Part 5 Saturday August 1
Although this report is about the Mountain West, Idaho is one of those states like Texas, Kentucky, etc that is not limited to one category. Many consider Idaho the "Inland Pacific Northwest" and this is evident by the amazing cuppa coffee and scone I had at Dawson's Coffee House.
Coming into Downtown Boise this morning I was greeted by two big crowds that surprised me
The downtown farmers market and we'll talk about the other later
After perusing the different stalls I found this.
and realized Buffetbuster
I would find my Huckleberry Pie. Obviously a fair price for a man in desperate need. I enjoyed it later on in the afternoon (and evening) back at my hotel.
After walking around the farmers market, I found a second large crowd to great me,however for those who were on the forum approximately 4 1/2 years ago, the following photos, and for that matter some excerpts from The Sterns in their last Roadfood
book as well as the Five Hundred Things to Eat before it's too late
book are complete figments of my imagination and don't exist.
with Basque Dancers and
The Basque Block includes
The Basque Museum which I visited on my first visit in 1993
and The Basque Market
after browsing around, I built up an appetite and decided to visit an old, old favorite I haven't been to since 1998 Bar Gernika
Basque Restaurant # 2
established over 20 years ago. This basque/bar restaurant serves up some great Basque sandwiches, lunches and appetizers.
This is my 4th visit. On my first three visits I've always ordered the Solomo Sandwich,. but the waiter told me that this is Saturday and they have their weekly Tongue Special which runs out quick. Sounds good to me!
Wow, I truly forgot how great this place is. Garlicky Tongue served in a red sauce, creamy croquetas on the side and crusty bread infused with garlic cloves- This would be a top 10 contender if I hadn't visited 3x before!
After lunch, I was looking forward to do something. It was going to be 100 degrees today and tommorow too for that matter.
I've hit all the tourist spots on 3 prior visits. One of my tourist maps mentioned the Payette River,approximately 40 miles north of Boise, this area is famous for White Water Rafting and some amazing scenic beauty. I figured up in the mountains it should be cooler- right??? wrong!! instead of 100 degrees, it was 95 degrees
I even ventured into town and check out the local general store!
after strolling and mavelling at the scenic beauty I returned to my hotel and
enjoyed half of my huckleberry pie. again, it reminded me of blueberry!
Eventually it was time for dinner and I wanted to try the local Specialty "Finger Steaks" invented right in Boise. Served at many steak houses, taverns and surprisingly enough, burger stands, finger steaks are basically strips of steak that are battered and deep fried. the spices have a heavily worcestershire based and are usually served with a dipping sauce. I discovered these are very populular in Idaho and apparently have spread to neighboring Montana because I noticed they were served at the Sport in Livingston too.
Reliable sources on the internet indicate that Lindy's Steak House
serves some of the best...
I was greeted by a young educated waitress who was originally from Casper WY and was moving to San Francisco with a new career in the arts- good for her!
The meal started off with
a small loaf of
and continued on with
a crispy green salad with fresh blue cheese and sunflower seeds
and for the main course
Nicely battered, and there is real Sirloin underneath. I thought the batter tasted more of horseradish than Worcestshire. A cocktail dipping sauce was served on the side but I thought a blue cheese or ranch dip would have been more appropriate. The crispy thin fries were idaho delicious. Would I try this again? Maybe, maybe not- I'm on the fence.
After dinner it was time to head to
to see the Boise Hawks
single A farm team for the Chicago Cubs
and they even serve local fare- Basque Chorizo (no I didn't have any) I deliberately got a seat in the shade, turning down the $1 70th anniversary special tickets for Albertson's supermarket. It was even too hot for a beer- bottled water was all I drank. The ballpark is located at the fairgrounds approximately 5 or 6 miles outside of downtown.
The Hawks hosted the Vancouver Canadians and shut them out 9-zip
They even had
a regionally appropriate
Great Potato Race featuring spud, fry and gem!
After the game, I returned back to my hotel, finished the other half of the pie (this was a mini pie btw) and called it a night Sunday August 1
Downtown was alot more subdued this morning. I went to the Flying M Coffee House this time for another great cuppa joe and
(not Huckleberry) Scone
afterwards I took a stroll and took some photos of
The State Capitol which I toured on my first visit to Boise. Those of you may not know this, but the initial plan was that Buffetbuster was supposed to join me for the Boise leg of this trip, unfortunately r/t airfares in excess of $500 prevented him from doing so. Buffetbuster collects state Capitols, and he hasn't been to Boise yet, sometimes things happen for a reason!
after a further stroll into one of Boise's residential urban neighborhoods, it was starting to get warm. I walked back downtown and stopped by this place
Moon's Cafe. I first read about this place over 20 years ago in the "Lets Go USA" book. They're famous for their shakes.
the Huckleberry- it was ok- I guess I concluded I'm just not a big fan of Huckleberry
I then returned to my hotel and checked out. Initially when Buffetbuster was to join me, I was going to spend more time in Boise, and then drive to Winnemucca and spend the night, now I had no reason to stay in Boise and decided to leave around lunch time. I hopped on the hotel computer and got an amazing $17 deal on hotwire at the Sands in downtown Reno, luck will have it that is the same hotel I already got a $29 deal at for the two subsequent nights!
My last stop in Boise was lunch at Andrade's
, reviewed in the most recent Stern's Roadfood
I ordered the Andrade Special
there were actually two
the meal starts out with obligatory chips salsa and bean dip too
The main meal was a series of tortillas which were stuffed with Carne Asada and Pico De Gallo
I'll be honest, I don't remember the specifics of the ingredients but they were better than i expected. I deliberately didn't seek out the salsa bar, I wanted to enjoy the meal "as is"
After lunch, I left the confines of Boise and seemed to end up in what I would truly call "the middle of no where"
I was literally waiting to be abducted by little green men.
After crossing into a piece of Oregon, I finally
I stopped at a Convenience Store about 40 miles north of Winnemucca for some bottled water, I told the cashier I felt like I was truly in the middle of no where- she replied " you are, but nothing strange happens here"!
I arrived in Winnemucca
and found this
laying in front of the Chamber of Commerce
I was amazed at all the old cars still being driven
actually it was just another event that was waiting for me- the Car Show
I walked around the sand swept, ancient looking downtown
I walked in here
the bartender told me that Butch Cassidy really used to come in and drink here
Here's another oldie!
My dinner stop was at the historic Martin Hotel
The first of 4 family style Basque Restaurants I would visit and actually now Basque Restaurant # 3
A family from Boise was seated with me. The couple was in their 40's and they had 4 kids with them- tweens and teens. They were on their way to Sacramento and San Francisco and decided to stay in Winnemucca for the night. We talked about my trip and my restaurant stops in Boise which they replied were all excellent choices.
the meal was served family style and included
and Salad with oil and vinegar (I didn't get a photo)
we then moved on to Creamy Corn Chowder
and Basque Beans
Side Dishes included
a delicious garbanzo bean dish
and even the carrots were good
I ordered the Pork Solomo for my main dish- boneless pork simmered with Garlic and Pimentos
served with a mound of fries
I topped this all of with a dish of cinnamony rich bread pudding
after saying good bye to my dining partners I ended up on a desolate stretch of I-80 headed towards Reno.
I arrived at the Sands, parked in front of the hotel (free parking) and entered via the casino. This brought back flashbacks to my trip just over 3 years earlier to the now defunct Stardust in Vegas. I couldn't believe I'm only paying $17 for the first night. I truly felt like I was stealing from the hotel. Didn't they know I was not gambling.
I ended up walking to a local brew pub a few blocks down called the Silver Peaks Brewery and Tap Room. I ordered a refreshing scotch ale, and then a hefeweizen, both were amazing, some of the best of the trip and a nearby smoke jumper chick started chatting away with me. I don't remember most of what we were talking about, but I know she said she was in her early 30's and 10 years away from retirement. After my conversation and beer I walked back to my hotel got some much needed "shut eye"
<message edited by wanderingjew on Wed, 08/19/09 10:12 PM>