Throw it into the Melting Pot!

Published online: Jul 22, 2021 Articles, Lifestyle Gregg Losinski
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The big deal in July of course is celebrating Independence Day. And while there are a few cuisines that we may consider to be truly American, we for the most part have made epicurean appropriation a modern-day substitute for Manifest Destiny. Even in a town the size of Idaho Falls, just about every major cuisine represented by the United Nations can be found! Whether the dishes come from that country really doesn’t matter, just as long as we imagine it could.

The thing about Idaho Falls that makes us different from other towns of the same size in the Pacific Northwest is that we have a major employer that brings in people not only from all around the nation but even the planet! Factor in that many of these folks might have a little more discretionary income and discerning palates means that they might want something more than a monthly outing to the all-you-can-eat family buffetarama. Not that there’s anything wrong with those types of places. Otherwise, where would all the 1J folks go to eat when they win on their scratch tickets?

As someone who spent their teen years working in restaurants, I totally understand how difficult it is to keep customers happy and coming back. People are willing to pay good money for good food. Our local gastropub D’Railed is a prime example. The food there is extremely high quality and presented wonderfully and patrons are willing to pay big city prices for it!  

We’ve got every type of fare ranging from Irish-fusion fare at The Celt to savory halal-friendly at Tandoori Oven and just about everything else in between. We’ve got places for Philly Cheese Steaks and even real Greek Gyros if you know where to look for them! 

Sadly, the Russian/Polish restaurant couldn’t make a go of it. I guess Idaho Falls just wasn’t ready for beet salad and blood sausage!

Another growing trend we are seeing in Idaho Falls, just like the rest of the world, is food trucks. Long gone are the roach coaches of the past. These modern meals on wheels are clean and have just about every variety of food possible. Some have such a following that they don’t even have to offer any variety on their menu. The super-popular On The Hook truck that visits Idaho Falls only sells Fish & Chips and that’s it! This makes sense because that is the only English food worth eating! I’ve seen people stand lined up in a snowstorm waiting for over 45 minutes to get their orders. I know they were there over 45 minutes because that is when I left and decided to come back another day. When I did, I could see why people were willing to wait!

I’ve been fortunate to travel around the world and I’m proud to say that most of our “ethnic” restaurants here in Idaho Falls are pretty true to their countries of origin. We’ve got just about every variety of Asian food you could want, some of it as good as in China. Other dishes are tasty and called Chinese but are really American extrapolations. In the same way, much of what we call Mexican food is unknown south of the border.

BBQ is considered to be a truly American cuisine and Idaho Falls has several excellent examples. One of my favorites is Grandpa’s Southern BBQ. A real person making real food who has spent decades serving appreciative patrons all over town.

There are so many good places to eat in Idaho Falls that it is impossible to acknowledge them all! Eating out is popular in many cultures but we Americans are truly unprejudiced when it comes to what we eat. If it’s delicious, then dish it up!  


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