I'm literally months behind on my reviews at this point, but I'm going to leap ahead and talk about something timely and topical (not to mention relevant to most of you, at least the ones who think I spend too much time talking about restaurants at the Oregon Coast). If you follow the goings on at The Village at Meridian the way I do, you're likely aware of the impending opening of The Habit Burger Grill. You'll find them in a strip of shops on Eagle Road, just North of the Fairview intersection. Turn in at the Mattress Firm, and if you pass the other Mattress Firm then you'll know you've gone too far. They did a free burger day on Halloween, and two hours of free lunches Sunday and yesterday with limited menus. Yesterday evening was a friends and family event, with a few of us bloggers thrown in for good measure. These good people have been put through their paces, and I think they'll be ready to handle the masses today at their grand opening. Now, about that food...
A while back Daylight Donuts, apparently part of a massive chain (seriously, they have almost 1,000 locations spread over 28 states and several other countries) I had somehow never heard of, quietly opened a location on Fairview in Boise. Seriously, they have almost as many stores as Krispy Kreme does. I didn't know all of this when I visited them, I just knew I like doughnuts and am always on the hunt for good ones. My heart told me that with that many locations, they must be doing something right, but my brain cautioned that Krispy Kreme has that many stores and they still ain't that good. Only one way to find out though, right?
I've never really written about Flying Pie, but I've been there. Dozens and dozens of times. I was born in Boise 39 years ago, and have lived in the area for most of my life, so it's unthinkable that I would somehow have missed out on what's widely regarded as the best pizza in town. And that's why I haven't written about it: because everyone else has, ad infinitum. What's left to say? Still, it feels like one of the bigger missing places on my blog, so I might as well plug it. And what better time than August?
Two and a half years. That's how long it took me to make it to Luciano's. Why? Because nobody wanted to freaking go with me. Every time I'd mention it to someone when trying to make dinner plans, it was invariably rejected because either the prices were higher than everyone else wanted to pay, or they were nervous about trying a new place. I actually understand that latter one, as my experiences with Italian eateries have been more miss than hit, and most often I'd rather just cook my own Italian food. Still, I'm a firm believer that people wanting cheap Italian food is what keeps abominations like Olive Garden in business, and I wasn't about to try an Italian joint alone because...well, because it just seemed depressing. Blame all the stereotypes of big families, groups of friends, and romantic evenings at Italian restaurants. Well, eventually I decided 2.5 years was long enough spent trying to convince any of my usual suspects, so I recruited a fellow culinary enthusiast from among my Facebook friends and headed for the Bench.
Recently we celebrated my mother's 60th birthday. Mama wanted steak, and I decided she was gonna get it. The question: where? The last time I tried to take her out for a steak, the place literally served her a slab of raw meat. She isn't fond of "stuffy" places, plus we had kids with us, so that ruled out the higher-end joints downtown. So we needed a place that was casual, kid-friendly, had more options than just NY strip or filet, with bonus points the closer it was to Meridian. After a fair amount of research I decided on a place that satisfied all of those requirements, with the added incentive of 50% off the birthday girl's dinner.