June 22, 2024


Food & Travel Enthusiast

Boise dining establishments: Falafel Co., Amina’s Center Eastern food stuff

Ali Alaali, left, and Aziz Serhan man the Falafel Co. food truck in Boise, serving up falafel, shawarma, hummus and delicious sauces.

Ali Alaali, remaining, and Aziz Serhan gentleman the Falafel Co. food truck in Boise, serving up falafel, shawarma, hummus and tasty sauces.

If you are a single of those people who’s a month into your New Year’s resolution, performing to locate a superior get the job done-life balance or whatsoever your objective was, I’d like to propose that you insert anything to your list in 2022: hoping area places to eat — specifically if it is anything outside the house your consolation zone!

And here are a pair to aid get you began — two destinations that have great tales and deliver loaded particular histories to the food stuff they provide.

Amina’s African Sambusas

Amina’s commenced as a seller at the Saturday markets in downtown Boise and eventually moved to a brick-and-mortar locale at 6555 Overland Highway last September, and it even now serves up authentic African dishes that are flavorful and hearty, and confident to please any one with an adventurous palate.

The menu is comprehensive: crispy sambusas, flavorful rice and stewed greens, well-spiced hen and beef. And Amina’s is run by a spouse and children with an American dream tale — refugees who fled turmoil and hardship to develop a effective business that celebrates their society and history in the U.S.

The eating area is a little bit subdued and a minimal drab, but the flavors of the foodstuff provide the fireworks. Warm spices this sort of as cinnamon, star anise, paprika and unique peppers warmed up my tongue and confused my taste buds — a sophisticated but effectively-built medley of factors in my meal that was like very little else I’ve experienced in Boise.

The grilled hen at Amina’s is just how you want it — crispy on the outside, moist and flavorful under the skin, not greasy. The sambusas have terrific taste and contrast. Amos Rothstein

I acquired the veggie possibility of the sambusa, which is fundamentally an African choose on an empanada. It experienced a golden-brown end, with curried potato and vegetables within. The distinction of the crispy, salty exterior mixed with the tender curry-spiced potato, sweet carrot, sharp cilantro and rich onion manufactured it a beautifully balanced get started to my meal.

The crispy grilled hen was excellent, properly-seasoned, with the bone in and pores and skin on. It was just what you want — crispy on the outside the house, moist and flavorful below the pores and skin, and not greasy. It was served on a mattress of rice with a smoky and sweet purple-pepper sauce. It also arrived with a vegetable and spinach combination that was someway the two refined and rich. I experienced a lot of leftovers, and I’ll be back, also.

The sambusas are $4, the dinners assortment from $10.50 to $12.99, and a wide variety of breads are accessible for $2 to $6. Amina’s is open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Falafel Co.

The Falafel Co. meals truck eventually has a long term place, at 5114 W. Emerald St., so there is no need to have to chase it about. And its awesome food is worth obtaining, with the most costly dish costing $11.99.

The enterprise was begun by Ali Alaali and his brother, who arrived to the U.S. from Syria at a young age and desired to share the meals they know. Alaali and his co-cook, Aziz Serhan, now gentleman the truck together, Tuesday via Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Ali Alaali and his brother, natives of Syria, begun the Falafel Co. meals truck. Amos Rothstein

Owning lived briefly in the Middle East, I enjoy wonderful, gentle falafel, a combination of floor chickpeas and spices rolled with each other and fried into a ball. Excellent hummus and tahini sauce, a really flavorful dressing built up of olive oil and sesame seeds, put the falafel around the major.

The foodstuff truck also serves up flawlessly cooked chicken shawarma, which can be loved possibly in a wrap or as portion of a platter, with Middle Japanese salad (chopped tomatoes and cucumbers) and hummus. There also are lamb gyro plates and wraps, which are entire of veggies, hummus and tahini. They are marginally greasy but also savory.

Finally, Falafel Co. serves a single of my preferred Middle Eastern dishes, tabouli. Tabouli is a fantastic side to any meat selection. It’s a amazing combination of parsley, bulgur wheat, salt, lemon, olive oil, mint and garlic. No subject what time of year it is, tabouli will normally flavor as alive as summertime.

It’s remarkable to see genuine Middle Jap foodstuff in Boise, and to see youthful cooks making an attempt to make their way on the scene. Delight in some food items from diverse cultures this yr — it’s a superior resolution.

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