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Sugar City

I grew up in Idaho and I wrote a book about chocolate, so it's fitting that my first school visit was in Sugar City, Idaho.

Mind = blown.

Sugar City -- and Salem, which is next to it -- are awesome towns. Lots of fields and farms and open space. Everything's green. The air smells clean. The people are kind and smart and creative and welcoming. The schools are top-notch. The school faculty is capable and caring, and the students are polite and engaged. My wife kept saying, "I could live here." We were in a hot tub at the time, so she may have been referring to that. I'll never know.

Ryan K. Sager at Sugar Salem School District

When my wife and daughter and I entered the school, the first thing we saw was this:

In true Zoey Kate spirit, students had invented their own restaurants. Their ideas were fun and quirky and clever and, in some cases, genius. Here are some of my favorites:

Jack's Pizza Cookies (It's Pizza but, the dough's cookie dough).

It took humankind until 2018 to think of cookie dough as pizza crust. No wonder we've never been to Mars.

* * *

Saylor's Sea Rides / Slimy's Sea Food

Couples enjoy their meals on private boats. Heaven help them if they need a drink refill.

The fish have their own restaurant too. See the eel in the chef's hat? That's Slimy, obviously. He's carrying a platter of food to the stylish fish at the teal table. Anglerfish provide romantic lighting.

The crying purple octopus is my favorite detail. Looks like he read today's specials and knows the fate that awaits him.

* * *

Mercede's Ice Cream.

I want to eat this restaurant. No, I didn't accidentally omit the word "in" from the previous sentence. I meant what I said. Stop looking at me like that.

* * *

Rainbow Donuts.

I thought a restaurant in three San Francisco trolleys was raising the bar, but this kid was like, "Boom. Heaven. Top that."

I can't. This kid single-handedly dismantled the Chef Zoey franchise.

* * *

Outdoor Cook.

Looks like they cook the food upstairs then lower it to the diners in a bucket marked "food". I see a lot of couples getting engaged here.

* * *

Puppy Palace.

This kid started off creating a restaurant, then she went to lunch, got full, came back and was like, "Nah."

* * *

J's Pizza.

The brilliance is in its simplicity. Can you find the front door?

* * *

Because who doesn't want to eat a heavy five-course meal then play 90-minutes of soccer?

* * *

Brigger's Beef Barn.

Dinner in a barn. Sheep dog in a chef's hat. What more can a girl ask for?

* * *


Looks like customers arrive at their tables via slide, and their food arrives via metal tube. I'm in.

* * *

Brielle's Cafe.

A castle with a drive-thru. All that's missing are a moat and gondolas steered by singing Italian men.

* * *

Gracie's Treehouse.

It's where Keebler Elves go to unwind.

* * *

A student made this one for a bake-off. Go ahead, tell me it isn't amazing. You can't, can you? Neither could I.

Behold, talent.

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