Food Truck Friday Review: Twister Sister Coffee & Smoothies

 

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It’s Friday, and you know what that means:

Boise Bucket List Food Truck Review!

This week, I had the honor of meeting Karlie & Matthew – owners of the Twister Sister Coffee and Smoothies.

Why so Twisted, Sister?

Karlie & Matthew  decided to get into the food truck business back in October 2016. Matthew – a wildlife firefighter, and Karlie – a student at BSU, were driving around Boise and saw a “for sale” sign in the Twisted Sister Coffee Truck.

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Karlie & Matthew contacted the owner, and before they knew it, there were proud owners of EVERYTHING TWISTED SISTER. From the name, to the food truck — even advice on how to get started as a food truck business.  Karlie & Matthew opted to do coffee because during the long days as a wildlife firefighter, coffee wasn’t always fresh. Why not bring the coffee to the firefighters?


Did someone say Potato Drop?

Twisted Sister Coffee had their first big break at the 2017 Idaho Potato Drop celebration. With all the attendees feigning for hot chocolate (or something hot for that 12 degree freezing weather!), it’s no surprise that they sold out of over 15 gallons of milk! They were swamped so much that neither Karlie or Matthew were able to see the potato drop!


Let’s Talk About Deals:

Twisted Sister Coffee has the coolest deals around:

  • Customer Punch Card (get 10 drinks, get 1 free)
  • BYOC (Bring Your Own Cup): get a $1.00 off a drink (perfect for those who have that favorite coffee cup)
  • Monthly special drinks created by Karlie and Matthew (this month it’s the Banana Muffin Mocha and the Birthday Cake Mocha
  • Glazed Donuts for purchase
  • Iced AND blended coffee drinks

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Want to get Twisted too? You can find  Twister Sister Coffee here:

SKYES Boise

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/twistedsistercoffee/

Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/twistedsistercoffee/


Some Twisted Facts:

  • Karlie and Matthew have a monthly competition of whose monthly special sells the most. I won’t tell you who is behind the Birthday Cake Mocha or the Banana Muffin Mocha. Just know that if you buy the  monthly special, you’re contributing to a friendly husband/wife competition!
  • Not only sells coffee. Twisted Sister also sells smoothies, espresso drinks, and delicious pastries
  • Karlie balanced going to school & planning a wedding all while she and Matthew were gearing up to launch this food truck (true entrepreneurship!)
  • A Facebook followers of theirs drove all the way from downtown Boise to ISU in Meridian just to try their almond nut chai (yes people, it’s that good!)

Boise Bucket List Review

As you may get from my feed at @boise_bucketlist, I love coffee. I mean, I was raised on coffee. In my parents’ house, I have this huge coffee mug that I’m known for. My poor dad has to make extra coffee whenever I’m visiting. He doesn’t mind!

That said, I was so happy to drive over to HP and meet Karlie & Matthew. They are the young couple who are chasing their entrepreneurial dream. When I first arrived, I met Matthew who is at the window. After introducing  myself (which, by the way is a unique experience because my followers don’t necessarily know how I look), I started chatting with Matthew. Karlie joined us soon thereafter.

While I was interviewing them about their story, one of their regular customers was at the window ready to order. This customer had no idea I was interviewing Karlie for my review. Because of her not knowing, I could see how much she enjoyed the coffee served at Twisted Sister. She ended up getting the “Blue Monster.” Once she realized I was interviewing Karlie, she was raving about the food truck! I love when that happens.

After my awesome interview, Matthew prepared me the almond latte.

OMG – I see  why the Facebook fan drove to Meridian to get his fix. It’s that good!

 

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Plus, it was raining out when I met up with Karlie and Matthew. So it was the perfect way to keep me warm.

More importantly, I’m a huge fan and supporter of small businesses who are out here chasing their dreams. Karlie and Matthew are no exception. They continue to grow and prosper with the help and support of the local food truck scene here in Boise, especially the Idaho Food Truck Coalition. And let’s not forget about my buddies at MakyJames Grill. They, too, serve as mentors to fellow food truck owners.

Get Twisted with Twisted Sister Coffee & tell them Boise Bucket List says hello! You’ll thank me once you try that almond latte 🙂


Would you like to be featured on Boise Bucket List? I’m always on the hunt for the best food trucks around, whether you’re starting up or been in business for some time. Email me at theboisebucketlist@gmail.com to chat & get started!

 

 

#FoodTruckFriday: MakyJames Grill

Food truck culture is here and present in the Treasure Valley. As you’ve seen on @boise_bucketlist, I have shared photos of the deliciousness of some of the local food trucks.  After checking out my share of food trucks, I thought to myself: why not do #FoodTruckFriday? As the universe would have it, soon after I thought about this idea, I was tagged in this photo of an all-mighty burger by a food truck called MakyJames Grill. With my interested piqued, it only took a matter of time until I was right in front of their food truck, ready to feature them for my FIRST EVER #FoodTruckFriday feature!

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About MakyJames Grill

During my lunch break this past Wednesday,  I headed over to the SKYES section of HP  to meet with James and Mary — mother and son team who owns & runs the MakyJames Grill truck. This isn’t Mary’s first time at the food truck rodeo. Prior to her being the Queen of Grill Master here in the Treasure Valley, Mary used to run a food truck which sold custom and unique waffles.  Due to Mary’s love for comfort food, it only makes sense she transitioned into a grilled-based food truck. Think about it: juicy burgers or chicken breasts with a side of crispy fresh fries = comfort food Americana.

 


 

Wondering where the name MakyJames came from?

Makalyn is one of Mary’s sons. Around friends and family, Makalyn goes by “Maky”

James is Mary’s other son. He typically goes by Jimmy, but for the purposes of the food truck it’s James

Maky + James = MakyJames Grill Truck


Mother and Son: Good Combination?

Mary and James thought it’ll be a worthwhile venture to combine forces given their unique experiences.

Mary: prior food truck and business experience

James: marketing and communication experience

Makes sense, right?! It’s a win-win.  And it appears to be a successful partnership.


MakyJames Grill: Where Art Thou?

If you’re on the hunt for MakyJames Grill Truck, you can currently find them at the HP location in Boise, near the SKYES complex. MakyJames also appears at local food truck events as they pop up. Most events are advertised through the Southern Idaho Food Truck Association — acts like a middle person to help coordinate food truck events.


Want MakyJames at your next event?

  • email them at makyjamesgrill@gmail.com

  • Direct Message them on Instagram or Facebook

  • Call them at 208-914-0735


BOI Bucket List Review

I want you to close your eyes and imagine a warm summer night BBQ: smell of charcoal filling the air, sounds of meat sizzling, family chatter. Now imagine your mom preparing this juicy delicious burger, topped with melted cheese, fresh lettuce, tomatoes & red onions — all on a soft and warm burger bun. The type of burger you know is prepared from the heart and joy of feeding your loved ones with a perfected grilled piece of work.

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That’s how Mary grills her burgers.

You witness how grilling comfort food is Mary’s passion. Mary prepared me a special version of the Western Burger:

  • large beef patty
  • thick strips of bacon
  • slices of avocado
  • fresh lettuce, tomato and red onions
  • melted cheedar cheese
  • two crispy onion rings
  • BBQ sauce

Let’s not forget the side of crispy fries hot & ready when served. Mary asked me if I wanted ketchup or homemade fry sauce. I opted for the FRY SAUCE! (note: I knew nothing of this thing called fry sauce until I moved to the Mountain West. Now, I’m hooked!)

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James and Mary instructed me to go to my car & eat because it’s best when eating the burger HOT & FRESH. I followed said directive, headed to my car, and took my first bite.

WOW

WOW

WOW

I’ll admit: the burger could not completely fit in my mouth. But boy, that first bite was juicy, packed with flavor, and brought me back to this time of family summer BBQs. I see why she’s the Queen of the Grill.

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And let’s chat about the homemade fry sauce. Mary did share her secret in giving it its unique flavor (which I won’t share ;))


All I could say while slowly chomping away at this Western Burger was OMG, OMG, OMGThis is ahhhhmazing!  It didn’t matter that slices of the avocado was spilling onto the fries. It didn’t matter my hands were dripping, and messy, and absolutely worth licking.  It didn’t matter that I was (thankfully ) sitting privately in my car because it would have been utterly embarrassing to eat in front of others.

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If you want that authentic burger fresh off the grill, made from the heart of Mary to the point where you think you’re her family, stop by MakyJames Grill. As James said, EMBRACE THE MESS!


MakyJames Grill: What’s On Your Bucket List?

At the end of our conversation, I asked James what would be the first place he would suggest to someone visiting Boise for the first time?

MakyJames Grill!

I laughed and said, what would be the 2nd place he’d suggest.

Definitely Camel Back because of the view you get of Boise.

Grab your MakyJames Grill burger, eat in your car, then drive over to Camel Back to burn it off + get an awesome view of Boise!


Want to be featured on my @boise_bucketlist Food Truck Friday? Email me at theboisebucketlist@gmail.com or direct message me on Instagram.

 

This post has been sponsored by MakyJames Grill, but all my opinions are my own.

 

BOI Bucket List Travels: Mingling in Mongolia Part I

There’s my Boise Bucket List, and then there’s my overall life Bucket List. Collecting stamps on my passport is definitely one of those activities I’d like to cross off my #dianasbucketlist


Fortunately for me, that stamp collection was placed in overdrive because of my job.

For nearly 2 weeks, I’ll be in Asia traveling to 3 different countries: Mongolia, China, and Philippines.


Here’s my first entry: Mingling in Mongolia:

BOI –> SFO 

My travels to Mongolia was quite the adventure. For starters, my 7:25AM flight wasn’t without action. Boise airport was surprisingly busy for a Thursday morning. I mean, it took about 25 minutes to get through security. A LONG 25 minutes.


Why is it surprising?


Well, I’ll tell you that with Boise being a regional airport, I’ve had a short wait time for flights. Security would take about 10 minutes top. One flight, I got there an hour before my flight, and I even had time to (comfortably) grab a bite to eat!

Not this trip. Goodness the line was wrapped around the security waiting area. I barely had time to get my coffee!


SFO –> PEK

My first stop was San Francisco. The flight was without anything noteworthy. Got my usual coffee and snack. The airplane was empty, so I had no seatmate. Just me and my window seat.


I had about a 3 hour layover, so I decided to get some food and enjoy the free WiFi. I ended up at Joe and Juice Co — a modern and hip coffee and juice café in the international terminal. As you see on my @boise_bucketlist feed, you’ll see my essentials were a caffe latte + juice packed with essential vitamins.



After ordering from a hip young man with a strategically messy “man bun”, I headed to an empty booth.

Perfect.

I charged my phone, checked some work emails, and got some content for @boise_bucketlist and my blog.


Before I knew it, it was time to head to the terminal and prepare for the boarding experience.


That waiting area was PACKED. I saw lots of shopping bags as carry-ons:

  • Gap
  • Gucci
  • Michael Kors
  • Chanel
  • JCrew

I mean, it was like everyone got the same memo to head to USA to drop some major coins!


It was time to get ready for the longest flight of my life. The total flight time was… Wait for it… 11 hours!

Yes, I said 11 hours.

With this being my first international flight, I took everything in:

  • The flight service attendants annoyed by people who were not prepared with their passports when boarding
  • The well-manicured flight attendants with pearly whites & tight buns smiling as we boarded the plane, directing us where to go
  • The size of the plane ( those type of planes you see on TV, with 3 rows, huge TVs, business class with seats that convert into beds, and 2 floors)
  • Each seat had its own pillow and blanket ready for use during the flight

Yes,  I’m an observant person and I notice everything.


With the flight attendants preparing us ready for take off, I said a prayer for me and my fellow flight colleagues, prayed for the pilot and co-pilot, and hope we arrived safely (saying a quiet prayer is routine for me.)


And takeoff!


I’m on a 11 hour flight. With these type of flights, you get food served throughout the flight. Plus, there’s on-flight entertainment options.


So, I’ll admit that my stomach wasn’t up for all that processed food which came my way. Although the food was good, it was a lot. I’m not always the healthiest eater, but the food I eat is mostly fresh. The meals were as follows (in this order):

  • Lunch: saucy chicken on top of a bed of rice, side of black bean quinoa salad, baguette, and a small dessert (Mango sorbet)
  • Snack: peanuts + Sprite
  • Breakfast: potatoes topped with saucy eggs, baguette, and fruit cup

I’ll admit: those eggs toward the end of the flight put my stomach in a bit of a frenzy. I don’t know if it was the sauce or how the eggs were cooked. But something didn’t sit well after barely taking a few bites of the eggs.


The rest of the flight I took a few sips of water, took deep breaths, and relaxed. I wanted to try to calm my stomach down before it got too crazy!


PEK (Beijing International Airport)

After landing safely, my adventure to continued.

My domestic travel ways made me comfortable and assume a few things. One being that connecting flights and obtaining a boarding pass wouldn’t be an ordeal.


Here’s the scoop: generally when traveling to China, you need a China Visa. But wait – there are 2 exceptions:

  1. 24 hour Transit: if you are traveling to ANOTHER destination (in transit, basically) and it’s NOT another city in China, you do NOT need a Chinese Visa
  2. 72-Hour Visit: if you are in China for 72 hours or LESS, you do NOT need a Chinese Visa.

I knew something was off when United (yes, I flew United! despite all recent news lately) printed out all my boarding passes EXCEPT for the one to Mongolia.


Hmm, that’s odd.

Anyway, after getting off the plane, I initially followed the crowd thinking all I had to do was find Mongolia Air and obtain my boarding pass before I had to go through Customs.

Nope. WRONG.

After aimlessly walking around asking for help:

Me to Chinese Airport Staff #1: Excuse me, where do I get my boarding pass?

Chinese Airport Staff #1: Terminal C. Go out door

For the life of me, I couldn’t find this alleged “Terminal C.” After failing so many times to get help, I grabbed an airport map from one of those display cases, and tried to find where Terminal C was located.

Ok, so I have to take an internal shuttle to Terminal C? How do I get outside  [of the terminal]?

Maybe it was the jetlag. Maybe it was sheer ignorance. But whatever the case is, my thinking skills FINALLY turned on.

Wait, I need to get in the 72-Hour Visa Free Line. That’s what she [Chinese Airport Staff #1] meant by me having to go “outside.”

I get in what appears to be a relatively short line. I felt better that I made the right decision when I saw this tiny inconspicuous sign with handwritten instructions that this line was for those who have connecting flights to another country.


Even better was a young French girl behind me saw my boarding pass when I took it out, and she asked in, with her French accent, “Ulaanbaatar too?”

Yup.

I kid you not, the line did NOT move for over an hour. I was in the same spot for 60 full minutes. Slowly the line started to move. After 2 1/2 hours later, I was in front of the Chinese Customs staff.

Customs Staff: Passport, please?

Me: [hand over passport]

Customs Staff: itinerary?

Me: [Hand over printed out flight itinerary]

After a few minutes went by, with no verbal communication or confirmation that what I provided was sufficient, all I hear is the sound of stamps hitting my passport.

Click, click, click

Customs Staff: [looks up at my face] Here your passport. Go ahead

Phew, I made it!

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I proceed to get onto the internal shuttle to Terminal C. I finally get to Terminal C, and I proceed to find where Mongolia Air is located. I head over to the information desk, and I run into Ms. French Girl. I overhear her asking the same question I was going to ask — where is Mongolia Air?

Me to Ms. French Girl: do you know where we have to go?

Ms. French Girl: uh, yes. Follow me! We need to go to Air China.

Air China? That’s odd.

I didn’t bother to question it. I kept going with her. Hell, it was better figuring this out all by myself.

We head to the Air China “Lost and Found” office, and we asked about our luggage.

Why were we asking about our luggage?


Later during our visit to the Lost and Found, Ms. French Girl thought we had to grab our luggage once again before we had to board the flight to Mongolia. She didn’t realize that our luggage was already marked with “Mongolia” as the final destination.  That’s why we were at the Lost and Found.

After we resolved that ordeal, Ms. French Girl and I headed to find “International Flights” section of the airport.

FYI: PEK is a huge airport. It makes sense though. It’s an international airport with flights coming/going to a wide range of countries.

We ultimately found the Mongolia Air counter.

No

One

Is

There!

What? Ugh really.

But it was OK because Ms. French Girl and I had time to kill before our Mongolia Air departure time.


We decided to go outside for some fresh air. It felt good to be outside because I’ve been in a terminal and/or plane all day. We also had a chance to get to know each other a little bit more. Ms. French Girl:

  • Originally from France but lives in Montreal
  • Quit her job a few months ago to travel
  • Just visited Cuba (hence her deep & envy worthy tan)
  • Going to Ulaanbaatar to visit a guy she met in Cuba (yup!)
  • Plans to travel until money runs out (2 more months, according to her)
  • Next destination is to be determined

I told her I was traveling for work, and how I never been to Asia before. I was mesmerized by her confidence, her ethereal appeal, and her carefree attitude about traveling.


We headed back inside, went through security, and saw a line was formed at the Mongolia Air counter.

Yes! I can now get my boarding pass.

After grabbing our respective boarding passes, we accompanied each other to the Mongolia Air terminal. Never have I been more happy to see a terminal than that Terminal C!

The terminal was empty with a few people sitting down. We both grabbed a seat, plopped our stuff on the ground, and let go a deep exhale.

Ahhhhhh.

We have been on a feet all day. It felt great to be sitting still. After I fell asleep taking a mini nap, I looked up and saw Ms. French Girl across the way charging her phone. My nap was the perfect length of time because it was boarding time!

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With the size of the plane, there was only one boarding group. I get to my seat on the plane, put on my sweatshirt, take out my blanket, and I immediately close my eyes.


Boy, was I tired.

The plane wasn’t packed at all, resulting in me not having a seatmate. After everyone boarded and flight attendants did all the safety protocols, we were off.

I passed out the entire length of the flight. That was a deep and recharging sleep.


After a 3 hour flight, we were in Mongolia. It was about 12:30AM in the morning when I got off the plane. I had to walk through customs (again) before I could retrieve my luggage. Of course, I choose the line where there’s a complication with the visitor and his passport.


A serious looking Mongolian Customs agent with framed glasses starts pointing with aggression, instructing us to more lines open, go there!


I go to the shorter lines, and again, I choose the one with a complication. Ugh.

It’s OK. I was thankful I landed safely  in Mongolia.

I (finally) get through customs, and I head to get my luggage.

Hmm, why has the conveyer belt stopped? And why can’t I find my luggage?!

What felt like an anxiety attack, I calmed down and looked around. Let my observation skills kick in. I noticed everyone was going into this door near the luggage. There was no sign, no one helping passengers with missing luggage (like me).


Before I entered the walkway, I heard a familiar voice

Ms. French Girl: did you find your luggage?

Me: Nope

Ms. French Girl: maybe you need to go in there, yeah?

Me: I think so! (with as much energy as I could muster up)

I entered the walkway and saw my luggage in this dingy room. There were Mongolian airport agents everywhere. I tried to grab my luggage, and I hear wait, no cannot do that. I looked up, and I noticed that he was motioning me to bring my luggage to a bench and have it checked out.


I grab my luggage, lift it up (not one person offered to help me lift up my heavy luggage for inspection), and waited to be told what was next.

Mongolian Airport Agent: open.

Me: [unzipping luggage]

Mongolian Airport Agent: [rummaging through all my clothes and toiletries]. OK, good.

I quickly zipped up my luggage, yanked it off the bench and proceeded to walk out the door. I walked into Ms. French Girl; she came back to say goodbye.

I know, how sweet!

To Ms. French Girl: Thank you for accompanying me those latter part of my travels to Mongolia. I wish you safe and fun travels to wherever your travels take you.


After grabbing a cab, I headed to the hotel for what was going to be a deep night of sleep.  20 minute ride and I was pulling up to the Ramada. I had to run into the hotel to get money exchanged (sorry, no credit cards accepted!). Fortunately, a group of international businessmen from Germany (or a German speaking country) kindly let me go exchange my money ahead of them. Maybe my look of exhaustion had them pity me.


I gave the cab driver 35,000 Mongolian dollars (sounds like a lot, but it’s like $15 USD). I then checked in, headed up to my room, turned on the lights, and did another exhale.

Ahhhhh.

I quickly unpacked my pajamas, headed to the modern and deco bathroom, and immediately put on the shower. I moved that temperature dial to “hot.”


After a nice long hot shower, I put on my PJs, crawled into the soft and comfy king size bed. I then turned off the lights, switched on the TV to the E! (first channel I came across I recognized), and closed my eyes.


Stay tuned for Part II where I talk about my Mongolian visit!

 

Easter in the BOI: Brunching + Hunting

Good news: I created a list of things to do this Easter.
Bad news: I won’t be in Boise for my first Easter (more details on that!)


That said, I STILL created  this list of things I would do if I was in Boise this Sunday.. Or, at least things I would LOVE to do.  What I LOVE about Easter (aside for a reason for me to wear bright pastels without judgment lol), is all the different ways to spend time with family. From brunching to feasts, to egg hunts, to church services — Easter is a time of family, friends, and celebrating a new season.


Here is @boise_bucketlist suggested list of Brunching & Hunting activities to do here in the BOI:


[EGG] HUNTING:

Glow-in-the-dark Easter Egg Hunt

Ever wanted to try to find eggs that glow in the dark? Why not try now! Come out with your family and try to find some glow-in-the dark eggs! (Boise, 270 E. Pennsylvania)


EGGventure Hunt

This is hunt like no other. If you’re into engaging in obstacle courses, going on slides, jumping in a bounce house — all to get to your eggs — you’ve come to the right place!  (3225 E. Commercial Street, Meridian)


Pool Easter Egg Swim

Ready to see the Easter Bunny in his bathing suit? Well, you’ll have your chance at the Easter Egg Swim! Kids will be able to swim and look for the eggs at the bottom of the Nampa rec pool.  (131 Constitutional Way, Nampa Rec Center)


 

BRUNCHING

Angell’s Bar and Grill- Renato: looking for a buffet opportunity for both daytime and evening? Look no further.  Guests will have access to a traditional Easter spread, as well as an omelet station and meat-carving station.

 


The Riverside Hotel: it’s great to see that the Riverside Hotel is hosting an Easter event. I went to Riverside Hotel for Thanksgiving, and it was SO GOOD! Mmmm. From 9am-1:30pm, guests will have access to a diverse buffet spread: ham, rib, salmon, egg Benedict. I’m getting hungry as I read this!


 

Cottonwood Grille: I’ve only been to Cottonwood Grille once for lunch when I JUST moved to Boise. I am anxiously waiting to return. Luckily for you, you can enjoy their brunch menu this Sunday. The Sunday Brunch menu can appeal to just about anyone: egg lovers, seafood lovers, vegetarians, the brunching daredevil. Whatever your taste palette, the options are bountiful and can cater to your Easter brunching needs.


Honorable Mentions:

Bunny Ball – An Easter Prefunk @ Fatty’s:  I probably would have decided to go out on Friday, but why not for a Bunny Ball! I see this as an “adult” Easter egg hunt, especially with Wild 101 in the house, giving out plastic eggs filled 1) candy, 2) drink tickets, or even 3) CASH. I think it’s a perfect time to wear the brightest pastel colors, grab your girls (or bros), and get your funk on with the Easter Bunny.


Get Your Bunny On @ Reef Boise: Why not listen to some rock on a Saturday night? I would. Pilot Error, a classic rock cover band, will grace the stage for all of Boiseans to experience. Rock out this Easter at Reef Boise!


For those seeking to attend church, Boise has its fair share of Easter Services. I strongly encourage you to use Facebook to find which ones you’d prefer to attend. I never attended a early Easter morning service, and maybe I’ll save that experience for next year.


I wish you all a Happy Easter! And don’t forget to follow me at @boise_bucketlist to see what new adventures I’ll be experiencing overseas. It’ll be like you’re right there with me!

 

Bonjour Chérie: BOI Foodie Review

Looking for a French bakery filled with perfectly crafted delectable pastries and desserts? No need to go to France. You have it right here in the BOI.


With no coffee in my hand while driving to work, I knew I wanted to grab some coffee before I head into work. Rather than driving to my usual spots, I decided to give a local bakery a try. I remembered when one of my @boise_bucketlist followers tagged me in a photo of her while eating at Janjou, and I knew I needed to (FINALLY!) visit this hidden gem.


Nested in a small shopping center on the corner of 17th Street and State Street, Janjou Patisserie is a small French bakery with a modern decor. Named after the owner’s grandmother, Janjou gives the Treasure Valley beautifully crafted French desserts and pastries.


Maybe I missed the memo of the Friday-trip-to-Janjou’s because when I walked in, the line was out the door. It was so busy the chef herself had to staff the register! Waiting in line was actually enjoyable because I was greeted by this large glass display filled with these delectable desserts crafted with immaculate detail and to perfection. From the eclair covered with glazed chocolate, to the  Framboise Tart, covered with fresh raspberry, to my ham & Gruyere croissant.  I was imaging taking a bite of the chocolate eclair, and how it elevated my mind as a foodie Ecstasy.

Yes, delicious food can bring me to that level.


As I said, I ordered the Ham  & Gruyere croissant with a 12oz of the Americana to go. The Americana was exactly what I needed to kickoff my Friday morning. I waited until I arrived to work to enjoy my croissant. With the croissant slightly warmed up and a side of Americana, I had the best Friday morning ever!


 

Although it can be a bit pricey (croissant was $5.50), I know it’s locally owned, locally supplied, and crafted with detail and to perfection. If you happen to be driving along State Street and want to cross French bakery off your #boisebucketlist, head over to Janjou’s.


I WILL return to try the chocolate eclair. Yes, I love eclairs. If you couldn’t tell!

 

Aloha @ Rumbi Island Grill

Cheers to my OFFICIAL first blogger event. Kinda cool to be invited to experience a local event because I’m considered a blogger. Hey, it’s the small joys in life I live for.


Last week I was invited to a special blogger event at Rumbi Island Grill in Boise. I’ve never  heard of Rumbi Island Grill, but it reminds me of a tropical-themed restaurant I frequented in Florida (Pollo Tropical for all my east coast readers).


After somewhat getting lost looking for Rumbi (it’s uniquely situated on Fairview Blvd, where you have to turn into a strip mall, it was easy to find once I got into the complex. Through the large windows facing the parking lot, I can see Rumbi Island Grill takes its island theme to a new level. I also saw leis, bright colors, and lots of children running around.


I walked in and greeted with smiles. Karly (the marketing coordinator who invited me) gave me a white lei after I told her I was the blogger behind Boise Bucket List. She walked me over to the display table which showed all the yummy meals I’ll be tasting.


I can’t eat all of this! I thought. At least they have to-go boxes.


After putting my coat down on a chair, I do what any blogger does: people-watch and take in my surroundings. I believe most of the bloggers present were “mommy-bloggers” or family-centric bloggers. The tables were properly equipped with child-friendly activities (crayons, coloring — you know, the standard) and covered with the tablecloths you can easy color on.  I also noticed the bright decor around Rumbi; it definitely gave me that tropical vibe & made me forget I was in dreary Boise, ID.


After snapping some photos, an outgoing woman stopped by to say hello. Heidi, who happens to follow my IG page and the woman behind my invite, introduced herself and personally welcomed me to this event. She told me food will be coming out soon, and for me to enjoy!


After the Little Kahunas were fed (which, by the way Rumbi has a good selection for kids meals), the Big Kahunas were served.

O-M-G: that looks tooooo good! (when the Sweet Pork Salad was being served).

Once I got my food, I immediately snapped a photo to capture its presentation. Soon thereafter I grabbed my fork and dove right in!

Let me just say, I’m not particularly in the mood for chilled salad if it’s cold outside. But this salad? OMG it was amazing. The jalapeno dressing (something I’ve never had before) gave it that extra kick and bold flavor. The sweet pork (sorry vegans!) mixed with layers of crispy greens, rice cooked in coconut milk,  black beans & corn all topped with shredded tortilla shavings trumped similar salads I’ve had in the past.


After slowly chipping away at my salad (slowly because I wanted to enjoy EVERY bite), the staff brought out the Sweet Pork Tacos.

Now, I sure love food but damn — I can’t be stuffing my eyes before my belly. I’m on this health conscious focus now. So, I did the 2nd best thing which was immediately put it in a to-go box.

Fun Fact: the to-go box is made from 100% biodegradable materials. The olive green colored bottom of the box caught my eye, prompting me to ask Karly if the box was made from some special material.


After letting my food digest, I decided to head home. Prior to leaving, Karly gave me the cutest party favor bag: filled with temporary stickers, erasers, brownies, and 2 additional coupons. Talk about WINNING!


Definitely add this place to your foodie #boisebucketlist.

#aloharumbi2017

 

 

Seeking Refuge @ the Refuge: My 1st Meeting with an IG Follower

Social Media has its pros and cons.

Pro: networking with new people.

Con: oversharing.

Last week something cool happened: I met a follower of mine from Instagram! No, this wasn’t a date and part of my Dating in the BOI tales.

Well, that’s a lie.

We actually did exchanged our own individual stories over some drinks. It was a win- win. Meet someone new & hear about his dating horror stories.

Although he granted me permission, I still like to protect people’s identity. I’ll call my Instagram follower Mr. Artist. Which leads me to explain how our encounter went from online to in-person.


Last week while checking out my IG feed, I came across this vibrant and colorful illustration of the state capitol building and Boise written across the top. I immediately paused and said danggggg, this is a cool illustration! Yes, this is my actual voice. I do say words like dang.


Source: Mr. Artist’s website


As any pro-Instagrammer would do, I commented and engaged with this account. I was pleased to see he followed me in return. After some time passed since I commented, I received a DM (direct message, for those who were unsure). Mr. Artist told me how he enjoyed my Dating in the BOI blogs, and how he too has dating stories worth sharing.

I thought it’ll be worth hearing about a male’s perspective with online dating. I’m slightly curious given that I’m only living my own female experiences.


Before I knew it, we’d exchanged numbers and met at The Refuge. After messaging back and forth, receiving nothing but good vibes from him through our messages, I thought to myself go and network!


I’m all about networking when living in a new place. I highly encourage it, actually. A few of my followers personally know me, and I met them through networking events throughout Boise.


Here’s the kicker:  Just the DAY BEFORE meeting, a friend suggested I go and checkout the Refuge, for its delicious food and beer options. And of COURSE Mr. Artist suggested the exact same place.


Mr. Artist was right on time. He approached me, we did the whole “hey are you…?” dance, and walked over to an empty table.

I’ll just say that I enjoyed my time getting to know Mr. Artist. He shared stories ranging from dating to his worldly travels, to his career path. I mean, let’s not forget his art. The exact reason to what prompted us to meet.


His illustrations are rich with color, depth, and uniqueness that’ll make a color fanatic like me stop in her tracks. If you were in SoCal, you may come across a surfboard covered with some of his illustrations.

But get this — this isn’t even his full-time job. He simply loves doing it. Which shows in his work.


We shared our stories, and boy was it enlightening. To hear about his experiences made me wonder how I come across on my online profiles. From pictures of cats & sunsets, to extremely outdated profile photos, to newly divorced women looking to find their Christian Grey — it’s the hodgepodge of dating fiascoes.


I don’t feel too bad about my dating stories. I still, however, have experienced the most awful online messages one can EVER receive. To the point where you wonder if it’s a real person behind the screen!


I know I’ll see Mr. Artist again. He is an intelligent  person with knowledge to share. And with that, I’ll end my blog post with something he said while talking about happiness:
A person should like what they do, like who they are with, and like where they live. 
When you take a step back and think of the times you may have been unhappy in your life, it probably stems from one of these things. I speak for myself and say these exact reasons are why I had to reevaluate my life while living in New England.


To end,  I’m an actual person who is all about networking and meeting new people. Whether you’re a native Boisean or a transplant, I’d love to network and learn from my peers. Boise Bucket List is more than just crossing activities off my list. It’s about pushing myself out of my comfort zone, embracing a life of simple joys, and living in the moment. A philosophy I hope you, my follower, will start to embrace as well.


Mr. Artist —  I look forward to proudly hanging up your artwork in my office for all to see!

Getting my coffee fixin’ at Frogs Fix Coffee Parlor

Thanks to you all,  I have an entire list of coffee places to try out here in the Treasure Valley. I’ll even create a checklist sometime this weekend that you all can use too.

Today I visited Frogs Fix Coffee Parlor comfortably located in the Boise Bench (thank you @domagotchi!). It’s a quaint little coffee parlor next to a daycare. At first, I didn’t notice Frog’s Fix until I walked around the corner and saw the sign. Frog’s Fix does live up to its mission of being a “welcoming environment with unique drink choices and numerous pastry selections.”

About Frogs Fix: locally owned since 2012, it has become a staple within the Bench community. The Parlor also aims to sell high quality coffee and pastries at a fair price.


When walking into the Parlor, I was greeted by this huge (and pretty awesome) map of the world. I proceeded to walk near the “Order Here” sign and excited about the options. What to get, what to get was on repeat in my head. Because I didn’t have my usual coffee during my drive to work, I defaulted to my usual order: drip coffee with a pastry side. The Parlor serves Evans Brothers Coffee, which is a first time for me trying their coffee. I had one of the stronger roasts, and I can’t think of the name! I believe Schweitzer was in the name of the coffee. Nonetheless, it was strong, delicious, and exactly what I needed this snowy morning.

Did you know: Frongner + need for coffee = the name , Frog’s Fix Coffee Parlor

Too bad all the snow was blocking the outdoor patio; otherwise I would have walked outside and snapped a photo. Only more of a reason to return this spring/summer so I can hang out on the patio.


Make sure you checkout the Parlor’s weekly specials:

  • Teacher Tuesday: offers $1 OFF any drink all day to school district employees with showing of school ID badge (a fav of mine since BOTH my parents are seasoned educators!!)
  • Happy Hour: $1 OFF expresso drinks, hot chocolates, and Italian sodas from 3pm-5pm everyday (when open)
  • Double Punch Thursday: for every drink you order, your Frog’s Fix Punch Card will received a double PUNCH! I got my Punch Card, and I’m ready to collect my punches.

If you’re wondering, no I haven’t finished that Ham and Cheese Croissant. I’m bringing it home to nibble on throughout the weekend 🙂 🙂


 

Do you have an idea for a coffee shop I should visit/checkout? Send me an email at theboisebucketlist@gmail.com.

 

Moonstuck @ Moon’s Kitchen Cafe: 10 Day BOI Bucket List Challenge 

Christmas shopping & all that running around can really stir up an appetite. Or what about all those FanFest events for the Idaho Potato Bowl. Walking around each one can also make you have an appetite.


For me, NONE of the above applied 😂. I simply wanted a hearty breakfast to keep me satisfied for the early part of the day. Plus, I needed to an activity to add to my 10 Day BOI Bucket List Challenge.


Moon’s Kitchen Cafe is a staple of Boise. It’s been serving its homemade milkshakes (something I need to return & try!) since 1955. It’s the epitome 1950’s diner, from the tables to the countertop for solo patrons. The decorations also add to the experience: Elvis Presley photos when he was younger, authentic commercial ads during that era, newspaper clippings.


My timing couldn’t have been more ideal because right when I sat down, a FLOOD of guest stepped in. It’s because of the CSU and UIdaho game —  I saw a sea of green, black & gold.

As a solo patron, I sat at the countertop and reviewed the menu. I knew I wanted a protein-filled breakfast, omelet in particular.

With the diner unusually packed & what I later found out that an employee was a “no-show”, it did take some time to get service. Nonetheless, once the waiter came by, she poured me a delicious hot cup of coffee which I thoroughly enjoyed. Maybe it was multiple cups ☕️☕️.


I ended up ordering the Spicy Sausage Omelet with a side of red potato hash browns, wheat toast, and their homemade jam.


While waiting for the deliciousness soon to be coming my way, I took some time to do research for this blog (yes, I want to see what’s going on in Boise that I can share with you all 😎). Once the waitress walked over with the plate of food, I dropped everything I was doing so I can fully concentrate on this beautiful omelet.


The meal was absolutely worth the wait. I can tell you that I was pretty full after that meal. Breakfast at Moon’s is officially off my Boise Bucket List.


If you’re a newbie:

  • try one of their staple milkshakes, or their chicken fried steak
  • If going for breakfast, try their Lumberjack plate (that was my 2nd choice) or one of their many omelet combinations.
  • If going for lunch, try their chicken fried steak or their burgers (Bleu Moon being my fav!)

If you’re a regular, I challenge you to try something completely new & different from what you normally order. Try a different flavored milkshake or a new burger.


What are some of your places in Boise to have breakfast?

 

 

Appetite @ Addie’s: 10 Day BOI Bucket List Challenge 

I’ve heard about Addie’s.


My coworker mentioned she has lunch here on a weekly basis. With her recommendation, I decided to checkout Addie’ for a (late) breakfast.
Addie’s is located in Old Boise, on the corner of 5th and Main Street. It has the most decorative window art I’ve seen so far (excluding all the window paint for the holiday season). My favorite is the painting of two ladies sitting at a table, sipping tea.

With Boise Weekly in one hand and my wallet in the other, I headed into Addie’s. After being greeted with a warm smile, I was instructed to find my own seat. I chose a comfortably-sized  booth facing Main Street.


Before I even had the chance to sit, a young man with framed black glasses, dressed in a vintage-styled sweater covering a joker tee-shirt, with his hair pulled up in a ponytail asked me if I wanted coffee (bottomless coffee, by the way). I quickly responded with yes! and sat down.

The table over had college students talking about:

–  earning Dean’s list

– happy finals ended

– talked about skiing with family


While perusing the menu (and overwhelmed with the delicious choices), I overheard one college student order the meat skillet.

Hmm, meat skillet?

I thought that sounded rather scrumptious (well… Maybe my mind didn’t use the word scrumptious, but it’s a good word for this blog).

When the young waiter walked over asking me what did I decide to order, I responded with my usual:

This is my first time here; what do you recommend?

Waiters, you probably hate this question but I like to know what is the most standard meal at a restaurant I’ve never been to.


He graciously smiled, and recommended:

– Waffles

– Eggs Benedict

– Skillet


Oh, that word skillet. What the hell is a skillet?

I embarrassed myself and asked what it was. Believe it or not, I never knew that hash browns mixed with meat & veggies was called a skillet! My parents have made that before on our Sunday mornings.

I’ll take the meat skillet please!  I said enthusiastically. Maybe too enthusiastically.


While waiting for my food, I read the newest Boise Weekly, marked down a few events for my reference, like the Humpin’ Hannah’s Fugly Nightmare B4 Christmas Party (which I’m going to anyway) and the Treasure Valley Children’s Theater: Little Women showing).

What seemed liked only a few minutes, the young waiter approached my table with a plate topped with some fried eggs & a meat skillet covered with melted cheddar cheese.

OMG! So delicious.

Basque chorizo sausage mixed with crispy hash browns, and the soft texture of melted cheese was a party in my mouth. Seriously. Let’s not  forget about the fried egg on the side, which I kept forgetting to eat because the allure of the meat skillet kept my attention.


 

If you’re looking for a diner with its fair share of comfort food, add Addie’s to your Foodie #boisebucketlist.


So 1 down, 9 to go! What should I do next…?

And don’t forget, if you want to party & dance with me this Friday night, let me know! Email me at theboisebucketlist@gmail.com. If you’re new to Boise & looking to explore, I’m your person.