2005 Dining Editors' Choice

Editors' Picks

Best Restaurant We Didn't Appreciate Until It Was Gone

Flying Pie on Broadway

'Twas little bigger than a closet, and only a bike ride away from either of the other Flying Pie locations. But oh, how we loved her (oh yes, this location was a "she"). Being able to sneak away from work to nibble on her toppings before anyone at work noticed, or slipping in for a quick Fromage a Trois while a load of the whites was on spin-cycle at the laundromat next door ... pure bliss. Somehow, we always envisioned telling these stories to our blond-crusted grandchildren (wait... are we still talking about pizza?).

Best Guacamole

El Gallo Giro, Kuna

Why do we love El Gallo Giro the most? It might be the super friendly staff that actually looks and acts like they enjoy working there. It might also be the soda case with its rows and rows of Mexican sodas. (We have a soft spot in our hearts for the sugary carbonated beverages of Mexico, but we digress.) Or perhaps it is the giant portions and small prices that we love? Maybe we love the idea that it's in Kuna. (The real answer: We all know deep down it's really the guacamole. We long for it and dream about it on an almost daily basis. We always thought the guacamole we make is the best. We've been living a lie all this time.)

482 W. Main St., Kuna, 922-5169

Best Reason to Become a Beer Snob

Grand Teton Brewing Company Cellar Reserve

This isn't meant to knock the handful of stellar breweries operating in Boise. When we're looking for a fresh growler of anything, they get first dibs. But in terms of bottles, the most intriguing brews in Idaho—maybe in the Northwest—are coming straight out of the heart of Mormon country, just a mile south of the Eastern Idaho blip of Victor. Grand Teton Brewing's "Cellar Reserve" beers, a series of one-quart, $11 masterpieces, have shown up in limited runs at the Co-op throughout the last year—very limited, once people like us discover they've arrived. The Porter ... well, Bingo won't share his bottle with us. We don't blame him; this truly is the kind of drink that drives staff member to turn on staff member in open warfare. Just wait until he lets his guard down ...

Best Snack That's Impossible to Eat While Doing Anything Else

Pa-nang Chicken

If there's anything better than a good meal, it's the leftovers. Mai Thai's delicious pa-nang chicken makes a great day-after treat, but don't even bother trying to eat it at your desk while you work. If the soupy sauce or sticky rice don't get you, the dripping from your spice-induced running nose will.

750 W. Idaho St., 344-8424

Best Teeny Tiny Taco in Town

The Teeny Tiny Tacos at El Torito

Hands down. Behind the El Torito Market on Chinden (near 43rd Street) sits the taco truck to end all taco trucks. Sure, the tacos truly are teeny tiny, but they're (a) almost too delicious to be borne and (b) only a buck. Enjoy the fiery goodness of shredded carne or pollo, and all the taco fixins, all wrapped up in the tastiest, greasiest little corn tortilla in Garden City. In fact, we've gotta go get some now.

4596 W. Chinden Blvd., Garden City, 321-4651

Best Lunch For Two For Less Than A Sawbuck

Rockies

A recent BW food review led us to the discovery that the all-American meal—a cheeseburger, fries and a soda—can be found just up the road from our fabulous new digs. Rockie's on Fairview offers daily specials that are truly special. A big, juicy bacon cheeseburger, hot, crispy fries and a soda big enough to swim in can be yours for about $3.99. For those of you following the low-carb craze, maybe you can just eat the bacon and burger. It's still a dreamy price, and at Rockie's, your order is taken and your meal is delivered by an icon of days past: a waitress on roller skates. These young ladies (there could be skating gents working at Rockies, too) bring back memories of hanging out with Potsie and Ralph Malph, wondering if the Fonz was going to make it over the shark and hoping Leather Tuscadero would make it big. Wait, that wasn't real. But if you stop by for a lunch combo at Rockie's, you'll be eating old-fashioned food at an old-fashioned price, and for just an hour, you'll feel like the toughest issue of the day will be waiting for Richie to ask Lori to the Harvest Dance.

4822 Fairview Ave., 323-0787

Best Use of Crassness to Sell Sandwiches

Carl the Angry Fetus, Jr.

We can't be the only ones who hate that ultra-violent in-uteriod who threatens his mother with an Alien-style attack if she doesn't cool it with "cramming peppers down her neck." He goes on to explain that his "buddy's mom ate nothing but spicy food and homeboy came out red, bright red"—although he doesn't explain how a fetus has a non-twin homeboy—and threatens to "bust out" of her womb early and "grab something on the way out, take it with me." Far from making us want to try that Carl's Jr. spicy jalapeno burger that's causing such a fuss between mother and child, this might be the least appetizing food commercial ever made. (But damned if their burgers aren't bad. Carl, you've won this round.)

226 Broadway Ave., 344-7664

Best Place to Get Yer Jerky Fix

WinCo

To paraphrase the White King in Alice in Wonderland, there's nothing like eating cured meat when you're faint. But there are those among us around here who can tear through a little 3.5-ounce bag of jerky in as many minutes, and those bags aren't cheap. Happily, we found the bulk jerky bin at WinCo. At only seven bucks and change per pound, we're able to keep ourselves in dried meat without going broke.

110 W. Myrtle St., 424-1634

Best Reason to Leave Boise Just for Pork Fried Rice

House of Kim

Downtown Nampa deserves a field trip now and again—not only for the two fantastic used book stores, but for the gastronomic delight that is House of Kim.

If you must have the Platonic form of fried rice, the one to which all others are an imperfect shadow, get in the car and get thee to House of Kim in Nampa. Their fried rice is a rainbow delight, filled with veggies, slivers of that pork-and-seeds pork and fried egg. It's so good, you'll forego the soy sauce. Try the tender Mongolian beef, spicy Thai chicken, refreshing sizzling rice soup or crispy egg rolls and you might find yourself chronically looking for excuses to head over to Canyon County. You won't even care about soaring gas prices.

1226 1st St. S., Nampa, 466-3237

Best Dip Cone

Fanci-Freez

We consider a chocolate and vanilla twist dip cone to be the holy grail of ice cream cones, and no one dips one better than Fanci Freez. We love to sit on the patio and watch the cars go by on State. Fanci Freez even has the most elusive of all dip cone flavors—butterscotch! Be sure to not to wear your church clothes, though. Dip cones just might be the messiest desserts on earth to eat.

1402 W. State St., 344-8661

Best Frozen Dinners

Stouffer's Macaroni and Cheese

The best frozen dinner, which could also be the best comfort food, the best food when you're sick or recovering from surgery, the best hangover food, the best lunch to take to work and a myriad of other bests is Stouffer's Macaroni and Cheese. It is the cheesiest macaroni and cheese to come frozen in a plastic container, and a mere seven minutes of radiated heat later, you have 12 ounces of piping hot goodness. It doesn't cost much (usually less than three bucks) and there's actually enough in the box for two (if after a bite you're still willing to share) or eat what you want, slap a piece of plastic wrap over the dish and save the rest for breakfast. Maybe the best thing about it is that you can order it online, though not through the usual online grocery shopping delivery system. Get on amazon.com, go to "gourmet food" and type "macaroni and cheese" in the search window. Not only can you buy the tasty 12 ounce size, but you can get the "larger size" 20 ounce, a 10 ounce Lean Cuisine or (drum roll, please) a 12.5 ounce box of macaroni and cheese and broccoli. There's a catch. When you click "Add to shopping cart," you'll be placing an order for mac and cheese from Gristedes Supermarkets of New York. Yep, New York. You won't have to leave the house, but instead of five percent sales tax, you'll be paying almost $11 in shipping. Well, it is really good macaroni and cheese.

Best Tuna Sandwich

Le Poulet Rouge

Restaurant tuna fish sandwiches should be avoided as a rule, but something about the sight of Le Poulet Rouge's Tuna and Artichoke Panini in the glass case forced us to forgo our usual reluctance and give it a try. OMMFG. It is tres savoreux. The soft yet crispy bread has big slices of Kalamata olives baked right in and the artichoke hearts add the perfect tang to the tuna. It's not cheap, but it's also not small. Half makes a great lunch, the other half a great evening snack. And the best thing about getting lunch at Le Poulet Rouge is that you can't very well leave without a sweet little treat for dessert.

106 N. 6th St., 343-8180

Best Appetizer

MilkyWay

When the waitstaff at a restaurant get to know you by first name, you know you've become a regular. And when those same staff greet you every time you darken their door with "The usual?" you know you have become a regular with a favorite dish. Our favorite dish every time we go to MilkyWay is the jalapeño shrimp bites, a delectable array of shrimp, surrounded by jalapeños, blanketed in a strip of bacon, all sitting in a nest of tomato chutney. Most of the time you'll get mildly hot bites but every now and then you get a hot one that will make your head sweat.

205 N. 10th St., 343-4334

Best Clam Chowder

Mosaic

We keep trying, but to no avail. The original recipe that wins hands down year after year can be found at Mosaic Gallery & Wine Bar. A big bowl of this will warm your innards and extend the patio season far after most mortals have returned inside. Creamy, chunky and chock-full of clams. It's so good we want to take a bath it.

500 W. Main St., 338-5006

Best Ring O' Fire

Gino's Grill

In the Northern climes it's hard to find a restaurant daring enough to put out a dish that challenges not only the tastebuds, but the intestinal tract as well, many preferring to err on the blander side of tastes. In years past this award has gone to Mexican, Thai and Vietnamese restaurants, but a surprising discovery at Gino's Grill had us remembering the dish well into the next day from the other end. Called Lobster Fradiabelo, translated as "from the devil," it is made with Portuguese chiles and had us praying for cooler times as we enjoyed the savory tastes. Some people like the pain and we'll be back for more.

150 N. 8th St., 331-3771

Best Pastry

Le Cafe de Paris

Yeah, yeah, you can watch Krispy Kreme doughnuts fall into the grease bath and get the frosting money shot before throwing down your cash and your arteries, but we know a secret. Yes, Boise, in the very heart of our city is a charming sidewalk café that looks like it was airlifted from Paris, known the world over for its pastries. Capitol Boulevard's Le Café de Paris delivers one of the most authentic dainties this side of the Seine, and its name is chocolate almond croissant. The experience really does defy description, but we'll give it a whirl: layers of flaky, buttery, lighter-than-air pastry studded with slivered, toasted almonds hiding a heart of bittersweet chocolate paneling and moist, grainy almond paste. It is so good we would almost choose it over a life raft if we were stranded on a desert island.

204 N. Capitol Blvd., 336-0889

Best Food Thing to Look Forward To

Estrella

Set to open this October, Tapas Estrella—meaning "Star"—will be a new Spanish tapas restaurant in Boise. We've had the privilege of seeing an advance menu developed by Chef Andrea Maricich and the $3 to $10 dishes will amaze and confound. Now we'll have one more great hangout with a full bar and tasty bites.

Tapas Estrella, Plaza 121, 119 N. 9th St.

Best "French" Fries

Frog Legs at the Sandbar

OK, we admit it: Frog legs do actually taste a lot like chicken. But when they're served in a deep-fried chorus line at the Sandbar River House in Marsing, the taste seems slightly more exotic ... like maybe they came from America's Next Top Chicken Model. And this from what is, without a doubt, the most pro-Muppet publication in town! Is this a case of mind over matter? Pretension over palate? Either way, they're amphibalicious.

181 Avenue N, Marsing, 896-4124

Best Ceviche

El Torito

Such a simple idea: shrimp or other fish, soaked in lime juice until it "cooks" itself, mixed with finely chopped fresh tomato, cucumber, onion, cilantro, a few slices of avocado and served on a tostada shell. There are several great versions around the valley, but the one served out of the taco truck behind El Torito Market on Chinden is so beautiful, Collias snapped a pic and made it the background on his computer. Weirdo.

4596 W. Chinden Blvd., Garden City, 321-4651

Best Barista

Brandon Follett

How is it possible that the best barista is also the best karaoke guy/poet/poster-child for emo fashion? Brandon Follett is all of these things, and you can catch his coffee making skills at the Flying M. Where other baristas tend to be surly, snotty or just crappy at pulling shots, Brandon is so smooth he looks like he's on skates behind the counter (maybe he is). He also moonlights at Neurolux, and we're pretty sure he's the only karaoke maestro to take a call on his cell phone in the middle of setting up our own Amy Atkins' homage to Patsy Kline. And his poetry is one spicy meatball. Brandon, if you're reading this, run for Governor ... please.

Best Buffalo Wings

Buster's

We were all set to give Hooters the title just on principle, but when we tried their soggy, greasy, almost meatless excuse for buffalo wings, we had no choice but to crown our old favorite: Buster's. The Boise locale is the ultimate spot for watching the Broncos because the waitresses are so sassy, the Long Islands are so cheap and the boneless buffalo wings are so killer. The meat is tender enough to rival the scenery (wink, wink), and the seasoning is worth slipping the cooks a 20-spot for the secret.

1326 Broadway Ave., 345-5688

Best Comfort Food

Brick Oven Bistro

Is there really any question? The Brick Oven Bistro has been cooking like mom as long as we can remember. But just for kicks, here's a smattering of the amazing comforts that await you inside the warmth of the Grove's anchor: Cheddar Vegetable Chowder, Louisiana Cajun Gumbo, Wild Rice Meatloaf Sandwiches, Yankee Pot Roast, Sugar-Cured Ham, Creamy Coleslaw, Rum-Pot Beans, Hand-Mashed Skin-On Potatoes, Mom's Carrot Cake and Apple Bread Pudding with Bourbon-Walnut Sauce. This is the kind of food that makes you think of Christmas, rainy days in a warm house, a good fire and really good naps.

801 W. Main St. # 107, 384-0266

Best Hot Soup

Java

The next time you're at Java getting a bowl of soul, stay around for lunch and try a bowl of the tortilla soup. This heady mixture of tomatoes, rice and heavenly spices is topped with a dollop of sour cream, grated cheese and tortilla triangles—the perfect balm for a cold day in Boise. It is usually served every day after noon, and if you need dessert cookies are only a few steps away.

223 N. 6th St., 345-0777

Best Downtown Restaurant to Make a Move Into the Suburbs

Zen Bento

Walking by the store—or even down the street—without stopping in for a bowl could often be a nearly impossible task. Now the 'burbanites can get a bowl fix out in the hinterlands.

342 E. State St., 938-4277

Best Place to when Avoid Breaking up with your Not-So-Significant Other*

Andrae's

We love it here, but wooing your love dis-interest with a gourmet meal as you attempt to explain your need to split into two separate directions is sending a bit of a mixed message. Save the French for impressing your next ex on your first date, and give the "it's not you, it's me" talk somewhere a little less intimate.

816 W. Bannock St., 385-0707

* This category was formerly known as the Best Romantic Meal.

Best Place to Break up with your Not-So-Significant Other

Boise Towne Square Food Court

First of all, it's a public place just in case things get a little scary. Second, you can allow your soon-to-be ex pick an eatery and then head in the opposite direction, thereby avoiding potentially awkward conversation while you wait having to pay for his or her meal. Third, close proximity to escalators and a long windy hallway to the restrooms allows for multiple escape routes if necessary.

350 N. Milwaukee St., 378-7000

Best comfort food in an unexpected place

Red Feather Lounge

It wouldn't be a stretch to call us macaroni and cheese connoisseurs. Much like a wine aficionado, we, too, believe that macaroni and cheese has subtle variations and layers of flavors that only a true lover can detect. Red Feather Lounge may have just perfected the greatest food ever invented ... well, since ice cream at least. Just walk by the über-stylish restaurant. The idea that Boise's best macaroni and cheese lies within a space filled with animal print, metal, giant lava lamps and martinis is well, unbelievable. But trust us on this one. We are macaroni and cheese connoisseurs, after all.

246 N. 8th St., 429-6340

Best Raw Food

Fujiyama

The atmosphere is upscale comfortable, the fish tastes as fresh as the ocean and the selection of rolls is probably the most extensive and bold in town. The next time you pop in for a fix, check out the specials menu and order anything. They use three colors of tobiko, vegetable art, the crunch of tempura and the creaminess of avocado, scallops, salmon skin, sriracha—the full spectrum of exotic flavors, textures and visuals. If true love were a food, theirs would be a contender.

283 N. Milwaukee St., 672-8227

Best Organ Meat

Rita's Panaderia

If you are one of those people who still consider tongue to be "organ meat," then we have little advice to offer. Go to any taco truck in town, from El Torito to Chilango's, and you'll find a nice new food-friend to lick your taste buds into happiness. If, however, you consider "organ" to only apply to body parts that don't see the sun, or that have that special tang that makes newbies say, "Eww ... that's a little gamy for me," then get your fearless little face out to Nampa ASAP. Rita's Panaderia on 2nd Street downtown is the once and future queen of tasty innards, from tripe tacos to (loving sigh) menudo soup. It takes a one-of-a-kind diner to brave the interior of a beast, but just remember: Once you go gut, you'll want nothing but.

1424 N. 2nd St. S., 467-6033

Best Eagle Restaurant

Bardenay

The lone Eagle-dwelling staff member in BW's office confesses to trekking into Boise for grub whenever the need arises. It's not necessarily for the lack of option, but the lack of atmosphere. Though there are some tasty strip mall joints in the bird 'burb, they just don't satisfy the need for an aesthetic dining experience. For all the posh living in Eagle, there's not much in terms of posh eating. Bardenay garners Best of Boise for the one advantage it has over every other restaurant in Eagle: its patio. Riverside and spacious, it's packed every nice night of the week in Idaho's warmer months. With all that riverside land, we're surprised no one else has picked up on the idea.

55 E. Riverside Dr., 938-5093

Best Fountain Drink In Town

Orange Creme Fanta

Call it orange creme "Fahnta" or "Fanta." Either way this wonderful drink is the nectar of the gods. Just don't mistake it for plain old Orange Fanta. We can only find this fahnta-stic variety at soda fountain at the 7-Eleven on Broadway and like to buy it by the 64-ounce Ginormo Big Gulp. Bonus: the complimentary squirts of vanilla flavoring you can add to heighten the creamy goodness. If only that was vanilla-flavored insulin.

7-Eleven, 107 Broadway Ave., 336-8420

Best Renovation of an Old Church

Rembrandt's Coffee House

Two cute old churches in the heart of downtown Eagle had been for sale for many a month before construction finally began on what would become Rembrandt's Coffee House. Completely remodeled inside and out, Rembrandt's was all the buzz when it first opened last fall. Nearly a year, later the patio is finished, shaded under sprawling umbrellas, ringed with giant potted arrangements and cooled off by the sounds of water falling from a huge metal sculpture. The mismatched furniture and bold wall art would make any North Ender envious, but the impressive feat of decor choice is that the place manages to keep a hint of its former incarnation without being overwhelming. Sculptures and paintings of religious figures cluster in a few corners, but we never feel like we're drinking coffee in church. And the place isn't just a coffee house. The Drop Leaf Gallery claims a back room for itself and the menu serves up everything from breakfast quiche to dinner lasagna. A true local alternative to the corporate competition.

938 Eagle Rd., 938-1372

Best Hot Sandwich

Mancino's

Have just one of these meat-cheese-veggie-packed-foil-wrapped-oven-baked grinders, and you'll think your mouth has died and gone to heaven. Seriously, this is culinary happiness on a loaf of bread. And speaking of the bread—it's fantastic. Hot and crispy outside and soft within, we hardly need the filling. Heart racing, cheeks flush—we have to stop and go buy a sandwich.

1016 Broadway Ave., 319-0485.

Best Place to Wine and Dine

Asiago's Downtown

It's not our recommendation, but you can show up in shorts and a T-shirt and still be treated like you're part of the yacht club at Asiago's. The food is superb, the service is five-star, and the atmosphere is stylishly comfortable. Meals are prepared to accommodate rather than intimidate and the result is always satisfying. Better yet, the specials always include a delectable dish for the vegetarian palate. Asiago's offers an extensively detailed wine list to ensure an educated food and wine pairing, and if you need assistance, help is nearby to provide a recommendation. So relax, eat well and don't fill up on bread!

1002 W. Main St., 336-5552

Best Tuna Melt

Pair

Pair is a treasure trove of covetable sandwiches, the ultimate being the tuna melt. This sandwich oozes (literally) with the color, texture and flavor of avocado, sharp cheddar cheese, tuna-salad, cilantro, roma tomatoes and sunflower seeds, all of which mingle on toasted Italian Como bread. The first bite is as good as the last—so good, in fact, that one may not be enough.

601 W. Main St., 343-7034

Best Impressive Knowledge of Wine

Richard's of Hyde Park

A super-knowledgeable wine drinker we know once said, "Erik McLaughlin has forgotten more about wine than I'll ever know." McLaughlin is the owner of Richard's and Taste in Hyde Park. At his restaurant he uses his knowledge of the grape to maintain one of the best wine programs in the Northwest. He developed it as the head wine buyer for Cost Plus and accomplishes the restaurant's list by constantly rotating some of the tastiest and sophisticated wines in the country, offering everything by the taste, glass or bottle. He also offers weekly educational wine classes (sans spitters) and prices all his bottles at 10 bucks over retail (some restaurants will double the retail price). That's a lot bang for your buck. If McLaughlin has his way, it won't be long before all of Boise knows the difference between a Syrah and a Shiraz.

1520 N. 13th St., 331-9855

Best Breakfast Your Mom Wouldn't Approve of

Square

Two words: Nutella crepes. It's difficult to believe some people live their lives without Nutella. Vegemite, Marmite, peanut butter ... no, only the Europeans got their breakfast condiment right: a chocolate hazelnut spread that will make any morsel edible. Chocolate for breakfast! It's hard to believe Americans have yet to fully embraced the idea. At Boise's only creperie, Nutella is meant to grace the post-meal palette, as it's listed under the desert fillings. We think it's best as that first meal of the day. Cup of joe. Melted chocolate. Dab of homemade whipped cream. Better than sex.

760 W. Main St., 345-7782

Best Locally Produced Candy

Idaho Candy Company's Idaho Spud Bar

The Spud Bar—so named because of its resemblance to our famous tubers—represents our state proudly in the candy wars. With a chocolate-flavored marshmallow center covered with a coating of dark chocolate coating and sprinkled with coconut, the Spud Bar is one of Idaho Candy Company's original offerings, one of three still in production since its 1918 debut.

3494 S. TK Ave., 342-5505

Best Bread Dipping Sauce

Mona Lisa sauce

Though the fondue is certainly the main event and well worth the accolades heard 'round the town, the mysterious bread sauce has our mouths watering before we can say emmenthal three times fast. We don't really know what ingredients hide in those little green bottles of love, and we're not afraid to ingest copious amounts, risking life and limb, to discover what drives us to distraction. Is it dressing? Is it dip? Is it even for the bread?

199 N. Capitol Blvd., 336-8699

Best Grab-N-Go Food

Pita Pit

Though so often heard as a chant in closing bars among the stragglers who just can't seem to get out the door, "Pita, pita, pita," is also the name of a little-known Roman god now immortalized in the stars between Ursa Minor and what looks like a giant black hole. Despite his fall from grace after naming food for himself, Pita has been inspiration to some of the most infamous foodies in history such as the Earl of Sandwich. Today all traces of Pita's royal existence have been all but erased except for the pita itself. Pay homage to one of history's forgotten; grab a pita and go.

746 W. Main St., 388-1900

Best Take-Out for the Entire Office

Cobby's

Walk into any sandwich shop with a list of 16 different orders with very persnickety requests for extra tomato, no pepper, easy lite mayo, oil but no vinegar, blah, blah, blah and the sandwich artists may be tempted to throw a fistful of coldcuts over the counter in protest. For those days when low blood sugar levels make the office an especially icky place to be, but deadlines are just too close to take a break for something as mundane as food, BW calls on The Cobby's. Yep, it garners a "The" because we love it that much. We bug the boss to buy, log on to Cobby's Web site to sort out whether we love the #22 or the #12 and then send the intern off to gather our monstrous bag of goodies. And when lunch reaches our office it's always right and always labeled with our names. Thanks be to the gods for patient deli persons!

1030 Broadway Ave., 345-0990

6899 W. Overland Rd., 323-2371

4348 W. Chinden Blvd., 322-7401

608 12th Ave S, Nampa, 461-3740

Best Cheesecake

Cafe Shakespeare

Eating cheesecake at every dessert opportunity in just about every state of the Union in every type of restaurant from casual to fine dining makes one particularly picky about the quality of their whipped and baked cream cheese. We've run the gamut of candy and liqueur cheesecakes out of the Factory between the Seattle and Las Vegas stores. We've even had a savory pesto and sun-dried tomato cheesecake. There was once a cheesecake here in town we were particularly fond of but the restaurant has since passed on. Lisa Peterson's New York Style Cheesecake at the Shakespeare Festival's Cafe Shakespeare takes the cake for this year's Best of Boise. Not only is it thick and just dry enough, but it's amazing how much faster cheesecake and a cup of hot coffee makes a cold intermission fly by.

5657 Warm Springs Ave., 429-9908

Food We Would Propose To

MilkyWay's Bread Pudding

Usually the thought of bread pudding conjures up buffets and senior citizens, but the bread pudding at MilkyWay only invites the most beautiful of thoughts. Infused with thick, rich, hot, melty chocolate, it is definitely other-worldly. It seems impossible that something could taste that delicious, but defying all reason and logic, this delectable dessert does exist. If you've not eaten this sweet sensation, we command that you do not pass go, do not collect $200 and get thee immediately to MilkyWay. If you have tasted it, you know exactly what we mean.

205 N. 10th St., 343-4334

Best Hot Bean Injection

Flying M

Making a double shot of espresso is harder than it sounds. Many baristas, upon seeing that they've made such a tiny drink, feel obligated to let the machine run just a little bit longer, filling slightly more of the cup. Wrong! Coffee foul! The true doppio fan only wants the darkest, most piquant core of the shot. To include any more is to insult his or her palate with watered-down swill. The foam jockeys at Flying M get this; that's why their doppio and doppio espresso machiatto and doppio espresso con panna are such gorgeous wallops of pungency. Espresso shots, like life, are at their best when short and flavorful. Don't bother trying to explain this to a latte drinker.

500 W. Idaho St., 345-4320

Best Fresh Potato Chips

The Ram

People, if you have consumed a bit too much Margarita and need to soak it up with a foodstuff, please order a basket of The Ram's amazing potato chips. Nothing is a better balm for raw tummy than the hot, crispy goodness of thin-sliced potatoes fried in grease and then dusted with "Ram Spice," a mystery concoction that we would wear as perfume if we could figure out what it is. A giant basket is only $4.99—a cheap price for redemption.

709 Park Blvd., 345-2929