On the way to KB's for lunch, much speculation was made about what "KB" stands for. Killer burritos? Kooky, kinky, kung fu burritos? Upon arriving at their front door, we discovered we were way off base and that the K in KB's actually stands for Ketchum. We found out that KB's began in the spring of '93, making burritos at Grateful Dead shows for hungry Deadheads. The thought occurred to them: Why not do this in our hometown? KB's in Ketchum opened in '94. A second branch opened in Hailey a decade later, and now, 14 years after they first fired up their gas griddle at a Dead show, KB's comes to Boise. What a long, strange trip it's been.
We immediately liked the place with its eclectic, color-crazed decor. We needed more than a few minutes at the counter to order, but the staff was very friendly and easygoing with us about that. Many items on the menu caught our attention. We knew we had to appease our cravings for chips and salsa, but the overabundance of options provided us a happy quandary. What to order? My friend and I narrowed it down to a few yummy standards we felt we should try. Then she ordered something completely different.
To start, we ordered chips and salsa ($1.95). For lunch, I stuck to the standards and ordered two soft tacos, the famous fish taco ($4.75) and a beef taco ($4.50). The prices are reasonable--especially for a build-your-own burrito, with 32 options for fillers and toppings. One to four ingredients costs just $4.95 for a small and $6.25 for a regular burrito. Five to nine ingredients is only $6.75 for a small and $8.25 for a regular. The various toppings range greatly, from tofu to tomatoes, shrimp to sunflower seeds. There really is something for everyone on this menu.
My friend ordered a small Hailey burrito ($6.50). Her whale of a burrito arrived very quickly, and she was relieved she had ordered the small one. The Hailey comes with chicken, cheese, roasted garlic, corn, cilantro, guacamole, salsa, cabbage and a choice of beans. She asked for no beans and was offered rice instead, which she gladly accepted. She offered me the first bite. It was yummy good, and I looked at my own sad little plate with my mere mortal-sized tacos and pouted a bit. But the delicious aroma of seasoned beef lured me out of my sullen state and stirred my taste buds into a frenzy. I am, after all, just a stupid carnivore.
I preferred the beef over the fish taco. The beef was very well seasoned and tender, but the fish taco was a wee bit on the bland side. I found the Cabo sauce on the fish surprisingly mild, and added hot sauce for some kick.
I couldn't believe it, but my friend ate her entire burrito. I've never seen her eat that much food in one sitting before, and she announced happily that the burrito was very light and that she didn't feel overly full or bloated. I felt we could have achieved button-popping bloatedness if we'd indulged in some of the fine beers offered by KB's. Sadly, a drunken luncheon was not on my agenda for that day, but perhaps next time. Because there will most definitely be a next time. Although the fish taco didn't exactly float my boat, the chips were most excellent and we both found ourselves wanting to order an extra bag to go. The salsa was OK. As my friend put it, she's had better, she's had worse and I completely concurred with her salsa assessment.
The staff at KB's is friendly, the decor bright and cheery. The prices are great, and with an abundant menu with selections to please both carnivores and vegetarians, I'd say KB's is a very nice addition to BoDo. But if you like your burritos with more sting than a Texas fire ant, be prepared to douse your wrap in some hot sauce.
--Rachel Abrahamson wishes she could bottle the sun.