Knock, Knock. Who's there? Pizza and sushi.
A few years ago I wearied of writing about almost nothing other than the seemingly endless openings of pizza and sushi restaurants. Long time Food News readers may remember the Gonzo-esque gang battles I concocted in this column where hachimaki-wearing sushi rollers duked it out in the streets of downtown with dough-throwing pizza makers. But times they are a-changing, and if you want to talk about a real truce to a fictional problem, here it is.
With the impending closure of Ridley's Market on Bogus Basin Road, Gil Hellmund, owner of Lulu's Fine Pizza, has decided to take in Superb Sushi (which is currently located just inside the supermarket). And what's even more mind-blowing is that as of last Monday, Lulu's started delivery service. In addition to getting Lulu's gourmet pizza delivered, you can also order up beer, wine, sake and sushi to arrive directly to your door. With an $18 minimum order and a $1.50 delivery charge, Lulu's will service the Highlands area, the North End, the Warm Springs area in the East End and the Hill Road region up to 36th Street.
As a North Ender who sometimes indulges in a bit of Superb and pizza in the privacy of my own home, the only thing I need to know is whether I can earn frequent buyer points.
Lulu's Fine Pizza, 2594 N. Bogus Basin Rd., 208-387-4992.
A Walk on Idaho Street
Stroll down Idaho Street and start taking notes.
After a year in business, A Taste of Memphis Soul Food has thrown in the hushpuppies. Owner McNesheye Reed closed the downtown restaurant last week when the one-year opt out-option on her lease looked like a better deal than continuing to eke by on what's been dwindling customer traffic. Reed seems in good spirits about her time as a restaurant owner in Boise, but she's preparing a move out of state with her husband to look for work elsewhere, saying that, although she enjoyed running A Taste of Memphis—and that she knows her food is good—business was just too slow to make it work. As she made the rounds of downtown restaurants looking for new jobs for her employees, Reed says one restaurant owner told her he's taking slower business day by day while another plans to stick with it for two months and then leave the United States for business opportunities in a more economically sound country.
Across the street from what was formerly A Taste of Memphis, Easy Street market has opened its doors with a selection of quick buys that have been inconveniently absent from that end of downtown for the last few years. Libations and smokes pretty much sum up the business philosophy for the time being, but an expansion into the world of frozen food may be in the works. Whether you're in the market for bottled water, juice or beer, Easy Street has a bevy of fridges packed with liquids. Smokes? Check. Munchies? Check. Window-side overstuffed couches for lounging and people-watching while you snap into a Slim Jim? Check. It's squashed between Aphrodite's Garden and 925 Silver Jewelry. Open seven days a week, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A block east, Cool Hand Luke's looks like it's nearing a launch. Apparently the spate of closures downtown won't deter the California company from opening up its second Idaho location in a matter of months. Speaking of suburban steakhouses ... Idaho Steakhouse on Eagle Road is closed. If you're surprised—or worse, dismayed—bop on over to the adjacent lot where Arizona-based barbecue chain Famous Dave's BBQ looks grossly busy.
Will Drink 4 Vote
Time for the Franco Latino update. Until election day, Franco Latino customers can log their vote for president via vodka. By now you know the drill: one drink, two names, order by candidate. For the last three weeks, Barack Obama's drink the Barackatini has been leading without much competition from John McCain's McCainapolitan. As of press time, the Barackatini was still ahead of the McCainapolitan. The official count is now 44 to 36. Maybe this week's victory can be attributed to Rep. vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who in other food-related news took to inadvertently (ignorantly?) endorsing Obama's stance on cross border raids into Pakistan from Afghanistan as she was ordering up cheesesteaks in Philly. Sounds like Palin should save some of her sand's "whiz" for herself.
This Week's Wine and Dine
If after all the First Thursday togetherness downtown necessitates a little lakeside recovery, head to Barbacoa, where Chef Enrique Martinez will throw together five courses to pair with Argentina's Benvenuto de la Serna Winery. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 2. Price is $75 per person plus tax and gratuity. 276 Bobwhite Ct., 208-338-5000.