Boise just got its second steampunk-themed coffee purveyor, Full Steam Bistro. Unlike Stream Coffee & Tea Bike, this coffee shop slings shots in a fixed location—the newly constructed 951 building off East Park Boulevard.
Full Steam Bistro, which celebrated its grand opening July 10, offers a selection of Italian-style coffee and espresso drinks made with beans from Seattle's Caffè Umbria.
"When we started up the coffee shop here, we were trying to use somebody local, but the problem was local people were everywhere already. ... To be different you have to be different and so we decided to go with Caffé Umbria," said co-owner Koby Funderburg, who moved to Boise from Portland, Ore., with his wife, Patricia.
Full Steam Bistro—which boasts a patio—also serves French pastries from Gaston's Bakery and a limited assortment of lunch items, like the prosciutto sandwich ($5.95) with prosciutto, salami, Swiss, tomato and arugula on ciabatta.
"Right now we have paninis, sandwiches, salads, we have soups, we have smoothies, we have pizza margherita, we do parfaits, oatmeal, we do breakfast wraps," said Funderburg. "So it's not a large menu, but whatever we do we want to make sure it's going to be the best quality we can put into it."
The spot's steampunk aesthetic, which Funderburg describes as "old world tries to become new," includes a handful of industrial light fixtures and an antique exhaust fan from an old wood mill.
"We're going to continue to put more decorations up," said Funderburg. "The next step is we have some mechanical gears going up that are going to be spinning at all times on top of the shelving."
Full Steam is described on Facebook as a coffee shop/beer garden, but the suds aren't flowing yet—Funderburg is currently applying for a beer and wine license. For more info on Full Steam Bistro, visit fullsteam920.com.
Speaking of beer and wine licenses, Jerry's 27th Street Market just received one. Now patrons can enjoy Hiral and Jerry Fandel's eclectic assortment of homemade Indian dishes and Chicago-style specialty sandwiches with icy cold beverages.
"You're able to get any of our beers in our cooler and drink out on our patio along with the food," said Hiral. "We also started doing local live music on Friday evenings."
Currently, Jerry's only offers food in the warmer months—Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hiral said beginning Monday, Aug. 3, Jerry's will open at 7 a.m. to offer grab-and-go breakfast items. For more info on Jerry's 27th Street Market, call 208-344-0302.
In opening news, Grant's Neighborhood Grill is now offering farm-to-table fare at 1835 W. Cherry Lane in Meridian. The small bistro is owned by Mike Grant, owner of Papa Joe's Italian Restaurant and Bar across from Boise State University on Capitol Boulevard.
"Everything's organic, everything's fresh," said self-described "Marketing Guy" Kristian Hohenbrink. "We shop literally every day. There's no food trucks, so in other words there's no Sysco and distribution."
Chef Aaron Sheets sources products from local purveyors, including Sweet Valley Family Farms, Acme Bakery and M&N Cattle. Sheets' "New American" menu includes items like the spinach and fennel salad ($8) with pickled red onions, house-made bacon lardons, crumbled blue cheese and fresh berry vinaigrette; braised pork belly ($9) served over apple and potato puree with herb coulis; and a jerky board ($8) with house-made beef jerky, pickled red onions and a petite green salad. The bistro also offers rotating seasonal chalkboard specials.
In addition to a full bar, Grant's Neighborhood Grill also has an outdoor patio with live music on Saturdays after 8 p.m. Hohenbrink said brunch offerings will join the menu in the next couple of weeks. Grant's is currently open 10 a.m.-10 p.m., seven days a week, and will host an official grand opening party in the middle of August. For more info, call 208-884-4278 or visit facebook.com/grantsgrillmeridian.
In more meaty news, Soulcraft Barbecue has a pop-up shop set up at the Indian Lakes Golf Club, at 4700 S. Umatilla Ave. Every Friday night from 6 to 9 p.m., pitmaster Greg Newton serves an assortment of slow-cooked favorites like brisket, pork shoulder, tri-tip and pork spare ribs.
"I'm kind of a traditionalist," said Newton. "It's an all-wood fire. Long cooks if you're doing brisket, pork shoulder."
In addition to his scratch-made sides—like potato salad with new and sweet potatoes, red pepper coleslaw, mac 'n' cheese and ranch-style pinto beans—Newton also offers a range of unique barbecue sauces.
"We've got three sauces: the Austin, which is more of a central Texas-style; the Charleston, which is basically our take on a South Carolina mustard-style sauce; and the other one I just call our Original sauce, which is basically the first sauce that I came up with that I ended up making more than once," said Newton. "They're all very vinegar-based; none of them are super sweet."
Though Newton is reluctant to define his barbecue style by any particular region, he said he's drawn to the "simple, time-proven" central Texas approach. When Newton took a trip to Austin, Texas, he made friends with pitmaster John Lewis, of La Barbecue, one of the town's most buzzed about barbecue trailers with a line that snakes down the street. Lewis is now helping Newton design a custom barbecue pit.
"He's kind of like my technical consultant on the pit construction," Newton said.
In addition to his Friday night pop-ups at Indian Lakes, Newton also offers off-site catering.