Food - Drink
Finger Steaks: Idaho's Staple Bar Food
When you think of Idaho, you may think of potatoes, but you likely don't know that this state is also home to more cattle than people. With beef being such a large export, it makes sense that Idahoans' favorite bar food is all about the cow — here's all about the dish known as finger steaks, AKA perfectly battered and fried steak strips.
Finger steaks are like a country-fried steak and chicken fingers combined into one glorious food. Each strip is roughly finger-length, and the steak can be breaded or battered, are usually seasoned simply with garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper, and can be served with cocktail sauce or "fry sauce" (mayo plus ketchup and seasonings).
Finger steak gained popularity in the 1950's thanks to two Idahoan restaurants. Mylo Bybee's restaurant Mylo's Torch Lounge in Boise became famous for its finger steaks; at the same time, a chain called Red Steer was making the same dish under the name "crinkle steaks dinner," and a descendant company still makes the dish today.
It is easy to recreate finger steaks at home and can be modified to your tastes. The Idaho Beef Council agrees that classic finger steaks are delicious, but introduces many creative ways you can experiment with them in your kitchen, such as tossing them with buffalo sauce or topping them with coleslaw in a taco shell.