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The 5 Best Things I Ate in 2018

Last year, I put thousands of pounds of food in my mouth. Let’s take a moment to reflect on the meals that were most important to me in 2018.

This was very tough to narrow down. There are several meals I feel bad leaving out. But I can’t spend any more time scrolling through pictures of food on my phone.

Honorable and Mentionable

Before we get to the top-shelf stuff, I have to give shoutouts to the unsung heroes in my eating life.  

Complimentary Bread

It was a great year for my ongoing, very passionate, relationship with complimentary bread. But two free loaves stand apart from the rest.

  1. The complimentary bread at Luciano’s Italian Restaurant is absolutely bonkers.
  2. The brown bread at Cheesecake Factory is a toasty, sweet dream.
  3. When I found out that the Cheesecake Factory sells their bread at Albertsons… I knelt in the supermarket like I was Tim Tebow and the year was 2009.

Black Beans

I couldn’t stand a week on this Earth without black beans. In 2018, I ate four cans of black beans per week. They are my rock and my inspiration. To every last legume I scarfed in 2018, I say, thank you.

The Lola

The Lola at Janjou Patisserie still might be the best bite in Boise, but I’ve talked about it enough already.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, my favorite things!

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Stay on a Budget, Eat Like a Baller

Eaters rejoice! From Friday, Oct. 26 to Sunday, Nov. 4, restaurants across downtown will be offering delicious and affordable prix fixe menus!

Dine Out Downtown Boise is a beautiful cooperation between the Downtown Boise Association and 29 downtown restaurants. They combine forces to create a brilliant ten days of eating. It’s the perfect way to kick off the holiday weight gain.

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Are You Ready for a Spam Sushi Benedict?

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.

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Take Note: This Place Makes an Underrated Sandwich

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.

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Wok-Inn Noodle Is a Hidden Delight

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.

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The oddly charming dining room at Wok-Inn Noodle.

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Can Saint Lawrence Gridiron Tackle Your Taste Buds?

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.

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