Crescent No Lawyers Bar-Grill 

The Crescent "No Lawyers" Bar and Grill is for adults what the county fair used to be for kids. Walk in, and you'll hear people screaming, cheering and booing at the most inconsequential of dramas, either televised or live, on the pool tables, foosball tables and horseshoe pits. They run to the bathroom like children and laugh at the top of their lungs like derelicts. And you can feel comfortable doing the same. Even if the crowd seems packed with people who would probably find no greater glee than in kicking your (or my) ass, they won't. Everybody just picks their game, picks their booth and has their own version of a good time amidst the purest-rolling tables in Boise, and surrounded by the most garish decor outside of ... well, the county fair. And, oh yeah, they also eat bull testicles.

When I went to the bar with my favorite newly-returned-to-Idaho married couple last week, the first thing I noticed—before the wall-sized mural, before the funny-ish menu titles (fried testicles are "lawyer fries," for instance)—was that men seem to go to the Crescent only with men, and women with women. Initially I felt like we stood out. Then I realized that nobody stands out in the game-crazy crowd—and I liked it. So we grabbed the nearest pool table and commenced battle.

The beer selection is an adequate mixture of a bunch of near-identical domestics and a few standout micros—and you'd better believe they come in pitchers, city boy. But apparently, at the Crescent, beer counts as an appetizer and salad course, because our bubbly waitress disappeared for about a half-hour after delivering pitcher number one. And when she did return to take our order—chicken gizzards and lawyer fries—she brought out another server to giggle at our bravery. I didn't appreciate the ogling, but I got what I expected from the dishes: definite "acquired tastes," all deep-fried into another dimension. This is not to say that we were able to finish an entire basket.

For the main course of alcohol absorption, I ordered the grilled meatloaf sandwich on sourdough bread, but with some trepidation. As a child, I loathed the loaf as an entree but loved it in sandwich form. While I can't speak for the Crescent's loaf on a plate with a side of steamed broccoli and a glass of milk, I can say that it definitely went well wrapped in sourdough with heaps of onions, plenty of beer and some jackass's secondhand smoke on the side. From now on, it will definitely be my "thing." The couple fought over a crispy chicken sandwich and fries, and the intensity of their struggle said all that needed to be said about how good it was.

—Nicholas Collias calls (but doesn't make) every shot.

The Crescent, 5550 W. Franklin St., 322-9856, Mon.-Sat.: 11 a.m.-2 a.m., Sun.: 10 a.m.-12 a.m.

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