BOISE, IDAHO — The City of Trees has a plethora of amazing food joints in the downtown area, but one newer restaurant is trying to separate themselves from the group one sandwich at a time. Six on your Side's Matt Sizemore takes us into the heart of BODO for this week's Made in Idaho.
Meat eaters, vegetarians, and vegans alike, get ready to all meet up at a place everyone can enjoy. At this little shop in Boise, one person can enjoy a real pastrami reuben, while the other munches on a cheesesteak sandwich where the "meat" is actually mushrooms and artichokes. Today, we take you to Lemon Tree Company.
Sandwich lovers in Boise have a place to go downtown if they're looking for something a little different, as is evident from the shop's tag phrase.
"Sandwiches with a twist. So we're not your average sandwich shop or deli," said Lemon Tree Co. owner Jasson Parra.
Jasson Parra has been in the culinary industry for over 25 years. For quite awhile, he was bouncing from city to city managing different restaurants until he arrived in the Treasure Valley six years ago.
"Once we moved here, we were actually supposed to go somewhere else. But I ended up falling in love with Boise and I just had to figure out how to stay and so I did and now I ended up opening my own place," said Parra.
And so after a ton of discussions and planning, Parra opened Lemon Tree Company in 2017.
"We wanted to plant some roots and we did and, we planted our little lemon tree and here it is," said Parra.
Boise already has a great variety of food, and Parra knew exactly how he could make his culinary mark.
"Well my wife and I were looking to open up a sandwich shop and so, we're trying to figure out what we were gonna do. We knew we wanted to do some unique flavors and combinations," said Parra.
But at this sandwich shop, there's something for everybody.
"There's a lot of sandwich shops out there but not everyone is doing like vegan or vegetarian, or maybe they have like one or two items, right? We decided to up that ante. So what we do is we have half our menu that's dedicated to vegans and vegetarians and all of our menu can be dedicated to gluten free," said Parra.
Sandwiches like Lemon Tree's vegan version of the Bahn Mi sandwich, where they substitute roasted yams where you'd normally find pork. It's getting carnivores and herbivores all on the same culinary page.
"And a lot of the vegans will get the husband or the wife or whoever is the meat-eater to try their sandwich, and they're blown away. And they'll come after their meal and pull me aside and say I eat meat and I never eat vegan or vegetarian stuff and OMG it was the best thing I've ever had," said Parra.
But no matter how much culinary experience Parra has or how many different cities he's lived in, he says he couldn't imagine having started Lemon Tree Co in any other place.
"I've worked in the restaurant industry for so many years and I've worked so many hours for so many different people and to be able to open up my own place in a community like this, it means the world to me. You know I can't thank the community enough, it's like they've hugged me and I hug them back. It's pretty amazing," said Parra.
To be even more community-friendly, once a month during the summer, Lemon Tree Company invites a local chef or restaurant to collaborate with them in making unique sandwiches that they sell to the public. To find out more information about them, check out their website at lemontreeboise.com.