Several new restaurants have opened in the past few months in Boise. Each one has its own twist, its own vibe.
The newest place on the eating scene is called A Tavola, which means “of the table.” It took over the location vacated when Donnie Mac’s closed last year. A Tavola is a happening place, evidenced by the huge lunch crowds. In Boise’s Linen district, this little eatery is a casual place with excellent food. And the price is exceptional. The standard procedure when you walk in is to get in the deli line, then choose the foods you want and how much. You can select from pre-made deli items, freshly made to order sandwiches, soups, and salads. Wine, soft drinks, tea, coffee, and water are all available. No need to worry about a table, because as soon as you start ordering, you are given a number, and the owner herself finds a table when one opens up, which is a good thing, because the place is busy. I had a pasta dish and meatballs for under $5. On the other side of the deli is a bakery counter, where you can get cupcakes, cream puffs, and other delightful decadences. In the center of the space is a chocolate lovers table, along with retail shelves of beer, wine, and kitchen supplies ranging from pots and pans to seasonings and condiments.
Salt Tears Coffeehouse & Noshery is located farther from downtown, on State Street. In one of those old shopping strip locations next to a bowling alley sits this industrial open space where you can get light meals and tea or coffee. It’s an artsy hangout with all the atmosphere of SoHo. Board games are provided to patrons to encourage a community ambiance and an invitation to sit for a while. Occupying the same space is an artists’ co-op called Green Chutes, so you can wander and browse original art pieces after you eat. The thing I love the most is when you order tea, it comes in a French press, giving you about four or five cups of tea for you $2.50.
Bacon is one of John Berryhill’s newest endeavors. He’s a long time, well known chef in the Boise area. And apparently he loves bacon. Well, who doesn’t? Bacon features prominently on most of the menu items, but there are plenty of delicious choices if bacon just doesn’t do it for you. Things like a breakfast banana split. Or a hot Reuben panini. They even deliver in the downtown area on the “bacon bike.” I want to order something just to see this bacon bike.
There you have it. Three distinctly different fun places to try next time you visit.