In Idaho, a fry shop simply named "Idaho Fry Company" seems like a no-brainer. So the million-dollar question becomes: Why didn't we have one until 2009? The menu's focus, as one can easily infer from the name, is on fried potatoes. Now, a less seasoned writer might have the hubris to attempt a written description of just what sets Idaho Fry Company's fries apart from your garden variety, oil-soaked side dish at any other fry-serving joint in town.
Not me. I'll simply attempt to win you over with what won me over: the menu.
• First, choose a potato from the day's available options. Last Friday's choices, followed by their state of origin: russets (Idaho), gold (Idaho), white (Calif.), sweet potato (Calif.), yams (Calif.), purple Peruvian (Wash.), Okinawa (Hawaii).
• Second, choose a cut (not all potatoes are available in every cut): regular, homestyle, curly, shoestring.
• Once your fries are in hand, it's time for the real decision-making. Salt first. Choose from Himalayan regular powdered salt, garlic and rosemary, jalapeno, smoked, horseradish, tomato, Cajun and vanilla. Yep, vanilla flavored salt. (*Note: Before Idaho Fry Company complicated the business of salting fries, it was a much less stressful dining choice—to salt or not to salt. Now it's a serious commitment. What if jalapeno salt is too spicy, or what if vanilla salt is just, well ... vanilla?)
• Last, but certainly not least, you need sauce. Even the fry purist who disdains a sauce-drenched potato will dip simply out of curiosity. Squirt individual sides of bleu cheese sauce, blueberry ketchup, ubiquitous fry sauce, black bean sauce, chipotle, molasses, regular old ketchup, sweet mustard and roasted garlic.
Oh, yeah, I haven't even mentioned the most rave-worthy food or the most intriguing menu item at Idaho Fry Company. The former is the vegan burger. Even for those of us who are neither vegan nor vegetarian, it's a fine burger specimen. The latter will require you to sit down: bourgeois fries. That's potatoes flash fried in duck fat and garnished with black truffle salt. Eff. (Well, technically, that would be a double eff.)
Daily, 11 a.m.-9 p.m., 111 Broadway Avenue, 208-495-3858, idahofrycompany.com.