Early on a Saturday morning, my wife and I headed out to try the Moxie Java Bistro at 4990 Chinden Blvd. We didn't have far to drive to get there, but we still passed a fair number of coffee shops on the way. The Moxie Java Bistro is more than just another coffee shop, however. This one serves food, too.
I'm no connoisseur of coffee, so the Bistro food service appealed to me. This Moxie Java outlet is located in a handsome new building. I'd driven by it before, but this was my first time inside. Outside, it's stone and wood with attractive landscaping. Inside, it's surprisingly large with a decor that features a sizable stone fireplace. The front sitting area features soft chairs, couches and a chess/checkerboard coffee table. On the other side of the fireplace is a sitting area graced with almost life-sized murals on two walls. The rest of the space has earth-tone colors, rich wood paneling and subdued lighting.
The L-shaped service counter is centrally situated. Above it hangs a row of lights covered with stained glass shades. Behind it, the serving staff bustles to take, prepare and present orders from the counter or the drive-up window behind them.
As we walked up to place our order, our attention was drawn to the overhead menu board. While the breakfast options are not extensive, they provide appropriate variety. They have quiche, wraps, biscuits and gravy and some breakfast pastries to go with your breakfast beverage of choice.
My wife ordered a Chai latte ($2.65 for the 12-ounce size) and a veggie wrap ($3.85). I went for the quiche and fruit ($4.50) with a sticky bun ($2.95) and a tall tea ($1.65), and we sat at the tables out front. The view of Chinden traffic wasn't ideal, but Boise State fans would appreciate the fact that a 2007 Bronco Football billboard currently faces the Bistro.
Both of our orders were pleasantly arranged on striking red plates and presented very nicely. My wife's breakfast wrap was accented with orange slices while my quiche was paired with a sizable bunch of fresh red grapes.
The food was better than a fast-food restaurant breakfast by a long shot, and we both enjoyed our meals. The veggie wrap features eggs, tomatoes, onions and more rolled up in a flour tortilla. The spinach and artichoke quiche could use a bit more artichoke, but is very good otherwise. The sticky bun was the real standout of my meal. It's not too sweet or too sticky and was just the right balance for my tea and quiche.
On the way out, I noted that their lunch offerings include an assortment of soups, salads and sandwiches. I made a subsequent visit to the Bistro on another morning. On that visit, I was most pleasantly surprised by a warm, moist blueberry scone ($2.95).
Are the pastry offerings at coffee shops too limited? Do regular sit-down breakfasts take too much time? If so, you might find the "sweet spot" for breakfast is the Moxie Java Bistro. It's worth a drive past your regular coffee spot to check it out.
—Curt Nichols enjoys casual dining. Casual with a capital C.