Thursday, September 10, 2009

Falcon Tavern- update

I recently visited Falcon Tavern for happy hour. I reviewed them back in March but since, they have relocated. They moved into the old Satchel's location at 705 W Bannock Street and now have a large patio for outdoor dining. They have also modified their happy hour special. Now they are serving half priced beers! This is a great move on several accounts!

Hyde Park Pub
1501 13th Street

Time: 4-6 daily
Special: $1 off drafts
Rating: 3 martinis
Smoking: no
Other mentions: outside seating, bike racks, full menu

Hyde Park Pub used to be called Harry’s and many locals still refer to it by that name. It is in a great location in the heart of Hyde Park of the Boise Northend. It draws a variety of folks from mountain bikers post-ride to football fans catching a game, to the family down the street.

The establishment is far from pretentious but has decent pub fare including burgers, sandwiches, a large selection of fried food, and several beer taps. This is great neighborhood bar with tasty food, a decent selection of beers, and fabulous staff. Definitely worth a visit!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lock, Stock, & Barrel
1100 W Jefferson Street

Time: 11-6 M-F
Special: $2.50 wells & house wine, $2 domestic bottles, $3 drafts
Rating: 2 martinis
Smoking: no
Other mentions: restaurant with separate bar

This was a last minute decision to try out Lock, Stock & Barrel when a friend texted me to meet early. Few bars start happy hour before 4pm but LSB starts at 11- wow!

We parked our bikes against a tree outside since they don’t have a bike rack and wondered on it. The bar area is quite substantial with several four-tops and a lengthy bar with seating. It definitely has a feel of an upscale steak house as soon as you walk through their doors.

We were the only patrons at the moment and sidled up to the bar in typical boise happy hour (bhh) fashion. When I asked what the happy hour specials were, we received a slight grunt and a pointing up to a board above the bar. We also noticed another board stating $2 off appetizers. I was a bit surprised by the slim choices on the appetizer menu since it is a large restaurant but the options were substantial. We opted for the baked brie and garlic.

We continued to be amazed by the lack of attention from our bartender, especially being the only two patrons and sitting right at the bar. While nothing was bad at this location, we found it to be very mediocre at best.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Macaroni Grill
980 N Milwaukee Street

Time: 3- close
Special: $2.99 small plates; $4.99 wines
Rating: 3 martinis
Smoking: no
Other mentions: bike rack

A friend of mine mentioned enjoying happy hour at Macaroni Grill a while back so the last time I was in the neighborhood I thought it appropriate to pop in and give it a try. The bar area has a few tables and a large wrap-around bar with seating. As I usually prefer, I sidled up to the bar. While there were only two other patrons in the bar, it did take Brian, the bartender, some time to make his way over to me. I also had to ask him a few questions to get the real gist of the happy hour specials out of him.

The happy hour special has a great selection of small plates that ranged from chicken or shrimp skewers with roasted veggies to chicken parmesan atop spaghetti. Any wines by the glass are offered at $4.99 with a food purchase….this was a great deal for me as I ordered what is normally a $10 glass. The catch with this special is one must order a food plate to get the $4.99 price for each order. So for the second glass of wine, I had to order another plate. Luckily I had went with the skewers which were much lighter fare.

I really liked that MG has a bike rack out front as I pretty much only ride my bike to establishments, unfortunately it is located on a very busy road that is not bike friendly. The food was great, the wine fantastic, and the service improved greatly. Brian actually turned out to be a great server with a heavy dose of sarcasm, a couple of my favorite things. I could see returning to Macaroni Grill if in the neighborhood again.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Boise Fry Company
111 Broadway, Suite 111

Time: 4-6 M-F
Special: buy one pint, get one free; buy one small fry, get one free
Rating: 3 martinis
Smoking: no
Other mentions: seating outside

Tucked away in an unassuming strip mall just on the outskirts of downtown is the Boise Fry Company. They opened their doors a few months ago specializing in fries and having burgers as sides. The day I visited, they had seven different fry options with three of those grown in Idaho. I had no idea they served beer as well until just recently. So here I am.

Happy hour is from 4-6 Monday-Friday and includes buy one pint, get one free and buy one small fry, get one free. They only have three handles but all three are high end beers. Unfortunately, two of them were IPAs and the third not far off. With only three handles, it would be nice to have a different type of beer on each. The upside, one of the handles was from a local brewery, Highlands Hollow.

The service is order at the counter style. Seating is available with regular tables, long bar style tables, and outdoor seating. Wireless internet is available but don’t expect to find outlets to keep the computer charged.

My fries arrived in a fun cylinder like holder and I was directed to doctor them up at the “Seasoning Station”. I found several different salts, including salt & rosemary, salt & vinegar, Cajun, Vanilla, and JalapeƱo. I didn’t see any salt & pepper. For sauces, I tried the black bean, roasted garlic, chipotle, and regular ketchup. I was intrigued by the blueberry ketchup option but not enough to try it. I stuck with the regular ketchup.

The Boise Fry Company is certainly worth a try whether for happy hour or for lunch. The fries are great and the beers are just as good quality. It isn’t the bar style atmosphere of some of my reviews but variety is good.