Where to Unload Your Excess Zucchini 

Plus Great Harvest expands, Einstein Bros. opens and Mai Thai's lunch buffet

It's the time of year when home gardeners sneak zucchini into everything--they grate it into bread, toss a few coins onto a pizza or tuck strips into lasagna. Stealthy green thumbs even find ways to unload monstrous quantities of squash onto unsuspecting friends and co-workers. But when all creative zucchini-eradicating avenues have been exhausted, instead of letting your excess garden bounty go to waste, you can donate it to those in need.

Because of the relatively small quantities of fresh produce that home gardeners have to donate, the Idaho Foodbank recommends folks drop off their fruits and veggies at local food pantries. You can look up the closest pantry to you on a map at idahofoodbank.org. The foodbank recommends you contact the pantry ahead of time to confirm drop-off hours.

"It saves us cooler space, and it gets it directly to the people who are going to use it," explained Idaho Foodbank spokesman David Proctor.

In less perishable news, the franchise bakery Great Harvest has expanded its bready empire into the neighboring building formerly occupied by Deli George. The store, located on Fairview Avenue between Orchard Street and Curtis Road, offers fresh-baked whole grain breads, sandwiches, soup and pastries. Deli George has moved to 220 S. Broadway Ave.

Speaking of bready empires, national chain Einstein Bros. Bagels--which has 500 locations scattered across the United States--is opening up its first Boise branch on the Boise State campus in the Interactive Learning Center at University Drive and Brady Street. To celebrate its grand opening on Thursday, Aug. 25, Einstein's is offering the first 50 customers in line a coupon book for one free breakfast sandwich each week for an entire year.

In kudos news, Lava Lake Lamb, located southeast of Sun Valley, is now featured at some fancy foodie spots in New York City. David Chang's Momofuku offshoot Ma Peche is currently using Lava Lake lamb as is gastro pub The Spotted Pig. For more info on where you can get Lava Lake lamb, visit lavalakelamb.com/store-locator.php.

On the downtown lunch front, Mai Thai will soon be offering a weekday lunch buffet featuring soups, salads, apps, sushi and traditional Thai dishes. The buffet fires up on Thursday, Sept. 1, and will cost $9.49 per person.

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