Tag Archives: City of Boise

On the Fly is SO fly

L-R: Brick 29 and On the Fly owner and chef Dustan Bristol and manager Doug Stinson cranking out sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts for the lunch hour crowd. Photo by Jeanne Huff

L-R: Brick 29 and On the Fly owner and chef Dustan Bristol and manager Doug Stinson cranking out sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts for the lunch hour crowd. Photo by Jeanne Huff

I have a new favorite sandwich joint. It hasn’t been open long — officially, just a few weeks — but I have been there about 10 times already and have tried just about every sandwich and soup of the day. Everything is delicious. At least for this comfort food loving girl from Kansas, it is truly comfort food kicked up a notch. Well, actually, quite a few notches.

And that’s exactly what On the Fly’s chef and owner Dustan Bristol intended when he came up with the idea. It’s what he had in mind when he added bacon jam to his egg salad sandwich. When he decided to take on that mother of all comfort food sandwiches – bologna. He remembered his favorite bologna sandwich from his childhood. “My grandparents had that bologna with the olives in it,” he says. And, of course, they served it on Wonder bread with mayo. So, his take on the classic bologna sandwich includes green olive tapenade, aioli, organic arugula, sliced tomato and house-made bologna — “that way I know what’s in it,” he says — on white bread custom made for Bristol by Mathieu Choux of Gaston’s Bakery. “It’s like Wonder bread on crack,” he says with a smile.

I don’t doubt it for a minute. I am one of the addicts that start lining up around 11 a.m. hoping to grab one of the sandwiches at the ready — the egg salad and the bologna regularly sell out early. Or, if I’m feeling extravagant, I might sidle up to the counter and order a fresh, made-to-order hot sandwich. The regulars include grilled cheese Panini (sharp white cheddar, Monterey jack, shaved red onion and pear), a Reuben panini (with house Louie dressing and Swiss cheese fondue and roasted cabbage tossed in vinaigrette in lieu of sauerkraut) and a daily special.

My friend Jason says On the Fly’s roast beef sandwich (with Manchego cheese and house made Bearnaise aioli on a baguette) is the best he’s ever had.

All the usual suspects are there so whatever your go-to comfort sandwich is, you won’t be disappointed; rather, you and your taste buds will be delighted: turkey (house brined and rotisserie-cooked with roasted red and green peppers, smoked gouda cheese, aioli and dried chili pesto on baguette), chicken salad (again, house brined and rotisserie-cooked chicken tossed with vinaigrette, fennel, red onion, raisins, blue cheese crumbles, fresh basil, toasted walnuts with aioli, organic arugula and sliced tomato) and how about this: cashew butter and jelly (house-made cashew butter, boysenberry conserve and fresh banana on that better-than-Wonder-bread bread).

Now, I’m not saying there aren’t a lot of other sandwich places downtown, many of which are pretty good to great: there’s the Bleubird (my second fave), Subway and of course Jimmy John’s, to name a few. And there are restaurants aplenty where you can get sandwich specials of the day as well. You can get a sandwich that will satisfy your lunchtime hunger in any of those establishments (the Bleubird will tickle your taste buds with panache, but you have to wait on line, and some of the fare is a little more spendy). At On the Fly, most sandwiches are grab-and-go, and cost about five bucks, a few a bit more, some less. And that’s a pretty great price point for deliciousness. The place also has ramped-up soups, salads and desserts. I dare you to sink your teeth into the Rice Whiskey Treat (think of  your childhood’s rice krispie treat on steroids — comes with salted caramel sauce for dipping) and not flutter your eyes in OMG ecstasy. And if you like breakfast sandwiches, I highly recommend the Croque Madame (fried egg, house ham and Swiss fondue). The only downside I could find on my trips there was that if you want one of the hot sandwiches that are made to order, you do have to wait a few minutes while they make it. But in my experience, the end result was worth the wait.

Bristol, also owner and chef of Brick 29 in Nampa, says he modeled the sustainable, local, whole food, real food, grab and go concept on the trendy and wildly popular Pret a Manger, that started in the U.K. and now has locations in Hong Kong and New York. And, he already has plans to take the entire On the Fly enterprise up a notch or two: he envisions online ordering and bike delivery service in the near future that will rival that of the competition’s. “I would love to have a concept I could standardize and duplicate. We want to be aggressive. I think we offer a better value than Jimmy John’s.”

He wants to be the sandwich king.

One bite is all it will take to know that if anybody can take on Jimmy John’s, Bristol can.

 

IF YOU GO:

On the Fly, 800 W. Main, Suite 200. 344-6833. http://ontheflydeli.com.

On Facebook: On the Fly Rotisserie Deli.

It is in the new Eighth and Main building in downtown Boise. Just hang a right at the top of the escalator.

Open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Sandwiches, soups, salads, desserts. Also grab and go entrees.

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Toot-toot!

By Otto Kitsinger

That’s me, tooting my own horn. And, yeah, it feels good, it’s about time and I’m not apologizing.

Why toot, you ask?

First, take a gander at how many readers “First, the good news” has tallied in little over a year. Drumroll, please: 104,422! That’s roughly 8,000 visitors a month. Thanks for reading!

Second, Quintessential Boise: An Architectural Journey by Charles Hummel, Tim Woodward and moi is tearing it up! Newspaper reviews, television appearances! A reception, book signing and bus tour! You can buy the book at Borders, Flying M Coffeehouse in Boise, A Novel Adventure, Trip Taylor Bookstore and soon (maybe even by the time you read this) you’ll be able to get it at the Boise Co-op and Rediscovered Books. And, of course, you can go online and order at http://www.booksboisestate.com. Kudos to Adele Thomsen, the book’s graphic designer, Otto Kitsinger, photog, and, of course, the inimitable Todd Shallat, whose eagle eye oversaw EVERYTHING from tiny braincell conception to the published product.

Third — well, I’m gonna keep mum for a few more days on what’s behind curtain number three. Don’t want to jinx it. Plus, it’ll be more exciting that way.

So — stay tuned. The universe is tipping!

Home, home on the range

Photo by Gary Will, IDFG

The City of Boise has bought itself some land. Seven hundred and one acres, to be exact.

The East Boise wildlife preserve of Hammer Flat where wintering mule deer, fox, deer, elk and antelope play, was bought with funds generated by the 2001 Foothills serial levy for — cha-chiing! — $4.1 mill at a special City Council meeting today.

“Of all the incredible land acquisitions made through the Foothills serial levy, this is the most significant in terms of wildlife preservation,” Mayor David Bieter said. “By putting this land into public hands, we will protect it and the wildlife it supports for generations to come.”

Photo by Gary Will, IDFG


Here are more details from Adam Park, Boise’s Communications Director:

Hammer Flat is a vast plateau located north of Highway 21 above the Black Cliffs near Lucky Peak Reservoir. The property adjoins the 35,000-acre Boise River Wildlife Management Area, which is managed by the Idaho Department of Fish & Game. The department will also manage the Hammer Flat property for wildlife habitat in a manner consistent with the Boise Wildlife Management Area plan. No trails are planned for the property.

The Hammer Flat property, a former homestead, is considered by Idaho Fish & Game and other wildlife supporters to be the most crucial wildlife protection area in the Boise Valley. The area’s relatively low elevation provides a needed winter habitat for as many as 2,000 mule deer at a time, many coming from as far away as the Stanley basin. Without Hammer Flat, the deer would be forced to seek shelter at higher elevations where deeper snow levels and lower temperatures make survival more difficult.

The two-year serial levy, approved by voters in 2001, generated $10 million for the protection of open space in the Boise Foothills. Under the leadership of former state Supreme Court Justice Charles McDevitt, the 12-member Foothills Conservation Advisory Committee advises the Mayor and Council on land acquisitions. The committee focuses on protecting critical wildlife habitat, riparian corridors, rare plants, historic sites, and potential trail connections.

Purchase of this prime wildlife habitat was negotiated with the Johnson family. The Johnsons and Skyline Development Co. had planned to build a residential development on the site. The Johnson family, in partnership with Sterling Savings Bank and other project partners, worked with the City of Boise to coordinate the acquisition. “While we are saddened that we will not have the opportunity to develop The Cliffs according to the approved plan,” said Tucker Johnson, President of Skyline, “we feel that this deal will leave a lasting legacy for our family and all valley residents.” Sterling Savings Bank agrees: “Sterling Savings Bank is pleased to be a partner in the conservation of this valuable wildlife area,” said Cara Coon, spokesperson for Sterling Savings Bank.

Negotiations on the acquisition were led by Jim Hall, director of Boise Parks & Recreation. “We are so grateful to be able to preserve this unique piece of ground,” he said. “The site’s location adjacent to the Wildlife Management Area is one of the largest and most significant for wildlife in Ada County.”

To date, $10.6 million in serial levy fund, combined with over a million dollars in cash donations, has allowed the city to conserve 10,471 acres in the Boise Foothills, with an estimated market value of $34.1 million. Following this purchase, nearly $400,000 in serial levy funds will remain for future acquisitions and easements.

BSU in hot water — and that’s good!

img_0057On Monday, March 16, Mayor Dave Bieter and Boise State University President Bob Kustra gave a warm welcome to the underground geothermal system that has heated houses along Warm Springs Avenue for more than 100 years and another 58 “customers” at the City of Boise since 1983. Now, with the help of more than $2 million from the FY 2009 Omnibus Appropriations bill signed by President Obama on March 11, the current geothermal system will extend to Boise State University.

The project is expected to open more than 20 new jobs over a six to eight month period and is also expected to save BSU money — more than $80,000 per year in heating costs initially, with more savings to come as more buildings are added to the plan.

The $2,065,000 appropriation comes as a result of the combined efforts by Congressman Mike Simpson (more than $1.4 million from the Department of Energy) and Senator Mike Crapo ($665,000 from the Department of Housing and Urban Development).

The project is slated to be fulfilled in two phases. Phase one will extend the downtown geothermal system across the Boise River at Capitol Boulevard and connect it to BSU (see map above). Five BSU buildings are ready to be retrofitted for geothermal heating (more than 280,000 square feet of building space). The city hopes to use federal stimulus money to fund phase two, which will complete the geothermal loop by connecting the system at BSU back to the city’s system along Broadway Avenue (see map above).

Adam Cotterell, reporter for Boise State Radio NPR News 91, talks to Mayor Bieter on The Quad at BSU.

Adam Cotterell, reporter for Boise State Radio NPR News 91, talks to Mayor Bieter on The Quad at BSU.

“This project will create jobs, save money and provide a clean, renewable and efficient source of energy to Boise State for years to come,” Mayor Bieter said.

Kustra is looking forward to seeing this project that has been planned for some time, come to fruition. “Geothermal heating encourages Boise State’s already strong commitment to environmental stewardship, sustainability and economic judiciousness,” Kustra said. “Another benefit is the hands-on research opportunities it affords for our students and faculty as we explore clean energy development.”

The city’s current geothermal system pumps water hotter than 170 degrees from the ground near St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center, distributes it through the downtown area and re-injects it into the geothermal aquifer near Julia Davis Park, heating approximately 3.8 million square feet of building space, including the Federal Courthouse, City Hall, Boise High School, Ada County Courthouse and the Boise Centre on the Grove.

Good school news, honk!

art-cafe-van-1C’mon, kids, get on the bus, er, van. Boise Parks & Recreation’s Mobile Recreation Van motors about from school to apartment complex to neighborhood park, offering adult-supervised fitness and arts programs to kids during lunch break and out-of-school. Many wouldn’t be able to participate in the activities otherwise.

The program was launched in February 2008 as a response to programming
deficiencies identified by the Mayor’s Council on Children and Youth.

“Cost and location are key obstacles for parents seeking safe, quality
after-school programs for their kids,” said Roseanne Daily of Boise
Parks & Recreation. “The van allows us to take programming to the
children to help alleviate the accessibility issue.”

The van, loaded with sporting goods and art supplies toodles out to visit
Hawthorne, Whitney, McMillan, Jefferson, Horizon and Summerwind schools.

And now, kids at four more schools will have the chance to get in on the fun. The expanded spring schedule
includes Whittier, Ustick, Mountain View and Garfield elementary schools.

The Mobile Recreation program has far exceeded expectations, with 37,000
visits in the last year, Daily said.
City funds were used to purchase the van and provide staff. Additional
support is provided by the University of Idaho’s Expanded Food and
Nutrition Program, Boise Sunrise and Boise Southwest Rotary Clubs. Boise
Weekly donated funds for an artist-in-residence program.