Monday, May 11, 2009
FOODIE: The Idaho Fry Co.
A couple of weeks ago our dear friend Michele from Oregon came to visit for the weekend. Our times together are always filled with laughter, relaxation and good food. After a long morning of walking through Julia Davis Park and all over the BSU campus, we were starving. We wanted something simple, quick, and kid-friendly, as the girls were getting pooped at this point and needed naps. We had heard mixed reviews about the newly opened Idaho Fry Co. but are suckers for burgers and fries (um, who isn't?!), so decided to give it a try.
The place is located in a nondescript strip mall on Broadway Avenue in Boise, in between an Avon shop and a new Middle Eastern restaurant. The decor is modern and the art of a local artist, Ben Wilson, covers the walls, which I always like to see. It was about 2:00 in the afternoon when we arrived, and the small, hip shop was pretty busy. The staff was sweet and helped us decipher the confusing menu and ordering process. We decided on three bison burgers and 5 different kinds of fries. The Idaho Fry Co. prides itself on promoting the fry to the head of the class, featuring it as the main dish and the burger as the side. I can't remember all the names of the types of potatoes we ordered, and they don't have a menu on their website, probably since their fry options change almost daily. We had some russets, blue potatoes, and a sweet purple Hawaiian potato fry. The fries are dished up in fancy paper cones, and the burgers on a minimal restaurant platter. They also offer almost 20 different dipping sauces, from black bean to molasses. I have to say, after trying them all, we agreed that the traditional fry sauce was our favorite. Our bill totalled around $40 - not really a cheap lunch for three.
I really wanted to love this place, as I wholeheartedly support local businesses, especially those using organic, local, and fresh ingredients. I can forgive the confusion of the servers (they were slow and messed up our orders), as they, too, are just learning the tricks of the trade. I have to say, however, that the food wasn't as wonderful as I'd hoped and the limited menu is bit gimmicky and not quite diverse enough to make you want to come back again. There are a lot of burger and fry joints in Boise, and I'm not sure their fancy take on the fry is enough to keep them in business, especially with their high prices in this difficult economic time. I do wish them the best and hope they keep experimenting and expanding their ideas. If you live in the Boise area, give them a try - your burger and fry palate may be more sophisticated than mine.