Words & Deeds

Uh-oh. Boise’s first fried chicken and donut restaurant to stay open late every night

Philadelphia-based Federal Donuts (food pictured) provided the inspiration for soon-to-open Donut Daze, which will tailor a fried chicken and donuts concept to Downtown Boise.
Philadelphia-based Federal Donuts (food pictured) provided the inspiration for soon-to-open Donut Daze, which will tailor a fried chicken and donuts concept to Downtown Boise. Federal Donuts

Before you start mashing napkins at Donut Daze, a new Downtown Boise restaurant opening by spring, consider these expert tips.

1) Donut Daze will open early and stay open late. If you dine when it’s dark out, you’ll be less likely to notice The Gym fitness center across Eighth Street and be ravaged by guilt.

2) There are no plans for an on-site defibrillator at Donut Daze. If you chart your route home so that you pass a hospital, it might prove helpful.

Or perhaps Boise’s first dedicated “fried chicken and donut restaurant” won’t be as unabashedly artery-clogging as it sounds?

“It doesn’t have to be entirely that unhealthy,” owner Russ Crawforth says, laughing. “You can get coleslaw and some chicken. Or like a Sunday brunch: Chicken and waffle with a glass of bubbly.

“A fried egg on top,” he adds, chuckling again.

Come on, the word “daze” is in the name. Plus, Crawforth knows comfort food. This dude owns pizza-slice mecca Pie Hole, which has two Boise locations, plus the nearby Mode Lounge.

Donut Daze will take over 160 N. Eighth St., a former nail salon space near the escalator at the Capitol Terrace building. The restaurant will seat about 25 customers. A central table will handle four to six people, Crawforth says. Solo stools around the windows will account for the rest of the seating.

Nobody will be going there for ambiance, anyway. Breakfast diners, lunch seekers and night owls will storm this joint for sinful, satisfying grub.

“We will be serving standard Southern fried chicken and also Nashville hot chicken,” Crawforth says. “Side orders available with the chicken will be coleslaw, fries and waffles. Also, we will serve cake donuts, devil’s food donuts, buttermilk donuts, old-fashioned donuts and French crullers all day.”

Coffee? Beer and wine, too? Of course.

Crawforth got the idea for Donut Daze from a wildly popular Philadelphia-based chain called Federal Donuts, which serves Korean-style fried chicken. But Donut Daze will be tailored to Boise. Making donuts twice a day — caked only, not raised — the restaurant will be open seven days a week as early as 7 or 8 a.m. Fried chicken will be served starting at 11 a.m., Crawforth says.

Donut Daze will be open until midnight Sunday through Tuesday, and until 3 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday, with the eventual goal of staying open until 3 a.m. seven nights a week.

Crawforth sees a Downtown customer base ready to embrace the chicken-and-donuts concept.

“It’s gonna be a similar crowd as Pie Hole,” he says. “We have a lot of people in their 20s and 30s out having a good time that want to get a bite at the end of the night. Nobody’s doing any late-night sweets around town — a late-night donut shop. A lot of big cities have these. We’re going to try to fill that niche.”

Crawforth is still working out pricing, he says, but donuts will cost around $1.25 to $1.50. Customers will be able to order takeout food — think a family-size bucket of fried chicken. But the majority of chicken orders will be combinations to eat on the spot: “A drum stick and a chicken breast with a side of coleslaw,” he says, “and there will be a price for that. Or you can do it with fries. And what I think we’re going to do Friday, Saturday and Sunday only is offer a waffle. Fried chicken, you can get a side of a waffle.

“Over on the side, there will be a pump with ketchup and ranch. And then when we’re serving the waffle, with hot syrup, so you can help yourself.”

A hot syrup pump. Lordy. Yes.

“Nobody’s ever done it in Boise!” Crawforth says happily.

At least nobody who’s lived to tell about it.

Crawforth hopes to have Donut Daze operating by late March to serve the crowds at Treefort Music Fest. However, if that doesn’t happen, the restaurant should make its debut in April, he says.

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