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Monday, September 13, 2010

PNW Trip: Day 3 - Mostly Idaho

I woke up at 7:15AM to get ready for another day of driving. I put some puzzles together with little Molly before she left for her first day of preschool! (She was not very excited.) My breakfast was a strawberry, two slivers of an awesome peach, and a banana with some really good peanut butter - the best peanut butter out of a jar that I've ever had!

I'd never seen that brand of natural PB before (must be a Utah thing). As we were packing up the car to leave, I noticed that our hosts sneaked the jar into our cooler. How lovely!

We were on the road by 9:15am (tried to time our departure so we wouldn't hit crazy rush hour traffic) and went to Antelope Island near SLC. Unfortunately, it costs $9 to enter and we only planned on being there for less than 30 minutes, long enough to look around and take pictures, so we didn't actually go in. Here's a picture of a buffalo near the entrance instead.

From there, we were on the road to scenic Idaho!

(pictures from a scenic overlook)

We stopped for lunch in Twin Falls. By the time we arrived at Prasai's, we were STARVING.

We ordered an "appetizer" of tofu satay, but I think she actually brought us an entrée - it was HUGE!

(that little plate X 4) It was SO GOOD, though. We weren't really complaining about the overabundance of crispy, fried tofu smothered in peanut sauce. It also had rice noodles, mung bean sprouts, and diced cucumber. YUM.

Since we ordered off the lunch menu, a side salad was included. The dressing options were ranch or peanut; I obviously chose peanut. It was exactly the same sauce as what was on the tofu satay.

(side salad sans egg)

For my actual meal, I just asked for a tofu and veggie stir-fry dish, since they didn't quite have that on the lunch menu. This is what came.

Honestly, not the best stir-fry I've ever had. The whole dish was sort of bland, really lacking spices and flavor, and the noodles were gross. (I didn't realize noodles came with the dish.) There was a lot of leftover peanut sauce from the satay, so I drizzled that onto the stir-fry and that helped. I was very happy to eat some vegetables (gotta have muh veggies), but I was even more grateful that we had the tofu satay and the salad beforehand. Regardless, we left Prasai's absolutely STUFFED.

Back on the road for a long, long journey to the Sawtooth Mountains. I saw a tumbleweed(!!) bounce across the highway on the way there. I dozed off for awhile, but woke up in time for the scenic drive through Sawtooth, which was lovely and COLD! So, so cold.

The scenic drive through Sawtooth was long enough to make us worry when the gas light came on. Just when we thought we were getting out of the mountains, the road started to go up, up, up again. We started to have some faint worries that we'd be stranded (which would suck, because we very rarely saw anyone else on the road), but luckily, we made it out of there and to an overpriced gas station in the nick of time.

From there, we headed straight to Boise, where I was excited to visit the Boise Fry Company for dinner! When researching restaurants in the Boise area, this place sounded like a perfect stop: vegan-friendly, and all about POTATOES. Does it get more Idaho than that?! Their slogan is "burgers on the side," which tells you how seriously good their fries are.

When you enter Boise Fry Co., you pick which potato you want and how you want it prepared. We made it just 20 minutes before closing, which unfortunately meant that many of their potatoes were sold out for the day. Still, we ordered some Russet homestyle fries (true Idaho potatoes) and then some okinawa fries, "regular" style. The Okinawa potato is sweeter than a sweet potato, so we were interested to try them. We also ordered burgers as part of the special/combo.

All of the fries are hand-cut and unsalted. BFC has a salt bar and a ketchup bar, where you can choose what flavors of each you want to go with your fries. Garlic salt, jalapeno salt... so many varieties. When our Okinawa fries came out, the counter guy urged us to sprinkle them with vanilla salt and dip them in blueberry ketchup.

WOW. How else can I describe these amazing fries? This picture does not do it justice. It does not convey the absolute DELICIOUSNESS of these fries. Yes, they are sweeter than a sweet potato, but in a good way. Nay, a GREAT way. The vanilla salt adds to perfect amount of saltiness with a touch of sweet. And that blueberry ketchup?! Damn! It's better than you could probably imagine. You can definitely taste the sweet blueberry-ness, but it's still a little tangy like ketchup. I could have eaten a BUCKET of these fries.

(spicy ketchup, blueberry ketchup, and standard ketchup)

I don't have as awesome things to say about my black bean-quinoa burger, though. I can't really hold it against BFC, though, because their motto is "burgers on the side," after all. And really, who could compete with those badass Okinawa fries?

My main complaints with this burger is 1. it's very bland. It's ALL quinoa with some black beans. It could use more spices and more textures; and 2. the texture. It was undercooked and squishy. It felt like I was just eating a blob of quinoa with some black beans mashed in. I also feel like the burger as a whole would have improved with some avocado and sprouts or something. To be fair, though, their "red onion gastrique" was awesome. I HATE red onions with a fiery, burning passion, but this sauce was delicious and didn't catch my lips on fire.

The counter guy was really friendly and helpful and chatted with us a bit. The restaurant is small (smaller than I imagined), but nicely decorated with local art. The restaurant is also very green: lots of recycling, lots of reusing and reducing, very little throw-away items, etc. Even though I was disappointed in the burger, Boise Fry Co. will DEFINITELY bring me back to Boise. I would seriously make the drive just for the fries. If you EVER find yourself in Boise, near Boise, or just passing through, you'd be doing yourself a grave disservice if you didn't stop in and eat the most amazing fries of your life.

When we left BFC, we drove around the city briefly, trying to find downtown or some nightlife, but it was a weeknight and not much was going on. We checked in at our hotel, I jumped on the bed, and then fell asleep with visions of vanilla-salted Okinawa fries, dancing in my head.


  1. You've never had Adam's PB?! Girrrrrlll...if it wasn't so damn heavy I'd mail you a case.

    xo - S

  2. Yeah, burgers on the side! I think if I ate a bunch of those fries, I'd want a bland healthy quinoa burger to even things out. Or maybe I'd put some blueberry ketchup on that too.

  3. Vanilla salt and blueberry ketchup?! Sign me up!

    Amber Shea