A s food for thought, The Falcon Tavern offers some background narrative on the Peregrine falcons that have found favorable hunting grounds amid the concrete canyons of Boise's downtown high-rises. The menu even suggests lucky diners may actually spot these speedy raptors from the tavern windows. What the menu doesn't get into, gratefully, is the unappetizing way a peregrine dive-bombs hapless pigeons in mid-flight and disembowels them on window ledges, eagerly scarfing down entrails. Hey, how's that chicken sandwich, Marge?
Thankfully, there were no stray feathers to be found when we hit this quaint pub for an early dinner. Small and inviting, the interior nods to unpretentious dining and drinking that many folks hanker for after a long workday. No fancy-schmancy furniture, or hyper-baroque wall decor, or nouveau-chic utensils that attempt to improve upon the concept and function of the spoon. With a dark (but not stark) interior, recessed lighting and just enough chairs and tables to comfortably contain no more than 60 or so patrons, the Falcon Tavern is exactly the kind of joint the M.E. and I enjoy most: a place to have a decent and decently priced meal and a good beer or two.
We found a nice corner booth with bar stool seating, and our waiter immediately brought our menus, took our drink order, expertly prattled off the daily specials, then left us to ourselves for exactly the right amount of time. High marks, already.
We had just begun looking over the extensive menu when the M.E.'s sister (the Vegetarian Architect) joined us. The menu sports over 20 sandwiches, 10 burger combinations and a fine selection of "regular" and eclectic salads. I salute any establishment that is willing to put forth such an extravagant selection in such an unpretentious manner. The V.A. asked our server about making meat items meatless and was immediately assured it would be no problem. Whew! Another eatery roadblock averted.
The M.E. went with the Hot Pressed Sandwich Cubano--Rum marinated pork butt (just the way Mom used to make it!), smoked ham, pickles, provolone, and chile-spiked mayo. The V.E. ordered the chorizo and mozzarella sandwich without the chorizo. Having already heard that the Falcon's burgers were fabulous, I ordered the Falcon Deluxe with lettuce, tomato, sweet red onion, "tavern" sauce and Grafton Village sharp cheddar.
It is rather unlike the M.E. to do the two things she did after biting into her sandwich. The first is to talk with her mouth full (she usually has much better table manners), the second is to bleat glorious generalities (a demon no-no for journalists). Her sister would have corrected such indelicate behavior, but she was likewise unceremoniously wolfing down her sandwich and nodding appreciatively. Not to be outdone, I attempted to share with them how extraordinarily tasty my 1/2 Kobe 1/2 chuck beef hamburger was, but all I could manage was to send small, happy spurts of tavern sauce cascading down my chin.
We grazed that table, quaffed our beers (they have Guinness on tap!) and wandered out completely and wonderfully sated, our wary eyes turned toward the heavens, spotting for swooping peregrines and plummeting pigeons.
--Chuck McHenry likes to play Pokemon Monopoly with Brazilian currency.