Dining review: Twin Peaks livens up sports-pub scene with ‘Eats. Drinks. Scenic views.’

SPECIAL TO THE IDAHO STATESMANNovember 22, 2013 

  • TWIN PEAKS

    Address: 7751 W. Spectrum Way, Boise

    Phone: (208) 375-0118

    Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday-Saturday

    Menu price range: appetizers and soups $5.95-$18.50; sandwiches and entrées $7.95-$17.50

    Libation situation: A rotating selection of 16 draft beers (some local), specialty cocktails, whiskey shots and even a few wines by the glass.

    Family friendly? This is an all-ages restaurant, but don’t expect to see a lot of youngsters running around in here not named Beavis or Butt-head.

    Wheelchair accessible? Yes

    Opened: September 2013

I’m a big David Lynch fan, so my ears perked up a bit after hearing about a new restaurant in Boise called Twin Peaks.

I thought that finally there was going to be a restaurant that pays homage to one of the quirkiest television shows of the ’90s. I figured this was going to be one helluva campy place, with lots of red velvet curtains and weird carpet, framed by panoramic photos of the misty Cascade Range.

Well, at least I got the mountain part right.

Twin Peaks restaurant — across from Boise Spectrum in the former Ruby River Steakhouse spot — pays homage to all-American cleavage. It bursts forth from the red flannel halter-tops barely clinging to the young servers, known as “Lumber Jills,” who prance around the dining room dropping off big mugs of beer and spicy wings. Think of it as Hooters for lumberjacks. These exposed-tummy gals, who also wear khaki short-shorts, are expected to flirt with the mostly male customers. I’m pretty sure it’s in the employee manual.

A corporate concept based in Dallas, Twin Peaks works hard to create a mountain-man-cave environment. The place has no shortage of “naughty” pine ambience, thanks to the scantily clad servers and decidedly mountain decor. Stuffed trophy game heads stare at customers from their mounts. (I thought I saw a trout give me a dirty look.) The walls are also bedecked with old snowshoes and other vintage-looking outdoor sports paraphernalia.

There are 52 televisions, large and small, positioned at every possible angle, making it easy to watch just about every possible sport imaginable — even curling!

This is undeniably a manly place. Expect to find big plates of heart-unhealthy food, cold beer (always lingering around a crystalized 29 degrees) and lots of whiskey shots. What more does a guy need?

Guys also like hot wings, and lucky for them, Twin Peaks offers four different flavors. One day, I cleared my sinuses with an order of Buffalo-style wings (12 for $12.95), blasted with a fiery ghost pepper sauce and plopped on a plate next to some expected celery sticks and palate-cooling blue cheese dressing. My tough-guy dining partner thought the wings could’ve been even spicier.

Next, out came a heaping mound of barbecue pulled pork nachos ($8.50) resembling a tabletop version of Mount Hood. This steep-peaked heap of nachos —topped with shreds of tangy pork, salsa fresca and spicy sour cream — had dry pockets in the middle, though, where no cheese (the goopy processed stuff) had made it onto the tortilla chips.

Deep-fried pickles are common south of the Mason-Dixon line, but not so much in the Northwest. Twin Peaks dishes up fried pickle chips ($6.25), served in a basket with ranch dressing, and not the quartered spears, like I’ve had before at other places, which tend to be juicier.

Our server was attentive and knowledgeable about the food and drink, considering she was probably born during the early years of the Clinton administration. She even showed us her honest side when I asked her if the pot roast was as good as Grandma’s, to which she replied, “Probably not.” We liked this girl.

She also knew the kind of fish that came in the fish tacos ($9.50), a question that often stumps other servers around town. While these tacos — two warm, flour tortillas folded over seared fillets of seasoned tilapia, shredded cabbage and pico de gallo — weren’t overly exciting, they are probably the healthiest thing on the menu.

During another visit, this time at night, the restaurant was bursting at the seams, and not just with men; I also saw a few women hanging out.

After receiving a large mug of really cold Sockeye Dagger Falls IPA ($4.95 for 22 ounces), I made short work of some Average Joes ($6.25), which turned out to be three average-tasting little bratwursts on three little buns draped with American cheese sauce and chopped dill pickle, jalapeno and cilantro.

I also tried a bean-less venison chili ($5.95). No musical fruit muddled up the saucy and spicy ground venison that came in a small bowl smothered with melted pepper jack and chopped scallions.

I should have poured some of the chili over my Hangover burger ($9.25) to jazz it up a bit.

This burger— made on a shiny brioche-like bun with a super-thin burger patty, American cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato and an oozy fried egg —was more mediocre than spectacular, served with thick-cut steak fries.

Dudes who like hungry-man portions should order the chicken-fried chicken ($13.25), a hubcap-sized chicken breast that gets breaded and fried, then perched over a mound of skin-on mashed spuds and sauteed green beans pocked with bacon — all hit with jalapeno-spiked country-style gravy.

With artery-clogging food like this and hotties running around in skimpy outfits, management should probably keep a few defibrillators handy.

Email James Patrick Kelly: scene@idahostatesman.com

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