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Tiki Time!

When I first arrived in Montana back in 2002, I noticed a lot of bears. Not real bears – the carved wooden bears that adorn so many porches and patios and front yards. Adorable!

In all the places I lived and traveled to, I never saw such a display of state-specific art at so many homes.

Of course, I had to get one for my front porch, and before long, I had doubled-up.

But last summer, my wife had a brilliant idea. We both love tiki-themed stuff — home decor, music, etc — and she wondered if someone could create a tiki for us.

Lo and behold — we found Fallis Family Wood up near Fort Benton, and they created this marvelous piece for us.

TIKI TIME!

They even delivered it and put it in place.

Total cost: under $200.

They make all kinds of carvings — awesome stuff.

Fallis Family Wood

Fallis Family Wood

Check ’em out on Facebook.

Category: Fun Stuff, montana

Hello Alexa!

Finally — my Amazon Echo arrived today! I ordered it months ago, and was originally told it would be delivered in late June or early July, but last week I got an email saying it would arrive on June 16th.

Amazon Echo - aka Alexa

Amazon Echo – aka Alexa

So far, so good — does what it says on the tin. Not the most exciting product to watch in action (but cool circle-y lights!), but I think it will be handy for quick bits of information and maybe some streaming music.

It’s not (yet?) as powerful as Google Now, which is perfect for calling up info on something I’m watching on TV, but it looks like there’s some nifty If This Then That recipes that might enhance its capabilities.

Hey, for $just 99, it’s already paid for itself in novelty alone.

Here’s a short video of Alexa in action — telling me the weather, playing a tune, setting an alarm, etc:

Category: Techie | Tags: ,

Roadhouse Diner Review

At last, the Roadhouse Diner is open! Since they first announced they would be opening, I’ve been impatiently waiting to give it a spin. The RH is in the log-cabin-style building on 15th Street North that once housed the Pine Cone Patio, Pam’s Friendly Diner, and most recently Goode’s Q & Bayou Grill (RIP).

The Roadhouse Diner in Great Falls

The Roadhouse Diner in Great Falls

Although I’m excited about trying the burger and fries, I haven’t made it there for lunch yet — both of my visits have been breakfast. I tried the Breakfast Bomber and a Breakfast Sammy — and holy cow, were they amazing.

Breakfast Bomber and Breakfast Sammy at the Roadhouse Diner

Breakfast Bomber and Breakfast Sammy at the Roadhouse Diner

First, let’s get the bad news out of the way: they are only open Wednesday through Sunday, and they only serve lunch between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Breakfast is served from 6 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., except on Sunday, when it’s served until 2 p.m. They hope to expand their hours, but for now, if you want to give it a try, plan accordingly.

Second: Jason and Tara, the owners, have really spiffed up the place — new appliances, seating, paint, decor — and it looks great. Given the small size and the unique shape/style of the building, they’ve done a great job. It looks and feels like a “modern retro” diner, which I think is exactly what they were aiming for.

Third: the service has been extremely friendly — it’s a happy crew. I’ve seen a few grumbles online about the service being slow, but that’s understandable given that they’ve been open for just two weeks. They are still working out the kinks in prep time, adjusting for the initial rush of people, etc. I have no doubt the timeliness of the service will improve.

Fourth: DELICIOUS! It’s a bit pricey — but only if you compare it to fast-food.

Let’s take the Breakfast Bomber, which is $8: it’s a HUGE breakfast burrito — their menu says: “Our signature two-fisted breakfast burrito made with sausage, bacon or ham tossed with scrambled eggs and homefries, covered with cheese sauce wrapped in a tortilla.” And when they say two-fisted, they mean it — I ordered two on my first visit, and the first one was so big, I saved the second one for later. It was huge, delicious, and filling. Their bacon is perfect — not wimpy and/or flavorless.

As for the price — compare it to the breakfast burrito at Sonic, which if memory serves is about $3 — but the Sonic version is about half the size, the eggs are usually over-cooked, and the bacon is not very flavorful. So for $8 at the RH, you can get a monster burrito that is fresh, tasty, and filling. Note: as with most situations, you can never go wrong by ordering extra bacon. Not a criticism of RH – just a general rule that applies to any situation involving bacon.

Second example: the Breakfast Sammy, which is essentially like an Egg McMuffin from McDonald’s. Don’t get me wrong — I really like Egg McMuffins, but there really is no comparison. The Breakfast Sammy ($5) is bigger and tastier by far.

It really comes down to paying a bit extra for quality — and when it comes to breakfast, HELL YES I will pay more for what the Roadhouse Diner is serving up.

So the bottom line: for breakfast, based on my two visits so far, I can’t think of a tastier option in Great Falls. Jason and Tara have created something that I think is quite wonderful. If you head over there, be a little patient as they and their team continue fine-tuning, and enjoy your breakfast.

As for the burgers and fries — soon. Very soon.

Don’t forget to like ’em on Facebook.

Tara serving up some tea; breakfast to go; Roadhouse Mascot

Tara serving up some tea; breakfast to go; Roadhouse Mascot

Chemtrails

Shit. Chemtrails again. Going back inside.

chemtrails

I posted this on Facebook this morning, and the replies were wonderful.

Polar Breeze

Well, that’s one way to get the KRTV staff out in the parking lot — free soft-serve ice cream!

Polar Breeze is the name of the “mobile treat unit” — no store front, they apparently just visit businesses in Great Falls and serve it up right from the truck.

Fun flavors, including watermelon and mocha. I opted for the bubble-gum flavor. Pretty tasty! They gave us a freebie to see if we liked it, and want them to visit regularly. Uh, that’s a yes!

And because it’s ice cream in Great Falls in May, a stiff breeze was blowing and it was pretty chilly outside 😀

Polar Breeze ice cream truck

Category: Great Falls Montana | Tags:

Cookies Are Coming!

I had to make a quick run out to Malmstrom today, and on the way back into town stopped at the mall, where I met Joe, the former owner of the Cookie Jar — a place from the mid-80s that some of you likely remember.

The Cookie Jar

He’s a super guy, and he explained that his daughter is re-opening the Cookie Jar in the exact same spot it once occupied! It’s upstairs right next to the GNC store — used to be Coffee Etc and Amy’s Morning Perk.

He said that at one point, there were at least three Cookie Jar locations in Great Falls (Times Square, mall, and on 38th Street), and one in Billings.

His grand-daughter (who owns Eye Candy downtown) was also there, and she happened to have one of the original Cookie Jar t-shirts from the 80s with the raccoon mascot. I suggested they should consider having a contest to name the raccoon, and bless her heart, she quickly replied, “His name is Bandit!” BUT OF COURSE! All raccoons are named Bandit! I didn’t realize that there were other people who knew that :-)

Cookie Jar t-shirt

Anyway — back to the cookies — Joe said that they plan to open sometime within the next two weeks. They had planned to open this weekend, but there’s still some equipment work being done.

Also on tap at the Cookie Jar: frozen yogurt — which according to a lot of comments I’ve seen on the KRTV Facebook page was out-of-this-world — and cinnamon rolls and other goodies.

Can’t wait to sample some of the cookies!

Cookie Jar

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