Buffalo a Go-Go 

Back in the day, if you had a carnivorous hankerin', you headed to the neighborhood butcher rather than toward the shrink-wrapped, processed options of the local supermarket.

Cottonwood Grille is bringing back a little of that old tradition by offering some of the same meat and fish served in the restaurant for sale for would-be cooks to prepare at home.

Chef/owner Peter Blatz and his wife, Hilary, saw the fresh market as a way to expand the business without stretching things too far.

"It's in response to the fact that everybody is feeling the same pinch economically," Blatz said. "They can't go out and dine as much, but they haven't stopped eating good food."

Cottonwood is offering pre-cut portions of some of its most popular game meats, including locally raised elk, buffalo, venison and lamb, as well as a selection of exotic fish and seafood from around the world, depending on what's fresh.

Take-out portions cost between $6 and $13 each, and a new blackboard just inside the main door of the restaurant lists the daily offerings. Patrons always have the option of calling ahead to have their chosen chunks of meat ready, but walk-in meat-buyers are always welcome, Blatz said.

Blatz has included some helpful recipes on Cottonwood's Web site, cottonwoodgrille.com, but said gourmet preparation isn't necessary.

"It's not something you want to do a whole lot of crazy stuff to," he said.

Cottonwood Grille, 913 W. River St., 208-333-9800, cottonwoodgrille.com.

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