K-Fusion (Meridian)

Allow me to make something clear right from the start:  I know pretty much nothing about Korean food.  There wasn't even a Korean eatery around here for the longest time, so the best you could do were things like the (admittedly awesome) fusion tacos at RiceWorks or highly questionable options like short ribs that occasionally show up on the menus of big bar and grill chains.  I was excited a couple of years ago when K-Fusion Korean BBQ & Grill opened in Boise, but the reviews that came out in the beginning didn't exactly inspire confidence.  Between that and the fact that they're not exactly conveniently located, I've never made it over there.  In the meantime, several other Korean (or at least Korean-themed) eateries have come and gone, including one that only lasted about three months.  Throughout this K-Fusion has endured, and even recently expanded.  When the Meridian branch of Wingers made the decision to relocate from their spot near Fairview and Locust Grove, K-Fusion quickly moved in to fill the void.  I never made it to K-Fusion, so K-Fusion decided to come to me.*  I decided it was finally time to give them a chance.

*That was a joke.  I'd like to think that most people have enough sense to realize I'm not actually that arrogant and delusional, but this is the Internet...

K-Fusion Meridian

Pizza Pie Cafe

So, buffets.  A lot of snobby foodie types don't dig them.  Hell, a lot of people in general don't dig them.  I'm not saying it's completely unjustified.  One trip to Golden Corral could poison you against the idea forever.  Still, I'm sure there's a few truly good ones out there (I've heard good things about buffets in places like Vegas and Singapore, for example).  We don't have any stellar options here, but I have to admit I'm still a fan of the overall concept.  There's something nice about going out to a place where you serve yourself whatever you want in whatever portions you want it.  You pay your money, and two minutes later you have a plate with a bite or two of a dozen different items.  Or maybe you just have as many crab legs or fried shrimp as your plate can hold without risking catastrophe, I'm not judging.

Like I said, there are no really amazing options for buffet dining in this area, but there are a few that are worthwhile.  Tucanos is a place I have to visit at least a couple of times a year.  Just lately I've become a fan of Ming Hao in Nampa when I'm craving Chinese, simply because they hit all the comfort food/nostalgia/Americanized notes I fell in love with during my childhood.  And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Madhuban, even though I haven't been there in years.  This week I added another to the list of Track-approved AYCE joints and, even though I don't usually write up buffet eateries, I'm going to tell you about this one.  If you have kids in tow, or are just in the mood for some serious carbs, you could do a lot worse.

Pizza Pie Cafe

Grant's Neighborhood Grill

So a couple of posts ago I mentioned that two Meridian restaurants made the Statesman's list of the best new restaurants of 2015.  Last week, I visited the other one.

Grant's Neighborhood Grill has been open since June, but their website is still just a placeholder so I'll include a link to their Facebook page.  They moved to the top of my to-do list when a friend who tried them out started sending me pictures of her dinner and raving about how amazing it was.  Yes, I can be fickle sometimes.

Grant's Neighborhood Grill

Mi Casa

There is probably no more widely and diversely represented ethnic cuisine in the Treasure Valley than Mexican.  In many eateries, it's as Americanized as Chinese food is.  Others seem to have a mix of traditional and non-traditional items.  Honestly, when I want Mexican nine times out of ten I'll hit a taco truck because it's fast, inexpensive, and about the most authentic you can find in these parts.  Of course taco trucks aren't as much fun to visit with a group, especially in this weather.  When my dining companions and I are craving Mexican eats, we usually have to choose between the varied hit and miss sit-down joints available, which is how my mother, my niece, and myself ended up checking out Mi Casa for a late lunch recently.

On the Road Again: South Beach Fish Market (Newport, OR)

Alright, one last road post and then you're safe for a bit.  This isn't really the road trip time of year, after all.

After a somewhat disappointing hike around Cape Perpetua (Thor's Well wasn't being very impressive even at high tide, and the youngest member of our entourage tripped on a downhill trail and shredded both her knees), we dropped Miss Golden Rule back at the hotel to relax and listen to the Ocean.  Meanwhile, her kid and I went in search of sustenance.  After a quick stop at Walgreens for first aid supplies, of course.  Across the Yaquina Bay Bridge from Newport is a little unincorporated area known as South Beach, which is where you can find the South Beach Fish Market.  Don't kill yourself plugging it into your GPS, the signage makes it very hard to miss.

South Beach Fish Market