The Boise Fry Company is one of those places you might take for granted, as much a part of the landscape as say the Boise River. And just like the river, we need to float on by once in a while just to remind ourselves of one of the things that made Boise famous—-potatoes. The Boise Fry Company has made it their mission to let people enjoy not just one type of potato, but seven types. That in itself is a good reason to go there once in a while; to enjoy not only standard russet fries, but unique types like Yukon Gold, Laura, Purple and Okinawa potatoes. It’s also a good reason to go with friends, to share several different types and enjoy them all. Of course, the BFC doesn’t stop there; they also make some delicious Yam fries and Sweet Potato fries. That in itself is an interesting comparison, since people usually tend to assume they are one and the same even though they are not.
Since potatoes are a seasonal item, they tend to change some of their types to suit. The same thing with the potato cuts at the Boise Fry Company, which can be either regular, homestyle (steak fries), shoestring or several other cuts. It doesn’t end there, though—-there is a whole buffet of different fry sauces, including ketchup, aioli, spicy ketchup and several others. The one to definitely try though is their signature Blueberry Ketchup. This sauce is absolutely delicious, almost a tart-sweet sauce that goes extremely well with any of the fries.
Since the Fry is the main event here, BFC has relegated their burgers to being a side dish. That does not mean that they are second-class items though; BFC’s burgers are quite good actually. The bison burger is a good choice, tasty meat seasoned nicely and lean enough to keep you eating healthy. It seems to be the meat of choice for many, the flavor somewhere north of beefy and just plain delicious. Other choices for protein include a turkey burger and a beef burger. The turkey burger is good and not dry, in fact it was the patty of choice for a 4-year old at the table who gladly ate her burger with a big smile.
Boise Fry Company also is accommodating for vegetarians and vegans with a house-made vegan patty. This is offered cooked two ways, one on the grill and another on top of a piece of foil to make sure no meat products touch it to satisfy any vegans. This patty is the only area I felt they did not measure up. The patty was made almost entirely of mashed beans with some red quinoa, which had an assertive flavor and also yielded a soft texture. Over the years I have had many veggie patties, some of which were absolutely phenomenal; and while this was okay, it certainly was not as good as some of the ones I’ve had.
What was phenomenal was the Umami Topping. There are several toppings available, ranging from a simple Classic with red onions, lettuce, pickle and tomato, through more elaborate Original and Heat Toppings. The new one, the Umami, is really a good one to try; it adds a wonderful depth of flavor to any of the burgers. Grilled onions and mushrooms cooked in a teriyaki glaze make a delicious, juicy topping that is not only unique but also extremely flavorful. Other items can be added to the burger also such as cheese, bacon and habanero chiles.
BFC also offers lighter sides such as a Quinoa Salad and a BLT. Another side choice is fried Brussels sprouts with a side of maple bacon jam. Also, in another nod to try to cater to current dietetic concerns, they do offer a gluten-free bun. And if you want to go to the not-so-light side, you can add a second patty to each of the burgers.
Beverage choices are on the plentiful side and very good. House made sodas as well as fountain sodas and juices are available. For beer fans, not only is there canned and bottled beer, but there are several beers on draught, with a nod towards quality local beers. If you’re unsure what you want they’ll be more then happy to pour you a tasting sample to help you decide. The choices are good, I especially enjoyed the O’Dell Brewing Rupture, a nice mellow IPA.
Boise Fry Company is family friendly and has several kid’s meals. It is a great place to bring out-of-town guests who want to try local beers and sodas as well as Idaho’s favorite, the potato. For potato fans, it is a hard place to beat for variety and a great place to enjoy the noble spud.
Locations in Boise, Meridian and Nampa
Photo gallery follows. All photos by Ed simon for The Boise Beat