Where's a good place to eat around here?
founder
Posted by Chad (+1763) 17 years ago
I get that question a lot from out of town clients, family, and guests. I honestly don't know how to answer them. Miles City is not exactly cuisine central USA. I ask them what kind of food they prefer. Usually it's something they'll never find around here. Most want a bit of an upscale place, with fresh products that are prepared by a chef. Nothing out of a bag, box, can, or pre-mixed. They can do Stouffer's at home. That pretty much wipes out most of the places in town.

They want good service by well trained wait staff. Hmmm, another item to debate. Most of our waiters and waitresses work hard, but some are a bit unskilled and, hmmm, I'll say coarse. It's a job, not a career choice for them. It pays the bills. With the lousy tips they typically get, I can see why they get gruff.

Let's see, they don't want fast food. Nothing from a bag, box, can. Good service. Good food. I often get a blank look on my face, or I break out laughing. I think the toughest thing is consistency. I've been given the wrong menu items, been served cold steak, half frozen fries, hard potatoes, stale bread, wilted veggies, veggies cooked beyond baby mush. It's very hit and miss. Very meat and potatoes, or potatoes and meat, depending on the day.

But I keep trying, rotating back and forth from one place to the next. My hopes are up again. A new barbeque place is in the works, soon to open. I see in tonights paper that the former Jewel's/Louie's is going to re-open as Camelot- I don't know if that's a Democrats ideal restaurant or a place decorated like a Round Table Pizza with shields and armor and swords. A place that serves your side of pig on a big platter in the middle of the table, where everyone grabs a loin and spills wine on the person next to them? Either way, I would enjoy it if the food is good (consistently) and the wait staff at least pretend to be interested in me and what I want on my table.

So, where is a good place to eat around here?
Top
Posted by J. Dyba (+1349) 17 years ago
I've been all over the world and eaten at a few places where our bill would have bought a nice double wide up by the Airport Hill

That said, Airport Inn still remains on my top five list for places to eat. Maybe it's just the ton of memories I have from there but I always enjoy the finger steaks and have yet to find anything like them anywhere else. Pizza is pretty good too; but those finger steaks.... they are the best.
Top
Posted by Chuck Schott (+1284) 17 years ago
I agree that the airport inn is the most consistant. I Never had a bad pizza or finger steaks dinner there.

Not the fine dinning your looking for, I'm afraid, but good,good food.
Top
founder
Posted by Joe Whalen (+174) 17 years ago
Chad, I applaud you for your burst of civic enthusiasm and interesting ideas over the past few days! Thanks for the fresh air.

Travelers will usually ask me about a good place to eat in the morning or around lunchtime. I always recommend the 600 Cafe. Granted, the menu can always be modified in accord with more metropolitan tastes. And there are those, I guess, who have personal issues with the mayor. I really don't and I count the cafe as one of our key downtown assets.

The value of the 600 Cafe is greater than the food it serves. It's an anchor for Main St. in the mornings and afternoons for travelers who find their way downtown. There's a certain kind of traveler who'll always seek out the older business district because they know that's where you can always get the best pie and coffee. You'll also get a firsthand feel for local color, often in real colorful language. The 600 Cafe usually won't disappoint. From there, the normal traveler will stretch his/her legs afterwards with a stroll up Main St. and visit a few shops along the way. It's all good for Miles City.

I stopped in Livingston last fall one morning for breakfast. I wanted to find a good locally-owned establishment much like the now-defunct Beartooth Bakery that served great omelettes, baked goods, fresh-squeezed orange juice and French roast coffee. I walked all over downtown without any luck and it was a great disappointment. The Depot happpened to be closed (it was Monday) and so I ended up at a pizza joint settling for a bad burger & fries. I was reminded then of what an asset we have in our own downtown cafe.

Other reasons to recommend the 600 Cafe:
* Those big colorized mid-century photos lining the walls
* Steak & Egg Special on Sunday mornings for $5.25. It's consistently great!
* Barbequed Ribs Special on the Tuesday lunch menu for $6.95
* Soups are usually very good.
* Prompt service by Ina, Sara, Sara, Sandra and crew - always dressed in white blouses and black skirts or pants. When you say "Thank you", they say "You're welcome" rather than "Yep."
Top
founder
Posted by Pete Petro (+281) 17 years ago
Joe,
You're sure right about that breath of fresh air after all that's been going on on this website lately. The way people have been insulting Rick seems way over the top. Where's the webmaster and his new set of rules?
The 600 and Hole in the Wall have always been a sure place for a good meal. Have you tried the Boardwalk? I've never been disappointed there and although they only serve in the evenings, it's sure to be good and reasonable too. A great bang for the buck.
I realize all these businesses are owned by Butch Grenz, along with some other properties in Miles City. It's interesting that some of Butch's main critics are the same people that whine about Miles City dying. Show me a businessman who's trying to do more for Miles City than Butch and his family before him.
Support his good eating establishments.
How's that for paragraphs, Amorette?
Top
founder
Posted by Chad (+1763) 17 years ago
FYI- the 600 is on my list of regular places. I miss Shirley's as well. I too often seek out the down home places when I'm on the road, mostly in small towns though.

If you're in Bozeman in the morning I would find the Western Cafe on East Main, it's near the Paint Pot. Absolutely the best caramel rolls on the planet. Fresh sweet cream butter on top of a hot one, a big glass of whole milk. I go out of my way to schedule going through Bozeman in the morning for those rolls!

In Livingston I have to stop at the little burger joint across from the railroad tracks. It's been there, unchanged, since the fifties. Plain, honest burgers, home cut fries, fresh onion rings, real malted milk shakes.

Going east I usually look for a Kroll's Diner; when I was a little kid in Minot it was a local restaurant, now it's a chain. When in Minot it's a favorite of my whole family. Most excellent knoephla soup. Buy it by the bucket (really) and take some home, it's that good.

All the places suggested in Miles City are fine, they're working American restaurants. They're just not the kind of "special place" that people are usually asking me about. I enjoy Butch's liver and onions at the 600 as much as anyone, not too many place you can still find that on the menu! But outside of meat and potatoes, deep fried whatever, pre-packaged products and salads with lettuce and cabbage... well there's not much to offer. I was sorry to see the Yellowstone Cafe do so poorly (I think the hours had something to do with it).
Top
founder
supporter
Posted by Amorette Allison (+11757) 17 years ago
Hours, location and an insufficient grasp of business principles all did the Yellowstone Cafe in. Still, you can get those Geri's doughnuts again for the moment. Ow. . .there goes my cholesterol again!

Amorette
Top
Posted by Lee Akers (+259) 17 years ago
I like the steaks at The Boardwalk. Nice waitresses, good food, small check, locally owned. Primarily a supper house, but it's quiet, and family-friendly.
Top
founder
Posted by Chad (+1763) 17 years ago
One more complaint about many Montana & most Miles City restaurants, smoking is still allowed. Yuk, way to ruin a decent meal. I will turnaround and leave a restaurant if there is tabacco smoke in the air.
Top
Posted by donlarose (+26) 15 years ago
Galleghers serves excellent meals and I especially like their biscuits and gravy, and their steak and cheese omelet. I have no
complaints with their steaks as well.
Top
supporter
Posted by Buck Showalter (+4460) 15 years ago
[This message has been edited by Buck Showalter (edited 10/18/2006).]
Top
Posted by MCGirl (+298) 15 years ago
I thought you can't smoke in restaurants where minors are allowed?
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 15 years ago
Far be it for me to disagree with anyone on here...

"I agree that the airport inn is the most consistant. I Never had a bad pizza or finger steaks dinner there."

I was able to agree with the the above statement before last Friday. Before, the annoying lack of actual silverware and plates was offset by pretty darn good food. I don't know what it is, but the quality of the pizza (I've never really cared for anyone's finger steaks) has declined to the point where it doesn't compensate for breaking prongs on plastic forks. I wouldn't say that the pizza quality has taken a nosedive comparable to the Cellar's, but it's on its way.

Does anyone else miss the barrel chairs or the fireplace?
Top
Posted by Liz Weimer (+40) 15 years ago
I'm always a sucker for the Colorado Claim Jumper pizza at the Cellar. If you can ignore the keno machines...The pizza at the Trails' Inn (or somewhere in that area) is also really good (if it's still open).

And the service in Miles City is impeccable compared to that in a boomtown with no waiters or waitresses. I too, used to complain. Now, living in Rock Springs, WY, we just get excited when the order's correct! Who cares if it took an hour, if it's cold...If it's correct, now THAT'S something to celebrate...
Top
supporter
Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 15 years ago
"And the service in Miles City is impeccable compared to that in a boom-town with no waiters or waitresses. I too, used to complain. Now, living in Rock Springs, WY, we just get excited when the order's correct! Who cares if it took an hour, if it's cold...If it's correct, now THAT'S something to celebrate..."

You darn sure have that right. Here in Gillette (Wyoming's other boom- town) there are a three places where you get great service (Prime Rib, Chop House, and Humphreys). But most places like Applebees, Village Inn, Burger King, etc. the service is terrible. It takes 20 mins to get a Whopper at Burger King(which is probably a good thing for my cholesterol-discourages eating there).

I ate in Rock Springs a couple of weeks ago at Michael's Big City Bar and both the food and the service were pretty good.

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr (edited 10/19/2006).]
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 15 years ago
Richard - I don't know the name of it, but have you been to the barbecue place in Gillette that's in the old Decker's Building? OUTSTANDING barbecue (you can cut the brisket with the side of your fork with ease) and terrific service. They just put in brand new pinewood floors, so it gives you a spring in your step when you need it most - leaving with a full belly.
Top
supporter
Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 15 years ago
Pokeys? I have eaten take-out from there. It is very good. Hmmm... it IS suppertime...
Top
supporter
Posted by Bob L. (+5094) 15 years ago
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm


Barbeque
Top
Posted by Kacey (+3159) 15 years ago
I went to the Airport Inn for the atmosphere as much as the big icy pitchers of coke and the finger steak platter. But it's all changed. The atmosphere is similar to a hospital cafeteria. I miss the barrel chairs and the fireplaces. And it is SO noisy and bright now. The finger steaks seem a lot smaller and fewer. But the coke is still good. Hmmmm....if I had to choose something to change coke would have been the first to go not the last.
Top
supporter
Posted by Levi Forman (+3712) 15 years ago
Yeah, I thought the new building was too white too. Unlike some other people here I never thought the pizza was anything special and I don't know if I ever even tried the finger steaks but airport inn was always a cool place to go. The old barrel chairs and fireplace and neon beer lamps and model airplanes were what made the airport inn what it was. Or are there still model airplanes? It has been years since I was there.
Top
supporter
Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 15 years ago
Let's be honest. As a kid, the main attraction to the old Airport Inn was NOT the food, barrel chairs, or fireplace. It was the game room, where your grandpa would give you a dollar's worth of quarters for "bowling", pinball, or the race-car.

Only later, did I appreciate the finger steaks and atmosphere. The beer sign (can't remember if it was Hamm's or Ole) with the changing waterfall was cool.

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr (edited 10/20/2006).]
Top
supporter
Posted by Levi Forman (+3712) 15 years ago
Hehe yeah, and the tilt sensor didn't work on the Pinball machine.

I think the days of quarter video games are coming to an end though. Every kid has a system at home that is 100x better than the ones that used to cost a quarter a game.

[This message has been edited by Levi Forman (edited 10/20/2006).]
Top
moderator
founder
Posted by David Schott (+17044) 15 years ago
Richard,

I believe this is the beer sign you're referring to.

http://www.flickr.com/pho...022&size=l

As a kid I was fascinated by the way the outdoor scene scrolled along the river and falls and the way the water shimmered it seemed so real. Very cool sign.

- Dave
Top
supporter
Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 15 years ago
Yep, that's the sign. I too was fascinated with how it worked. If you consider its age it was very high tech. Do they still make Hamm's beer?
Top
supporter
Posted by Levi Forman (+3712) 15 years ago
I remember that sign and also one of those Budweiser balls with the clydesdale wagon that went around the inside I think.

From a quick check of google, Hamm's is still made by Miller, but the original Hamm's brewery in Minnesota is closed.

While googling for Hamm's I came across this shocking news about the Hamm's Bear:

http://www.theonion.com/c...node/50407

Warning, this is an audio link so have your speakers on and don't click it if you're goofing off at work and don't want to attract attention.
Top
moderator
founder
Posted by David Schott (+17044) 15 years ago
Top
Posted by Gary Bonine (+96) 15 years ago
way down here in 'tey-has' ya practically have to know spanish just to order a cheeseburger at BK. ugh!
Top
supporter
Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 15 years ago
My wife would kill me if I paid $600.00 for a Hamm's beer sign. It would be really neat to own though.

Maybe I should buy it for her birthday which is also National "make a difference day".

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr (edited 10/20/2006).]
Top
Posted by Gary Bonine (+96) 15 years ago
my guess is that it would also be national " you're sleeping on the couch for 2 months day" as well.
Top
supporter
Posted by Buck Showalter (+4460) 15 years ago
Sleeping on the couch would be okay though, like camping in front of a rolling stream.
Top