Ono Brunch - Piehole II - Cool Hand Luke's 

<> Aloha Awakea: "Good mid-day" (to be used between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.)

Riddle me this: What's a word that starts with a "b" and ends in a "ch"? Hint: It's most often used when talking about Sunday between the hours of late morning and early afternoon and it doesn't have a darn thing to do with the gospel, your dog or even the neighbor who insists on cutting grass bright and squirrely in the A.M. Can't think of one you can say out loud? How about brunch?

Starting March 9, the valley will have a new brunch option for your lazy Sunday mornings, and unlike most of the recent additions to the brunch crowd, this one's a buffet. And it's a buffet with flair you're not going to find anywhere else in Idaho.

ONO Hawaiian Cafe rolled out a preview of its brunch menu and, in step with the restaurant's concept, even brunch is Hawaiian fusion. Cinnamon rolls deliver up macadamia nuts rather than pecans, maple sausage gets a dose of mango, French toast gets a face-lift with coconut and guava syrup, even eggs benedict goes island style with Hawaiian sweet bread, pineapple glazed ham and king crab hollandaise sauce smothering poached eggs and all. That's a fraction of what will be offered, in addition to tropical fruit trays, scrambled eggs, pastries, rice, B-and-G ... and of course, I've saved the best news for last: SPAM. Yep, for serious. As everyone knows, the canned mystery meat is a favorite in Hawaii (and as I've said again and again, a favorite of mine) and ONO's brunch features SPAM in both its grilled and musubi incarnations.

Sundays, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. $15 adults, $10 keikis 3 to 12, and little ones under 3 are free. 2170 Broadway Ave., 208-429-6800.

PieHole Part Deux

We cried just a little bit when the wee Flying Pie on Broadway closed up shop. And then Mancino's sucked us in with tasty sandwiches, making for a mighty fine rebound relationship with the eensy-weeny restaurant space. And then in what seemed like the blink of an eye, it was all over. For months on end, the windows have been dark and the door locked in the void between popular college bars the End Zone and Suds. But the pie has returned. Not the winged pie, mind you, but the second installment of a downtown pie joint with a loyal following—Piehole.

Just like its older brother on Eighth Street (Talk amongst yourselves: Is it overtly sexist to assign the male gender to a pizza joint?), the Broadway location will be open late night and if you ask me, it's fool-proof. Broke university students and smack dab in the middle of two popular bars. Yep, cheap, late-night pizza is exactly what that little space needs.

Piehole II, 1016 Broadway Ave., 208-424-2255.

Cool Enough for You?

Downtown Boise will soon be one step closer to corporate Californication when the second floor of the Adelman Building reopens as Fresno-based franchise Cool Hand Luke's. Big signs hang from the brick facade of the building on the corner of Capitol Blvd. and Idaho Street (most of you will know it from the building's other corporate tenant—the mean, green coffee machine) announcing the impending arrival of a restaurant that's apparently been voted "best steakhouse" and "best service." Not by Boiseans, mind you, but by newspaper readers and restaurant associations in the Golden State. Opening dates on the downtown location are pretty loosey-goosey: sometime in April or May, according to the corporate office.

Cool Hand Luke's will also open a second location out in the 'burbs. Eagle gets its very own "best steakhouse" sometime in May or June in the Eagle River development at the corner of Eagle Road. and Highway 44. Check it out for yourself at CoolHandLukes.com.

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