Cupcakes, Dim Sum And A Barbacoa Update 

The first time I had a slice of cake from Eagle bakery Pamela's, I told the party host it was the best cake I'd ever had. At every party I've thrown since, I've served a Pamela's cake and let me tell you--almost every one of my guests tells me it's the best cake they've ever had. It's no secret we're big fans of Pamela's Bakery, but what is a little-known secret is that some of us are big fans of food related reality shows. No Reservations? Um, yes, please. Who doesn't love watching the tattooed Anthony Bourdain suck down animal entrails? Master Chef? Check. (P.S. What was Sharone thinking with the sculpin liver dish?) Iron Chef? Yes, if it's the version in Japanese, mind you--none of that William Shatner business.

Now put those two favorites together and what we almost had was Pamela Hoevel of Pamela's on Cupcake Wars, on which competitors who fancy themselves top bakers beat each other up over who can make the best cupcake, sometimes with strange cupcake ingredients like lox and nori. No such luck, unfortunately. After chatting up the show's casting director for a possible spot on the show, Hoevel had to pass because she'll be too pregnant to compete. Bummer. Hoevel says the show will call again, and in the meantime she's training Rocky-style--if Rocky were a cupcake baker rather than a badass boxer, that is. She's added a cupcake menu to her line of baked goods and holy cupcake, Batman, there are 33 different flavors to choose from. Chai-flavored, caramel-injected, sprinkle-topped, cream-filled, nut-garnished, coconut-dusted, buttercream-frosted ... One will set you back $2.95, in-store flavors change weekly, and special orders need 48 hours. 360 S. Eagle Road, 208-938-6585, pamelasbakery.com.

In other bakery news, the current status of Yen Ching Bakery: now (re-re)open. More notable, however, is the recent addition of a dim sum menu at Yen Ching with almost 20 options including the rather authentic chicken feet with black bean sauce option. 305 N. Ninth St., 208-384-0384, yenchingboise.com.

And if you missed it earlier this week at boiseweekly.com, Citydesk reported on the status of Barbacoa's rebuild. A massive replacement has been going up in the former restaurant's location off Parkcenter, and so far it looks more like a fortress than a restaurant. The new building, according to Citydesk, has a larger footprint, 29-foot-tall walls and--what is perhaps the most significant, cool addition so far--a rooftop patio.

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