Tag Archives: Treasure Valley

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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Good stuff

The Brownie and Dr. Maybe at Reconstruct 2009. Who IS under that mask?

The Brownie and Dr. Maybe at Reconstruct 2009. Who IS under that mask?

Just when you think it’s just not going to get better, something better comes along. Now, this is not just one of those “the glass is half-full, not half-empty” sort of thing and I’m not telling you to look through rose-colored glasses — and please, don’t call me Pollyanna (although I LOVE Pollyanna).

What I’m referring to is simply good news. And it happened right here in the Treasure Valley, in Downtown Nampa, as a matter of fact.

Good news, you say? Really?? In Downtown Nampa???

Yes.

On Saturday, May 2, at the Flying M Coffeegarage, the Third Annual Reconstruct Fashion Show was held to a packed crowd of Project Runway fans and wannabes. This year’s theme: “Superheroes/Supervillains” piqued about a dozen local designers and artists and the show was a dazzling display of sewing machine-gone-mad talent.

And now — wait for it — comes that good news: This year the show raised $1,450 for Dress for Success, a local organization that helps women get professional duds for those all-important job interviews and helps them land those all-important jobs. The amount raised is something to especially crow about because it’s a higher number — by $250 — than last year’s.

“That’s exciting,” said Lisa Myers, owner of the Coffeegarage.

Walk it off
Looking for more good news? Try going for a walk or simply looking out your window. Springtime in the Treasure Valley is breathtaking and will bring a smile to even the diehard cynic. Lilacs are blooming and filling the air with their signature perfume, daffodils and tulips are strutting their stuff.

The "Starship Enterprise" iris at JoAnn's Iris Garden at 1325 N. Hesse Lane, Eagle. Photo courtesy JoAnn's Garden.And, lucky for all of us in the Treasure Valley, we still have the beautiful iris show waiting in the wings. Take a trip out to see Sharon Touchstone’s iris garden at 1222 Morehouse Road in Emmett (call first: 365-6112). She has from 500 to 1,000 varieties! “I got the ‘iris virus’ — my husband hasn’t realized how many I have around,” Sharon chuckled. Sharon is also the chairperson of the Gem State Iris Club.

Other local iris gardens include: The Sandhollow Iris Gardens at Sandhollow Nursery, 14000 Oasis Road in Caldwell and Joann’s Garden at 1325 N. Hesse Lane in Eagle. You can even buy some of the rhizomes ($4.50 each) if you take a fancy to any of her 450 varieties (my favorite is the Starship Enterprise). You can visit her garden daily after blooming begins.

The point is, get out there and enjoy the Treasure Valley’s treasures.

Keep it coming

In the meantime, send me any good news items you have, from good deeds to good folks, good ideas to good ways to help manage our money and time.

And if you hear of any good jobs for an out-of-work but excellent and extremely personable features writer — well, send those my way, too.

Good shopping cents!

images-2“My momma told me— you better shop around…”

If you’ve got that shopping bug but don’t want to dip into your grocery money, cheer up, call a friend, put on your shopping duds, jump in the car — and don’t forget your purse! You can get some great bargains, there are lots of sales right now. Here are a few places to get started:

Again Consignment Clothing, 222 East State Street in Eagle. Winter clothing is halp-price, but get this: they’re having a $3 sale, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 7! There’s so much going into the $3 bins, they had to rent the space next door! Tip: Get there early for the best stuff.

American Clothing Gallery, 100 N. 8th Street. Winter merch is 75% off!

Atomic Treasures, 409 S. 8th St. First Thursday discounts on EVERYTHING! Tip: They just added HUNDREDS of boots to their inventory!

Karen Louise Fashion Boutique, 625 W. Main St. EVERYTHING in the store is on sale, 25% to 50% off!! Tip: Open until 9 p.m. on First Thursday.

Helly Hansen, 860 W. Broad St. (Almost) everything in the store is marked down: 30% to 50%!

The Record Exchange, 310 N. 9th St. First Thursday special: $2 off any used CD or DVD ($5.99 & up) — ALL DAY LONG. In the gift shop: $2 off any sale gift over $5.99. In the coffee shop: $2 off 12-ounce espresso drinks.

Snake River Winery, 786 W. Broad St. 20 % off all case sales.

White House Black Market, 836 W. Broad St., $25 off your purchase of $125 or more, or $50 off $200 or more.

Know of any other good sales? Let me know and I’ll get spread the good shopping news: jeannehuff@gmail.com

Good eats!

king-cake-doll-babyLet them eat cake!

If you want to throw your own Mardi Gras party, don’t forget to make a traditional King Cake — it’s just not a real Mardi Gras party without one. Here’s the fast down-low on King Cakes: the cake celebrates the Epiphany when The Three Wise Men brought presents to the baby Jesus — that’s why there’s a little plastic baby baked in the cake. It’s considered lucky if you get the piece with the baby in it — plus, you get to throw the next party. Check out the more complete history of the King Cake here:
http://www.mardigrasday.com/mardigras/history.php#kingcake

Here’s a recipe for the cake from the Mardigrasday.com Web site: http://www.mardigrasday.com/

King Cake
Traditional New Orleans Recipe
Ingredients
1/2 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
3 1/2 – 4 1/2 cups flour unsifted
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest, this is lemon rind, grated
1/2 cup warm milk
5 egg yolks
1 stick butter cut into slices and softened, plus 2 tablespoons more softened butter
1 egg slightly beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1″ plastic baby doll

Directions
Pour the warm water into a small shallow bowl, and sprinkle yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar into it. Allow the yeast and sugar to rest for three minutes then mix thoroughly. Set bowl in a warm place for ten minutes, or until yeast bubbles up and mixture almost doubles in volume. Combine 3 1/2 cups of flour, remaining sugar, nutmeg and salt, and sift into a large mixing bowl. Stir in lemon zest. Separate center of mixture to form a hole and pour in yeast mixture and milk. Add egg yolks and, using a wooden spoon, slowly combine dry ingredients into the yeast/milk mixture. When mixture is smooth, beat in 8 tablespoons butter (1 tablespoon at a time) and continue to beat 2 minutes, or until dough can be formed into a medium-soft ball.
Place ball of dough on a lightly floured surface and knead like bread. While kneading, sprinkle up to 1 cup more of flour (1 tablespoon at a time) over the dough. When dough is no longer sticky, knead 10 minutes more until shiny and elastic.
Using a pastry brush, coat the inside of a large bowl evenly with one tablespoon softened butter. Place dough ball in the bowl and rotate until the entire surface is buttered. Cover bowl with a moderately thick kitchen towel and place in a draft-free spot for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the dough doubles in volume. Using a pastry brush, coat a large baking sheet with one tablespoon of butter and set aside.
Remove dough from bowl and place on lightly floured surface. Using your fist, punch dough down forcefully. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top, pat and shake dough into a cylinder. Twist dough to form a curled cylinder and loop cylinder onto the buttered baking sheet. Pinch the ends together to complete the circle. Cover dough with towel and set it in draft-free spot for 45 minutes, or until the circle of dough doubles in volume. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Brush top and sides of cake with egg wash and bake on middle rack of oven for 25 to 35 minutes until golden brown. Place cake on wire rack to cool. If desired, you can hide the plastic baby in the cake at this time.
Colored sugars
Green, purple, & yellow paste
12 tablespoons sugar
Squeeze a dot of green paste in palm of hand. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over the paste and rub together quickly. Place this mixture on wax paper and wash hands to remove color. Repeat process for other 2 colors. Place aside.
Icing
3 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 – 6 tablespoons water
Combine sugar, lemon juice and 3 tablespoons water until smooth. If icing is too stiff, add more water until spreadable. Spread icing over top of cake. Immediately sprinkle the colored sugars in individual rows consisting of about 2 rows of green, p urple and yellow.
Cake is served in 2″ – 3″ pieces.