When eating a steak seems too classy but ordering chicken strips feels too downmarket, opt for the finger steak. A point of pride for some Southern Idahoans, these tender strips of sirloin are first battered, then deep-fried, resulting in a crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside morsel ready for snacking.
Idaho is not a state known for its culinary diversity: Beef and potatoes make up a large part of a standard Idaho diet. Finger steaks, however, represent a distinctive way of serving steak that has become something of a local specialty. It often arrives on a bed of french fries with a side of thick-cut toast and, of course, a dipping sauce.
Though the dish—rumored to have been served first at Milo’s Torch Lounge in Boise—hasn’t gained popularity outside of the inland Northwest, the finger steak is a familiar concept to many. In the American South, for example, chicken-fried steak is a close cousin. Aside from the preparation of slicing the steak into strips, the only distinct difference between the two dishes is perhaps in the method of frying: Chicken-fried steak is typically shallow-fried in a pan, whereas finger steaks are deep-fried.
While the finger steak may have close cousins, it is served in a uniquely Idaho style, and locals from the Gem State have embraced it as their quintessential appetizer.
Need to Know
Finger steaks are most commonly served in diners, fast-food restaurants, or bars throughout Southern Idaho.
Where to Try It
Lindy's Steak House12249 W. Chinden Blvd., Boise, 83713
Some fans describe their offering as the best finger steak in Boise.
Crescent "No Lawyers" Bar and Grill5500 W. Franklin Road, Boise, 83642
Another popular spot for finger steaks.