Tag Archives: restaurant

Paying it forward at Ford’s

Stopped at Ford’s Drive In to get some tasty burgers, fries, and a corn dog for me and my lovely bride on Wednesday.

Parked next to a large white pickup truck that had what I am pretty sure was a dad, mom, and teen son. On the other side of the truck was a large sedan with an older gentleman.

The friendly car-hop took my order and zipped around the lot and inside for a bit.

A few minutes later, she delivered an order to the pickup truck, and they drove off.

About two minutes later, she brought out my bag o’goodies (and it’s always in one bag – never ceases to amaze me how much food Ford’s can fit in one bag!), and when I reached out to hand her money, she said my food had already been paid for.

Uh…what? I asked her who paid for it, and she replied that the people in the pick up truck had paid for my food, and the sedan man’s food.

I asked her if she knew who the pickup truck family was, and she said no.

So whoever you are, pickup truck family, THANK YOU – that was very kind of you!

Ford's Drive In in Great Falls

Ford’s Drive In in Great Falls

Morning Light progress!

Morning Light coffee shop on 9th Street North is getting ready to move — they are finishing up re-modeling the building at 1701 9th Avenue South.

The building once housed La Pastada restaurant and most recently a child-care facility.

I stopped by today to check it out – looks pretty good, and the patio area is cool. Don’t know yet when it will be up and running.


Big Bang Pizza!

Ladies and gentlemen, behold the newest purveyor of pizza in Great Falls: Big Bang Pizza!

Big Bang Pizza in Great Falls

Big Bang Pizza in Great Falls

I had the good fortune to get a sneak peek and taste on Sunday before the official grand opening on Monday – and I was quite impressed.

First, the design and theme: Big Bang! Very cool – appropriately “sciencey” names for all of the offerings – Proton, Super Nova, Black Hole, Ultra Sonice, etc. This is the same team that owns the Burger Bunker, so they know how to take a concept and make it work.

Second, the pizza: delicious, quite simply. I of course opted solely for the pepperoni, and it was very good. The crust is not like any other pizza crust I’ve ever had — it wasn’t too thin or thick, and it was…fluffier? than other places. And the pepperoni slices were HUGE.

My lovely wife and some of our best friends tried some of the other types of pizza and offerings, and they, too, were duly impressed. My friend Monica posted this review on the Big Bang Pizza Facebook page: “The Buffalo wings were fabulous! The Quantum Force pizza was my favorite, very unique and delicious! The Black Hole was yummy as was the Proton, Newton, Inertia and White Noise. I’d try anything on the menu!”

And yes, they offer gluten-free pizza.

Where to find it: in the Columbus Center (the old hospital) at 1600 2nd Avenue North. Second floor, right around the corner from the elevator. BUT they also deliver, if you can’t get down there.

And I would also like to note that I ate pizza three days in a row: Saturday at Rikki’s, Sunday at Big Bang, and Monday we had Mackenzie River delivered. All were delicious 🙂

Looks like I’m going to have update my list of favorite pizza places in Great Falls!

Please, Please

Hand-written sign posted above the urinals in an eatery – any guesses which one?

NOTE: do not let the sign discourage you – trust me, this place has the BEST BURGERS in Cascade County.
Also kick-ass French fries, and an internet-connected jukebox that lets me groove to my heart’s content.
PLUS super-friendly service. Seriously.

Yes, the sign is admittedly pretty yucky, but I ain’t picking places to eat based on the restrooms.

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Farewell, Moonshine Grill

Sad news — Shoot The Moon closed a few days ago. It was one of my regular “go to” restaurants in Great Falls.

It opened in early 2013, in the spot that used to be Macaroni Grill.

It was originally called the Moonshine Grill, but they changed the name to Shoot The Moon to avoid confusion with a Moonshine Grill in Texas.

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The food was pretty good, the service was fine, the atmosphere was generally nice, and it was very clean.

My wife and I usually ate there once or twice a month, usually on Saturday afternoons, because it was never very busy — although in hindsight, I suppose that was not a very good sign.

The theme was pretty cool — Prohibition-era pictures and theme. And it was unusually clean and spacious. We almost always had great service; I saw lots of complaints about service on the KRTV Facebook page when the news broke, but we usually had very nice, polite, attentive service. The kitchen was a bit slow at times — even when there weren’t many other customers — but the food was above-average in most cases.

My biggest complaint actually had nothing to do with quality or service — it was the music. The music was almost always “modern” country or pop — how the heck does that reflect “moonshine” or Prohibition-era stuff? They should have been playing Tin Pan Alley music!

I also really enjoyed being able to draw on the butcher-block paper that covered the tables with crayons – fun!

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And (sorry for the poor photo quality) I really loved this bison perched above the fireplace:

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Our last visit — in mid-September — featured a large group of the Red Hat Society. We noticed some of them using the crayons to write or draw something. They were having a wonderful time, and on their way out, a couple of the ladies smiled at us and we exchanged pleasantries.

Once they were gone, I took a look at some of their handiwork:

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In related news: the On The Border restaurant — same owner as Shoot The Moon, located in what used to be Tony Roma’s — also closed last week. We ate there once; it was meh, nothing special.

The Burger Bunker

Remember a few years ago there was a “hot dog war” in Great Falls? There were three hot-dog themed eateries in town, all fighting for your hard-earned dollars. Sadly, the best of the lot — the Downtown Dog House — didn’t survive, and hot dogs overall seem to have been relegated to the bottom rung of the food-chain ladder in our fair community.

But! There’s now a battle of the burgers in Great Falls, of sorts. Several weeks ago, the Roadhouse Diner opened, and its star attraction is an ever-changing menu of tasty burgers and home-made fries. It’s a kick-ass place, full of energy, good cheer, and delicious food — although I think their breakfast offerings are even better than the burger menu.

The Burger Bunker

The Burger Bunker on 2nd Avenue North

And about two weeks ago, the Burger Bunker officially opened, and it is good, good stuff. It’s in the community rec center on 2nd Avenue North, in the space that used to be the Good Eats restaurant (which is relocating to the Columbus building next month).

The Burger Bunker is a military-themed restaurant, and the menu reflects it, with burgers called the Panzer, the Malmstrom, the B-52, the Desert Fox, and such.

Mack is the usually the guy who will greet you and take your order — super friendly, big smile, and always ready with a quip or joke.

Of course, I always opt for a plain cheeseburger — with bacon, if available — and I am happy to say that the Burger Bunker delivered a direct hit (get it?). I’ve been there (don’t laugh) four times since they opened, and have been very satisfied each time. In fact, the burgers have actually gotten better on each visit. My wife really enjoyed the Panzer — it’s basically a Reuben squeezed into a burger.

The french fries aren’t quite as good as the burgers, unfortunately — they are OK, but not great. Certainly passable, but make no mistake: the star attraction is the burger. That’s in contrast to the Roadhouse Diner, where the burgers are great, but the fries are phenomenal.

Also of note: they have something called a “cooler” on the menu — never heard it called such, but it’s basically a thin milkshake in your choice of cola, root beer, etc. I’ve had a cola cooler on each visit, and it is absolutely heavenly.

Another bonus: the Burger Bunker is open from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday. AND you can have it delivered, via Cafe Courier. In fact, on my last two visits to the Bunker, they were doing more delivery business than in-house business — at one point, they had two Cafe Courier drivers in there picking up orders.

Overall: hell yes, get down there and try a burger.

Also: read what Vernon had to say.

Burger Bunker: Website. Facebook.

And now for the pictures:

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