To keep the peace, families gathered at dinner usually avoid divisive topics, such politics, religion, and which toppings to order on a pizza. Primos Pizza prides itself on removing this last difficulty with its all-you-can-eat pizza buffet, from which each individual can select his or her preferred slices. This commitment to accommodating families is rivaled only by its decade-long culinary quest to serve the highest-quality pies. Since the original Primos Pizza opened in Boise, its chefs have made strides to focus not just on the quantity of its pizza, but on its quality. A collaboration with Pendleton Flour Mills in Oregon has helped them create a unique dough recipe, which they then dust with a special blend of spices and fresh 100% mozzarella cheese.
Though James and Laura Heiberg count chef Ryan Lancaster among their good friends, that wasn't why they hired him to man the griddles at John Doe’s Grill. Instead, the brother-sister team of restaurateurs recognized that Chef Ryan's experience as head chef at The Dish and Square would help him infuse plates of casual pub fare with surprising twists. Ingredients such as rosemary au jus, sun-dried tomatoes, and homemade red hot sauce bedeck John Doe's traditional sandwiches and burgers, which nestle into diner-style red plastic baskets lined with checkered paper. Three large-screen high-definition TVs broadcast sports games in keeping with the laid-back vibe, and a game room invites patrons to shoot darts and billiards between sips of beer or rounds of hot potato with sizzling-hot quesadillas.
The chefs at La Belle Vie fuse gourmet European cuisine with northwest flair. Dinner begins with a sampling of hors d'oeuvres such as heirloom-tomato-encrusted bruschetta ($7), or an assortment of gourmet cheeses ($11) served alongside a baguette and a list of ransom demands to send to the moon. Entree selections include slow-cooked, smoky bison ribs ($24), slathered in bourbon-barbecue sauce with accompaniments of vegetables, fingerling potatoes, couscous, or fettuccini. Culinary artistes toss the chicken picatta ($16) in fettuccini with tomatoes, capers, and white-wine sauce, while they roast the moroccan chicken tagine ($21) in seasonings such as saffron, ginger, nutmeg, honey, and almonds. Although not included in the price of this Groupon, diners can glean wine-pairing suggestions from the menu, the serving staff, or from sentient napkins.
Though the family-owned eatery traces its roots back nearly 60 years, its signature attraction spans a comparatively brief 30 minutes. The 18 Wheeler Challenge pits customers against the shop’s 2-pound bacon cheeseburger, half a pound of fries, and a large milkshake—they get half an hour to make it vanish. So far, only two have emerged from the challenge victorious—and one was a T-Rex—but either way participants walk away with a t-shirt. Though the pantheon of victors in the challenge is limited, countless patrons have successfully enjoyed the 18 Wheeler's menu siblings.
Since the Mudd family purchased Wheeler’s Handout, not much has changed. Their signature housemade burgers cost a bit more than $0.30 now, but the recipes and family’s commitment to service has been carried on with the work of Kathi, a member of the third generation who leads the staff. She and her team cook the family recipes for gourmet burgers and hot dogs, handmaking corn dogs, chili cheese fries, and milkshakes, malts, and floats.
As a lineup of second-run movies splashes upon the two screens of Northern Lights Cinema Grill, waiters deliver a diverse menu of pizzas, burgers, and salads to audience members comfortably lounging around tables. Customers arrive at the theater 30 minutes before the beginning of their chosen show to purchase drinks and place food orders before the lights dim and the night wolves come out. Waiters deliver orders during the show, and can delay the delivery of desserts or other food items at customers’ request. The theater’s matinee showings welcome guests of all ages, while shows after 6:15 p.m. are for patrons 21 and older due to their wine and beer service and dress code of clothes from 1991 or earlier.
A self-described destination for things fresh, fun, and healthy, Burrito Banditos prepares a straightforward menu of Mexican cuisine. That menu catalogs giant burritos, carne asada, and chili verde burritos wrapped up in giant flour tortillas, as well as tiny tacos encased in a crispy corn shell. Burrito Bandito's kitchen also serves up tostada bowls, steak quesadillas, and piles of cheesy nachos.
Following family recipes passed down for three generations, the chefs at Jalapeno’s Bar & Grill assemble meaty fajita platters and original chicken, vegetarian, and seafood dishes simmered in homemade sauces. Using only fresh ingredients and certified Angus beef, chefs create meals that feed many of the senses, especially diners’ hungry, hungry eyes. Daily happy hours from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. encourage patrons to sample the bar’s vast selection of premium tequilas blended into their margaritas, as well as well liquors, wines, and bottled and draft beers.