by Jeanne Huff, Treasure Hunter for the Idaho Statesman and Boise poet
Bob and I stopped in for Sunday breakfast at Moon’s Kitchen Cafe, 815 Bannock St. in Boise.
It’s a cute spot, shaped kind of like one of those skinny houses, not very wide, but way deep. And it has a kind of mullet mentality: business in the front — there’s this weird gift shop full of knick-knacks and jokey adult toys; party in the back — the cafe.
I say party in the back where the cafe is, because really, that’s where most everybody is. The only time I’ve ever seen folks in the weird gift shop part is when they’re waiting for somebody or waiting for a seat or waiting for their bill.
In the back then, is the restaurant. It feels and looks like a 50’s style mom and pop cafe or diner, straight out of a novel by that guy who wrote “The Grapes of Wrath.” Seating is cafeteria-style with rows of long tables covered with plastic, oily tablecloths and place settings.
Signs cover the walls. One sign proclaims Moon’s has been a tradition since 1955. A good omen, I thought, since that’s the year I was born. Other signs with pithy sayings — Danger: Men Cooking, Notice: Prices Subject to Change According to Customer’s Attitude — here’s my favorite: Cows may come and cows may go, but the bull in this place goes on forever. There are old automobile signs and John Wayne is EVERYwhere! In paintings, photos, posters and his image is even on a U.S. flag. There are also signed photos of local celebs and legislators — a few on the national level. (Did George W. and Barbara Bush and Dick Cheney really eat here?!)
By the way, the milkshakes here are legendary. I even brought my chocolate-loving son Tyler here once for lunch, hoping to impress him on the wonders of Boise.
And if you do order a milkshake, or anyone does for that matter, avoid sitting at the third stool from the north end. There’s a sign there that reads: Sit Here At Your Own Risk — Milkshake Machine Sprays. The sign is perched in front of an ancient-looking monster of a mixer. Hmm, I think. Although a milky-sweet shower could sound appealing at times, today it is snowing outside. The chill in the air puts a damper on thoughts of fun, frothy frolic.
Because of the seating, you get to sit with a variety of breakfasting neighbors. Over at the next table, we see a group of wildly-clad party people. Are they still up from last night’s midnight mayhem? They do look a little wilty around the edges.
Bob and I agreed that it’s nice when a breakfast restaurant can offer entertainment by way of people watching while you wait for your breakfast.
Our omelets came to our table, sharing space on the
overladen plate with a mountain of hash browns and a pile of toast. Um-mm.
We both agreed, the three-cheese and mushroom omelet was good; much better after you peeled the squares of processed orange American cheese off the top so you could then enjoy the new two-cheese and mushroom omelet. The two cheeses — real cheddar and real swiss — complemented the freshly sliced mushrooms folded inside a thin egg blanket perfectly.
The service here is also 1950s-style: your server is a waitress and she’s probably going to call you “hon” no matter what your gender is. She looks a little rough around the edges — but you just know she has a heart of gold.
We gave it a “Double Yum” rating.