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Hola, Aloha, Bonjour 

Before Food News took a week-long hiatus, we promised news of a new restaurant downtown. It's difficult not to revive the old chain vs. local restaurant debate when an incoming joint is a mini chain based out of Seattle and when it's replacing two locally owned joints (one of which had achieved icon status not for its most recent incarnation, but for its longevity as a bar in downtown Boise). But we'll move beyond that for now. Several calls to Mocore Corporation, which owns Matador restaurants, in Seattle went unreturned as of press time. Though Food News has been unable to confirm the arrival of tequila bar and Tex-Mex restaurant Matador with the company itself, other media outlets have apparently heard the same rumor, as at least one is reporting that Matador is the next Eighth Street tenant.

Also new on the Food News radar is Mahalo Island Grill on Fairview Avenue. Part fast-food Skippers franchise, and part Hawaiian grill, the joint reopened about four months ago featuring the Skippers menu as well as island dishes like Kahlua pork, chicken katsu, loco moco and huli huli chicken. Speaking of the island invasion (when I first moved to Boise, Hawaiian food was nowhere to be found and these days there's a handful of places to score a plate lunch), a few weeks ago, I wrote about discovering manapua at Yen Ching Bakery. The folks Kana Girl's Hawaiian BBQ in Meridian caught that piece and sent over a copy of their menu pointing out one item in particular. You got it: manapua.

And finally, we've saved the best news for last. The BW Card has two new additions. Although they're in the hinterlands if you're a Boise dweller, you'll be covered if you're in 2C, and now you even have a damn good reason to trek out to Kuna. French cafe La Belle Vie in Nampa is the newest Canyon County addition to the card, offering pastries, salads and sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and brunch, as well as a dinner menu that changes every month. Out in Kuna, El Gallo Giro has climbed onto the BW Card express and, I'll be honest, that news has a few BW staffers plotting regular road trips for molcajetes. Please note, however, that the El Gallo Giro on Glenwood Street in Garden City is not a BW Card member, so gas up the car because Kuna is where it's at.

Finally, happy birthday to Piper Pub, which celebrated its 21st anniversary on Saturday, May 22. Rock on Piper. Please pass the Scotch.

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