In a world of quick bites, countless chain restaurants are serving up adequate cuisine. But in a place like the Treasure Valley, and more specifically in Boise, there is a surprising amount of small, locally owned, and operated drive-thru restaurants dishing up fast, quality meals. One of the leading examples in the Valley that has been producing non-stop top-grade fast food is Westside Drive-In, located on State St and Parkcenter Blvd in Boise.
A family business, Chef Lou Aaron bought the long-running joint from Ralph Caskey. Caskey opened the restaurant originally in 1957 and was Idaho's first drive-thru restaurant. Now, 64 years later, Chef Lou's son, Josh Aaron, is taking after his father and runs the State St location.
Westside Drive-In isn't just a winner of several “Treasure Valley's Best Drive-In” awards, the restaurant has also been nationally recognized by iconic flame-shirted Chef and fast foodie, Guy Fieri. His autographed poster hangs on the north-facing wall of one of the establishment's drive-thru lanes.
But what makes this food so much better than the rest? J. Aaron shares that it's the quality of ingredients and love they put into every order. “Meat prices have risen due to COVID. Despite that, we are committed to using the high-quality ingredients for every burger, BLT, or Prime Rib Dinner.” After the first bite, you'll understand just how big of a difference that quality makes.
Spanning the full width of the store's large ordering windows, the menu is extensive, with something scrumptious for everybody, including the four-legged friends. Vegetarians to meat lovers, you all are welcomed at Westside Drive-In. But what does the Westside team really recommend off the menu? We took that challenge on!
The Ultimate Westside Drive-In Food Order:
- Original Chicken Sandwich claimed to convert lovers of the Chik Fil A staple
- Boise's Best Finger Steaks which were created right here in the valley
- Hand-breaded Mozzarella Cheese Sticks
- Meatloaf Sandwich, yes, Meatloaf between two buns
- Mash potatoes and Gravy
- Westside's Famous Idaho Ice Cream Potato, which looked like a baked potato but tasted so sweet
- Two thick shakes in Chocolate and their own flavor creation, Miss Emily with butterscotch marshmallow sauce and sprinkles
The eating was good! The meat was fresh, the produce was clean and crips and the variety of flavors shot us back to a time we were years from ever being acquainted with. Westside Drive-In is what fast food should taste like. I know it won't be long until I'm taking my place in line to try something new, like their B.L.T. or Impossible (Vegan) Burger. As Chef Lou says, “There's nothin' as nifty as food, fun, & fifties!
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