The gyro, a Greek variation of a Turkish innovation, is one of the greatest meals known to man. Last week, I assembled a panel of “experts” (opinionated college students) to determine, once and for all, who makes the best gyro in Boise.
Yesterday, I was walking along in downtown Boise, and I thought to myself: I want an alarmingly large pile of meat, rice and beans, but no restaurant serves that. And I felt a little bit sad.
But then, at that very moment, I turned and saw a sign pinned outside El Gallo Giro on Main street. It said that they serve all-you-can-eat Mexican food for $9.43 on Tuesdays.
And it was Tuesday.
Take that, atheists.
A few concluding notes from my lovely family vacation in Seattle:
Chowder Is So Very Good
In the span of 48 hours, I consumed 52 ounces of chowder—equivalent, unfortunately, to 1.73 big gulps. Was it great for my digestive system? No, it really wasn’t. Did I love every second of it? Yes, yes I did.
When I arrived in Seattle this evening, I was hungry and rumpled in the way that only eight hours in a Minivan can make you.
I wanted a casual yet entertaining meal, so I decided to visit Din Tai Fung, a beloved multinational chain in the Pacific Place mall in downtown Seattle. Din Tai Fung is basically the Dim Sum version of PF Changs, and it dominates the Pacific Rim with locations in Asia, Australia, Washington, California and also Dubai.
Tasso is a new high-end sandwich shop stationed in one of downtown Boise’s more intriguing locations: the skinny space that previously belonged to Fresh Off the Hook in Bodo.
Tasso’s (seriously well-designed) website claims that everything the restaurant serves is made from scratch. If the supple yet crusty bread is made from scratch, color me impressed.
I recently enjoyed brunch at The Modern Hotel and Bar. You’ve probably heard of The Modern because its swanky rooms, friendly patio, and designer cocktails have made it a favorite of people visiting Boise and most national magazines. Now a decade old, it is equal parts hotel and local hangout.
You wouldn’t know it from the ‘Hotel and Bar’ moniker, but The Modern is also an excellent restaurant. The food is locally sourced and the menus are consistently eye-catching. My brunch menu was dotted with truffle oil, naan bread, green tomatoes, and bonito flakes. This isn’t Elmers.
The High Note Cafe is easy to overlook. It’s a small establishment squished between Flying M and Guidos. It often advertises itself as a music venue, and I don’t tend to conflate live music with good food.
But the food here is quite good. It feels homemade, as if your high-functioning, gourmand roommate just thought to make you lunch. Nothing is carefully plated, nor overwhelmingly seasoned, but the portions are generous, and the ingredients are left pleasantly intact.
The food world lost its greatest critic on Saturday. Jonathan Gold, the beloved sovereign of Los Angeles eating, passed away at the age of 57.
Jonathan Gold’s page on the L.A. Times website has long lived at the top of my bookmarks page. I visited it every day hoping to find a new review.
The man was quite simply a legend. He began his career by incredibly eating at every restaurant on Pico Boulevard. He cemented his legacy with an eponymous documentary that demonstrated his virtuosic command of the food scene in the second largest city in the United States.
The first time I attempted to dine at Wok-Inn Noodle, it was closed. The sign out front said it had opened an hour ago, but the door was locked. When I peered through the glass into the darkened restaurant, I saw a wizened man slowly sweeping the floor. He didn’t seem like he was in a rush to get cooking.
Wok-Inn Noodle doesn’t operate like most restaurants. There’s one small dining room, one server, and one chef in the kitchen making one dish at a time—and the restaurant opens whenever he feels like it.
Boise is home to a lot of restaurants that serve upscale casual American cuisine. Boise is also home to a lot of restaurants that used to be food trucks. Saint Lawrence Gridiron is both of those things, and that makes it a quintessentially Boise establishment.
Saint Lawrence offers barbecued meat and comfort food redesigned in service of modern palates. The menu includes brisket, pulled pork, and other hefty entrees that your doctor doesn’t need to know about.