewery, Montana-based White Dog Brewing, opened its doors in Boise Sept. 16. Apart from serving up stellar suds—the company Facebook page claims the brewery “exist[s] to make the most well-rounded, consistent and interesting beer in the Mountain West”—White Dog has been keeping Treasure Valley residents entertained with trivia nights, beerga (beer + yoga) classes and, this fall, a pumpkin carving contest. Drop by with a pre-carved pumpkin or get into the Halloween spirit by carving it up at the brewery Friday, Oct. 27-Sunday, Oct. 29. Completed jack-o’-lanterns will form a spooktacular window display, and entry fees will be donated for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The Boise Brewing team proudly displayed their bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival. - JASON E. KAPLAN
  • Jason E. Kaplan
  • The Boise Brewing team proudly displayed their bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival.

Boise Brewing took home a bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado, Oct. 7, making it the only brewery out of 8,000 competitors to score a medal for three consecutive years. The competition ranks brews in 98 categories, and Boise Brewing was honored in the Imperial Red Ale category for its for its Jagged Shard ale, a brew the company describes as “a full-bodied, hop-forward ale with a malty caramel finish.”

“I am so proud to be representing Boise and helping to put Idaho’s craft beer scene on the map,” said Boise Brewing Head Brewer Lance Chavez in a press release.

Boise Brewing wasn’t the only Idaho brewery to medal this year, though—Mother Earth Brew Co. in Nampa snagged a bronze as well for its Fresh As It Gets ale in the Fresh or Wet Hop Ale category.

Finally, a food roundup wouldn’t be complete without a shoutout to our new Central Addition neighbors, artisan pizza joint The Wylder and specialty coffee roaster Form & Function, which are moving in to the bottom floor of the still-under-construction Fowler apartment complex at Fifth and Broad streets this fall. The Wylder opened its doors for dinner Oct. 19 (read more here), and Form & Function plans to follow suit in mid-November.


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