Boise, ID

Life’s Kitchen — “Serving Second Chances” in Boise, Idaho

Stuart Gustafson
Life’s Kitchen homepageLife’s Kitchen

Long-time residents of Boise easily remember the tall sign out front of the Marie Callender’s Restaurant on the north side of the 8500 block of Fairview Avenue. The place that was famous for its pies, especially their in-season berry pies closed its doors for good in January 2018, over three and one-half years ago.
Marie Callender’s Key Lime PieThe Idaho Statesman

While it is always a shame to see a restaurant, or any other business, close up — especially after being in business for thirty-six years— it is heartwarming to see what has moved into its old building: Life’s Kitchen.

Per their website

“Life’s Kitchen is a nonprofit social enterprise providing Opportunity Youth (aka at-risk youth) 16-24 years of age with wrap-around work and life skills. Through our Workforce Development, Food Service, Life Skills, and GED Training Program, trainees receive the valuable skills and resources they need to become independent, financially stable, and successful.”
Just 9 of the 52 supporting organizationsLife's Kitchen
Serving food Monday to Friday 7 AM to 2 PM

As a non-profit, Like’s Kitchen relies on support from the community, as well as larger philanthropic organizations and foundations. The image above shows nine of the current fifty-two listed supporters. In addition to these donations, there is also a café onsite — Rory’s Café — that serves up meals from 7 Am to 2 PM on Monday through Friday.
Eggs Benedict from Rory’s CaféLifes Kitchen

I scanned through the menu, and the Eggs Benedict (pictured above) look mighty tasty. The price is $10.50 for a whole portion and $5.50 for a half portion. They also serve other Benedicts, Hash, "Eggs Your Way," Flap Jacks, and more, PLUS a variety of side dishes. They definitely have a full breakfast offering.
Tortilla Soup from Rory’s CaféLife's Kitchen

The Tortilla Soup (pictured above) looks really good as it is served with grilled chicken, roasted corn, avocado, and crispy corn quesadilla. [I think I’m getting really hungry!] The Tomato Bisque, served with a grilled cheese sandwich, also sounds like a great item. Lunch items also include a variety of salads, sandwiches, and burgers and fries. I didn’t show the image the juicy, delicious hamburger because I thought that would be torture — it looks absolutely scrumptious.
Desserts from Rory’s CaféLife's Kitchen

Just to make sure their offerings have something for your sweet tooth, the Folks and Life’s Kitchen also serve up a variety of desserts. They currently offer Baked Cheesecake, Apple Crumble, Warm Brownie, Tiramisu, and a pie of the week (I think that might be as recognition that they are in the space formerly occupied by Marie Callender’s that was known for its pies).

There is also a variety of drinks, including beer and seltzers (served in the café only).

Life’s Kitchen in Boise also offers catering as well as rental of their banquet room. If you want, you can click this link to make an online donation to them.

We’ve talked about food, and that’s good. But the main purpose of Life’s Kitchen is its Training Program that consists of four 4-week phases. In addition they provide alumni services such as “one year of formal post-graduation support but are invited to utilize alumni resources beyond that if desired. Continued GED support for alumni.” And more.

If you are looking for a “new restaurant” to try out, check out Life’s Kitchen at 8574 W. Fairview Avenue in Boise, or order online at Not only will you be getting great food, you will also be helping young men and women learn new job skills and life skills.

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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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