Falcon Tavern 

780 W. Idaho St., (208)947-3111

On one plate then the other ... BW sends two critics to one restaurant.

I can count on one hand how many times I've been to the Falcon Tavern since it opened in the summer of 2004. I don't really know why. The Falcon not only has great food and drinks, it has a very comfy vibe, reasonable prices and a great location. So I set out on a mission to see if the Falcon could serve my many food cravings.

First, I lunched there with my friend Gloria who, having visited many countries and cuisines, made a perfect reviewing companion. We dropped in on a Tuesday and found ample seating available. The waitress was amiable and accommodating, and very knowledgeable about the menu. Gloria was impressed with the soup of the day, which was curry vegetable. She was so enamored with the soup, she got a to-go order to take home to her husband, a curry fiend. The delicious soup had the color and consistency of a creamed squash soup, but with a glorious kick of curry that made our taste buds leap with every spoonful. We were also impressed with our coconut crusted prawns appetizer ($6.50). Seven enormous prawns came in the order, and they were cooked to perfection. On the side was an apricot-horseradish dipping sauce that was sweet and spicy in exactly the right amounts. For my entree I had the all-American Burger ($8.25), smothered in Tillamook cheddar, apple-smoked bacon and the usual toppings. I ordered fries as my side dish and was pleased to find a good heap of them on the plate. Gloria wanted to order something she wouldn't normally, so she picked the leg of lamb au jus ($8.25) which boasted marinated and slow-roasted lamb meat served on a french roll with feta cheese accompanied by a side of ginger-soy jus. She offered me half a hunk of the enormous thing, and when I accepted, I was just being polite. Lamb isn't my favorite barnyard offering. But after taking a bite I realized this was not your average serving of lamb. It was delicious, tender, flavorful, and I soon abandoned my burger for more of Mary's lil' friend. Our waitress was extremely attentive, genuinely cheerful and helpful, and this visit garnered a 10 out of 10 in both our books.

My next visit was on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. I was hot from wandering around the outdoor market and hankering for a cold one (or two). I found the right place. Saturday at the Falcon Tavern is Buckets O' Brew day (Tuesday also boasts this happy hour special, but on Saturday, there's no pesky time limit—the special runs all day), when you can choose any five bottled beers for just 10 bucks. And these aren't just any bottles, no sir-ee! There are 22 fine brews in the bottle to choose from, among which are a few of my favorites: Rogue Mocha Porter, Negra Modelo, MacTarnahan's, Sierra Nevada, and more. My husband and I were very pleased. The beer run was another success, giving me a new dish to swoon over. The chicken wings (5 for $5.25 or 8 for $8) were a big hit, with the Falcon's special "You call it" wing choices of spicy with bleu cheese, BBQ with ranch or teriyaki with ginger curry. I absolutely loved the finger-licking spicy with blue cheese, but the teriyaki wings with ginger curry were pretty darn good, too.

In addition to the 22 bottled beers, the Falcon offers several top microbrews on tap, nine wines by the glass or bottle, and happy hour specials Monday through Saturday.

My first mission is complete, with the Falcon Tavern successfully vaulted to the top of my memory banks. It is now my new mission to try every menu item they offer.

—Rachel Abrahamson has the perfect solution to the Boise Hole: Build a beer and brewing museum there.

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