Black Bear Diner (North Boise)

This is the North Boise location of a chain that covers most of the western US.

Black Bear Diner website

As I entered the Black Bear Diner, I was immediately greeted with a friendly greeting and shown to a comfortable booth in a warm area on a snowy day. The initial impression was very nice! The menus were interesting in that they had been printed to include news articles from Boise papers from the 1950s.

The overall ambiance was perhaps a little over the top, but reminded me that I was dining at a theme restaurant. The meal was well cooked, but a little disappointing. As a theme restaurant this was a fine experience and my breakfast was fine, but nothing to write home about. Had I been in a small village at a ski resort I would have been more impressed. However, in a town that offers so many excellent early morning dining options like Boise…

This whole Blog thing is the result of our having noticed that breakfast is a special event in this city in a way that stands out and it must become very difficult to compete when operating a chain restaurant. The Black Bear Diner falls into this trap.

I ordered corned beef hash and eggs. A very standard breakfast. The serving size was very large, but the food was incredibly bland. I took one bite and immediately reached for the salt and pepper to try to help things out. The egg was ordered over-medium (all whites cooked, yolk mostly runny), but was cooked over-easy (slightly runny whites, raw yolk). The hash browns were just un-seasoned potato shavings crisped on a flat-top in vegetable oil. The corned beef hash was impressive for its lack of any particular flavor other than “grease”. The biscuit tasted like plain white bread. The coffee tasted like Folgers (or similar), and was tepid. Overall, there was nothing noteworthy about the food. It was a big plate of calories, with no particular flavor or redeeming value.

The venue was heavily bear-themed, down to the condiments on the tables. The whole thing seemed somewhat forced.

Mediocre fare in generous amounts. Nothing to write home, or a blog about. And in a city like Boise, where there are so many excellent breakfast options, this one is not noteworthy.