Sunday, April 17, 2011

Boise, Idaho: Hipsters, French Fries, and Serious Cocktails

Hipsters are masters of irony. Let's take one of the reddest states in the union, and transform a college and government town into a land-locked micro Seattle or Bay Area facsimile. Boise and its food have been the center of attention in several food and travel mags lately. With this in mind, the author and his faithful traveling companion and co-gastro-adventurer left Bozeman for one of the West's other "B-towns."

Checking in to the Modern Hotel was like entering a crisp edition of Dwell magazine. The Modern is a refurbished mid-century motor court hotel that now houses not just clean Ikea-like rooms, but also likely one of the best old-school-is-new-school cocktail bars in the American west.

Ordering a beverage at the Modern's lounge is a bit of a process: do you want wine, beer, or something hand-made? Do you want a light pick-me-up fizz, or a stiff Manhattan? French 75 - or is it 66? Or something else entirely?

Pictured here is a Ramos Gin Fizz with a delightfully fluffy egg foam. Perfect. Also pictured is a simple glass of Rose of Cremant.

Need a foil for the fizz? Head over to the Boise Fry Company, where burgers are served "on the side." This small shop focuses on the fries. Pictured here are the purple potato fries and the very deluxe, duck-fat fried and truffle-salted "bourgeois fries." Fry heaven.

Also ironic is the Vietnamese population of Boise which influences other meal decisions, such as the Bahn Mi from the Baguette Deli. Although we failed to find time for a meal at one of the city's Basque restaurants, I did enjoy the Andalusian eggs from Goldy's.

Worth mentioning is Boise's Record Exchange and the city's considerable music scene, offering diners (and hipsters) something to do in between meals.

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Ken & Carol said...

Hey, nice pictures and useful info for a road trip to California. Thanks.

Tom said...

Boise is a great stop on the way to CA. Enjoy!