Mediterranean family plate

Two things Tamara, my wife, and I have enjoyed since the time we first met was trying new food — in our community and in our own kitchen. Our oldest daughter has joined us in this hobby as she experiments with a wide range of culinary flavors along with delicious sweets.

Today, I’m going to start with our Valentine’s Day date from last week. A quick trip down the freeway from our home in Nampa, Idaho brought us to 710 North Orchard in Boise. Foodland Market was there with its door open waiting for us.

I’ll be the first to admit that when Tamara told me that we were going to a place called Foodland Market I wasn’t immediately impressed. I had no idea the Mediterranean and Arabic-inspired treat that was awaiting me!

Walking in the door, we were greeted by a small, but cozy and brightly lit, coffee shop with 5–6 small tables. The owner explained that he could serve Arabic coffee but other specialty coffees were unavailable due to the lack of a barista — if you are looking for a job in the coffee industry, go check it out!

Like many ethnic markets in the Treasure Valley, the Foodland Market contains a nice range of Mediterranean and Arabic spices, sauces, food mixes, and refrigerated items. We bought a Bounty candy bar because it reminded us of our shopping favorite shopping destination in Singapore — Mustafa Shopping Center — where we would fill an entire suitcase with Indian spices and food supplies to take back to Indonesia with us!

The cafe is located at the back of the market. After perusing the options, we opted to splurge a little (it was Valentine’s Day, after all) by ordering the “Family Plate” consisting of

My short review goes something like this — Uh-mazing flavors dancing some combination of the Twist and the Tango on our tongues.

We started with the samosas, one of our favorites, and these were some of the best we’ve had. Then we moved on to the falafel dipped in the tzatziki….oh yeah…

A salad would be easy to forget on a plate full of delicious foods like these, the but salad held its own, with a zesty and tangy dressing that had us using the pita bread to get every last drop left in the bowl.

The beautifully fragrant rice was a perfect complement to the Chicken Tikka and the lamb kabobs. As with everything else, the flavors caused us to stop chewing and just enjoy the flavors on our tongues.

To end the meal I tried the traditional Arabic coffee, which was not included with the meal. Fortunately, I knew what to expect from my time in S.E. Asia, but for someone not expecting it, the coffee could have had less than pleasant results. It was strong, which I like, but the most important thing to know is that the grounds are mixed into the hot water directly, so you need to wait a few minutes for the coffee to settle to the bottom of the cup before drinking. Otherwise, you will be eating your coffee for the rest of the day!

Tamara and I loved our first experience at the Foodland Market. The family plate was a splurge at around $40 (Valentine’s Day, remember), and the amount of food is not overwhelming, but we were quite satisfied.

If you’re not familiar with Mediterranean and Arabic flavors, Foodland Market would be a good place to start. The food is a flavorful blend of spices, but not spicy hot. There were cheaper lunch options, too with ala carte items or a more casual shawarma or gyro-style wrap.

Thanks for reading this first installment of Foods We Love. Next time we take a look at something my daughter made in our kitchen.

Until then….have a good day and use every opportunity to do everything in love.





Originally published at on February 22, 2022.



If I must err, let it be in the direction of love.

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S.E. Fairbanks

S.E. Fairbanks

If I must err, let it be in the direction of love.