Vote Italian - Noodles - Cool Hand Luke's 

Who Does Your Italian Best?

Due to a glitch in this year's online voting system, none of our readers had the opportunity to vote for their favorite Italian restaurant. After prodding readers in Best of Boise to log their vote via e-mail, nominations have been trickling in, and so far, the response has been puzzling. A Canyon County restaurant is currently leading the pack, which leads me to believe that someone in Nampa is rallying all their friends, relatives or customers behind them. But make no mistake, that's perfectly legal. After all, BOB is one popularity contest that's motivation driven.

I'll keep the voting open another week, which means if you have a favorite Italian restaurant and want to log a vote for it, you can do so until Tuesday, Oct. 14, at high noon. I'll publish the results in next week's edition of Food News.

E-mail your vote to

Read It and Eat

Boise Public Library is wrapping up its series of food-themed book discussions called "We Are What We Eat." The final two discussions are Thursday, Oct. 16, on The Language of Baklava (so long as it's the almond-free version, that sounds like a language I want to speak) by Diane Abu-Jaber, and a Mark Kurlansky anthology titled Choice Cuts on Thursday, Oct. 30.

If you're a foodie with a reading need, contact the Library! at Hillcrest at 208-562-4996 or Collister at 208-562-4995 for more information. Registration includes a loaner copy of the book and refreshments at each discussion.

The Open/Closed Report

By now it's old news that Noodles Pizza Pasta Pizzazz in Nampa has closed after more than two decades in business. Citing a slower economy and the proliferation of national chains in the Nampa area, owner Pug Ostling, who also owns downtown Boise's Grape Escape, called it quits last week.

Speaking of downtown Boise and chain restaurants, Cool Hand Luke's opened in the Adelman Building on the corner of Idaho Street and Capitol Boulevard. The California-based steakhouse moved into two stories of the red, turreted building, with a lounge on the first floor and three dining rooms upstairs.

Cool Hand Luke's, open Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5 p.m.-close; Sunday 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-11 p.m. 622 W. Idaho St., 208-287-3296.

Operation Drink ... er, Vote

Your weekly cocktail update from Franco Latino doesn't show any signs of surprise this week. Last Thursday the riverside restaurant hosted a gathering for the vice-presidential debate, and apparently, just about everyone in attendance was logging their vote by liquid, and they were all voting for Barack Obama. From last week's count of 44 to 36, the tally has jumped to 58 to 37, with the Barackatini in the lead. One measly vote for McCain? Sheesh.

Want to place your vote? Stop into Franco Latino and order either the McCainapolitan or the Barackatini accordingly.

Franco Latino, 698 S. Rivershore Lane, 208-938-2850.

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