Java is the best spot in Ketchum to get a cup of joe. There are four locations around Idaho and even one in Connecticut! The breakfast looked absolutely delicious. I hear the avocado toast is absolutely to die for as well as their blueberry stuffed muffins.
Rumor has it owner Todd Rippo was the target of many women's crushes in town. Very charming personality and always had a warm smile when you walk through the door. A must go to when in Ketchum, Idaho.
The years have been merciful to Todd
Java has locations in Boise, Twin Falls, Ketchum, Hailey, and Westport, CT
Some things are so close, yet they feel so far away. I love to venture out a little bit. Off the 405 freeway and Harbor Blvd, there is The OC Mix. My friend and I went up there on Friday to tool around up there and see what exciting things we could encounter. It's like a giant warehouse filled with stores consisting of spice stores, cheese stores, olive oil and wine stores.
My favorite is The Mixing Glass, a mixologist haven. It supplies curated cocktail ware and knowhow according to their business cards. Owner Gabrielle Dion has set up many bar and cocktail menus around the OC for many years. Her store is a little slice of heaven. She carries some very unique, old, and new bar accessories.
When I did my radio show on Cinco de Mayo, I decided it would be really fun to do a tequila tasting. So I went to the professional. She introduced me to my favorite tequila, Siembra Azul, which is made in small batches. Everything she carries is very specialized and from small unique distilleries. I dropped in to buy a bottle and say hello from the OC Wino. I can't wait to take one of her monthly cocktail classes.
From there, we went and caffeined out at Portola Coffee, which is known for their decorative latte art.
We then decided to go across the street and explore Surfas, which is an industrial kitchen/gourmet store. They carry everything to decorate cakes, delicious organic meats, pastas, olive oils, and vinegars. Much to our surprise, they had a cheese bar. We enjoyed a sample of La Tour, a creamy goat cheese, Truffle Hard Cheese, and an aged Gouda. We washed it all down with a nice Sauvignon Blanc. It's one of those stores that inspires you to throw a party, cook, and stock your kitchen. A must to check out.
Our bellies were semi-full, but going to ARC restaurant across from The OC Mix was next on my agenda. What's unique about ARC is almost everything is cooked in a wood burning oven.
We sat down to two delicious cocktails. One called Cigarettes and Coffee and the other was called Ethel, a tequila-grapefruit compari and champagne mix.
Here it goes... the OC Wino's top menu picks at this meat lover's paradise:
Start with the Sautéed Calamari with shishito peppers and new potatoes and the Whiskey and Garlic Meatballs in a delicious marinara sauce served with toast points.
Unfortunately, you can't skip the Wedge salad with the bacon slab. It really is a palette cleanser before you order your burger.
The Duck, Beef, Bacon Burger is cooked in duck fat. Good luck getting your mouth around it for your first bite. It is sinful and must be split between 2-4 people. But it is worth it to sample.
At this stage of the game, dessert is not in my sights. Since tequila is a stomach settler, I decided to have one more Ethel to silence my digestive system.
Diego was our waiter, a Costa Rican who is as nice as can be. All the staff is friendly, encouraging, and gives you a big smile as you sit down at the counter. Eating at the counter is a MUST.
Try it for dinner sometime. They actually serve large pieces of meat to groups of six or more. And do they know how to prepare it.
Beware, they do not take reservations, so going at an off-time is suggested. If there is a wait and you have to put your name in, go have an oyster or two at his sister restaurant, Shuck. The hostess will call you on your cell when your table is ready. Just an added bonus.
The Toddy Coffee is a must in every kitchen.
We have used one in our family for over thirty years. My father was an ice coffee freak. Being from the Midwest, he claimed no one could make a descent iced coffee, so he went on the search, which meant the ice should out life the coffee.
The Toddy coffee allows you to keep concentrated coffee in your refrigerator all ready to go. You just let a pound of coffee steep over night and drain it in a glass carafe.
It is so simple. Just take a cup of ice and fill with ¼ cup or so of coffee depending on how strong you like it, add water, cream or 2% milk, flavoring or sugar, and voila! You have the perfect ice coffee.
It is inexpensive and you just change the filter once a year. You can also make concentrated tea as well.
I have turned so many people onto the Toddy Coffee. It makes a great gift for your coffee addict friends.
For those who prefer hot coffee, loose the ice and boil some water. It is that simple. Everyone should use it.
You can find it on Amazon here.