Front Door Oktoberfest - Mesa Taqueria - SunRay 

O'zapft is

It's Boise's first official Oktoberfest event. What started more modestly in Munich, Germany, two centuries ago in commemoration of the king's marriage has caught on globally, and now beer lovers worldwide indulge in the two-week, beer-centric drunk-fest. Unfortunately for many a beer lover in Boise, an Oktoberfest trip to Munich just ain't in the cards this year, so Front Door Northwest Pizza and Tap House is putting on the party. Saturday, Sept. 22, starting at 11 a.m., Front Door will be pouring German beer from 13 taps and serving up an Uber platter with bratwurst, mashed potatoes and sauerkraut. Dust off your lederhosen and your dirndl (you'll fit right in with the staff, who plan to be festively dressed), get your beer face on (but don't be a Bierleichen—a reveler who looks like a beer corpse after having publicly passed out). If you can't make the festivities on Saturday, Front Door will keep the following on tap throughout the month: Spaten, Hofbrauhaus, Paulaner, Ayinger and Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest Marzen Biers, as well as Idaho brews Sockeye Festbier and Grand Teton Marzen.

105 S. Sixth St., 208-287-9201,

Eighth Street Ole

Henceforth, the downtown corridor of Eighth Street shall be referred to in these pages as "restaurant row." For the third time in four weeks, the cobbled street—which really spends more time as a pedestrian thoroughfare—makes food news. With this week's opening of Mesa Taqueria (formerly Ishi between Opa and Zeppole), the entire west side of Eighth Street between Main and Bannock streets is one restaurant after another (excluding, of course, the gaping hole of steel re-bar nothingness).

General Manager George Hakenholz says the traditional taqueria is the "homegrown endeavor" of two Boise businessmen. Patterned after taquerias in the Mission District of San Francisco, Mesa Taqueria serves burritos, quesadillas and tacos, but here's the kicker: Hakenholz says the restaurant doesn't have a freezer or a can opener. No, it's not an oversight in kitchen preparedness: It's a deliberate effort to ensure that everything (and they mean everything) the restaurant serves is freshly prepared. Ground beef and lard are nowhere to be found. Even the salsa is homemade. Doesn't get much more traditional than homemade, does it?

Mesa Taqueria, 215 N. Eighth St., 208-336-0987, Beer and wine (all bottled beer is Mexican, Tecate and three micros on tap). Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-midnight.

Here Comes the SunRay Cafe

Sun RayCafe opened last Friday, in the former Lucky 13 Hyde Park location with a limited menu but plenty of beer. Details in next week's Food News.

1602 N. 13th St.

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