Enough Already - Idaho Preferred Month 

They're All Gonna Die

Restaurant hysteria has set in.

Suddenly my e-mail inbox, my voice mail system and even my mobile phone text message inbox have been inundated by communications at all hours from friends and strangers who have news of a restaurant closing. Since last week's installment of Food News, I've heard rumors of five recently shuttered eateries. Of those, two restaurants have indeed closed, two are still open and one had its best week of the year and therefore most definitely will not be closing. I'd say it's like a game of telephone gone horribly awry, but that hardly sums up what seems to be a manifestation of some larger problem: people seem genuinely worried that every homegrown restaurant in town is going to close up shop and leave us with nothing but nationwide names.

I do, however, regret to inform you of one of the most lamentable closings of the year. Jalapeno's Grill 2 at the cross of Gekeler and Boise avenues is no longer. I know what you're thinking, another Mexican restaurant down, there's plenty more to choose from. Not like Jalapeno's, where the taco truck met the restaurant. While a giant hanging of Frida Kahlo presided over the small dining room, patrons could dine on the most authentic Mexican in Southeast Boise. Of special note were the homemade chicken tortilla soup and the dollar tacos served "truck-style"—double bagged (as in two tortillas) with cilantro and onions.

Up on the Bench, Shangrila Restaurant on Ustick recently closed. Haven't heard of it? Well, it opened in January, perhaps setting a new record for the shortest amount of time a restaurant has made it in Boise.

In other news, despite the best effort of a group of Satchel's Grill regulars, the Bannock Street eatery closed up for good last Saturday night. The group did manage to raise almost $9,000 in an effort to keep the restaurant's doors open, but unfortunately that amount fell short of the needed $25,000. And although news of 8th Street Wine Co.'s closing is so last week, the drama just keeps coming. After BW went to press last week, news broke that owner Erik McLaughlin's company declared bankruptcy with more than $1 million in liabilities, according to Idaho Business Review.

Beyond the restaurant world, but certainly within the scope of all things food, Super Suppers on State Street, purveyor of make-and-take meals, closed last week as well.

For the Love of Local

Enough negative news for this week. Let's talk instead about how you can support not only local restaurants but eat food that's locally produced. Idaho Preferred hosts Dine Around 2008 Monday, Sept. 1, through the end of October. A pass costs $25 and entitles you to a 50 percent discount on selected grown-in-Idaho products at Brick 29 Bistro, BitterCreek Ale House, Bull's Head English Pub, Chef Lou's at 8th Street, Franco Latino, Red Feather, SixOneSix and, if you're already a member, at Spurwing Country Club. Buy a pass at any participating restaurant, at Taste of Idaho on Saturday, Sept. 6, at Qwest Arena or at City Harvest events this weekend.

For more information, visit idahopreferred.com.

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