24799 updated post view 5060

Dig This: Boise is More Than Potatoes. Yes, Really.

Boise Modern Hotel Exterior Courtyard Bren Herrera HoB When friends and readers ask me which destination of all I’ve visited in the Sates has struck me the most, most recently my no-flinch response is “Boise, Idaho.” The super-flinch reaction is always a puppy’s duster-tail speed, double-take “did you say Boise?” Indeed, I did. I still catch myself wondering if I’m exaggerating for the sake of that reaction or is it really a sincere striking interest in a place I’ve always and only associated with potatoes. That is until last year when I spent 5 days on my own, exploring what is an abyss of culinary and beverage delights you — nor anyone with an affinity for exploring food cultures — would ever think existed. But it is. And here I am writing about it with the intention of motivating you to look beyond French fries and perhaps consider the copious amounts of craft doughnuts and drinks that city offers.

If you’ve never been to Boise, I suspect you really wouldn’t know where to start. And you might ask while reading this, what in the world would a globetrotter find appealing about a small town in the middle of nowhere. Surely, I don’t know three people in my tight and fat circle that have ever been. But, an old colleague convinced me that I might delight in the burgeoning food scene. And so two weeks before Thanksgiving, right smack in the middle of developing recipes for my cookbook, I took off to Boise. To eat. A lot. All by myself. But it was their cocktails that have me talking. I’m not even into cocktails like that but those there…

Since you may end up there much like I did — vis-à-vis a recommendation — book your stay at The Modern. No, it’s not a super luxe, 5 star hotel with the decadent amenities I like to snatch; rather, a 39-room, old fashioned motel turned into a “modern”-esque chic boutique with the perfect amenities: a finely stocked bar and a small enough kitchen to dish out well-thought out small plates. Elizabeth, the owner, shared with me over drinks, her acquisition of the hotel: it was a Travel Lodge when her grandmother owned it, which she thought would be cool enough to gut out completely and give it a mod facelift. No thrills or frills. Just a good quality hotel with a quirky history and eclectic enough ambiance and vibe to boast fave local bar. When locals like to hang out in a small hotel, to see or be seen, you know it’s a spot worth talking about. And that’s what you get. All of the rooms are styled with mid-century furniture, very much à la Eames and Cherner. Some even have kitchenettes, I imagine for the extended-stay traveler that needs to make espresso in order to even flip lights.

Boise Modern Hotel Collage Bren Herrera

The Modern Hotel exterior, hallway and room. This set of images c/o of Kendra Elise Photography.

Staying at The Modern is cool and off the beaten path, no doubt, but your stay there is more about the casual food and bar program, which is what most traveling foodies are after, anyway. The kitchen is lead by James Beard chef Nate Whitely, whose fare is to be expected from such an accolade and definitely a score for the small spot. The menu is more or less something to keep you in good form while you take on drinks from the bar. You can get full and enjoy a full dinner, but the options are limited to that of a great pop up concept. The offerings, however, are suitable for a stand alone NY brasserie or even Washington’s latest uptrend in fusion cuisine. Get the Idaho Smoked Trout, but for sure the ravioli, if they still have it. You can’t ever go wrong with a well-made squash soup; theirs being perfumed and colored with yellow curry.

Collage: The Modern Hotel & Bar restaurant and bar area and The Layover cocktail (collage images c/o Kendra Elise Photography); Food Collage: Small plate at The Modern, Cocktail, Wine Vitrine and Beignets at Red Feather Lounge; The Final Say; The Layover.

After a few days mingling around the lobby and getting to know the head mixologist, what I deduced is that their bar’s commitment to creating true cocktails – you know, original Manhattans, etc., — was the catalyst to the booming craft cocktail scene Boise blew my mind with. Though most options stay true to integrity, even their modern or trendy creations live within the frame of pre-prohibition recipes. My fave was the Final Say, using Fernet, a spirit entirely too strong for my immature palate, but sexy enough to order it every day there. Check it out here.

If my standard for good cocktails was established by a few amazing concoctions from a 15-seater bar, then everywhere I visited during those 5 days were going to have to exceed what I had. Especially when my entire experience in drinking cocktails has remained existent only with moderately sweet libations. The Modern’s bar altered my palate to where I now prefer bourbon or whisky-based cocktails. Grown and sexy kinda drinks. Yeah, they did that with their winter special drink: The Layover, with a dashing topping of toasted pecans. Glorious.

My storytelling obligations were upheld, fortunately, with every other restaurant and bar I enjoyed meandering into. These other spots probably got the memo and have to keep up their program in order to compete. There’s no catch, tho. They just do.

Even if you’re not into co-mingling with inquisitive out-of-towners, you have a guaranteed chance of sipping cocktails from bartenders that know their craft. If you go to Press & Pony, you’ll be entertained by at least two bearded fellas, rocking suspenders and high-quality denim shirts that love to spend extra time indulging your lack of knowledge. This speakeasy of sorts is conveniently seeded in Old Boise, or downtown, with the special appeal of being right across the street from the Egyptian theater. That crowd is typified by younger locals wanting to catch up and okay with being crammed into a relatively small space — I’m too old for that shoulder-to-shoulder intimacy — or the older folks simply wanting a break from the daily obligations of responsibility. Because when you go there, hidden behind velour curtains and able to maintain your anonymity, you drink well and eat – irresponsibly — hoards of French fries from the adjacent Boise Fry Company. Trust that you’ll need them while you sip on the Denim Blazer — a sexy and flaming cocktail — and more chic drinks like the Manzana, or the apple, both of which I enjoyed.

Boise Press & Pony Collage Bren Herrera

Mixologist making the Denim Blazer; Boise Fry Co. fries; the Denim Blazer; Coquettish bartender serving me the Manzana.

A small(er) town like Boise surprises with big city capability while keeping the quaint charm. No one’s in a big hurry; no one’s giving you the pretentious vibe because you can afford a $15 cocktail; and certainly, no one’s peddling potatoes. Though, do order them when you can. It’s not myth. Their fries are legit.

Boise Idaho Vintage Building Sign Bren Herrera

Other spots for cocktail-ing

Red Feather Lounge

Sit at the ambient bar and enjoy the smell of fresh herbs and house-made bitters used in their libations. Order their made-to-order beignets. They are ridiculously good. Also ask to go to the basement and learn all about their impressive worm-composting program. And before all of that, make your way up to the upstairs dining room while staring at their massive wine collection, stored in a high glass vitrine. See pics above. This spot is swanky.

Juniper

The bar is solid but their wine list changed my understanding of all Idaho has to offer in food and wine. Ask for a glass of Cinder Tempranillo. Best Tempranillo I’ve ever had.

Bardenay

Take a tour of the State’s first distillery, which is open and visible to the restaurant.

Boise Downtown Arch Bren Herrera

*Images of The Modern in collages are c/o of Kendra Elise Photography. 

Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

Follow the sexy & delicious fun on

TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOOGLE+ |YOUTUBE

follow Bren Herrera on Pinterest

Don't forget to check out my debut cookbook!

Enjoy

The Denim Blazer c/o Pony & Press

Ingredients

  • 2 oz High West Bourbon
  • 1 oz coffee simple syrup
  • 8 drops caramelized Angostura bitters

Method

After the cocktail is built in a copper mug, a combination of bitters is then caramelized in a heated glass. A second mug is placed on top of the first in order to trap fumes as the lower mug is heated over an open flame. As the upper mug is lifted fumes ignite allowing the cocktail now burning blue to be rolled back and forth between the two mugs mixing the cocktail while gently warming it as well. Serve neat.

 

154 thoughts on “Dig This: Boise is More Than Potatoes. Yes, Really.

  1. Mich würde auch interessieren, warum sie verboten wurden. Minderjährige würden sie sowieso nicht reinlassen, und ein Erwachsener kann sich ausruhen, wo er will. Obwohl ich persönlich lieber in Online Casinos spiele https://bestencasinoonline.de/ beste online casino deutschland ich fühle mich zu Hause so viel wohler. Aber viele mochten es, ganz gewöhnliche Kasinos. Vielleicht würden sie jetzt noch zu ihnen gehen, wenn es möglich wäre.

  2. If the primary task is a highly functional kitchen, where each storage area is equipped with a pull-out/exit/lifting mechanism https://mediaonemarketing.com.sg/top-furniture-stores-singapore/ , then you should understand that this is a monetary investment in your comfort and they will be considerable. Especially if you want to use accessories for more than 5 years. In this situation, it is best to make a budget for accessories and spend time comparing the proposed mechanisms according to the “price-quality” criterion, then choose the best option for yourself.

  3. For a modern person, there is no experience more valuable than travel. You can read hundreds of books, but the experience of real contact with new countries, cultures and people will not replace anything. All this looks much better and is absorbed directly on the ground. This is the value of traveling. For me personally, the best options are a private tour and transfers from https://www.azur-limousines.com/en/transfer-service/, you get a very good, interesting, and most importantly – safe service and an unforgettable experience

  4. This hotel is really very stylish, comfortably equipped, making reasonable use of the smallest space. It’s great when the interior uses solutions like this https://doors22.com/room-dividers/ . With it, you can not only make the interior of your home more interesting, but also very practical to hide or divide the necessary areas

  5. I have been surfing online greater than 3 hours lately, yet I by no means discovered
    any attention-grabbing article like yours.
    It is beautiful value enough for me. In my view,
    if all webmasters and bloggers made excellent content material as you did, the net can be much more useful than ever before.

  6. It’s perfect time to make a few plans for the long run and it’s time to be happy.

    I’ve learn this publish and if I may I desire to recommend you few fascinating things or tips.
    Maybe you can write subsequent articles referring to this
    article. I wish to read more issues approximately it!

  7. Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am
    impressed! Very helpful info particularly the last part 🙂 I care for such info much.

    I was looking for this certain information for a long time.
    Thank you and good luck.

  8. Ahaa, its nice dialogue regarding this post at this place at this blog, I
    have read all that, so at this time me also commenting here.

  9. What’s up to every one, for the reason that I am actually keen of reading this web site’s post to be updated regularly.

    It includes nice material.

  10. I will immediately grab your rss as I can not to find your email
    subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any?
    Kindly let me recognize in order that I may subscribe.
    Thanks.

  11. Ahaa, its fastidious conversation regarding this piece of writing at this
    place at this weblog, I have read all that, so at this time me also commenting here.

  12. I have been browsing online more than 2 hours today, yet
    I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s
    pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you
    did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

  13. I’m really inspired together with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog. Is that this a paid subject or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent high quality writing, it is rare to look a nice weblog like this one these days.

  14. I need to to thank you for this wonderful read!!
    I definitely loved every bit of it. I have you book-marked
    to look at new stuff you post…

  15. I’ve been surfing online more than 2 hours today, yet I
    never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough
    for me. In my view, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content
    as you did, the net will be much more useful than ever before.

  16. I will right away grasp your rss feed as I can not to find your e-mail subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service.
    Do you have any? Please permit me recognize so that I could subscribe.
    Thanks.

  17. I will right away take hold of your rss as I can not find your email subscription link
    or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please allow me recognise in order that I could subscribe.
    Thanks.

  18. It is the best time to make a few plans for the longer term
    and it is time to be happy. I have read this
    post and if I may just I want to suggest you few interesting
    things or suggestions. Perhaps you can write next articles referring to
    this article. I want to read more things approximately it!

  19. Hello there! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this post to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

  20. My brother suggested I would possibly like this blog.
    He was entirely right. This put up truly made my day.

    You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this
    information! Thank you!

  21. I have been surfing online more than 4 hours
    today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you
    did, the web will be much more useful than ever before.

  22. It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the long run and it’s time to be happy.
    I have learn this put up and if I may I wish to recommend you some fascinating things or advice.
    Maybe you can write next articles regarding this article.
    I want to read even more things approximately it!

  23. It is perfect time to make some plans for the future
    and it’s time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you few
    interesting things or tips. Perhaps you can write next articles referring to this article.
    I desire to read even more things about it!

  24. Este site é realmente fabuloso. Sempre que acesso eu encontro coisas boas Você também vai querer acessar o nosso site e descobrir detalhes! informaçõesexclusivas. Venha descobrir mais agora! 🙂

  25. An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  26. Hey very nice website!! Man .. Excellent .. Wonderful .. I’ll bookmark your web site and take the feeds also…I am glad to search out a lot of helpful information right here in the put up, we’d like work out more techniques on this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  27. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz respond as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. kudos

  28. The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought youd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you werent too busy looking for attention.

  29. I’ve been surfing on-line greater than 3 hours these days, yet I by
    no means found any attention-grabbing article like yours.
    It is lovely worth sufficient for me. Personally, if all webmasters and bloggers made just right content material as you probably did, the web will likely be
    much more useful than ever before.

  30. I’ll right away seize your rss as I can’t in finding your
    email subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service.

    Do you have any? Please let me recognize so that I could subscribe.
    Thanks.

  31. Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a enjoyment account it. Glance complicated to far delivered agreeable from you! By the way, how could we communicate?

  32. magnificent points altogether, you simply gained a brand new reader. What would you recommend in regards to your post that you made some days ago? Any positive?

  33. I am sure this article has touched all the internet viewers,
    its really really fastidious piece of writing on building
    up new web site.

  34. Ahaa, its good discussion regarding this piece of
    writing at this place at this web site, I have read all that, so at this time me also
    commenting here.

  35. I simply couldn’t go away your web site prior to
    suggesting that I extremely loved the standard info an individual provide in your guests?
    Is going to be again continuously in order to inspect new posts

  36. I have been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found
    any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough
    for me. In my opinion, if all website owners
    and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will
    be much more useful than ever before.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Theme developed by TouchSize - Premium WordPress Themes and Websites
Show Buttons
Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Youtube
Hide Buttons