Sockeye Grill and Brewery
3019 North Cole Road
Boise, ID 83704
Visited in September 2009
I thought today we might take a look into what makes a standard, middle-of-the-road brewpub in my opinion. We’re looking at food that is above average, though not necessarily creative or locally inspired. Beer that you could drink all day but nothing that would keep you coming back. A nice enough place you’d like to hang out but nothing historically interesting or all that impressive. You run into these places all the time.
Looking back on Sockeye Grill and Brewery, that is exactly how I remember it. I stopped for a bite to eat and a beer before taking my rental car to the airport on my way home (Moscow, Idaho at the time) from a business trip. I remember it was pretty empty, which was magnified by the absolutely giant space. I sat outside on a nice enough patio with kind of “meh” furniture with the sun on my face. The salmon sandwich was quite good, though nothing extraordinary. The beer sparked an interest, but nothing that made me want to come back on subsequent trips.
A true middle-of-the-road spot. Awesome if you live there, not really worth the trip if you don’t.
This place is ginormous. I got lost trying to find my way to the bathroom to change out of my work clothes before headed to the airport for my flight home. I then proceeded to get lost again trying to find my way back out to the patio. There are back hallways, conference-sized dining rooms, halls lined with tables and a room with the bar. All of this is in addition to the outdoor patio seating.
The service was impeccable. If the bartender/server who took care of me wasn’t the owner or the brew master, then he’s one of the most knowledgeable barkeeps I’ve ever met. He kept my glass full and was very attentive even though it was an odd time of day to be eating and nearly nobody else was there.
The food is great. They have sweet potato fries that fully satisfied my craving for my favorite side dish. And they have a ton of salmon – all of it fresh – all of it delicious. The form I chose came in a sandwich, which was also quite good.
I get fuzzy when it comes to the beer. This obviously means I was not impressed with any or all of the offerings. I remember that one had won several awards, but I couldn’t tell why. If I remember correctly, my favorite offerings were a seasonal (can’t remember what” and the Power House Porter.