Cazba (CLOSED)

Gyros are not exactly a difficult food to find in Boise.  There are of course Mediterranean restaurants, but there are also drive-through shacks, sports bars and at least one burger joint that have them on the menu.  A while back I went on a bit of a gyro kick, writing up several of the available options, but due to how infrequent my trips downtown are I didn't get around to trying one of the most obvious and enduring places.  A few days ago, my roommate's mother showed up unexpectedly and took the kids swimming, leaving us a free evening to grab a meal without worrying about money or children's palates.  The roommate had been craving Mazzah, and though I love them dearly I was hoping for a place I could review since I've been slacking off a bit on that lately.  A really good coupon helped me push a compromise, and off to Cazba we went.

Boise Urban Market - July 2011

The more write-ups I do about the Boise Urban Market, the worse they seem to get.  Once you've explained how it works, there's really nothing left to do but talk about the food.  This write-up in particular is going to be especially lame, because I went in solo and short on both funds and time.  My favorite salsa and candy vendors were nowhere to be seen.  And most importantly, without the roommate there like a devil on my shoulder to get me to try the things I was on the fence about and to try and buy things herself that I wasn't interested in, I pretty much stuck to my favorite Asian tables.  Let's start with Gina, a one-woman Thai restaurant (and a damn good one at that) who works under the name Nor-Mai....

Tod Mun Pla

Burger Express (CLOSED)

* Edit: I swear it's just a coincidence, but mere hours after I posted this review both the Idaho Statesman and the Boise Weekly published articles on this very topic.  Apparently In-N-Out is not in any way related to Burger Express and they want to make sure everyone knows it.  Click the links for more info. 

It's a testament to how many Californian transplants now reside in the Treasure Valley that you can't seem to start a conversation about which chain restaurants have sadly ignored the Boise area without at least one person mentioning In-N-Out Burger.  The chain has 255 locations in five states, and 203 of those are in California.  There are a few scattered around Utah as well, and despite the fact that I've been to both of those states, In-N-Out and I have never crossed paths.  So a while back when the Fairview Avenue Wendy's closed and rumors started circulating that In-N-Out was taking over the location, I was curious and a little excited.  However, it wasn't long before a sign appeared in the window proclaiming that a new eatery called Burger Express would be opening instead.  My initial thought was that the rumor mill completely dropped the ball on this, but on closer inspection one can see where some confusion might have stemmed from.

Brown Shuga Soul Food

In the Spring, a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.  That's what Tennyson said anyway.  To be frank, I don't have the best track record with love, and I'm not so sure I qualify as a young man any longer.  It doesn't really matter I guess, since we didn't really HAVE a Spring this year.  Regardless, it's Summer now, and this not-so-young man's fancy has turned to thoughts of barbecue. Pulled pork to be specific.  Right now there's no shortage of pulled pork to be found, even from street vendors.  On our way to the most recent Boise Urban Market, the roommate and I passed a little shack on Chinden called Brown Shuga Soul Food.  These places always seem to jump into my path when I'm already on my way to eat somewhere else, but I made note of this one and knew I would return before too long...


A couple of weeks ago, the B29 Streatery truck was parked across from WDS Global near the corner of Golden Trout and Kimball in Boise.  I decided to hit them up for lunch, and while I was there I noticed another truck parked a short distance down the block.  While the Streatery was putting my order together, I decided to take a quick stroll to investigate.  There I found something I didn't know had existed but which I've been wishing for and complaining about the lack of for over a year now: an Asian food truck in Boise.

Dinner and a show, al fresco...

After more than a year of discussions, negotiations and arguments on the matter, my roommate had finally pulled it off.  After offering to buy the tickets, finding a performance we both wanted to see on a night that worked for both of us and ensuring we had a sitter for that night, she had finally accomplished something that many have tried to over the last nearly two decades: she had gotten me to accompany her to The Idaho Shakespeare Festival.  Don't get me wrong here.  I don't have any issue with Shakespeare, I don't have any issue with live theater...hell, I've been interested in going in the past.  Still, I could always find better things to spend the money on.  She saw that Achilles' heel and pounced on it by spending her money.

So, there we were.  We had picked up our tickets, rented a couple of those half-chair things, found our seating area and set up said chairs, and now we were headed to get some food before the performance started.  I had to admit, I was digging the atmosphere.  It was relatively quiet considering all the people, the buildings were nice, there were lots of trees around...shouldn't have expected anything less from a place so near the offices of the Department of Parks & Recreation Department, I suppose.  As we walked through the open stretch between the amphitheater and the concessions area, a loud clattering started off to our right.  Suddenly a deer ran between us and the dining tables and, slowing only a little to take in its surroundings, tore off again down a path through the trees.  I was stunned.  The ladies at the table nearest the trail the deer had disappeared down laughed slightly nervously.  My roommate, who had been warning me to keep an eye out for deer for the entire drive down Warm Springs Avenue, simply said "I told you so."  Shaking the cobwebs from my mind, I brought my focus back to the secondary reason I had gone along on this little adventure: the food.  It is of course easier these days to get me to go somewhere if I can get a write-up out of it, and directly ahead of us loomed Café Shakespeare.