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Broadway's Newest is No Dive on the Inside

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Declaring that you've discovered the best chicken strips in town is like claiming that in a fight to the death, you know for a fact that a liger could take a tigon every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Not only does no one really care but it's all the same, right? After all, ligers are tigons are ligers and all chicken strips are the same frozen, breaded and fried formula. Arguing that one joint's version is superior to another's is almost silly, but here goes ...

Just north of the intersection of Boise and Broadway avenues is a gritty little one-stop-errand complex with a laundromat, a car wash, a smoky bar and a dive restaurant. The routine has been: put clothes in the washer, wash car, put clothes in the dryer, drink beer until clothes folding time. The dive restaurant, which used to serve grub that was questionably Chinese and questionably food, was to be avoided under all circumstances.

But times change. The Broadway Bar's formerly rough and tumble crowd has given way to a jocular college crowd and Lim's Chinese Restaurant has been replaced.

In January, Jeffrey's Next Door--now on the BW Card--opened in its place, serving "homestyle food," which includes a burger (hand formed), a teri chicken sand (with ginger aioli), mini meatballs (hand rolled) and a ribeye (hand cut). And the best chicken strips in town, which are hand-dipped in pepper-heavy flour and fried but only after a stint in a buttermilk marinade.

Standing on Broadway Avenue in front of the bar/restaurant/laundromat building you are faced with two uninviting, scuffed up blue doors: left to the lounge, right to the restaurant. This is by no means a food review, but I will say that it is now safe to enter the door on the right. On the other side of that door, a pleasant surprise waits. The space has been scrubbed clean, nicely decorated and revamped into a respite from the busy thoroughfare outside. Ligers and tigons and chicken strips, oh my. 1716 Broadway Ave., 208-336-3334.

If you're getting to this edition of BW late in the week, which is early in BW's week, you might be able to make the Life's Kitchen class on Thursday, April 8, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Life's Kitchen will use all-local ingredients to put together a smattering of appetizers. Learn to make gravlax, meatballs, quiche and tortas using fixins you'll find at Boise's Capital City Public Market and at Boise Co-op. Class is $50 per person. Call 208-331-0199 for information or a reservation or visit lifeskitchen.org.

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