Boise, ID

Some Varied Culinary Experiences in Boise, Idaho

Stuart Gustafson

I was originally going to call title this article with “Dining Experiences,” and while all of these places would be fine “for dinner,” they’re also just fine for other meals. Plus not all of them fall into “fine dining” categories, so I decided to just call them “Culinary Experiences.”

Located in a prime downtown Boise area in the unique Hotel 43, Chandler’s Steakhouse is clearly one of the finest restaurants in town. (By the way, notice the 43 is a prime number, as are all the hotel’s room numbers.) It serves top-quality steaks and seafood along with crafted cocktails in a hip upscale setting.

The main dining and bar areas are rather open, making it easier to “see” and to “be seen.” There are private dining areas for groups, business meetings, etc. Chandler’s is rated as the #1 restaurant (out of 558) according to TripAdvisor reviews, so you know you are going to have a memorable experience whether you go for dinner or just for cocktails.

A well-known chain, Ruth’s Chris Steak House has never disappointed me (not that Chandler’s ever has!). Business meetings at a Ruth’s Chris in Manhattan were always popular and “fruitful,” as was a memorable dinner in Indianapolis. I’ve also enjoyed a delicious Ruth’s Chris Medium Rare Filet Mignon on the island Maui. Although I’ve been to Cabo San Lucas many times (twenty-one times to be precise), I’ve yet to enjoy the Ruth’s Chris there.

When Steak House is in your name, you had better deliver an amazing steak. The downtown location of Ruth’s Chris in Boise at Eight and Main makes it an ideal setting for higher-end business meetings at lunch and at dinner. But it’s not just for the business crowd. Special occasions are also a great reason to enjoy a finely prepared steak (or other delicious entrée) at Ruth’s Chris.

Since I live just a bit north of Fairview Avenue in West Boise, I particularly prefer restaurants in that area. A locally owned and operated “pizza joint” since 1978 Flying Pie is truly a one-of-a-kind establishment. One side of the Fairview billboard changes daily -- it announces a new “birthday” name. If it’s your name, you get a free pizza -- that’s pretty awesome.

The menu at Flying Pie could be called “unique,” except that it changes with the season. Their three cheese and fresh jalapenos is a favorite specialty, as is their seasonal Habanero pizza. I took one bit of it once, and that was enough for me. The cheese was awesome, but the habanero was way too sizzling for me.
Stuart Gustafson

A few blocks west on Fairview is a food truck. Well, actually there are several food trucks on Fairview, but the one I’m referring to is the Sushi Brothers food truck. There is no question that sushi must be fresh to be tasty and -- well, safe. I bought a couple rolls to take home for lunch, and they were, indeed very tasty. I’m still well, so they were certainly safe.
Stuart Gustafson

The menu is quite extensive, and it was fun to watch the chef make the rolls. They used to have a covered canopy that you could sit under. That would be very handy as the summer weather is decidedly here. Perhaps they needed to have a special license for the “tent.” Regardless, they’re still there, on the north side of Fairview. Give them a try; I think you’ll like it.

Farther west on Fairview in the bid complex on the northeast corner at Five Mile is my favorite Mexican restaurant in all of Boise -- Casa Mexico. Our family first went there over two decades ago when our daughter was in high school with the owner’s daughter. The food is so fresh and tasty … and authentic. There are plenty of places to get Mexican food in Boise, and a lot of it is good.

When you are hungry for Mexican food, you want it to not only be good, but it really helps when you feel a special connection. Casa Mexico is a family-owned business; it’s not part of some giant corporation. So I know when I order food from it that I am helping to support a local family. Oh, and the food is ¡muy delicioso!

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Articles on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday about travel, relevant local/regional items, some finance. Always with a slant to ask you to think.

Boise, ID

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