Friday, November 30, 2012

Blue Moose Pizza

Danielle's Blue Moose Pizza Drive thru Diner
907 Lake St
McCall, ID

A smallish diner and drive-through on the west end of downtown McCall.  Decor is log cabin diner with lots of moose photos and crafts.

The menu includes pizzas (obviously), hamburgers, sandwiches, etc.  They also have a breakfast menu.  Beer and wine are available.

The sausage sandwich had a nicely split and grilled Italian sausage, with generous amount of grilled onions and peppers, on a lightly-toasted soft sesame roll.  Tasty, and large enough to split for two light eaters.

The Hungarian Mushroom Soup was very flavorful with good earthy herbs.  While it had some cream in it, it wasn't a truly cream-based soup.  However, it probably would have been better without the cream at all.

Will have to go back and try out the pizza.

Definitely worth a visit for a casual lunch in McCall.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Lucky Fins Seafood Grill

Lucky Fins Seafood Grill
1441 N. Eagle Road,
Meridian Idaho 83642
(208)888-FINS (3467)

Extensive seafood menu, wide range of preparations.  Only tried the sushi so far, but we're already certain to go back and try other items.

The sushi selection is very limited, dominated by ahi and hamachi, but that definitely helps them focus on getting really good quality fish.  The hamachi nigiri was the best we've found in the area so far.   Their rolls are creative, and the menu is clear on which ones use Krab vs. Crab.  They could trim the jalapenos a little better - too much of the rib and seeds in one of the rolls, and unevenly distributed, so there was more heat than expected in a couple of the bites.  Otherwise, a definite hit.


78 Eagle River St.  Suite 165
Eagle, ID 83616
(208) 938-6261

Stunning variety of beers available by the bottle (they claim something like 350 different beers available), covering pretty much any style or region one could imagine.  10 beers on tap, with the selection chaging frequently and drawing heavily from craft-ish brewers of the western states like Stone, 21st Amendment, Firestone Walker, Salmon, Grand Teton. Seasonal brews from larger houses like Sierra Nevada also in the mix.

On a recent visit, tried the Westmalle Trappist Dubbel (33cl) and the Ninkasi Oatis Oatmeal Stout.  The Westmalle is a fairly straightforward representation of a Belgian dubbel, with good malty flavor and creamy head, but seemed to lack the distinctive Belgian yeast character that makes Trappist ales so interesting.  Perhaps that's partially a result of the smaller bottle - would be interesting to try it side-by-side with a 75cl to compare.  The Ninkasi is a very rich, dark oatmeal stout, very smooth and slightly sweet.

The belly burger is an interesting combination of beef and a little pork belly, giving the burger a nice soft texture despite being cooked well-done.  A nice solution for folks that don't like their burgers rare but still want something tender and jucy.

The old south pork sandwich is one of the better pulled pork sandwiches in the area, with good but not overpowering smoky flavor, and the pork isn't dried out or tough (always difficult to get the right balance ).

The red chili was somewhat disappointing.  The texture and flavor are not far from canned tomato paste.  Maybe it would be ok on chips/nachos, but not something to try by itself.  The green chili on the other hand was much more of a success.  Very good roasted chili flavor, tender pork.  No real heat to it.

The soft shell crab po-boy had two expertly fried crabs - nice light crunch, very tender.  Great flavor overall.

The flatbreads are also generally winners, although the crust was a little undercooked and tough on one of the flatbreads we tried.

Decor is very minimalist and industrial.  Definitely not a cozy corner pub but, with the stunning beer selection in the wall of fridges, the decor is likely to not get noticed all that much.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Ahi Sushi Bar

Ahi Sushi Bar
1193 E. Winding Creek Drive #104
Eagle, Idaho 83616

A much shorter menu than some of the other sushi places we've tried, but also a much better result.  Started with the pork gyoza, which had a nice thin wrapper that was cooked just slightly crispy, and a tender filling with decent flavor.  The we sampled a few rolls:

Rainbow roll: The fish on top was fresh and tasty, and the "crab" was at least a relatively decent version of the fake stuff.  Unfortunately, they forgot the avocado which made for slightly disappointed first few bites.  We got the waitress to bring a few slices, and that definitely helped get the expected flavor and texture.

Firecracker roll: The seared ahi on top could have been seared a little more, and the garlic wasn't evident in the ponzu sauce. The jalepeno only gave it a small bit of heat that didn't really live up to the name, but overall still a nice roll. 

Spicy yellowtail roll:  Again, didn't really live up to the "spicy" in the name.  Would say this was just a straightforward rendition of a yellowtail roll.

The fish (especially the ahi) was better here than at other places we've tried in the area. Not stunning, but it's definitely worth going back.  Their prices are fairly reasonable, and the happy hour specials look like a fairly good deal if they keep up the quality.

Sakura Sushi, revisit

Sakura Sushi
3210 East Chinden Boulevard 
Eagle, ID 83616
(208) 938-1599

Tried the Sushi Delux and the Maguro+Hamachi dinner, again take-out.  This certainly avoided the too much fake crab issue we ran into last time with the Sakura Special.  Again, the fish was ok but not fantastic.  The seaweed they use has a somewhat different flavor (reminiscent of anise, or some raw shellfish) and was a little too chewy for our taste. Have yet to try the cooked dishes, or dine in, so there's still hope that we'll find something that stands out on the menu.  But so far, there really hasn't been anything compelling or memorable enough to make us excited to go back.