Pizza Perfection - CLOSED

It took me a while to get around to trying Pizza Perfection after they opened up.  Let's be honest, pizza is one of those foods that people are pretty passionate about, and like most people who take it seriously, I have my favorites.  Flying Pie, for example, is about as close to perfection as you can get: great atmosphere, friendly employees, fresh top-quality ingredients, creative combos, and I swear I've seen people finish their shifts, grab a beer and hang around talking to customers and co-workers.  I can't see myself hanging around work after my shift even if we had the amazing beer selection that Flying Pie does.  Guido's does the best NY style pizza in town, hands down.  If you're craving a more traditionally Italian pie, I doubt you can do much better than Casanova.  And of course Papa Murphy's never fails to pile the ingredients high, plus you cook it yourself so if your pizza turns out blackened and destroyed, it's all your fault.

You can enlist while your pizza is cooking!

Lili's Tacos (CLOSED)


Lili's is another member of what I've dubbed the "mobile international food court" at the Northwest corner of Fairview and Maple Grove in Boise, along with Kickin Chickin and Giacinto's Italian Gourmet.  Even though they've been they're the longest, they were the ones I tried last.  Let's face it, we're not exactly having a taco truck shortage in the Treasure Valley, but some of the other stuff is pretty hard to find.  It was actually a little while back when I finally tried this one, about two days after my last trip to Lorena's, and I was still craving the type of torta I'm used to.

Wok-Inn Noodle

In a run-down strip mall in Boise, at the corner of Orchard and Emerald, there are a few treasures for those who care to look.  Orient Market is one, the best Asian grocery in town, and they expanded several months ago to a larger space at the other end of the strip.  If you haven't been there since the move, you should drop by.  It's much cleaner and brighter now, and all kinds of delights await in the much larger refrigerator/freezer section.  The Chiang Mai House Thai restaurant is also there, and I intend to try it soon since I've heard so many good things.  There is also a storefront that looks like it hasn't been painted since the 70's, not just because of the color combination but also the state of disrepair.  It is beyond this fa├žade that you will find Wok-Inn Noodle.


Baguette Deli

Is there anything you love so much that, whenever you experience it, you can't help but wonder why you don't indulge your appreciation for it more often?  Baguette Deli is like that for me.  Every time I go there, I end up asking myself why I don't go all the time.  The service is great, the food excellent, and the prices are extremely reasonable.  In fact, about half of their menu of 12' sandwiches are $3.25 or less (take that, evil empire!).  I realize that I haven't done a lot of write-ups for places where you actually sit down indoors and eat at the same place you buy the food.  And even at the places where I've had the option, I still usually get my food to go.  If that wasn't bad enough, I realized I've never actually eaten at Baguette Deli at all, so I was pretty excited by the prospect (not to mention the idea of finally getting my girlfriend, a confirmed cilantro addict, to try the place.)

Son of the Boise Fry Company Review

I've said it before and I'll say it again: in my short time as a foodie blogger/eatery reviewer, nothing I've written has caused a bigger stir than my review of Boise Fry Company.  To this day it's the only write-up I've done that has led to me being contacted directly by the proprietor of the business (an experience I wrote about rather excessively and introspectively here), though I'm still expecting a rock through my front window for my Pie Hole review at some point.  That e-mail turned into several.  I started this thing to document experience, but I didn't think I'd really learn anything.

Taco Time street food?

So, at my gal's request tonight I ran to McDonald's to get McFlurrys...McFlurries?  However you would spell the plural of McFlurry, I went to get some for us and the kids.  They dig them, and while it's not my kind of thing it did sound like a good way to combat all the salt and oil in my system (more on that in an upcoming entry).  While I was in line at the drive-through, I glanced across the street at Taco Time and their reader board said "STREET TACOS ARE BACK".  Now I remember something about this some time ago, maybe last year.  I'd seen the ads but hadn't worked up the nerve to try them.  For some reason, this time it stuck in my head to the point of obsession.  I looked up the promotion on their website, where the "street tacos" were described as "Juicy all-white chicken or tender pork carnitas on soft corn tortillas, with diced onions and fresh cilantro for that authentic Mexican flavor."  Once the McFlurry had settled my stomach, I called Taco Time to make sure they were still open and then headed over there.  This time I saw signs in the windows vaguely resembling this:


Kickin Chickin - CLOSED

Payday brings with it a slight replenishing of available funds for food and entertainment and, since dining out counts as both, I was looking to grab something for lunch.  Then, trouble in paradise:  my girlfriend was in meetings at work, and my sister had brought her lunch.  With nobody available who understood my tendency to hijack people for last minute lunch runs, I contemplated my options.  I needed someplace close, fast, preferably inexpensive and with a small enough menu selection that having someone else along whose food I could pick at in order to do a more balanced write-up wouldn't really matter.  That's when I thought of Kickin Chickin.



Lorena's Mexican Grill

It's unfortunate but true that I spent a large portion of my life thinking that I hated Mexican food.  Like a lot of children, my experience was based on the offerings of places like Taco Bell, Taco Time, Taco John's...you get the idea.  I did (and still do) dig the crispy burritos at Taco Time, but I knew they weren't actually burritos (why don't they just call them flautas? It's closer to the truth).  Mexican food to me seemed to be about starch, grease, cheese, ground beef and sour cream.  Everything was either flavorless or flavored with exactly the same seasonings, and your only real options seemed to be too bland or too hot, and crunchy taco shells or flour tortillas.  I also spent must of the same portion of my life thinking I hated avocados because I also thought I hated guacamole (the first time I tried it there was mayo involved, and the combination was so hideous that it confused my palate).

A preview of things to come? Oh, and a disclaimer...

The following conversation happened via text message earlier this afternoon...

Track's girlfriend:  Spicy chicken lettuce wraps


Track:  Those were my mom's fave.

Track's girlfriend:  Yummy!

Track:  Still can't believe you're checking them out before me. LOL

Track's girlfriend:  Yes we definitely need to come here together. i think you will be impressed.

Track:  Well they are the #9 "best fine dining" restaurant in Boise on that site I love.

Track's girlfriend:  Im def impressed. the iced green tea is delish too!

Track:  I'm all jealous. Going to a taco stand for lunch myself.  LOL

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Okay, some of you may have noticed there's some advertising going on 'round these parts now.  After I mentioned several times that I don't make money by doing this, I got a pop-up while posting an entry advising that I can indeed make some money this way.  I reviewed the options and went with two programs that allow ads but doesn't put them in my posts (unless I choose to), just in between them and to the side.  The ads are also targeted by my content, which is why there are so many for Groupon and Keurig (both services/products I use by the way, so I'm not a total sell-out).  So, it was my choice to put them there, not something being forced on me by my blog host.  What the hell, maybe I'll make enough to indulge my street food addiction one or two more times a month!

The Revenge of the Boise Fry Company

What follows is a lot of boring personal ranting.  If that interests you, feel free to read.  If not, come back another time, I promise there will be more reviews up soon.

Cleanin' up our town...

When it comes to restaurant information and user reviews, Urbanspoon rocks.  They were one of the invaluable resources I used when planning my trip to Portland and looking for a good dim sum place.  However, I don't think there's a lot of locals adding or updating listings for the Boise area.  Many of the places listed are no longer in business, many new places have not been added, and a lot of the current listings don't include contact information, hours, website addresses, links to online menus, etc.  Do the town a favor, check out the site and look up some of your favorites.  If they're not listed, add them.  If they are listed, flesh them out.  And submit some reviews while you're at it!  The top rated restaurant in Boise is Goldy's Breakfast Bistro, yet they have only 374 votes and 13 user reviews.  Think of it as a civic duty or something.

Chau's Burgers & Sandwiches - CLOSED

The little building sitting at the corner of Goddard and Glenwood near Capital High has been a few restaurants over the years.  Possibly even owned by the same people, since I know the phone number didn't change this last time.  I never bothered stopping there because it looks like a divey little diner, and there are still so many sushi joints and taco trucks I haven't been to yet.  I happened to drive by recently, and two things immediately caught my eye: the banners out front advertising Vietnamese baguette sandwiches and the sign in the window advertising gyros.

Chau's Burgers & Sandwiches

The Idaho Statesman's 2010 "Best of Treasure Valley"

Every year, The Idaho Statesman invites their readers to chime in on what they consider to be the best eateries, retailers, venues and recreation spots in the Treasure Valley. And every year I look forward to it, because I'm not such a snob that I believe the popular consensus holds no merit, especially when it comes to restaurants. This year in particular, I feel compelled to venture forth a few opinions of my own, and I've decided to do it here rather than in the comments section of the Statesman's website in the hopes I might maintain a little dignity rather than getting dragged into the juvenile mudslinging happening there (tempting though it might be).

Boise Fry Company

Edit:  I've since returned to BFC and many of the issues I had previously have been addressed.  Click here to read about it.

Boise Fry Company is one of those places that I've been hearing about forever but never went to because it's downtown, and I hate downtown.  I despise paid parking, loathe one way streets, and am flat-out sickened by people driving in circles at ten miles an hour to show off their cars, sound systems and tans.  Still, I make it downtown every once in a while because, let's face it, that's where the hockey games are.  And I guess the Co-op since we won't be seeing a Whole Foods around here anytime soon (sigh).  Occasionally I even manage to catch a meal downtown, though it had been quite some time before my beloved suggested we swing by for fries with "burgers on the side" after a sweltering and smelly trip to the Boise Zoo.  As a cheeseburger and fry devotee, I was more than happy to go along.  M'lady got the Daily Special #1 for $8.79, comprised of a cheeseburger with a small order of russet fries and a pint of soda.  The kids split a big order of fries between them.

Regular-cut russet fries

Tidbits

The gravel lot at the Northwest corner of Fairview and Maple Grove in Boise, which was already home to a taco truck (which I still haven't tried) and Giacinto's Italian Gourmet, apparently had a little room to spare.  A third truck called Kickin Chickin (I'm not sure of the spelling, my passenger read the name off to me) has joined them.  Interesting little mobile international food court thing they've got going there.

Chef Express at 1098 N Orchard in Boise (another place I never tried despite so many people saying they had the best General's Chicken in town) is gone, soon to be replaced by Pho Tam.  All I know about the place so far is that they're licensed to sell beer and will, I should think, sell Asian noodle dishes...

Pie Hole (Meridian)

Alas, no pictures for this update as the entire thing was very spur of the moment.  I've been to the Pie Hole before, and while it isn't anywhere near my favorite, I did enjoy it.  However, a few things were different this time:

1)  I was at the new Meridian location, as opposed to the downtown Boise one.
2)  I wasn't there after last call at the bars, and therefore
3)  I wasn't drunk.

Tacos Mobile Primo

Yesterday was a day worthy of noting: the first time my attempt to get my lady to a taco truck ended up being successful!  Since I was getting out of work early due to the holiday, we both held off eating and met for a late lunch at Tacos Mobile Primo, located at the southwest corner of Franklin and Curtis in Boise (yes, this is the truck I mentioned at the end of the Portuguese Lunch Wagon entry).