Sunday, December 30, 2012

Koenig Merlot 2009

Estate grown grapes, from the Snake River Valley AVA.  14 months in oak.

Deep ruby color with slight browning.

Strawberry jam, cedar, plum, and blackberry notes, with a currant and tobacco finish.  A nice, elegant Merlot from one of Idaho's best regarded producers, Koenig Distillery and Winery.

RAM Restaurant and Brewery

RAM Restaurant and Brewery
709 East Park Boulevard
Boise, ID 83712

The downtown Boise outpost of a family-run chain of about 20 sports bar/restaurant/brewpubs (currently in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Illinois, and Indiana). Lots of TVs for viewing games from the bar or restaurant seating.

The Big Horn Blonde ale is light and clean with just a hint of hops. The 71 Pale Ale is fairly mild at first, but has lots of hop at the very end. A "Short" beer is 18 oz. but looks far bigger. The sodas are similarly generous.

The menu includes salads, sandwiches, and lots of burger creations, some of which seem overly complicated. I didn't see any build-your-own choice on the burgers, but also did not ask.  The burgers are flame grilled, which gives them a good classic taste, are very generous (1/2 lb probably), and relatively sloppy given their complexity.  Medium rare ended up closer to rare, but medium well came out just right.

The Border burger had lots of sliced Jalapeños (including seeds and ribs), which provided some decent heat, but the salsa wasn't realy memorable and the cheese was virtually absent.

The sweet potato fries are passable but not stellar - could be a little crisper, and they seemed to be significantly flavored by the cooking oil.

The decor is a somewhat upscaled Marie Calender's, with brickwork columns by Gaudí.

Overall a decent place for a burger and a beer, especially if you're hungry after a cold day on the slopes at Bogus Basin.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Perks of Life

Perks of Life
1540 E. Iron Eagle Dr.
Eagle, ID 83616

Tucked in a small strip mall where State St. turns into Edgewood Dr, just before intersecting ... State St!  They've done a decent job of warming up a stark building, and managed to get a passable coffee house flair into it.

The breakfast burrito with sausage, egg, potato and cheese was decent but would have been far better with the salsa that I discovered at the bottom of my paper bag after finishing the burrito.  Perhaps a little more seasoning and less cheese would help, too.

The brewed coffee is from Dawson Taylor, which is also just ok.  The Full Circle coffee at Rembrandts, or Doma at Salt Tears are generally more to my liking.

If you get there at a reasonable hour (9:00-ish), the boysenberry white chocolate scones are still warm from the oven. Good texture, and plenty of tangy boysenberries - almost worth going just for the scones.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Rembrandts Coffee House

S. Eagle Rd.
Eagle, ID

Great coffee house atmosphere in a converted church in downtown Eagle. Fair trade, sustainable coffee roasted on-site. Full espresso bar. Large selection of house-made baked goods - muffins, scones, cinnamon rolls, etc.

Tried the Caesar salad with grilled chicken for lunch. The caesar dressing was somewhat oily and not very ceasar-ish. The chicken breast was a little dry but had good flavor. Service was fairly quick, but had been surprisingly slow in the past-  even for just a regular coffee and scone to go. Hopefully the service issues are all behind them.

Live music and open mic occasionally, and sometimes closed for special events.

Lucky Fins Seafood revisit

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

Tried one of the daily specials: New Zealand Blue Moki. The fish was a nicely prepared filet, moist, with a very light flour crust. The salsa and avocado were fairly bland, as was the rice (which was also somewhat mushy). Overall just passable, and only because of the fish itself. Also tried the Atomic Roll again. They really like to pour on the heat with this one. The jalapeño pieces are large and numerous, and still have some rib and the occasional seed. That plus the Sriracha sauce on top make this a very spicy roll, and the fish is completely overwhelmed. We ended up pulling a lot of the jalapeño out just to tone down the heat. Can't really recommend this roll in it's present form.