Here’s something I believe deeply:
There is no food more satisfying than rice and beans.
Boise doesn’t have enough ramen. We know it, and we suffer because of it.
Until the glory that is RamaPong opens, our options are dangerously few. (Ramen Sho in Meridian, Island Sushi and Ramen, Wildroot… where else?)
So in the meantime, I’ll be eating Ramen at Albertsons.
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.
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 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.
I recently enjoyed a visit to San Francisco, which is probably the second best food city in the United States. If you measure by great meals per capita, it could very well come out on top.
Eating my way across this city was invigorating. It brought my attention to new flavors, and it reminded me of simple, timeless combinations of ingredients.
Here are five things I concluded after my visit to the bay:
1. We’re overcooking our pasta.
Baguette Deli is Boise’s most well-known supplier of Bánh mì, a beautiful category of sandwich that was invented when savory Vietnamese flavors and fillings met the French baguette. The bustling lunch spot is tucked into the side of the Fred Meyer on Orchard and Franklin streets.
The sandwiches offer respectable meat and a fresh bundle of veggies tucked into a flaky and chewy segment of baguette. A generous burst of cilantro and a subtle smear of a delightful mayonnaise variant make each bite exciting.