Not too suprised — the Staggering Ox in Great Falls has closed.
My three experiences there were pretty bad, and that location just doesn’t work; a lot of comments over at the KRTV Facebook page mentioned the poor location — which has been home to I think four restaurants in recent years.
Lots of people really seem to like the Ox in Helena and Missoula, but the GF location just couldn’t make it work.
As noted a few days ago, the Staggering Ox is open in Great Falls – but note that this is a SOFT opening. What does that mean? It means don’t go there expecting the full-on Ox experience – they’re still working out the kinks and don’t have the full menu available yet. And it appears that they only have table-service, no counter-service. But word has gotten out – the place was pretty packed when we stopped by for lunch on Saturday, and the wait staff was running like crazy to keep up.
As always, I ordered my sandwich plain – just meat and cheese. No lettuce, no sauce, no ANYTHING except meat and cheese and bread. Krista ordered a simple salad with some gyro meat. The waitress repeated the order back to us, no problems.
And we waited…and waited…and waited…for 25 minutes, and when our meals were finally brought to us, my roast beef and cheese sandwich was overflowing with – yep – lettuce. And no dressing for Krista’s salad.
On a more positive note, it only took about three minutes for them to bring me a plain sandwich – and it was pretty good.
So if you’ve got a hankering for a SOX sammy, my advice is to give it a week or two until they work out the kinks.
Great Falls fans of the Staggering Ox in Helena (and Missoula, etc) can rejoice: they opened up in Great Falls today! I called them yesterday and got confirmation. It’s located at 2nd Avenue South at 2nd Street, where The Breaks (and the Bay Leaf) used to be. Not sure of their hours yet, but you can give ’em a call at 315-2300.
Rumors of the Ox coming to Great Falls go all they way back to 2004.
Let’s recap some of the recent news about restaurants in Great Falls, shall we?
Coming soon: Cafe Rio is going in where Hollywood Video used to be, right near Starbucks in the mall parking lot. Baja Fresh & Canyons Burger is going into the old Elmer’s location on Fox Farm. Can’t wait – that spot has been empty for so long.
RIP: La Pastada shut down, and a daycare facility now occupies the space. The Taco Treat near downtown on Central Avenue closed down.
Likely: The Staggering Ox will open soon in the place where The Breaks used to be, according to the Tribune…although a similar deal was reported back in (!) 2004, too.
Rumor! Heard a few days ago that Famous Dave’s – very popular in Missoula! – will be moving in to the Prospector on Smelter Avenue, although the rumor says that it won’t happen until February.
It’s official: Goode’s Q & Bayou Grill has (finally!) moved into its new location over near Benefis! Haven’t been by to visit yet, but can’t wait to check out the new digs in the next few days. It’s at the intersection of 10th Avenue South and 26th Street, in the same building as the San Remo coffee shop. Hope they kept the funky atmosphere of the original location!
Some things for you to remember, if you haven’t tried Goode’s yet: first, it’s pronounced GOODZ – not “Good-eez.” Second, it is home to the best breakfast in town – the Haystack! Third, it’s home to the second-best burger in town, the Q-burger.
And in other restaurant news, it looks like Great Falls will soon be home a Staggering Ox, in the building where The Breaks (and the Bay Leaf!) used to live, down at 2nd Avenue South and 2nd Street. I’ve been to the Ox in both Helena and Missoula – pretty unique. I suspect that the Great Falls location could rival the Helena location in being quirky and funky, if they do it right.