An April 2006 trip
to Boise by Wildcat Dianne
Quote: We don't just eat potatoes here in Idaho. Here is a journal of some of my favorite eateries in the Treasure Valley of Idaho.
Upon entering Thai Cuisine, we were greeted by a young man who would be our waiter. We were given our menus, and we ordered some hot tea to start with while we read our menus and admired the intricate wood carvings of elephants and Thai history throughout the restaurant. We had the place to ourselves for the time, and we enjoyed it.Leslie told our waiter that it was our birthday and wanted to know what he recommended for us to start with. He recommended we try the Thai Wraps, Hidden Prawns, and Thai Spring Rolls.
Since Mom, Leslie, and I were splitting the bill, we chose an appetizer a piece of the above mentioned appetizers. They arrived a few minutes later and they looked and tasted great. The Thai Wrap was chicken in a sweet mango sauce with raw veggies and sauce that you put on a buttery flat bread. The Hidden Prawn was a huge shrimp breaded in ground chicken and fried. It also came with a mildly spicy chili sauce. The egg rolls were small morsels of veggies in a crisp thin dough.
For dinner we also ordered an entree a piece for all of us to share. Leslie got the Lemongrass Chicken that our waiter recommended; Mom (who was hesitant at trying Thai food) got a stir fry of broccoli, chicken, and Thai veggies in a light, mild sauce; and I got the Swimming Rama, chicken with broccoli and spinach in peanut sauce. Our entrees came with jasmine rice and more tea. The lemongrass chicken was a curry of chicken breasts with subtle flavors of cardamom and lemongrass. Mom's stir fry was awesome, and my Swimming Rama was not spicy, but subtly sweet with the taste of peanut butter, chicken, and veggies. Happily satiated, Leslie, Mom, and I enjoyed some coconut ice-cream that was courtesy of the restaurant in honor of our birthday. It was light and had a subtle coconut flavor that even coconut hater Mom enjoyed.Our bill came to just over $50 which was split three ways with a nice tip for our waiter. We plan to return soon!
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 2, 2006
6777 Overland Road
Boise, Idaho 83709
So on the way to work yesterday, I stopped at the Ameci Italian Kitchen. Located in a strip mall on Chinden Boulevard near the Eagle Road intersection, this restaurant recently opened and looked to be doing booming business.Upon entering the small restaurant, you must order at the counter from the menu. Since I had looked at my menu at home, I knew what I wanted exactly, the Eggplant Parmagiana sandwich. The lady at the counter took my order and name quickly, and I sat down with a Diet Coke while I waited for my food.There were a couple of guys ahead of me, and my food took about 10 minutes to be prepared. It was well-worth the wait. I kept my sandwich in my lunch box in the refrigerator at work until my lunch time, and I warmed it up in the microwave when it was time. The eggplant was lightly breaded and deep fried with a yummy marinara sauce and a little mozzarella cheese on a 9-inch Italian roll. It reminded me of the great Italian grinders (the Rhode Island term for sub sandwiches), and I enjoyed every bite slowly.Besides sandwiches, Ameci has pizza and Italian entrees like Eggplant Parmagiana and Fettucini Alfredo and a take out menu. My sandwich cost only $4.99 +Tax, and the other items on the menu are very reasonably priced, too. Ameci is open 7 days a week from 11:00am -10:00 p.m. and is well-worth a visit for people shopping in the Eagle, Idaho area. Target is across the road and Walgreens is in the same plaza. I hope to return to Ameci soon and try out other menu items. When The Sopranos are in season on HBO, I constantly crave Italian! BADA BING!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 10, 2006
Ameci Italian Kitchen
3210 E. Chinden Blvd.,
Boise, Idaho 83616
(208) 939 7722
When I got inside Hugo's Deli this Friday afternoon, it was swarmed with local workers on lunch break and other people looking to get an early start on the Memorial Day weekend. But the counter help was moving the line at the counter quickly, and I was able to order in no time. Of course I had the chicken salad sandwich and seeing the homemade deli fries just coming out of the vat made me more hungry, and I ordered a half a pound of those, too. With a bottle of Dasani Lemon Water, my meal cost a little over $8, and I found a seat to dig into my meal.
My chicken salad sandwich was yummy served on a wheat roll with lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles. The homemade deli fries ($3.39 a pound) were cut in uneven pieces with the peels still on and were very hot and so good. The homemade fry sauce enhanced the fries' flavor even more. I was very full after this feast and was able to go shopping without pigging out on the samples that are scattered throughout the market that torture most shoppers as they are going through the store.
Hugo's has a huge menu to choose from such as fried chicken and many sandwiches. There are vegetarian choices along with picnic meals with the fried chicken. Some of the sandwiches have funny names such as the "Bob and Myrna (corned beef and pastrami)" and "The Grinder (an Italian sub) which brings back memories of how we used to call sub sandwiches grinders in Rhode Island when I was growing up.
The service at Hugo's is fast and courteous, and the manager was asking how everyone was during the busy lunch rush and fit everyone's needs for side orders and food. Hugo's is located in two locations in Boise. The location I visit often is on Overland and Five Mile Roads heading towards Meridian and near Fred Meyer's, one of our popular grocery and department stores. The other location is on Broadway Avenue near Boise State University.
Hugo's is open daily and is well-worth a visit whenever you are in the Boise area.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 27, 2006
2789 Broadway Ave
Restaurant | "2006 Greek Food Festival, Part II, Oh the Food!"
After Leslie and I paid our admissions and got our tokens, we went into the food line to have our dinner. Greek volunteers were preparing the food that was provided by a local Greek restaurant. Greek music was playing and dancers were dancing, or wandering around the grounds.
As we got closer to the food bar, we were hit with grease from the grill that was cooking the Souvlaki or pork kebabs. SNAP, CRACKLE, POP! Holding the menus we got at the gate, Leslie and I were having a heck of a time deciding what to get for dinner. Everything looked so yummy, one of everything!
Finally Leslie and I decided what we wanted. Leslie got a Gyro, the meat and veggie stuffed pita with tzatziki sauce, a Dolmathe,stuffed grape leaf, and spanakopita, which is spinach and feta cheese stuffed in a phyllo dough pouch. I settled on a vegetarian gyro and spanakopita.
There were long tables under a tent for everyone to sit and eat along with a wine bar selling Greek wine. Leslie got a cup of wine while I had to pass because I was driving home. I had a little sip of the wine, and it was a good dry white wine. The food was spectacular. My gyro was full of raw veggies on a warm pita bread, and our spanakopitas were flaky and flavorful. Saving room for dessert, we left the table happy and wandered around the church grounds and went to the souvenir booth where a few Greek residents of Boise were selling Greek jewelry, clothing, and other goods to the public. I bought a pair of pretty silver earrings with turquoise beads for $6, along with some pickled grape leaves in a big jar for $4.49 so I can try to make Dolmates at home with ground turkey and rice or other goodies. The Greek blouses were handcrafted and embroidered and looked so cool on a hot summer night.
Now it was time for dessert, and I went and got more tokens for the Greek pastries up front. The pastries were sold in the church basement and tables were set up there to eat them, but it was too hot and Leslie and I got ours to eat outside. We both got baklava, Kourabiethes, and Melomacaronas. I got some for Mom at home, and I ate most of my pastries at the festival. The Melomacaronas were spice cookies with brown sugar topping and smelled heavenly. The Kourabiethes were melt in your mouth shortbreads in tons of powdered sugar. I know now how Loki and Katie feel when we feed them peanut butter because they were sticking to the roof of my mouth. Now I know how the Greek Gods ate!
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 6, 2006
Greek Food Festival
Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church
Attraction | "2006 Greek Food Festival, Part I"
Every June, St. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church hosts their annual Food Festival complete with Greek food, dancers, and crafts booths. I will mention all of the great food in a second journal entry, but this entry will cover the history of St. Constantine and Helen and a short bio of their priest.
St. Constantine and Helen Church is located in Boise's North End on Bannock and 27th Streets. It's a tiny church in one of Boise's oldest neighborhoods, and it would be hard to miss the place if you were to drive in the area. St. Constantine and Helen Church is run by Father Nektarios Serfas, who was ordained as a Greek Orthodox priest in 1976, was born and raised in Lowell, Massachusetts, where there is a large Greek population and the hometown of former Presidential candidate and governor of Massachusetts, Michael Dukakis, and his cousin, the great actress Olympia Dukakis. Father Serfas came to Idaho in 1992 to run St. Constantine and Helen, and in 2001, he was ordained as a monk in the same order, which is one of the highest honors a Greek Orthodox priest can reach within the church hierarchy.
Father Serfas was giving vespers while Leslie and I were at the festival, but after vespers, he came out to greet and mingle with his parishioners and the people. Leslie and I were watching from afar and saw what love and clout this guy had.
The Greek Food Festival is an inexpensive and great way to learn about Greek food and culture. It costs $1 to get into the festival, and at the gate, you have to purchase wooden tokens to buy food inside because they don't accept cash at the food booth. Once inside, you go into the food line where the food is being prepared on grills and volunteers from the Greek community are there to feed you. There are many traditional Greek recipes along with vegetarian options for you to sample, and don't forget dessert. Greek pastries are to die for!
There are tours available throughout the church during the weekends, and vespers are held daily at 5pm. Sunday masses are held at 9:30am in the main church. The church and basement are very hot, so if you are coming in the summer time, be prepared. Leslie and I had to get out of the basement where the pastries were being sold before we got sick, and someone did pass out and the fire department was called.
The Greek Food Festival is held the first Friday and Saturday from 11am-9pm.
Greek Food Festival
Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church 2618 West Bannock St
Boise, Idaho 83702
208 345 6147