So I was wrong. I’ll admit it.
Boise was always an easy target when you grew up in the Salt Lake valley. Sure, Boise probably makes fun of Utah (as they should), but Salt Lake City is bigger and something we could pride ourselves on. I mean really, what’s in Idaho? Potatoes and fries? Welp, yes they do, and they sure know how to do fries!
I’ve lived in the Seattle area for over 5 years now. Over those years I’ve passed through Boise a plethora of times. I’d maybe stop to top off my tank on a road trip or to load up on Starbucks for the last leg of my travel. Last year while driving through, Hung and I stumbled upon The Boise Fry Company. This place was just going to be an evening snack to grab and go on the road again. When we stepped inside we knew that this little hipster joint was something else (in a good way)!
First, you choose what size you want (large or small) then you choose from a variety of potatoes. There’s russet, gold, laura, yam, sweet, purple, or okinawa potatoes. The bourgeois is fried in duck fat and sprinkled with truffle salt. Next, you choose what style of fries you want. They have shoestring, regular, homestyle, curly or po balls. I went with a more basic russet potato in homestyle and Hung got the bourgeois.
But wait, it doesn’t stop there. After you get your fries, you have a selection of salts and sauces at a seasoning bar that you can choose from and dress your fries to your liking. The salts range from cinnamon ginger or vanilla to jalapeño or horseradish while the sauces range from your basic spicy ketchup and garlic aioli to blueberry and a marshmallow maple sauce.
Boise surprised me with their delicious fries, but my bias against Boise hadn’t changed. It’s filled with potatoes and not much more. A year later, I was proven wrong.
A couple of weeks ago instead of driving straight through, Hung and I decided to stop in Boise for dinner and do a little bit more exploring. As we drove into the downtown area we noticed some very interesting buildings and wanted to keep driving around to discover more. Since we had a timeline, we parked and had very little restraint to not wander. We soaked in the eclectic character that the city seemed to exude that shamefully I admitted to myself Salt Lake City missed out on.
After pulling ourselves back on track we hopped on over to my latest Yelp find. Fork. This adorable restaurant was almost too much to handle. The entrance was warm and welcoming with lights strewn above red umbrellas that were scattered across the patio and greeting each customer that entered.
We sat at the self-seating bar after deciding a 45 minute wait time would put us off track too much. The Tomato Basil Fondue and Grilled Cheese appetizer was the item that caught my attention on the Yelp reviews so that was a must!
The presentation was adorable! Who wouldn’t like this? And it tasted amazing. Fork prides itself on the “farm to fork” mentality and that’s always a win by my notebook. For dinner Hung got the Urban Burger and added the cheese and spiced maple bacon and I got the ‘Apple Barrel’ Chicken. Hung’s burger was very tasty and although I wasn’t a huge fan of my main dish he found it delicious so we switched half way through our meals. Now, I knew going in that I also wanted to save room for dessert because I was sold on it before I even entered the building. Fork’s Signature Warm Butter Cake was next for dessert. This little cake was buttery in taste and almost cornbread in texture. It was a perfect end to dinner and a final “WOW” to end the evening.
I’m sold. Boise was a pleasant surprise and unexpected end to our exploration for the weekend before we arrived home. The lesson learned is that thing’s aren’t always as they appear and maybe we should give things a chance (or two) before we judge or stereotype. This little city definitely has more than meets the eye and I can’t wait for our next road trip to explore the area some more! Boise is a great road trip stopover because the city is conveniently close to the freeway, has much more variety than expected, and seems pretty walkable.
Are there any cities out there that you may have pre-judged and ended up being impressed with what the city ended up offering? Comment below and let me know!