Free Drinks, Cider Dinner at Basque Market, Sandwich Saloon 

BW Gives Away $250 in Free Drinks

Drinks are on Al Vogt.

Don't know Vogt? Too bad for you. He's the recent recipient of $250 in gift certificates to bars throughout the Treasure Valley courtesy of Boise Weekly, and he may just need a little help to get through $250 in booze. Well, except that he's already done it once.

Last week, Vogt walked into BW to claim the prize we've long been dangling out there as a reward to the first person to finish Bar Bar's ScaBARger Hunt, in which participants had to trek all over Boise and Nampa to collect stickers from nearly 50 participating bars.

Twenty-nine-year-old Vogt, who is a part owner of the Ranch Club in Garden City, started the hunt the day the bar guide hit stands. The first stop was in Canyon County and from there, Vogt spent the next few weeks tackling the hunt region by region. So after dozens of bars, what did Vogt consider the best stop to be? Barb's Tavern in Nampa. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is advice from a professional.

Congrats and cheers, Al.

The Sandwich Saloon

You might want to sit down for this news.

A new eatery opened in downtown Boise. Without much fanfare, a little place called Willi B's opened up shop on Fifth Street, shoe-horned between Picture This and Guido's in Flying M's building. But wait, there's more. The food is highly affordable, and in the event that you're not so hungry come noon, you can drink your lunch instead. And I don't mean a non-fat, high-protein, low-carb fruit and wheatgrass smoothie. I mean a proper martini. Of course, if your day isn't so bad that it requires a quick midday pick-me-up, wait out the lunch rush and head back after work when the focus is a little less on food and a little more on drink specials.

I went in for a grab-and-go lunch expecting a deli-style, bright-white kind of place with a couple of bottles wedged awkwardly into a corner as the "full bar." What I found was a pleasant surprise. The place has a very Western, homemade look with shiny lacquered wood floors and a maze of matching mini booths, old post office boxes on the walls and a proper belly-up kind of bar with a decent selection of booze. Although the food isn't anything to write home about, it has one thing going for it: It's hella cheap. The menu offers three selections daily with some combination of hot and cold sandwiches and wraps, each of which comes with a side. Five days a week, not one item is over $5, and when it does get over $5 the other two days, it climbs to a measly $5.50 and $6.50. After 2 p.m., it's all cold sandwiches. After 9 p.m., it's all about the drinks with $3 and $5 bombs and $3 drafts. The ultimate deal sealer on Willi B's as a bar, however, is its self-proclaimed status as the "home of the $5 martini." Well, then.

Willi B's, 225 N. Fifth St., 208-331-5666.

This Week's Wine and Dine

The Basque Market hosts a traditional cider house dinner Thursday, July 23. The evening's menu is caramelized onion tortilla, cod with fried onions, giant steaks, cheese, membrillo and walnuts. And maybe a little cider and wine. Wink, wink. Do yourself a favor and reserve a table. Fun starts at 6 p.m. Cost is $40 a head plus gratuity.

Basque Market, 608 W. Grove St., 208-433-1208, thebasquemarket.com.

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