Nampa's Garrity Boulevard is not exactly a gourmand's playground. If you're looking for car junkyards, pay-as-you-go cell phone dealers or check-cashing joints, the traffic-packed road has you covered.
On a recent trip to Nampa, I did a doubletake as I sped down Garrity. Wedged into a strip mall with a tattoo parlor, a pawn shop and a run-down clothing store, I saw a small sign for a Hawaiian bakery.
Pulling open the door to Chocolate Bluebird, I was greeted by an empty refrigerator case and a warm smile from owner Dwayne-Neal Horikami. A former pastry chef at Cottonwood Grille in Boise, Horikami now spends most of his time making fancy cakes for weddings and other events around the valley. In the corner of his random, mural-painted shop, there's a display case filled with a small selection of whipped cream-topped Hawaiian cakes. Flavors like strawberry-guava, lilikoi (passionfruit), Chantilly and haupia (coconut milk) bat their eyelashes from their 8-inch aluminum pans, beckoning to be taken home.
I selected one key lime and one haupia, and the total came to less than $10 (they're $4.65 a pop). I've never been much of a cake person, but these puppies were right up my alley--deliriously fluffy, not-too-sweet and not-too-filling. Looks like Garrity just got a little less garish.