It was a hot Saturday in August and we had time to kill!
The red sign called to us! World Famous! Amazing Pies and Soups! RV park and cabin rentals! Who can resist!
Boise to Idaho City
Don, and I were with my bro and sis-in-law. Chris drove us from Boise to Idaho City, to enjoy a day outing. Scenery was fun and we were excited about a 1:30 appointment.
Idaho City is actually more of town, but it was bigger than Portland back in the mining days. There wasn't much going on in I.C. when we visited. We found some bars that were open, but we needed food while we killed time for our appointment.
Hopping at Trudy's
Just outside of the tiny historic town, we found Trudy's, with a packed parking lot.
The flower baskets on the patio, were inviting.
The window with lace curtains and the neon OPEN sign, looked welcoming.
The notices on the wooden door, looked less so. There were 2 signs about dogs... mostly some requirements about good dog behavior.
There was an order from the mayor to conserve water. There was a reminder about not bringing your own food and there was a colorful poster about an upcoming rodeo.
It was near 90 outside, so we peeked in. There was a brick fireplace and a lots of decorative doodads... like an old saw on the wall.
But it was crowded and noisy. The tables were all full anyway.
We chose the covered patio, with food covered tables. Pictures of food!
A young server handed us menus with lots of welcoming words. Love...Vacation.. Neighbor...Kids... Laugh...Family...
While we studied the menu I overheard a few conversations with some of the young staff. Some older locals were chatting with 2 teen workers about some high school events. It sounded right neighborly. The menu words fit.
We studied the food images on the table for only a moment. They were actually not very appetizing. Maybe the shellac had yellowed the photos.
Ruebens for Us!
The Ruebens we ordered were actually much better looking than the photos.
The 4 of us split 2 and our young server was kind enough to bring extra plates. She didn't even treat us like old people, who split orders. We appreciated that and tipped well.
One half order was just right! We had places to go and appointments to keep.
Before hitting the road, I headed back to the restroom.
The restroom was in the far back and I had to pass through this added little room, with windows. As I stood in line for the one restroom, I spied on diners through the windows. Some local families I'm guessing and some bikers and some guys in camo apparel.
There were three women waiting before me, but I was in no hurry. There was lots to look at on the wall.
Idaho City is a very patriotic town. There are less than 500, but I'm guessing many have connections to the military. One of the women saw me studying the wall and she made sure I didn't miss the uniform in a nearby case.
I peeked at the uniform, but I was more intrigued with the sign outside of the restroom.
The sign was amusing, mostly because we were in Idaho City, not Portland or Austin. I think a lot of folks in this part of Idaho aren't so used to unisex restrooms.
But we ladies stood patiently. We've done it before. Then a man who looked like he'd been fishing with his buddies that morning, tried to stroll past us. "Sorry Ladies!" He laughed as he moved on by, expecting to find an empty men's room. It took him a moment to realize he belonged in the back of our line. He shook his head and returned to his table. We 4 ladies were mighty amused by that!
So after a quick and pleasant lunch, (with a funny bathroom adventure) we headed off to our appointment. It was very important!
Nearly 30 years ago, I remember visiting The Springs, with Chris and Karen and our kids! The hot springs pool from my 1994 memory, (near Idaho City) looked a little bit more like the black and white photo.
In 2022, we stepped into a lovely new building and spent a couple heavenly hours enjoying the hot (but not too hot) natural springs pool! I love appointments like that!
What a fun lunch and spa adventure, with Chris and Karen!
Homemade Ice Cream in August
Sometimes, I have to throw in an adventure that involves something sweet.
This little house in Boise's Hyde Park Neighborhood, offered us something cold and sweet on a hot day, last August.
Don and I were visiting my bro and sister in law, for a few days. I said I wanted to step inside the little ice cream parlor. "Let's Just step in and look." is what I said. That's not what I meant.
The first thing I saw when we stepped in, was the popcorn machine. I often choose salty over sweet, so this suddenly made it hard. I adore good popcorn.
If I'd smelled the popcorn, I might have gone no further. But the sweet smells of ice cream and chocolate were more overpowering than popcorn!
I followed my nose further. I can only imagine how exciting this place would be to a child. Ice cream, candy AND lots of stuffed animals. My SIL reminded me that she had been hear many times with our nephew Andy when he was a little guy. I wish he'd been with us!
Goody's makes their own ice cream and chocolate. They've been doing it for over 30 years. They also have tons of candy. It was fun just looking at it!
I spotted no penny candy, but it's nice that you can still buy candies for a dime! And what a selection of gummy sweets! We could have gotten sharks or flamingos. Or what about fried egg or chicken feet candies?
Kids and Candy
While we studied the chocolate options and the ice cream flavors, we listened to the kiddos nearby as they debated ice cream flavors. I'm sure their parents were somewhere nearby, but I loved the way they pulled out their own money. I was reminded of being a kid and buying candy with my own money at The Little Store. down the street. Sometimes, my older bro, Chris went with me.
When Chris suddenly asked the girls if they were treating, I felt like I'd gone back in time. He used to tease me that way. The girls picked up on the joke and smiled at each other. Then one firmly answered with two words I remember using. "No way!"
After ordering, we had lots of options for seating. (Where was everybody on this hot day?) Seeing the white stools at the counter, I was reminded of Cunningham Drugs, in Grinnell, Iowa. Dr. Grimmer used to give "us kids" prescriptions for ice cream, after our yearly check ups. We took our paper prescriptions to the ice cream counter at Cunningham's, not the pharmacist.
But we 4 adults (all being in our 60's) chose a table, with slightly more comfortable chairs.
Not Just Looking
So we came in just to look and ended up with some yummy treats. Karen and I both went for the chocolate almond ice cream. Good minds think alike. I went over the top with the big sugar cone!
Chris, never goes along with the crowd. He's always a little different. He ordered something that I'm sure he used to order, back at Cunningham's. A chocolate egg cream. He took a sip of the foamy drink and reminded us, enlightened us, just as he would have when we were kids.
"You know, there's no egg in an egg cream." And no cream, either.
Cheers to ice cream and sweet memories!
We (or rather I) had an odd and unexpected food adventure, on our drive today.
I saw a billboard for the Idaho Potato Museum and insisted on a detour.
Don and I were driving from Boise to Bozeman. It seemed fitting that we should stop at Blackfoot... another community starting with B!
Famous Potatoes! I was happy to see that on the sign.
Posing with Potato
Don graciously stopped at the museum, so I could pose with the giant potato.
I loved the whole package. A museum, inside of an old train depot. Plus, a giant potato, topped with sour cream and chunk of butter!
Potato Station Cafe
Plus... there was a cafe, with a mighty fine logo. "King Potato" seemed to be riding in the coal bin!
We peeked inside, even though we weren't really ready for a lunch stop.
I do love a theme and they did a good job with potatoes!
First of all, there was a cozy farm feel. I liked the brick walls and wooden farm doors, with their coating of milky white paint!
Curtains and Sacks
There were colorful potatoes on the curtains.
Below the windows I spotted a bench, that probably came from the old depot. There were also a couple potato sacks below the curtains. I read "Blackfoot, Idaho" on both burlap sacks.
The little space was warming up with all sorts of potato cooking.
I still wasn't starving for a potato, but how could I turn down this experience?
I took a look at the chalkboard menu and decided I needed a little something. Potato Dollars? Potato Soup?
I went for a baked potato with bar toppings. That was a little awkward, since I had to tell the young lad what to put on it. (Think Subway) He gave me way too much sour cream and way too little butter. Oh well.
A Quick Look
We didn't want to give the time or cash to visit the museum. Now, I'm kicking myself because I looked up the museum on the internet and it would have been a total hoot! World's Largest Potato Chip and more! Rats!
But we took in the decor around us. I liked this bright image! "Giants From the Lush Lava Beds of Idaho"!
Mashers and Cutting Bench
I peeked around the counter and snuck a free peek into the museum. There was a glass case filled with a collection of potato mashers.
In the cafe, they had an old cutting bench, where workers once sliced potatoes by hand.
There were a few framed photographs of potato farms.
I was glad to see all this Idaho potato info, before we left the state!
One More Pose
I grabbed my purchase and we headed to the car.
I paused for one more pose. My potato looked more appetizing than the giant one.
We were on a schedule, so I was going to eat my potato in the passenger's seat. By the time we made it out of Blackfoot, I had bacon bits and sour cream on my shorts.
Don pulled into the nearest rest stop. It just happened to have tables tucked into some scenic lava beds. But the sunny tables looked very hot.
We parked right near this mighty fine sign.
How about that! Our rest stop was tied right into the potato theme! We got to see some of the very lava beds that have made Idaho soil so perfect for potato farming!
Cheers to Lava Beds and Idaho Potatoes...
...and cheers to finding a table in the shade.
One more cheer for my amazing travel partner, who allowed me this silly potato adventure! Now I need to talk him into a future stay at the Potato Shaped Airbnb, outside of Boise! I can't wait!
Today, I'm looking back on a dining adventure with my Bro and Sis-in-law, two years ago.
They took us to their favorite restaurant, in downtown Boise.
The Ishaq Family
I am reminded of this wonderful family today, after reading my brother's post on Facebook.
Chris has often posted about this fabulous family and their decadent dishes. But today he spoke about missing their favorite restaurant, during Coronavirus lockdown.
I remember the warm welcome our group received... lots of laughter and hugs. Chris introduced us to Sohaim, and they teased each other about their hats. Chris asked about Sohaim's wife, but we would have to wait. She was busy in the back.
I remember feeling so comfy in the cozy restaurant, with the warm colors and music, the art and the unusual display of instruments!
Then we got comfortable at our table, with some drinks.
Don and Chris had some kind of curious beer. Karen and I split a bottle of Lassi, with homemade yogurt. Thick and sweet and yummy!
Chris and Karen did all the ordering. I obviously can't remember it all, but I do remember the Bengan Pakora! Eggplant slices, dipped in some kind of chickpea batter! So crispy good, with some kind of amazing sauce.
I remember Goat Biriyani, so tender and lean! There was Masala with lentils and buttery Chicken Korma, puree'd spinach Palak... Oh I want to go back!
We feasted until nearly 11 pm. All the other dining guests had departed. Then, the atmosphere changed.
It was late, but not too late for some celebration. The Ishaq's grown sons arrived and were introduced. Both were gracious and polite and good humored with Chris' teasing.
He clung to her and fussed, if we got too close. Oh my! I hope I someday have a grandchild who adores me so much!
After our meal, we had an exciting lesson on making naan (spelled nawn, in the menu) We moved into the kitchen to see just how much effort and skill, goes into this heavenly bread!
We kept a safe distance from the tandoori oven and watched! First we saw the rolling and stretching of the dough.
Seems I remember the dough being laid flat on some kind of springy pillow, then dropped into the steaming opening. The dough clung to the wall of the oven and the heat was cranked up. Less than a minute later, long skewers were used to flip the piping hot bread from the oven. What an amazing treat to watch and eat! I wish I'd gotten a video.
I remember we departed with our boxed up leftovers, just as some family friends entered with a cake of some kind.
I was happily exhausted from our amazing dining adventure and the Ishaqs were finishing a day's work and ready to celebrate. Was it a birthday? I don't know, but I was mighty impressed to know this hardworking family had energy left to celebrate! They obviously deserved some fun!
Now, I'm thinking of the Ishaqs and I wish them well during this pandemic time. I was happy to hear that Chris and Karen have regularly been enjoying carry-out feasts from Taj Mahal. But I know how eager everyone is, to once again gather and dine inside this fabulous restaurant!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.