Jenny's Lunch Line 

Soup with a smile. That's what you get at Jenny's Lunch Line. When you walk into Jenny's, you're usually greeted by Jenny Sledge's welcoming smile.

If you want soup, Jenny's has it--four different soups are available every day. If you believe that man doesn't live by soup alone, Jenny disagrees. But just in case, she also offers sandwiches, salads, homemade cookies and an assortment of interesting bottled beverages.

Jenny's is a small and cozy place with seven tables offering seating for 18. Much of Jenny's business comes from take-out orders and food delivered off-site.

I asked a colleague to meet me there. He hadn't been before and was impressed. He ordered a turkey sandwich with chicken noodle soup and a chocolate chip cookie. I ordered the Jamaican jerk chicken salad, winter lentil soup and a peanut butter cookie. My colleague liked the way the food was displayed, the warm greeting we received, the multiple soup and sandwich choices and our chance to interact directly with the owner.

We both agreed that our food was delicious. He appreciated the casual atmosphere and the speedy service. My salad was flavorful, an essence of summer in the middle of winter. The soup was good, but not great. On the other hand, the peanut butter cookie was great--one of the best I've tasted in Boise outside of my own kitchen.

To get another perspective--and another tasty lunch--I returned a few days later with my wife. The first thing we noticed was that Jenny wasn't there and her staff filled in while she was out sick. The service was a bit slower and Jenny's smile was absent, but the food was as good as ever.

Because she couldn't decide between the two, my wife ordered half a caprese sandwich and half a pesto chicken salad sandwich. The caprese is a vegetarian option with tomato, mozzarella cheese and fresh basil on olive bread. The pesto chicken salad sandwich is served on whole wheat bread overflows with chicken salad. She also got a side order of potato salad; this slightly warm salad featured red potatoes infused with a tangy dill sauce. After tasting them, she pronounced all three delicious.

I ordered a Bar-B-Q pork sandwich with a cup of mulligatawny soup on the side and found them both very delectable. The pulled pork sandwich is a Friday special that seemed to be popular with many others, too. Unlike my earlier soup experience at Jenny's, this curried lentil offering was very thick and hearty.

We were not the only people impressed with Jenny's Lunch Line. I overheard others in line say, "Great little place," and "It's wonderful," and "Good cole slaw!" The ever-changing menu at Jenny's always has something that may have you commenting in the same manner. It might be the peanut butter cookies, a sandwich, salad, a drink you're surprised to see or, of course, the quadruple choice of soups that Jenny's presents each day.

And, except when she's out, you always get a generous helping of Jenny's friendliness to go along with whatever you order.

--Curt Nichols lives by the motto, "Give me soup or give me death."

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