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Culinary Notes: Panera bread makes its debut at Meridian; Soldier Mountain Grill Menu


There’s no Panera bread in Boise yet – it’s slated for later this year – but the quick, casual restaurant recently opened in Meridian.

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Panera Bread recently opened at 3421 N. Eagle Road in the space where Fuddruckers once resided.

This is the second Treasure Valley location for the Missouri-based chain. Last summer, she opened a store in Nampa at 16839 N. Marketplace Blvd.

The quick and relaxed cafe-bakery is known for its wide variety of freshly baked savory breads, including traditional baguettes, ciabatta, focaccia, and an assortment of rustic breads. Don’t forget to try the fresh bagels as well.

In addition to artisan breads, Panera also offers daily pastries. Expect to find flaky croissants, bear claws, cherry danishes, and a gooey pecan braid.

In the mornings, the restaurant also serves breakfast sandwiches, mini egg soufflés, and almond and quinoa oatmeal, to name a few.

Later in the day, diners can enjoy hearty soups, entree salads, pasta dishes, panini sandwiches, various flatbreads and more.

Panera Bread plans to open a store in Boise later this year.

Store hours are 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.


New valve room in Eagle

Eagle Triple Tap debuted on December 18 at a mall at 1580 E. State St. near the corner of Edgewood Lane.

This new beer mecca has a 40-tap system that currently serves a rotating selection of 30 craft beers from the Boise area and other neighboring areas, with more coming soon.

Owner Pat Weber and his son Brandon (who runs the pub) offer pints, flights and growler pitchers.

Brandon Weber says the tap room will have a small menu of pub food in the coming months, just enough to soak up the beer. Don’t be surprised to find street tacos, big pretzels, and other beer-friendly finger foods. This will happen around the same time the sidewalk patio opens, once the birds start chirping again.

Eagle Triple Tap is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.


Soldier Mountain offers scratch-off pub food

The Soldier Mountain ski area near Fairfield has new owners who have completely redesigned the bar and grill menus to accommodate the flow of skiers and snowboarders this season.

Matt and Diane McFerran, who recently moved to Idaho from Bend, Oregon, purchased the resort in November and decided to open the ski resort in early December.

During the rushed process, they managed not to overlook the catering program at the small lodge near the chairlift. They hired a Hailey-based chef, Blake Luck, to run the kitchen.

Luck has a weakness for the scratch kitchen.

“Blake does almost everything by hand, from salad dressings and sauces to handmade burgers,” says Diane McFerran. “Some people say it’s the best burger they’ve had here.”

Don’t say that to The Wrangler, a burger restaurant in Fairfield known for its Powder Pig burger.

Along with the beef burgers, the lunch menu also features a veggie burger (made with sweet potatoes and black beans), appetizers, freshly made soups, gyro sandwiches, and daily specials.

In the morning, snowbirds can warm up with hearty breakfast sandwiches, stacks of pancakes, and espresso drinks.

The bar serves microbreweries and ciders on tap and offers wines by the glass. How about a glass of sparkling Prosecco after chopping up fresh powder all day?

The Soldier Mountain Ski Resort is located at 1043 N. Soldier Road and is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. The bar-grill is open on these days for breakfast from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., lunch from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and has a limited menu until 5 p.m.


Put your chocolate on

On January 23, check out the To Die For Chocolate Festival, which runs 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Forward Movement Training Center, 125 W. Taylor Ave., Meridian.

The festival, sponsored by Epique Events, Sockeye Brewery and Cellar 616, will give chocolate lovers the opportunity to try a range of chocolate treats (paired with beer and wine, if they so choose) offered by vendors such as Waffle Me Up, Truffles, and Chocolate Colombe. Participants will be able to vote for their favorite chocolates and there will also be a silent auction to benefit the Rotary Club.

Buy tickets in advance for $ 15 or spend $ 20 at the door, both including five tastings. For more information, visit

This story was originally published January 21, 2016 12:56 pm.

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