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Proto's - Willowcreek Grill


Pizza Invasion Continues Part II

A group of hachimaki wearing emo-punks wielding sushi knives and claiming to be representatives of the Coalition for the Popularity of Japanese Cuisine stormed the offices of Boise City officials on Monday, pressuring the officials to enact an emergency moratorium on the opening of pizza providers in the city limits. Tensions have been high in recent weeks as pizza joints continue their collective invasion of restaurant spaces throughout town and threaten to outnumber sushi-serving establishments, which were once the most popular genre of cuisine in the City of Trees.

A spokesperson for the city surmises that it was the opening of Proto's Pizza in BoDo several weeks ago that sparked the outrage of the CPJC, who were hoping to reign once and for all after the recent opening of Koi. City officials adamantly refused to consider the group's demands, stating that the city does not negotiate with culinary terrorist groups. Officials went on to say, however, that even if terrorist negotiation were accepted protocol, Proto's unique approach to pie dining as "pizza served on china with linen napkins" in an upscale atmosphere sets it apart from the likes of slice traders.

So maybe we're a little full of the physiological by-products of wasabi and pepperoni ... but the part about Proto's and china and linen is true. Located in BoDo, Proto's Pizzeria Napoletana is the fifth location for owners Pam Proto and Rayme Rosello. The Boise location is the first Proto's to be opened outside of Colorado, where Proto and Rosello opened their first location in Longmont in 1999.

"We're just two gals opening pizzerias and we have a passion for food. Mine is pizza and I want to serve it to people in a way they haven't had it, and to make it affordable," explains owner Proto.

"It's true Neopolitan pizza served in an environment that's energetic, hip and upscale," continues Proto, who assures Boise Weekly that Proto's is very much unlike traditional pizzerias. The immediate indication of Proto's difference is the absence of sandwiches and pasta on the menu. And a full bar with indoor and outdoor belly-up seating will soon prove to be a popular stop on the summer patio cocktail-and-dinner trail as the weather becomes a bit more patio friendly.

As for the persistent one-upping between area pizza and sushi war lords, city officials say they have no plans to quell the brewing turf battle, as thus far, the rivalry has resulted in nothing but raising the bar for restaurants of all varieties.

Proto's Pizzeria Napolenta, 345 S. 8th St., 331-1402,

Bon Anniversaire

Celebrating its first birthday this week is Willowcreek Grill and Java. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are on the menu, a casual atmosphere and contemporary cuisine (including their much-chatted-about Portabella Sticks). Open Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to close and Saturday, 8 a.m. to close.

2273 S. Vista Ave., 343-5544.