It is a summery Saturday morning on the patio outside of Locavore restaurant. While scanning the weekend brunch options I read on the menu that a locavore is "one who eats only locally grown or raised food."
As I lean back in my patio chair, eagerly anticipating a delightful brunch, I ask our waitress how much of the menu's food is local. She says that in Idaho's climate it is difficult for any restaurant to obtain all of their ingredients from local sources. She tells me and my four dining companions that the restaurant's goal is to look for local products first, then buy organic when it is affordable, and finally use outside sources for everything else.
Considering the definition provided on the menu and that Boise's growing season is only about six months long, plus the apparent mingling of local and non-local foods in the kitchen, I wonder why the owner would give the restaurant a name that carries an implied mission that it seems unable to carry out.
Setting the discrepancy aside, the five of us order a selection of brunch dishes to share. We start with a round of seasonal berry mimosas ($6). Upon their arrival our waitress warns us about the dive-bombing gnats that our fruity drinks quickly attract. She provides us with napkins to cover our goblets, but, unable to converse comfortably while constantly swatting away the bold little buggers, we abandon the sunny patio and opt for a big corner booth inside the lime-colored dining room.
A tempting array of pastries and desserts beckons from the display case located near the front of the restaurant as we enter a light-filled space set with chairs, tables and banquettes all bearing a matching espresso hue.
It isn't long before we are sharing beignets ($1 each) coated in powdered sugar. One of my friends and I have eaten them at the beignet mecca known as Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans, and another friend has tasted them in New York City. We all agree Locavore's version is more cake-like than the puffy powdered sugar coated gems we've enjoyed elsewhere.
Soon we are salivating over eggs Benny ($9) served with country ham on homemade focaccia flecked with rosemary and fennel. A slab of not-too-sweet bread pudding ($5) bathed in heavy cream and an order of apple Danish French toast ($8) topped with sauteed apples and maple syrup help to oh-so-gently raise our morning blood-sugar levels. The San Francisco smoked salmon platter ($9) draws raves for its sliced heirloom tomatoes and dill cream cheese. And the market breakfast ($8) of scrambled eggs, cubed potatoes and ham steak satisfies our third-grade companion.
Despite being perplexed about the name and having to flee a band of thirsty fruit flies, Locavore works as an East Boise eatery for weekend brunch.
--Jennifer Hernandez is more etymologist than entomologist.Boise Weekly sends two reviewers to every restaurant we review. Read what our other reviewer had to say about Locavore.