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Papa Joe's Italian Restaurant - Boise

Image by HUNG QUACH from Pixabay

Image by HUNG QUACH from Pixabay

I don’t often eat Italian food when I am out. Don’t get me wrong, I love the stuff. And I don’t seem to have a limit when it comes to lasagna, carbonara, pizza, etc. Do I need to continue? I can be just this side of out-of-control when l am around anything carby. Really, I have no limit. Plus, I am type “O” Positive blood. Type “O” folks typically don’t do well with wheat and corn. But they are in everything and I like them both.

Cut to the chase.

When my brother-in-law and sister-in-law invited us to dine at Papa Joe’s in Boise, I was in. Papa Joe’s is old school Boise. One of those places that has been there forever, and I drive by it all the time, and yet have never been in. I’m not sure why not. Likely, because Boise has so many choices in dining now that the old established greats get overlooked. But as of late, I am not on a quest for slick, hip and cool, I’m in for old school. You know, a place where they act like they are happy to see you and where they write your order on a piece of paper.


They make everything from scratch.

What? It didn’t arrive prepackaged from who knows where? It didn’t show up on a large truck with Sysco on the side? Where the owner looks like a regular schmo? The waiters, Grant and Jeff, remembered our names? What? Old school.

Did I mention they write down your order? None of those hand-held devices. You know the ones the server puts in your face and “offers” to let you pay a 35% tip for marginal service?

You can ask the waiter at Papa Joe’s what he likes and he can tell you because he likes the food and he likes working there. They can describe the food because they care. So much of the time in the modern service world I feel like whomever is there to help us, doesn’t really want to be there. They would rather be anywhere else and/or looking at their social media feed.

Papa Joe’s has this sweet brick fireplace right in the middle of the place. The folks sitting there left, and so I asked if we could move to that spot. They practically carried us over there. Old school.

And of course, the food was terrific. I ate a huge carbonara (if you are not familiar with this dish, don’t do it. It’s like crack pasta!) I ate it all. I then finished Mrs. Swaim’s ravioli dish. The whole time I was doing that, I was eyeing the beautiful pizza my sister-in-law had ordered. Yep. I had a slice of that too. Excellent. Did I mention all the great garlic bread I downed? Oh yes, I had a green salad too, but only because I should.

The valley has grown, and with the growth the choices for restaurants have grown as well. Folks, you have a lot of choices to dine! Give the old established restaurants around us a try or a retry. They are still around for a reason.

Cheers to Papa Joe’s, may you live long and create carb addicts for years to come.


PS: Here is a link to Papa Joe’s menu and they love reservations, no need to wait in line: Papa Joe’s Boise 1301 S Capitol Blvd. Boise, ID 83706, (208) 344-7272

6 Join the Conversation

  1. Carla says
    Jan 11, 2024 at 6:25 PM

    Oh my word, YOU ate all of that in one sitting? LOL I know how you feel though. Our granddaughter was hired at a local, family owned restaurant here in Nampa, over by the cinemas off of Stamm Lane. Italianesque serves authentic Italian, made fresh every day, too. We honestly had never enjoyed the experience. Your dining experience at Papa Joe's sounds exactly like ours except Maebh was our hostess and we were so proud being her grandma and grandpa (her first job). If you can't make it into Boise try Italianesque right here in Nampa...BUT, make reservations or you may be disappointed and have to find another choice.

    • says
      Jan 11, 2024 at 1:56 PM

      Yes, we have been meaning to try that place too. We will try not to wait so many years this time. It sounds great and seeing Maebh would be fun too. Cheers, ks

  2. Deb says
    Jan 11, 2024 at 7:18 PM

    That's been there for years and the last time I ate there with out of town guests (I bet 10 yrs ago), we all commented how it was the BEST Italian food! Forgot about it since I rarely go to Boise. Glad to know it's still up and running. I better drag my husband there for a date nite sometime.

    • says
      Jan 11, 2024 at 1:54 PM

      Thanks for chiming in Deb. You better get back and see how it compares to 10 years ago. Let us know! Cheers, ks

  3. Chelsey says
    Jan 11, 2024 at 8:22 PM

    I look forward to your articles coming through my emails! I often read them, laugh several times, then read them to my husband, and we laugh more! You're great! Thanks for brightening my day with your writing. P.S. we'll be trying Papa Joe's in the near future…

    • says
      Jan 11, 2024 at 1:53 PM

      Sweet. Love hearing that folks are entertained and, hopefully, learn a bit once in awhile too. Definitely get there Chelsey and let us know your experience too. Cheers, ks

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