My second feature story in the Spring 2015 edition of Edible Idaho explores the exploding brunch scene in Boise, Idaho. All the beautiful photos were taken by Guy Hand.

If you’d like to see the complete online version of the magazine, click here.

Breakfast with Cocktails – Brunch in Boise, Idaho

Brunch is taking Boise by storm. No longer defined by the tried and true, this longstanding ritual, once dominated by Bardenay, Berryhill, Cottonwood and Red Feather, is welcoming a host of newcomers.

Since opening last summer, Juniper has been serving up locally inspired brunch dishes including a roasted beet Benedict; hash made with Lava Lake lamb served with potatoes, eggs and toast; or the Big Guy—a bespoke take on biscuits and gravy topped with fried chicken, bacon and cheese.

The Bloody Marys here also come with a spin. One made with beet juice is bright and beautiful with deep earthy flavor. Another, Lucifer’s Hangover, has a heavy dose of housemade habanero sauce that fosters a slow burn. Also don’t discount the Bromosa—lager, orange juice and testosterone, according to their menu, garnished with cured meat.

Not a morning person? A limited brunch menu is available at Juniper late-night on weekends from 10pm to 1am.

Kindness – Brunch in Boise, Idaho

Brunch isn’t limited to the weekends with the everyday offerings of Kindness located downtown in the newly remodeled Owyhee Plaza. Try the breakfast enchiladas— corn tortillas stuffed with scrambled eggs, black beans and cheese under a chili sauce—or the creamy steel-cut oatmeal with spiced pears and sugared pecans with chai cream.

Saint Lawrence Gridiron Pork Belly Soufflé – Brunch in Boise, Idaho

If your version of breakfast consists of grits and smoked meats, Saint Lawrence Gridiron is the place to go on Saturdays and the pork belly soufflé is the menu item to get. This cast-iron dish comes layered with a grit soufflé topped with pork belly, bourbon-sorghum redeye gravy and garnished with micro greens.

Kind Cuisine – Brunch in Boise, Idaho

For a breakfast to take on the day versus take a nap, try Kind Cuisine Café and its menu full of vegetarian, vegan, raw and gluten-free offerings. Opened in October by chef Michelle Reynolds, a partner in the former Kulture Klatsch, Kind Cuisine’s organic juice bar provides “garden to glass goodness” and a menu that lacks meat but not flavor.

Since expanding its kitchen in the spring of 2014, The Modern has added a brunch that extends the weekend by also being served on Fridays with a menu that goes way beyond standard fare.

“I wanted to offer something that was not available in Boise, bring some diversity and show that food is exciting when you follow the seasons and let the products inspire you,” says Food and Beverage Manager Remi Courcenet. “We have always been doing things differently here at The Modern and this brunch is just an organic growth for us.”

The Modern Grilled Cheese – Brunch in Boise, Idaho

Different and delicious it is, ranging from Moroccan-scented organic Idaho black beans served with polenta, fried egg and créme fraîche to the grilled cheese sandwich with prosciutto and vichyssoise soup, which has components of traditional breakfast—cheese, ham, potatoes, toast—put together in a creative new way.

The Modern is known for its handcrafted cocktails, and just because it’s mid-morning  doesn’t change that. Beyond the sriracha salt rim, The Mary is filled with Thai influences that include lime juice, fish sauce and a little honey syrup that raises the bar for all future Bloody Marys. “One of my bartenders, Ashley, says you can’t have a bad day when you start with brunch,” Courcenet adds, “and it’s very true when you take the time to enjoy food, coffee, friends, family … life!”