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!

 

Let’s Tango: BOI Foodie Review

Let’s Tango.Better yet — let’s tango in Argentina. Not literally, but it’s on my life bucket list.


By chance, I ended up seeing Tango’s Empanadas, a locally own restaurant which serves over 45 different empanadas. Yes, I say over 45!

Fun fact: I grew up eating empanadas


What are empanadas? Funny you ask. An empanada is stuffed bread or dough filled common in Latin and Spanish-influenced countries. How empanadas are made, including whether stuffed with meat, cheese, or dessert filling, vary by country.


Today I tried empanadas made with Aregentina touch. Tango’s Empanadas is located in Boise and in Nampa. I went to the Nampa one.

I was greeted by a short, bubbly woman with a warm smile. She welcomed us (me and my company), asked if we’ve been to Tango’s before. We both answered with no, but made sure we expressed our familiarity with empanadas.


With over 45 choices, I felt like I was in empanada heaven! From the Gaucho (stuffed with ground beef, eggs, olives, onions,  bell peppers, and flavorful spices) to the Jugosa (stuffed with ground beef, bacon and beans), to vegetarian options including Cuzco and Chinese — you have your options to choose from.


I ended up ordering for the day:

  • The Gaucho
  • The Breakfast
  • The Brazilian (filled with nutella-like filling!)


Let’s just say the Gaucho tangoed on my taste buds! For only $2.50 each (yes, I said only. Some places in the south where I ordered empanadas charged over $3 for something half that size!) you get a LARGE, freshly made empanada made from soft crust, warm, and filled to capacity.


If you order more than one, all are placed into a box and labeled with a black magic marker. That way, you won’t forget what was ordered since they all look alike.


Whether you’re in Nampa or in Boise, I strongly suggest you get your tango on. You have a vast selection, you’ll never get bored, and you’re supporting a local business (#shopsmall).


What’s one of your favorite cultural restaurants in the Treasure Valley? Send suggestions to theboisebuckelist@gmail.com!

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.

 

Get Juiced, Boise!

I’m feeling under the weather.

Is that a surprise? Probably not considering this weather. It doesn’t help that my colleague’s son is sick, causing her to be sick, and now the rest of the staff is down! I’m going to fight this, no matter what I have to do. I have a date this Friday night! Another (potential) story to add to my other #datingintheBOI moments.


Rather than pumping some ramen noodles in my system (which is fine, but I’ve been eating healthy these past few weeks & don’t want all that sodium in my system), I decided to finally checkout Boise Juice Co., a local company which makes cold-pressed juices, whole-food smoothies, and acai bowls. No better reason (at least for me) to visit a juice bar is when I’m under the weather.


It’s about 5 miles away from my job — not much of a drive.


I pulled up and saw Boise Hot Yoga. I thought hmm, I should add this to my #boisebucketlist. Duly noted. After being greeted by a nice gentleman, I proceeded to the counter and asked the young lady about what’s good for a cold. I kind of put her on the spot, but I wanted to maximize my first visit to Boise Juice Co. 


I ended up getting:

  1. The Popeye: an acai bowl mixed with blueberries, pineapple, strawberries, banana, kale, spinach, and apple juice. It’s then topped with organic hemp granola, banana, strawberries, and pineapple honey.
  2. Turmeric Tonic juice: pineapple, orange, carrot, turmeric and ginger
  3. Nice Melons juice (help with my immunity): red apples, cantaloupe, orange, carrot, and lemon


I plan to drink the juices throughout the day until I get home for some delicious soup. Most likely, I’ll lay out on my couch, turn on some Vanderpump Rules, and veg out.

C’mon people, I need to get better before Friday!


 

Want to checkout Boise Juice Co. yourself? Visit their website here: http://boisejuice.com/.

Waffle Me Up!

Waffles are just pancakes with abs.

Or, at least that’s what some people say. For me, waffles are delicious warm creatures which warm up my belly while I eat.


Fortunately for you, Boise has its own waffle hot spot: Waffle Me Up. It’s a family owned storefront who has been serving the Treasure Valley since 2012. Originally, Waffle Me Up started selling waffles at the Nampa Farmer’s Market. Now it sells waffles at the Boise Farmer’s Market and the storefront in Downtown Boise.

I blessed my first visit to Waffle Me Up by having their Waffle Me Strawberry: Pictures don’t do justice because it’s a flavor party in your mouth:

  • Nutella
  • Fresh Strawberries
  • Homemade Strawberry Sauce
  • Topped with Whipped Cream

 

Being the coffee addict that I am, I also ordered their  regular-sized drip coffee.

Side note: I never heard of the term “drip coffee.” It wasn’t until I ordered my first cup of coffee here in Boise where the cashier kindly corrected by saying “oh, you mean drip coffee?”

 

Put Waffle Me Up on your #boisebucketlist today!