Ox-Bow Cafe 

199 E. Highway 30, Bliss, 208-352-4250

In the days when driving routes through Idaho were all two-lane highways, the Ox-Bow Cafe in Bliss was a regular pit stop when traveling with my grandparents in their late '70s Chrysler Cordoba between Boise and Pocatello, where they lived. When the new interstate bypassed Bliss, we saw the writing on the wall and weren't surprised when the Ox-Bow closed a few years ago. On a recent sightseeing trip with my father, our scenic route took us through Bliss and we almost passed the Ox-Bow before noticing the row of cars parked in front. The new manager, Lia Larsen, explained that the restaurant re-opened in May 2009 and to get a taste of the new Ox-Bow, I should try a scone. As my father mowed through the Blue Special of two eggs, two strips of bacon and unlimited blueberry pancakes, I alternated bites of buttery scone with snaps of crispy bacon. Scone, bacon. Scone, bacon. Afterward, like I did when I was a kid, I took pictures of the big, green, plaster dinosaur that has stood as a sentry outside the restaurant for decades. And I swear, for just a moment when I looked back through the windows of the Ox-Bow, I saw my grandparents sitting in a booth smiling at me.

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