|622 W Idaho, Boise, ID 83702
Cool Hand Lukes Steakhouse/Saloon is steps away from the capitol building in downtown Boise at 622 W. Idaho. The entrance is into a bar/saloon; and the inconspicuous restaurant dining is upstairs. Be prepared to endure the twang of country music.
Cheryl Rawden - Idahoeats contributing writer
While the steaks are the most popular choice, the waiter suggested the ahi and shrimp entrees were often sought by non red meat eaters. The only burger on the menu is a whopping $12. Service was steady and almost attentive but considering we were one of three or four tables occupied on a Thursday night it did seem we often had to wait for water refills and dish clearing. Along with our beverages, a complimentary basket of piping hot sourdough rolls and a pot of campfire beans were brought to the table. The rolls had a terrific tangy taste and the beans were well spiced and piping hot! With the purchase of an entrée, salad is unlimited. Our salads had fresh ingredients, especially the tiny cherry tomatoes, and the added surprise were crisp strips of crunchy pita croutons. The honey mustard dressing was sweet and tangy but the blue cheese dressing resembled ranch with a blue cheese additive of some sort.
Each entrée allows one selection of rice pilaf, garlic red mashers, baked potato, green beans, corn on the cob, fettuccini alfredo or steak fries. Our appetizer of calamari strips ($7) was not the usual fried seafood but a large calamari steak sliced into tender long strips served floating in a puddle of garlic butter. Coconut shrimp were good but for the $16 price the plate looked rather empty. The side of green beans was overcooked and cloyingly sweet. The mix-and-match combo dish ($19) of New York steak and shrimp scampi was decent but the side of garlic potatoes hinted of processed flavor. An extra side of fettuccini ($4) was tasteless and dry, lacking the usual rich creamy sauce. For a franchise one would expect some of the kinks associated with a new restaurant to have already been worked out.
On the dessert menu there are a few basic choices of bread pudding, sundaes, and chocolate cake. We splurged on the cake ($8) thinking it would be huge but it was a regular serving size piece of warm cake with chocolate sauce, a good dollop of whipped cream and a scoop of gritty ice cream that even the teenager seated at our table wouldn’t finish.
Cool Hand’s is open for lunch and dinner at the Boise location. (Just a reminder - the eagle location only serves dinner!)
Visit their web site for menu browsing, http://www.coolhandlukes.com/menu.html