It was some time ago that a co-worker came into the office one morning and told me about Jerry's 27th Street Market. I knew of the place, but what I didn't know is that this little neighborhood market has a little deli setup inside making not only inexpensive sandwiches, but rotating weekday specials (Mon-Thurs) as well. The kicker is that most of the specials are Indian food, and the majority of them are vegetarian. I don't think I have to tell you that I immediately knew I had to check the place out, and I ended up there the following Monday afternoon. The day's special? Chicken Masala with basmati rice.
|Chicken Masala with basmati rice|
If you like Indian food, then you've probably had Chicken Masala before. But unless you actually know someone who cooks Indian food at home, you've probably never had it like this. This version is very straightforward compared to the restaurant variety that usually incorporates a thick, creamy sauce. Here, served up in a Chinese-style take-out box, thinly sauced chicken and potatoes rested on a generous portion of rice, and I quickly decided it was best all mixed up together. As a grab and go meal, this was very good. High carb to be sure, but otherwise pretty healthy and with a nice heat level. Like I said, you probably wouldn't recognize the dish by name if you've had it in a restaurant, but it's definitely worth trying.
My second visit was to try one of the rare American specials that the Chicago-transplant proprietors have on offer, the Italian Beef Sandwich (this was also the only time I've had the pleasure of meeting Jerry himself, I think it's his in-laws who are usually working). We discussed the lack of decent Chicago-style cuisine in the area while his wife packed up my food. As I was getting ready to leave, he suggested another place to try an Italian Beef sandwich in the area so I could compare and contrast, and asked that I share my thoughts with him.
|Italian Beef sandwich|
Since it's been a while now and I still have yet to see him again, I'll just say it here: there is no better Italian Beef sandwich to be had in the Boise area, even at places that specialize in Chicago-style eats. It's a wet, messy, meaty affair, the bread barely holding up to the challenge. Both sweet and spicy peppers are available for fifty cents each, I chose both and still paid only six bucks and change when all was said and done. Reasonably priced and most importantly delicious, I always make the trip the one or two days a month that this sandwich is on offer.
After I tried these two items, I decided to sit on the review for a while. There was at one time talk of converting a part of the market into a café, which is one of the reasons I waited so long to write the place up. I thought it would be fun to do the before & after thing, but the café plans seem to be on hold at this point so I decided to try one more thing and then get on with it. One of the things my aforementioned co-worker recommends at Jerry's is the meatball sandwich, and though I haven't seen it on the specials menu yet, they do always have meatball sliders available...
Full disclosure: I knew as soon as I opened the first wrapped sandwich (the sliders are two for $3) that it wasn't going to satisfy me. Don't get me wrong, the meatball was tender, the sauce tangy, the cheese melty and the bread perfectly decent, but a meatball sandwich just isn't complete without peppers and onions as far as I'm concerned. Still, if you're the meat and potatoes (or in this case, bread) type or just looking for a cheap and filling repast, this isn't a bad way to go. That having been said, the highlight of this visit was dessert. Yes, you read that right.
|Freaking big brownie|
Jerry's has some baked goods on hand, some of which are outsourced and others that are homemade. The brownies are in the latter category, and at $1.49 couldn't be passed up. I'm picky about brownies, I like mine a certain way and most of the time I actually stick to boxed mixes because in my experience the ones at restaurants and bakeries are either glorified chocolate cake or just plain gooey messes.
|A closer look at the brownie|
That is not the case here. About the size of two decks of cards laid side by side, these brownies are probably the best I've ever purchased while out and about, and I was lucky enough to get a corner piece (my favorite). Flaky and just a little bit crunchy on the outside, nice and fudgy on the inside, these are everything I like about brownies, and just the way I like it.
In addition to all of this wonderful stuff, you have options at Jerry's that you won't have at a restaurant. This is a convenience store, so rather than a few sides to choose from and one brand of soft drinks, you have everything a store like this offers as an option. Want a side of beef jerky or honey roasted peanuts to go with your sandwich? A big ghetto beer to go with your mutter paneer? At Jerry's, you can have it. Check the upcoming specials list posted over the weekends on their Facebook page and pick the one that sounds best. I don't think you'll regret it.
Food: Terrific and comforting, the way that Mom (or rather Jerry's mother-in-law) makes. A
Value: VERY reasonable prices, regardless of the item in question. A+
Service: A Mom and Pop place in the truest sense. A+
Atmosphere: N/A. It's a convenience store, and it's not like you'll be eating there.
Final Grade: A