One advantage to being an early riser (one of the few) is that I can get to places like the Buffalo Café before the Saturday morning rush.  I had a conversation with some friends about the variety of choices the Magic Valley offers when it comes to cafés, diners, and family restaurants.  All three describe casual dining.  The Buffalo Café is on the list of favorites for most locals.  When I go there, I try and be at the door before the place opens.  Seating is at a premium and it fills fast.  The same happens when it comes to lunch.

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Tourists may not know about these places, and I know some of you believe that’s a good thing.  I would have a different opinion if I owned the business.  Everybody’s money is green!  When I’m traveling, I try and stay away from chain restaurants.  Other than McDonald’s (I can always count on delicious fries).

There are some wonderful chain restaurants serving good family fare, but they don’t have much room for experimentation.  The cooks at the mom-and-pop outfits hit some home runs when it comes to menu items.  They get an idea, toss it on the grill, and a star is born.  Chicken wings were last-minute finger food one night 58 years ago.  Wings were usually thrown away, and then one night a harried chef fried some and then tossed them in hot sauce.

Buffalo Café defines breakfast, western style.  It’s a local institution.

I wanted to mention that several years ago, I encountered an old college girlfriend and offered to buy her breakfast.  I took her to one of my favorite haunts, where the Italian toast was grilled for breakfast, and we chowed down.  A few weeks later, she complained about the look of the place from the outside.  So, I asked her how breakfast was.  She explained it was out of this world.  I don’t worry about the siding and the color of the paint.  It’s about what’s on the plate.

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