Saturday morning, I call Chef Lou’s at 8th Street to find they serve breakfast all day. I like this because time and sleepiness are usually the biggest enemies of omelet eating. I go back to bed and sleep in peace.
My first Chef Lou experience was at the impressionable age of 12. I rode in the back of my parents’ vehicle to the Western Idaho Fair. Between the goats, amusement rides, and hordes of people, I tasted my first Chef Lou meal–an ice cream potato. As a kid, the best way to celebrate the ending to a great Idaho summer was a plate of ice cream styled with cinnamon and whipped cream to look deceitfully like Idaho’s famous tuber.
Now I celebrate the end of summer with a leisurely bike ride down the Greenbelt from Garden City. The beginning of fall is one of the best times to cruise the Greenbelt: the aspens are changing color, the water levels in the Boise River have dropped to expose riverbanks, and there is less traffic to clog the narrow paved trail. My ride takes me through the Anne Frank Memorial and past the Library! to historic 8th Street.
Something else you should know about Chef Lou: besides being the proud parent of the Idaho ice cream potato, Chef Lou runs the popular Westside Drive-in, voted Boise’s Best Drive-in for the past eight years. As you know, many successful drive-in restaurant owners tend to a pattern of clogging the roadways with more drive-ins or locating smaller versions of their restaurants in truck stops or airports. Chef Lou has broken this trend by opening Chef Lou’s at 8th Street, which is not another Westside Drive-in but a one-of-a-kind restaurant located in a pedestrian friendly area of downtown Boise.
Chef Lou’s resides in one of the old brick buildings on 8th Street. We settle into a comfy booth, and the host brings out a carafe of freshly brewed coffee. Footballs fly across three television screens placed in a feng shui way throughout the restaurant so that not a single diner will miss out on the televised action.
If you are trying to break a Saturday football habit of not showering, drinking cheap beer, eating cardboard pizza and taking long trips to the bathroom with your fantasy football magazine, then Chef Lou’s might be a needed change. A person can watch his or her favorite team while enjoying an omelet and frothy cappuccino.
The menu does not offer a predestined omelet selection. The omelets at Chef Lou’s are similar to fantasy football. I agree with the football fan who wants all his or her favorite players on one team. I like my omelet veggies and cheeses to not be limited by the Denver omelet team or the meat eaters omelet team. Chef Lou lets the omelet connoisseur create his or her fantasy omelet with a variety of different cheeses, meats, and veggies. I overheard one football fan say, “My first football fantasy was to be the player with the ball and have all those large men chase me and then pile up on me. Now my football fantasy is to have all my favorite football men wrapped up in an omelet for me to eat.”
Besides the bright televisions inside Chef Lou’s, the brick walls boast black and white photos of an older Boise. The pictures leave the omelet eater and football fan with a sense that Chef Lou’s will be a Boise establishment for generations to come.