It might've had something to do with the potent Powerhouse Porters. Or it could've been the orange October sun skulking into the horizon through Sockeye Grill and Brewery's floor-to-ceiling windows. But something besotted or slightly sinister triggered one of my family's favorite dinner-time conversations--how to carry out the perfect murder.
Our server, un-phased by our body-disposal talk, cleared the remnants of our meal from the table--plates dotted with puddles of chipotle barbeque sauce and ketchup. Before leaving, she weighed in, smiling: "Anyone who says they haven't thought about it is lying."
The night had begun wholesomely. After watching my sister's soccer game, we headed to Sockeye for a celebratory dinner. The adults ordered three pints of the brewery's special, the Powerhouse Porter ($2.50), and a glass of Kendall Jackson chardonnay ($7). The porter's malty, chocolatey richness was an asset when combined with the fried Coho salmon's ($8.75) lightly crispy and not-too-leavened batter. Though it was odd to see a flash of fleshy pink after chomping into a fried fish nugget, the salmon was the ideal vehicle for the caper-spotted lemon tartar sauce. If we were to return, we later agreed, we'd stop there. Sockeye does a few things excellently--namely frying and beer brewing--but other things only so-so.
My stepdad's fried finger steaks ($11.25) were in the excellent category--letting out an audible crunch from across the table. The accompanying barbeque dipping sauce was a tad sweet with a permeating chipotle smokiness. My stepsister's Coho cakes ($8.25), a fried combo of salmon, bay shrimp and tiny flecks of red and green bell pepper, drizzled with a tangy lime-dijon sauce, also owned real estate in awesomeville. Those of us beguiled by the burger menu fared a bit worse.
Though I ordered the seared yellow-fin tuna burger ($9.50) red-belly rare, it arrived well-done white, peeking out from a run-of-the-mill, sesame-speckled bun. A smear of sun-dried tomato aioli and healthy sprinkling of feta cheese added a nice zip of flavor, but they weren't able to compensate for the fish's dryness. My mom's chipotle burger with bacon and bleu cheese ($9) was also underwhelming and dry, though she did ask for it well-done. The best burger in the bunch was my boyfriend's flame-broiled Coho salmon burger ($9.75), a juicy hunk of fish bathed in creamy tartar sauce that, while plenty tasty, pleaded for a crispier, less-generic bread vessel.
After we had massacred dinner and wrapped up our idle manslaughter chatter, only my stepsister had the stomach to tackle dessert--a slice of Snicker's ice cream pie ($5.25), to go. If one of us inexplicably goes missing, I'd recommend the police follow a trail of peanuts, caramel and chocolate to catch the perp.
--Ms. Tara Morgan in the brewery with the Coho fish stick.
Boise Weekly sends two reviewers to every restaurant we review. Read what our other reviewer had to say about Sockeye Grill and Brewery here.