A blog about food
Satellite Offices on Main Street
Sometimes you need to take a break from work, just so you can focus more on work. (Isn’t there an inspirational poster with a kitty resting its head on a keyboard quoting that same sentiment?) So last week, SVM’s editor Mike McKenna and I headed out of the office early on a Friday and dropped in at the Muleshoe for an important “meeting.” Once there, we met one of SVM’s freelance writers, Nancy Glick, for an afternoon of appetizers and beer, the ideal prelude to a great weekend.
The Muleshoe Tavern (located at 107 S. Main St in Hailey) is housed in the old Red Elephant building. Thankfully, the interior and bar hasn’t changed drastically from the old days, and we found comfort in couches with a view of all the action on Main Street. The long bar has a handful of coveted stools as well as more intimate, high tables for the long-legged. The place is dark and understated with wooden beams and floors completing a supremely relaxing atmosphere. After ordering our first round (PBR for Mike, Coors Light for me, and Guinness for Fancy Nancy) from the friendly bartender Adam, we ogled the appetizer menu and decided on Muleshoe Scones (.75 each) served with Idaho Huckleberry Honey Butter. Quantities are limited, which is always a good sign with scones (so they can’t be used as hockey pucks the next day). We then chose the Crispy Idaho Potato Skins ($8.95), issued a collective deep breath, and made a toast to our inspired “off-site” meeting place.
Left: Muleshoe Scones with Idaho Huckleberry Honey Butter; Super Baladin Beer in all it's glory.
Chris Olmstead, general manager of the Muleshoe, stopped by to chat and commented on our choice in beers (watered-down wonderfulness for me and Mike anyway) and told us about an Italian Belgian-style Triple Ale called Super Baladin—his favorite beer. Upon returning to the Wood River Valley after a cooking internship in Italy, he searched high and low for a distributor that carried the weighty European draught. “Baladin is my favorite beer—there is a chocolate and coffee sweetness to it that is not overpowering. It’s a great memory of my time spent in Italy, and I’m proud to offer it at the Muleshoe,” said Chris. We were intrigued and decided to try a bottle (750 ml is $25, so brace yourself for the equally weighty price tag before ordering). The bottle opened with a “pop” and beautiful, orangey copper goodness flowed into our glasses. A large foamy head settled and we toasted the upcoming weekend (and our inspired choice in boardrooms, once again). I tasted a hint of caramel, or perhaps the coffee Chris mentioned, and enjoyed the richness of this fabulous beer.
Southwestern-style Potato Skins with grilled chicken, cheddar cheese, bacon, onions, cilantro and homemade chiplotle barbeque sauce.
Our appetizers arrived and we savored them alongside our new Italian friend. The scones were light, fluffy and steamy and the honey butter melted, well, like butter. I could have eaten six. We chose the Southwestern-style Potato Skins with grilled chicken, cheddar cheese, bacon, onions, cilantro and homemade chipotle barbeque sauce. The barbecue sauce was not too sweet and each bite seemed a euphoric blend of the potato and its contents.
Left: Kitchen Manager, Harrison Gamino; The Muleshoe starts to fill up around 5 p.m.
The Muleshoe offers lunch and dinner seven days a week and serves killer Burgers, (If I were you, I’d try the Blue Belly Burger with gorgonzola, lettuce, tomato and red onion, served with shoestring potato fries, $8.95), slow-roasted Prime Rib Dip ($9.95), and tantalizing specials like a Salmon Filet with Pesto Hollandaise that Chris and kitchen manager, Harrison Gamino masterminded. Harrison, originally from Carey, also spent time in Italy after attending Le Cordon Bleu. “I learned more about cooking in three months in Italy than in one year in college,” laughed Harrison. “Hands-on training was the most useful training for me. I loved my time in Italy.”
The Muleshoe’s bar filled up fast with locals at 5pm, who came to watch the game (there’s always some game on, right?), laugh with friends and have dinner. We discussed the possibility of opening an “office” right there in the Muleshoe, but decided that productivity might plummet. Our “meeting” at the Muleshoe was a great way to kick off the weekend and it is the editorial opinion of SVM that every company on the fasttrack make the most of its relaxed atmosphere, great food and drink, and highly trained personnel.
We ended the night with Olmstead's homemade carrot cake with Mascarpone and cream cheese. Ahhhh, perfection!