Lemon Tree Co. owner and “main squeeze” Jasson Parra worked in the restaurant industry for 25 years before he arrived in Treasure Valley in 2014, bringing his passion for good food and drinks with him. Here, he wanted to build a not-your-average sandwich shop for all types of eaters: Half the menu is vegan/vegetarian, and the other half carnivore-friendly. Plus, everything can be made gluten-free.
If you order from the vegan side, you won’t miss the meat. Take, for example, the bahn-mi in which roasted yams play the role of pork. The yams are heavily seasoned with massaman curry and complemented with spicy house-made peanut butter, thick slices of raw cucumber, pickled carrots, daikon radishes, and cilantro. Jalapeños and spicy curry aioli add fire.
On the carnivore side, the Peruvian knocks it out of the park. It is a French baguette just thick enough to hold its own against Genoa salami, thick-sliced ham, applewood-smoked bacon, spicy sausage, Monterey jack, and Peruvian sauce (cilantro, mayo, spicy peppers, garlic and lime). A layer of Fritos softens to soak up the meat’s juices, so there is Frito taste, but no Frito crunch. It’s incredibly rich, salty, and all-around glorious.
Finally, a turkey sandwich that’s a little more simple but no less delicious. It’s accented with house-made boursin cheese, a dab of cherry preserves, roasted garlic, a few greens and a drizzle of olive oil.
Salads are fresh and flavorful, and savory oats are a delightful alternative for a side dish, made with sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, a bit of bell pepper, thyme, sage, and parmesan cheese. This dish is warm and hearty, right for a chilly fall day.
Parra has made something special of his sandwich shop, a bright space with plenty of room for indoor seating (when that’s a thing again). A big picnic table is available just outside, and take-out meals are easy to get. The menu changes with the seasons, and during summer, Parra invites a local chef or restaurant to collaborate with him and make unique and limited-run sandwiches. Bonus: After your first visit, The Lemon Tree emails you a coupon for $3 off the next time you visit.