In a weird twist of fate, one of the few Idaho breweries that I actually really enjoyed my time at has since closed down. Usually it’s the ones that I thought were terrible to begin with that find their way to bankruptcy. But luckily, if you believe Urbanspoon, the place isn’t gone. It just moved to a smaller location downtown called Von Scheidts Brewery. If the quality is the same, it is worth a visit.
Pandora’s is located in what must be an old warehouse that has been majorly remodeled. A large, open room is highlighted by original brick walls, tall wooden ceilings with modern, attractive rail lighting, a simple but elegant decorating scheme, wood floors, a great bar, and a fireplace. Though the dining area only takes up less than half of the building, it would easily and comfortably seat a few hundred, by my estimation. A piano sits on the exterior wall by a buffet of beer bottles and was played – extremely well – by an old, raspy local on the night I dropped in.
The menu features everything from pizzas and sandwiches to steaks and trout. The pub grub is highlighted by fresh cut, house made, Idaho potato chips and french fries. A basket of chips will set you back just $2.00, but it is enough to fill a grown man for a few hours. For dinner, I ordered a broiled trout finished with almond slices and butter. It was delisious. For a side I ordered garlic fries. I meant to only eat a few in order to get a good feeling for the taste, but they were so good I devoured them all. I finished it all off with a chocolate cake. Rich, moiste, scrumptious: everything I’m looking for in a dessert.
When I visited they were featuring five of their own beers: an amber, pale, American lager, Marzen and nut brown. All were good and true to style. I did not care for the American lager because it was a little too true to style and thus tasteless. This must be why they named it “Nothing Much.” The amber, pale and marzen were all very high quality. Lots of malt. Lots of hops. Very well balanced with plenty of taste to go around, though nothing to distinguish it from other very good beers. The nut brown was my favorite. It was again vary malty and well balanced with plenty of hops, but it had a distinct nutty taste not often found quite so pronounced in similar brews. I liked it.
Great service. The place was relatively empty, the bartender – and only server on duty, apparently – dropped by my table often to make sure I was doing okay. This was great because I sat in the place with my laptop in hand for hours.