Let me tell you something about Boise, Idaho. The folks there are big on their Boise State Broncos, potatoes (you have Idaho to thank for your drive-thru French fry run), and the hidden gem that is Barbacoa. Last week I went to Boise for the day job and a co-worker told me about Barbacoa, a restaurant that she said had excellent libations (I don’t use that word enough) and fab eats. Upon my arrival, I completely forgot all about their drinks and couldn’t take my eyes off of the décor. I mean, an interior designer clearly had his/her way with the place and I’m guessing an endless budget because there were so many focal points that they all became accessories instead of statement pieces, from the massive chandeliers, cow-hide walls, settees and wine racks, to the water sculptures, indoor trees and more (yes, more). The only neutral pieces were the hostesses, waiters and buss boys who wore all-black everything, giving our eyes a reprieve.
I was so in awe that I didn’t realize I had ordered a side of garlic mashed potatoes with the Coulette Shrimp & Steak, which already came with a side of mashed potatoes. So I had two heaping servings of spuds and a nice view to distract me as I tried to figure out how to shovel it all in. Really, it was quite fitting that my meal was so overwhelming, as this is an establishment that envelops one’s senses to the fullest. The question that still pops up in my head is, should the décor or culinary artistry be the main attraction at a restaurant? I’m still torn.