Food & Drink » Food Review

Goldy's Breakfast Bistro

108 S. Capitol Blvd., 208-345-4100. Mon.-Fri., 6:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m.


Goldy's is a restaurant that needs no introduction.

With an understated, single-door entry, it's easy to overlook the restaurant—or perhaps even dismiss it entirely—if you don't know what you're looking for. Many mornings out of the week, however, you can't help but take notice. More often than not, a crowd is gathered outside the door, enjoying complimentary coffee, reading a newspaper and braving what's usually a half-hour to hour-long wait to get a table.

Though Mr. Goldy himself has long been absent from the restaurant stamped with his name, the pint-sized breakfast (and lunch) bistro he created just won't stop. After the founding chef left, Goldy's joined Alan Head's once ubiquitous fleet of eateries under the Rampant Restaurant enterprise, and these days, it's run by a crew who continues to make it the place to impress if you're breaking bread over the day's first meal.

Emerging from the streets, guests briefly decompress in a curtained-off indoor entrance before being born into the world of Goldy's. It's a place in which the outside world matters not. The walls conjure their own sunrise, a flock of birds are eternally alight and in flight, and the constant din from fewer than two dozen tables erases any memories of an economic slowdown. For the duration of your stay at Goldy's, for better or worse, time does not exist. Or at least be prepared to spare plenty of it if you really want to enjoy your experience. On a busy day, the wait may be more than an hour just to get in the door, and once you're seated, it may take another good chunk of time to get food. So sit back, sip your coffee and relish in the fact that the meal you'll consume will be well worth your wait.

Like every restaurant, Goldy's has its detractors. Those who prefer breakfast to be functional and fast aren't likely to find the selection of frittatas and gourmet benedicts a suitable counterbalance to the extra time spent. It's entirely possible to get your chicken-fried steak and country gravy at Goldy's, but the overarching question is should you? The answer is "yes" with several qualifications, among them: Would you appreciate the time and effort it takes to hand-bread your meat, or would you shrug off the improvement as subpar to the frozen version found in other breakfast joints in town? And is it wise to forego a malted pancake or French toast stuffed with bananas and nuts in favor of breakfast's most enigmatic fried food?

Because my visits to Goldy's are few and far between these days (as opposed to my earliest days in Boise, when I wore a hole in a chair near the door), I intentionally order more food than I should ever consume in an entire day. Usually my breakfast plate includes some combination of scrambled eggs with asparagus and gruyere, Goldy's potatoes (crispy fried baby reds in Goldy's special seasoning), a plain pancake, a veggie benny, stuffed French toast, a salmon cake and an English muffin. If I could really have it my way, I'd have all of that on one plate in one-third size portions.

In taking breakfast from food to foodie, Goldy's not only reinvents some wheels, but proves its skill with even the most common breakfast choices. Hashbrowns come out of the closet-sized kitchen properly crispy; scrambled eggs arrive hot; and pancakes are more fluff than heft.

Goldy's also does lunch, although after 400 cups of coffee a day and 5,000 eggs a week, the second meal of the day definitely falls second in the land of Goldy's. Personally, I cannot testify to lunch. I absolutely refuse to give up a plate of breakfast at Goldy's for a burger. Unless, of course, it's a burger topped with one-third portions of all my usual breakfast choices.

—Rachael Daigle could use an eggs benediction.