There is a fine line between a wrap and a burrito. A wrap is a salad or sandwich rolled up in a tortilla. A burrito is more like a casserole full of comfort food rolled up in a tortilla.
Despite its name, Nampa's Wrap Shack definitely leans more toward the burrito side of that line when it comes to things it rolls up in a tortilla, but whatever you call it, the result is still rather tasty.
Located in a strip mall just outside of the entrance to the Idaho Center on the eastern edge of Nampa, the Wrap Shack has the definitive feel of a mass-market chain joint with its faux So. Cal./Hawaiian surf decor, assembly-line set up and smattering of clean white tables on tile floors.
But do not be fooled, it's a local place that is apparently quite popular, judging by the line of nearby workers lined up during a recent mid-week lunch hour.
The menu is deceptively large--although only a few items are listed on a large reader board. But entrees are more like categories. First, you pick the variety of filling you want-- with options ranging from the Caesar and Asian to tangy Hawaiian--then you pick the meat (beef, chicken or pork). Here's the big one: You have to select whether your meat and filling variety will be placed in a tortilla as a wrap, on top of lettuce as a salad, or over steamed rice in a bowl. And if you go with the wrap, you have to select a flour, salsa or spinach tortilla.
Just when you think you're done with all the decision making, you have the option of adding various ingredients to your creation, making it a combo, adding a drink, checking out the daily special--it's all a bit overwhelming.
After running the gauntlet, my favorite dining companion and I ended up with a chicken Bodacious BBQ wrap on a flour tortilla ($4.99 regular, $5.99 mega) and a pork Surfin' Southwestern wrap on a salsa tortilla ($4.99 regular, $5.99 mega).
The chicken on the Bodacious was the shredded variety but still tender and juicy. The homemade barbecue sauce was sweet rather than the advertised tangy, but it played nicely off of the crunchy, salty bacon pieces and raw onions. What stood out the most was the fact that the creation was simply huge--a regular is almost daunting for an average diner.
The pork in the Southwestern looked pretty much like the juicy, shredded chicken, but my dining companion confirmed it was flavorfully matched with the Southwestern ranch sauce and cold corn salsa.
The wraps were a bit messy after the sauces and juice ran to one end, but the tortillas held up as valiantly as a bread-like product can.
While Wrap Shack isn't reinventing the wheel (or burrito as it may be), the offerings are fresh, flavorful and priced right. If it were just closer to the BW office, it would probably become a regular lunch stop for our crew.
--Deanna Darr is a burrito stickler.
Boise Weekly sends two reviewers to every restaurant we review. Read what our other reviewer had to say about Wrap Shack.