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Raw Food Dinner - Basque Market - Raw - Eat American

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Gourmet in the Raw

SixOneSix's Chef Jered Couch is treating raw foodists to another five-star, five-course meal this Thursday. It boggles the foodie mind how anyone—however admirable the effort may be—can live on a diet of uncooked, unprocessed and organic food. While for some of us, a life without empanadas and cheesecake may hardly be worth living, Couch's menus for these events (on the third Thursday of every month) certainly pique my interest.

This month's event features Spicy Thai vegetable wraps to start the evening, followed by tomato avocado soup and a bok choy salad with curry spinach dressing and coconut chutney. Lasagna is the entree, and a banana chocolate tart with caramel and chocolate sauce finishes up the meal. All five courses paired with wine are $75 per person, without wine $60 per person, or diners are invited to pick and choose from the menu for $15 per course.

Thursday, August 16. Reservations recommended. SixOneSix, 1065 E. Winding Creek Dr., 208-938-3010, RestaurantSixOneSix.com.

(Mostly) Home-Cooked Meals

Maybe this is only news to us, but the Basque Market offers take-and-bake dinners. For $25, the meal includes a main dish, a side, bread and dessert for two, with the selections rotating from month to month. This month, the main dish options are Orangina lamb or beef skewers; rosemary shrimp or chicken skewers; or roast chicken breast with a balsamic glaze. Side choices are mixed greens with tomatoes, green olives, red onions and a Basque vinaigrette; fresh fruit salad; orzo salad with tomatoes, corn and cilantro; or cold asparagus spears with a lemon dipping sauce.

Owner Tara McElhose-Eiguren says one dessert item will always be rice pudding, flan or chocolate cream pudding, and this month you can choose rice pudding, peach bread pudding or cheese and fruit for your final course. With the purchase of a take-and-bake meal, they'll give you 10 percent off a bottle of wine, too.

Orders must be called in two days prior to pick up. The Basque Market, 608 Grove St., 208-433-1208.

More News of the Raw

Come autumn, Vista Avenue will have what may be its first sushi joint. Willowcreek Grill is spilling over into the space next door (formerly a liquor store, which will move into the space formerly occupied by a hair salon) with a conjoined sushi restaurant called Raw. A sushi chef has been chosen and menus are being determined and Boise can expect an opening the first of October.

Epicurean Adventure

One seventh-grade geography teacher from Florida is traveling coast to coast this summer, writing a "What I Did Over My Summer Vacation" essay as he goes and posting it at Eat-American.com. His mission? To profile, sample and raise awareness about the disappearance of regional delicacies as a result of the homogenization of America's eating habits.

For the last month, Richard Villadoniga and his girlfriend Lisette Robles have been eating their way across the country courtesy of the Geoffrey Roberts Award—a distinction and financial reward conferred by the British Geoffrey Roberts Trust to one person each year.

After trekking across the Southern United States from Florida and then through the Southwest and up the Pacific coast, sampling foods along the way like Charbono grapes in California and geoduck clams in Puget Sound, Villadoniga and Robles made a stop in Boise for a cuisine rarely found beyond the borders of the country of its origination: Basque food.

Villagdoniga's cross-country culinary adventure may seem like a light-hearted, feel-good attempt to shine the limelight on obscure American food, but the teacher's underlying hope is that his travels and his blog will not only raise awareness of large-scale changes in our eating habits and inspire us to re-create a market for endangered foods that were once popular, but will also bring to the forefront more complex battles. For example, says Villadoniga, the economy of the small coastal town of Apalachicola, Fla. relies heavily on oysters, a food that's become endangered as metropolitan population growth in Atlanta pits itself against nature. In recent years, as water is diverted north to Atlanta, fresh water flows have introduced higher saline levels in the water, killing the oysters and endangering the town's economy.

For more information on Villadoniga's travels, visit Eat-American.com.