Out of town dining recommendations.....
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Posted by Chad 5 years ago
I was in Spearfish, SD over the weekend and Saturday afternoon my daughter and I found The Bay Leaf Cafe. Wow! Very good food and wonderful service. We both ordered simple items for a light lunch and we were both quite happy with our selections. I'd recommend the French Onion Soup any day, killer, just right, and spot on!

We also shared a slice of Apple Walnut Pie, tasty!

The food was prepared on site, not out of a bag from a plant in Ohio. It's good to find locally prepared meals of such high quality.

Have you got a similar recommendation somewhere?
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Posted by Cindy Stalcup 5 years ago
The New Yorks in Logan at Land of Magic are still good. Anything Cajun from Dinosaur Cafe in Missoula.
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Posted by Dillpickle 5 years ago
For a short drive, head to the Joseph Cafe in Forsyth. Best steaks in the area. Good service and a beautiful atmosphere as well.
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Posted by JCF 5 years ago
Land of Magic 2 in Butte is very good as well.
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Posted by Julie Hartman 5 years ago
The Staggering Ox sandwich joint in missoula is a must have. I live in tahoe and now but I crave them all the time. They make their sandwiches in hallowed out bread that is baked in tin cans. OMG they are scrumptios. Im getting hungry just thinking about it.
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Posted by Rich McRae 5 years ago
I always liked Kadena's in Missoula, Toi's Tai Cousine in Helena is good, Enzo's in Billings, buffets at the Gold Rush Casino in uptown Butte (also the Uptown Cafe in Butte). The Early Bird Cafe in Helena is good for breakfast. How far out of town are we interested in?
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Posted by Slosh 5 years ago
I wish you wouldn't have mentioned Staggering Ox. Now I'm really, really hungry. Going to high school in Helena, it was a staple. And now whenever I get to Helena, I have to stop in and get one. The one in Billings is good, but nothing like Helena or Missoula.

Other places I have to hit when I visit the folks. Avon Cafe in Avon. Well worth the drive into the mountains for breakfast. The Early Bird I think is now called Janet's or something like that (at the west end of Euclid) and it's awesome. Staggering Ox or Sarah's Porkies for lunch. And of course, the Overland Express for Dinner. I don't know if the Haufbrau is still open, but they had awesome chicken and Wong's House had amazing chinese. But they closed also.

I used to think Helena sucked for restaraunts. But now that I've been gone, it's not so bad. It just sucks for everything else.
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Posted by Bob Netherton 5 years ago
I was a little disappointed with the Staggering Ox. Maybe it was the bread. All of the dressing kind of ended up in the bottom.
Try Sanford's in Spearfish. They make this great brick (or loaf) of onion rings plus good burgers, etc.
The 4 Aces in Hardin used to be good. I also like The Muzzleloader in Billings - a little on the greasy spoon side but good steaks - great chicken fried steak.
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Posted by Julie Hartman 5 years ago
Ya, you have to order your dressing on the side or its a mess.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed 5 years ago
Tupelo Grill in Whitefish is nothing short of awesome. Try the crawfish cakes for an appetizer.

I'm not that big of a fan of the Staggering Ox here in Billings. I do like Blondy's as far as sandwiches go. I also like The Athenian for gyros.

Julianos here is pretty good, too.
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Posted by Levi Forman 5 years ago
I'll second Enzo's in Billings. My brother and sister in law have been taking me on a tour of all the good restaurants in Billings for a while now and Enzo's is definitely my favorite.
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Posted by Kacey 5 years ago
Uptown Diner in Missoula has the best homemade tomato soup and delicious chicken sandwiches. The atmosphere is great too.
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Posted by poisonspaghetti 5 years ago
Montana Ale Works in Bozeman, G.W. Hunter's in Post Falls, ID, and the Steelhead Grill in downtown Spokane.
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Posted by Chuck Schott 5 years ago
There is a little Mexican place next to the Federal building in Billings that has great Mexican food. I don't know what they are calling it this week but i think it might be Sarah's. Same family that has had the El Chaparral in Salisha for years. Paper plates, put in your own order and after you eat you go tell the mamacita behind the cash register what you had and she rings you up. I've never tested her but I'll bet she knows what everyone has eaten and how many time they refilled their pop (.25 refills). Great smothered enchiladas, beef or chicken.

Try it for a reasonable lunch or early dinner they have weird hours and every now and again I'll stop in for lunch and there will be a sign on the door that's says "gone until Monday we're tired of working".
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson 5 years ago
Good lord, the Staggering Ox?!? While they do have some great items on their menu, the Clubfoot sandwich is about the worst sandwich in the world. The Clubfoot bread/roll/whatever they call it is just terrible. TERRIBLE!!!

The best sandwich in the state, as anyone knows, can be had at any of the Pickle Barrel locations throughout the state. The Pickle Barrel, though, pales in comparison to a good Italian hoagie shop in the greater Philadelphia region.

For the kind of light fare that Chad is talking about at the start of this thread, I would recommend Benny's here in Helena. Mediteranean Grill is good, too, as is the Windbag, Taco del Sol, and Emiliano's. Those would be my lunch recommendations.

Butte has way better restaurants than Helena.
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Posted by Little Chick 5 years ago
Anyone have recommendations on where to eat in Salt Lake City? Maybe a good Italian place?
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Posted by J. Dyba 5 years ago
The best Italian I ever had was at Capanna Nuovo. It's in the Hilton in Dubai UAE.

A little out of the way I know () but if you ever find yourself close by; you should definitely give it a try!
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Posted by Chad 5 years ago
I'm not necessarily looking for light fare, I'm looking for food that is prepared by hand by someone that knows how to select food, prepare it, and serve it. This person is often called a "chef", but I don't think you have to have formal training to be a good cook. There are great mom and pop places, old hippies gone mainstream, renegades with a spatula and a knife.... I seek hand made, locally made, dishes and meals.

Nothing that involves "Just add water and mix..." or "...heat five minutes in microwave, turn, heat five more minutes, serve". I despise Applebee's, Chili's, Olive Garden, and the other canned formula restaurants. It's not that the food is bad, most of it's good, but it's far from unique and far from memorable.

I'm with Gunnar, The Pickle barrel has the best sandwiches (in Montana), I've had better out of state. If you're ever in Monterey, CA try Chris's Sandwich Shop. Fresh sourdough bread, no scale to weigh the ingredients (just hand fulls of whatever you ask for), and plenty of attitude and gratitude from Chris.
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Posted by Slosh 5 years ago
I'm going to agree and disagree with Gunnar.

I love me some Pickle Barrel and try to get one everytime I'm in Bozeman or Livingston. But I absolutely love Staggering Ox. Drizzle a little ranch or Camel Spit on top and it's amazing.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed 5 years ago
I'll take Blondy's over Pickle Barrel any day, especially for cold sandwiches. They have a much better balance when it comes to meat-to-bread ratio. Don't get me wrong, Pickle Barrel is good, but Blondy's is better.

I always go for the Corvette (3 meats, 1 cheese) with ham, turkey and pastrami on French bread w/ cheddar cheese, heavy mayo and light mustard. Their bread is awesome (and is the difference between them and Pickle Barrel in my opinion).

(now I'm jonesing for a sammitch)

Plus, you get to deal with adults at Blondy's instead of airheaded high school/college girls.

I really can't stand the bread at Staggering Ox. Plus, I'm sure the names they have for their sandwiches were funny at one point in time, but they're really not that timely anymore. Bin Laden jokes only go so far, you know.
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Posted by Cindy Stalcup 5 years ago
Someone said Butte & reminded me of a few places- the old Pork Chop John's on Mercury, Lydia's for all the extras you get with your chicken cacciatore especially the ravioli, and Front Street Market for lunch & the Italian grocery.
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Posted by Chad 5 years ago
And let's not forget "....you want gravy with that?" when I ordered fries at A&W in Butte. "With what", I replied not knowing gravy is a pastime in Butte.
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Posted by Cindy Stalcup 5 years ago
Well yeah, for your pasty & you know it's gourmet dining if they have 2 kinds of gravy.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson 5 years ago
The Staggering Ox sandwiches aren't too bad if you dump the contents out of the clubfoot roll, throw it away, pour the sauce on top of the meat and veggies, and eat it like a salad. Brian is correct....the clubfoot roll in inedible.

For a great home-cooked breakfast, and if you have a couple of hours to kill, the aptly-named No Sweat Cafe in Helena is a great restaurant of the variety that Chad is discussing.

I am a huge fan of old timey steakhouses like Barclay's in Anaconda, but that was covered in a different thread.

For places to eat in Salt Lake, when I traveled there on business in the 1990s, I always liked the Market Street Grill and the Red Iguana. The Squatter's Pub was forgetable. But that was at least 10 years ago.
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Posted by Sarah Blakely 5 years ago
Schlotzsky's!!
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Posted by Slosh 5 years ago
So, I'm guessing you're not a fan of bread guts?
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Posted by Hal Neumann 5 years ago
Good to hear that the No Sweat is still in business. They do serve one of the best breakfasts in Montana.
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Posted by Chad 5 years ago
Gunnar, yeah, the No Sweat is exactly what I'm talkin' about. I can attest it's a great place for breakfast on a lazy Sunday morning!
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Posted by Jim Brady 5 years ago
The Missoula Club used to have one of the best double hot-pepper cheese burgers on the planet. When I was working in Mexico, I used to wake up in the middle of the night craving one.
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Posted by M T Zook 5 years ago
In Grand Forks, ND, there is a bar/steakhouse called the Bronze Boot. When I drove limo for a college job, I took more people to the Boot for meals than any of the hoity toity establishments in town. Steaks grilled to perfection in the middle of the floor, dark atmosphere like the old Airport Inn, and cheap booze.

Very eclectic group too. Bikers, blue collar and stiffs in ties. I miss that place.
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Posted by Matt Schmitz 5 years ago
I have to second the Tupelo Grill in Whitefish. Outstanding food. Also a big fan of the dining room at Chico Hot Springs. They do an orange glazed chicken that is just nuts. And the Bridge Creek in Red Lodge is great food too. I had some asian spiced duck medallions there a few weeks ago, and it was a stupid good meal. A true masterpiece. The steaks at Ted's Montana Grill here in Bozeman are quite special. The buffalo ribeye is rubbed with a garlic rub that is just perfect. But my favorite in Montana is the Mint in Belgrade. I've been spending money there for 15 years, and I have never had a meal that wasn't outstanding. Plus a world class wine list. They do a blackened buffalo ribeye with a blueberry/peppercorn sauce that will make you cry. It's about $38, but it's worth $80.
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Posted by Matt Schmitz 5 years ago
And Chad..........what better way to pass the time than with gravy? I submit there is none.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed 5 years ago
And Chad..........what better way to pass the time than with gravy? I submit there is none.

The answer can only be bacon. Bacon trumps all.

All. Hail. Bacon.
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Posted by K. D. 5 years ago
The Empire Cafe in Lewistown has great home cooked food at a very reasonable price. Last time I ate there, I had the nightly special: 2 huge pork chops, mashed taters & gravy, green beans, soup, salad bar, texas toast, desert, and drink; $10.
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Posted by Chad 5 years ago

I think she hates bacon!
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Posted by Brian A. Reed 5 years ago
And people wonder why I'm not a Christian...
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson 5 years ago
Now THAT is a funny picture!
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Posted by Chad 5 years ago
Yeah, it's out of context, but I can't imagine what the context is? I'm not personally aware of a sect of Christians that don't eat pork? I believe that is part of some (most?) Jewish faiths and some others, but I haven't met a Christian that doesn't like bacon. I thought bacon was the 11th Commandment and chocolate the 12th.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed 5 years ago
Should be the first. Or at the very least, the second.

Priorities ...
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Posted by Wendy Wilson 5 years ago
Chocolate covered bacon. Mmmmmmmmm.............
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Posted by Brian A. Reed 5 years ago
Bacon-wrapped chocolate ... double-mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
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Posted by Wendy Wilson 5 years ago
Little Chick,

Here are a few of our favorite SLC places.

Takashi or Ichiban - sushi
Tiburon - Continental, excellent
Tuscany - Northern Italian, beautiful restaurant
Cuchina Toscana - Italian
Red Iguana - Mexican (don't go on Cinco de Mayo)
Mazza - Middle Eastern
Lamb's - American, a downtown institution
Carl's Cafe - divey breakfast place, great omelets
Blue Plate Diner - funky 24 hour eatery, good food and good prices. Breakfast is popular.
The Metropolitan - Modern American/Continental, great food-pricey

Don't bother with these:
La Caille - beautiful grounds but mediocre food at high prices
Market Street Grill - Seafood is their specialty but quality is spotty
The Roof - Buffet style dining on top of the Joseph Smith Building. Beautiful views of the city, especially at night but the food does not reach its aspirations.

Hope this helps.
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Posted by Hal Neumann 5 years ago
The Red Iguana served up great meals when I was SLC in 95 and again in 97. Back then I thought they did one heck of job with their molés. Good to hear that they still are at it.

There was a pizza place over by the University that served the biggest pie I've ever seen. Good pizza, but enormous. I can't remember the name of the place - at that time it was in the basement under a Kinko's.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson 5 years ago
You're referring to The Pie, I think, Hal. It's still there. But the best pizza is at Settebello which is relatively new and is run by a native Italian with a wood-fired oven certified by whoever does the certifying in Italy. It's not American pizza but authentic Italian pizza. Yum.
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Posted by Hal Neumann 5 years ago
>>You're referring to The Pie, I think. . . .

Could be Wendy - it was sometime back and I was only there a couple times.

I was working on Cultural Resource management plan for Fort Douglas and spending a lot of time in the University archives - so it was a convenient place to eat.
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Posted by Little Chick 5 years ago
Thanks for the help Wendy. My husband and I are going for the Marathon and will need a good carb fix.
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Posted by DEAN 5 years ago
our favorite place is jonny corinos on state street and 106 south. try the fire stick appatiser. my favorite dish is called skiliteni. in salt lake city for the pearson that asked.
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Posted by Chad 5 years ago
If you're after steak, go north and try Maddox. Best steaks in Utah.


http://www.maddoxfinefood.com/

The first time I went there was as a kid with my grandpa. We were joined by none other than Colonel Sanders, yes, the Colonel Sanders of chicken fame. Seems he liked steaks, too. I was amazed that I was eating dinner with the guy from TV, the guy I saw cast in fiberglass sitting in the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants. There he was across the table from me and grandpa. Seems they knew one another from someplace.

Anyway, I still remember the steak being absolutely tasty and juicy good. Mmmmmm!
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Posted by Bob L. 5 years ago
In Grand Forks, ND, there is a bar/steakhouse called the Bronze Boot. When I drove limo for a college job, I took more people to the Boot for meals than any of the hoity toity establishments in town. Steaks grilled to perfection in the middle of the floor, dark atmosphere like the old Airport Inn, and cheap booze.

------------

I did not know the Bronze Boot was still open(!)

Mr. Zook - when were you last there?
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Posted by Darcie Black Fast 5 years ago
Main Street Over Easy in Bozeman
Echo Lake Cafe in Bigfork (there's one in Tahoe, Julie)
Cafe McCormick in Billings
Q in Billings
Mambo Italianos in Whitefish
The Bear Claw Bar (hottest chicken wings ever!!) in McAllister
I definately agree with Land of Magic
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Posted by Slosh 5 years ago
I forgot about Main Street Over Easy, a great breakfast.
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Posted by Darcie Black Fast 5 years ago
Mmmmmmm, the stuffed french toast...is the best!!
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Posted by Sarah Blakely 5 years ago
Roma's in Spearfish, SD is amazing! The tiramisu is heaven!!
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Posted by Slosh 5 years ago
I don't remember what omelet I had, but it was one of the best I've ever had.
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