Corona Village 

Before embarking on the adventure I call Boise Weekly, my illustrious career in journalism was preceded by several years of slinging beer and burgers in sports pub chock full of TVs and screaming kids. It was during those days of full-time ranch-fetching that I first met Corona Village owner Israel Espinosa, who was then scuttling back and forth between Boise and Laramie, Wyoming, where he was opening several new restaurants. Despite our long chats about how Corona Village prepared all of its food from scratch every day, this review was the first time I disregarded my loyalties to my regular south of the border joint and ventured into the village.

Mexican food is to the Idaho Daigles what Italian is to the Sopranos, albeit with a significantly greater chance that we'll be taken care of by the staff than "taken care of" by the Italian businessmen's association.

Faulty logic aside, I reasoned that given the number of unusual choices on the Corona Village menu, plain old enchiladas would not do for lunch at a new restaurant. Hemming and hawing with a New Year's resolution in mind, I weighed the caloric difference between spinach enchiladas with either green tomatillo or mild salsa against the saturated fat content of a three-layer enchilada lasagna. The poor sucker I'd roped into being my lunch date—who was eager to discover some new taste buds after recently becoming a non-smoker—made some difficult choices of his own, eliminating all the possibilities except the pollo malteado, a flour tortilla filled with chicken, Monterey Jack cheese and cream cheese, then grilled.

And in four seconds, three, two, one ... food was in front of us. I think I managed to swallow one chip full of salsa in the nanoseconds between ordering and spooning lasagna enchilada into my maw. The poor sucker and I swapped a few politely-sized bites between plates, both of us carefully guarding our beloved entrees. Loved it? Loved it. The pollo malteado's subtly crunchy flour tortilla and too-creamy-to-be-good-for-you chicken filling was the winner of the two, but only in a two-to-one rock, paper, scissors decision (as opposed to some definitive foodie snobbery).

We each managed to get as close to licking our plates clean as is possible in public and then found a miniscule space somewhere in our digestive tracks for the complementary dessert: fried tortilla slices covered in sugar, cinnamon, honey, whipped cream and strawberry sauce.

An extra benny for those who are more carb-conscious than I have the tastebud fortitude to be is the menu's low carb offerings and cholesterol-free beans. And weighing in at less than 15 bones for tasty lunch on the super fly, what's not to like about Corona Village?

—Rachael Daigle carries a jar of Nutella all the live long day.

4334 W. State St., 338-9707; 21 E. Fairview Ave., 887-9348; Sun.-Thu.: 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat.: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

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