Friday, July 7, 2017

The Mixed Review

Sunday morning after the wedding of our son Randy, we find ourselves driving around Great Falls, Montana looking for a good non fast food place for breakfast, one obvious choice we had eaten at the day before so this was a no go because we are out of town and need to try different places.

The night before one of the bridesmaids had mentioned a great place to eat down on the river, she described it as “kind of a dive, you know an old mom and pop place but with good food as long as you aren’t looking for a really nice place”

OK I’m game but no one can remember the name of the restaurant, and the people we called to ask who were with us couldn’t remember the conversation.

Missouri River is in the name I recall, Cindy adds that this sounds right, so it had to be something like Missouri River Restaurant, she asks Tim what was the name of the restaurant that bridesmaid told us to try, Tim adds “I wasn't talking to no bridesmaid”

“Navigate me to Missouri Restaurant”, “Navigate me to Missouri River Restaurant”, “Navigate me to Restaurant by the river”, "Navigate me to restaurants in Great Falls" no matter where Tim asked his smart phone to navigate us to, only confused the phone more than we were already confused.

I remember once upon a time when we could stop and look at a phonebook, aren't you glad we've progressed past that inconvenience....

So we called Casey, a young man we adopted who was in the Air Force and stationed in the same town we lived in back when we were still New Mexicans, well we weren’t new anythings but we lived in New Mexico and Casey was another son to us.

Casey happens to now live in Great Falls and was actually in Randy’s wedding so we got to catch up with him while we were there.

Cindy asks “Hey Casey, that bridesmaid last night told us about a restaurant we should try for breakfast, but we can't find it” Casey replies “OK what was the name of it?” that’s another thing she adds “We are not sure, it’s either Missouri something or Missouri River something, something like that, you were sitting right there when she was telling us.” Casey replies, “I don't remember talking to a bridesmaid”

Oh OK I know what you are looking for it’s called the Missouri River Diner, it’s over on River Road and it’s kind of a dive, you know an old mom and pop place but with good food as long as you aren’t looking for a really nice place, that has to be it I conclude and Tim speaks into his smart phone “Navigate me to Missouri River Diner” to which we hear “Navigating to Missouri River Diner, make a U Turn and continue straight to River Road”

I have to admit this place did look like a dive, we were the only car in the parking lot other than a 60’s model Ford pick up truck with a snow plow attached to the front bumper, and a black SUV parked next to it appearing to be a workers car.

I jump out ready to go inside while Cindy and Tim hold back, I'm looking out over the river while they are looking at the restaurant from inside the car, I think they were waiting on Banjo music or something to begin, had Dueling Banjos started playing they would have locked the car doors leaving me trapped outside.

looking toward the door at the Missouri River Diner

looking inside the Missouri River Diner in Great Falls Montans
Inside Missouri River Diner (Source)

I like these types of restaurants, this one was old and looked it, the furnishings were old and looked it, everything was old and looked it except for our waitress who was ten years old if she were a day, she was really sweet and worked hard to make sure we were taken care of, she must have been someone's granddaughter who worked there, but I guarantee you she kept herself busy and we never wanted for anything.

Cindy has always talked of traveling the country and reviewing restaurants, I suggested we do this beginning with this very restaurant, we evidently had different opinions.

Cindy said she was starving and couldn't wait to eat, I wasn't really hungry but really needed to eat (since it was our breakfast time)

We both ordered Pancakes and eggs, I thought the pancakes were grilled perfectly and had a good flavor, Cindy thought they were gummy and tasted burnt.

I thought the restaurant had a home style feel, Cindy thought it needed updated.

I thought the staff was friendly but quiet, Cindy thought the staff was rude because the little girl was working and they hardly talked.

I thought the restaurant was an excellent place to go for it's view of the river and convenient location, Cindy said she thought it evidently not a good  choice because we were the only ones there.

I gave the place 5 stars and would recommend it with no problem, Cindy gave the little girl 5 dollars and said she wouldn't go back.

Now to be fair to The Missouri River Diner we were the only customers at that time, but when we passed by a short time later the parking lot was completely packed, that says a lot for them in my opinion.

A packed parking lot at meal time is the sign of a good restaurant, and us being the only customers at the time only says that we were ahead of the crowd.

Ok Ok Cindy says to tell you that her pancakes were still gummy, mine were perfect though and this is Jimmy's Opinion.....Right?

46 comments:

  1. Yes, your opinion is your opinion and Cindy's opinion is Cindy's opinion. So that make you both right.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. ☺

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    1. Good morning Sandee, that's pretty much the conclusion with us also ;)

      Have a great weekend.

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  2. It's always hard to review anything like this, because what one person loves, another hates. A bit like music. I like the "old 50's diner" look the place has even if the pancakes are gummy.

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    1. I'm with you Joey, I am always more comfortable in a place like this, like you said it's hard to get the same opinion from two people on food, that's what made this post fun for me.

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  3. Any port in a storm...I'll give anyplace a try...at least once.

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    1. Hi Delores, I like trying different places like this, we have found really good (and sometimes bad) food by doing so.

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  4. There is no breakfast like breakfast at an old fashion diner!

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    1. Very true Joe, I like breakfast and it's always good at the old fashioned diners.

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  5. We like hole in the wall type places, don't look much from the outside but they have great food usually, and the people inside are friendly, usually. I love big old fluffy pancakes but Gregg won't eat any pancakes other than the ones I make so he always sticks to a bacon and egg meal. I make my pancakes English style, a little thicker than a crepe and he likes them because they remind him of the ones his mother used to fix him when he was a kid. I also love grits. Never had them in my life until I came to the states 40 years ago and never looked back. We often ask the desk clerk at the hotel for a good local resturant. We get 'well it's nothing fancy but...." We say we don't want fancy, just good food and then they give us directions. Enjoyed reading this Jimmy, and always enjoy the interaction between you and Cindy.

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    1. Hey Denise, I think grits are a Southern staple, I grew up eating them my whole life in South Carolina.

      Thank you Denise I always enjoy your visits.

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  6. It sounds like the type of place I'd give a try.

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    1. Hello Stephen, I do believe you would like it.

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  7. I love diners! Bacon, grits, eggs, pancakes, oh my! People like their pancakes different ways. I like mine spongy with a little crisp on the edge.
    Lisa

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    1. Hey Lisa, we used to stop at a Huddle House restaurant in Easley, SC (location now closed, moved to Powdersville)every time we went home, the best breakfasts ever in my opinion, I love places like this...you can't find good grits out here by the way ha ha

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  8. Interesting how you can get such different opinions of the same place. Yesterday I was out with girls for lunch and one said that her granddaughter said they had the best BLT she had ever eaten there. I love BLTs so I ordered and it was truly the worst one I have ever had. I understand Cindy's view but also yours. Guess after all the years of married life your tastes haven't merged. Made for a good post though.

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    1. Hi Patti, we have merged on a lot of things but our taste in foods have always been different ha ha

      With the Granddaughter of your friend loving the BLT and you not so much, I wonder if the difference is view from child to adult as far as tastes go?

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  9. You can't score mama/poppa restaurants out west by the same scale you do the restaurants around bigger cities. Part of the fun of going out west for us was hitting places like that. You just never know what you'll find in the way of conversations and the families running them. Love your story.

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    1. Hi Jean, that is one thing I love about these types of restaurants, the conversations you run into, I think this is the first one where we didn't find someone who wanted to talk,, if the locals had been there probably would have though.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the story Jean :)

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  10. So what you're saying is you & Cindy agree to disagree!!

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    1. Hey Fran, if Cindy and I disagree on anything we just agree that this is the way it's going to be and refuse to argue about the disagreement because if we disagree on a point most likely would have never agreed in the first place, so agreeing to disagree is something that we always agree on.

      Good to see you Lady :)

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    2. That's the longest "yes" I ever read :D

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    3. I thought Fran would appreciate that one ha ha

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  11. For a minute there, I though you might have to rent a canoe and float down the river to find it! And what's going on with all that bridesmaid denial?

    Glad you got a good breakfast and Cindy got a breakfast and that little girl got five dollars. You all got a memory out of that visit.

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    1. Hello Val, not sure about all the bridesmaid denial even though the boys do like messing with us it could have something to do with their reception refreshments ha ha, they may not remember.

      That's one way to look at it at least Cindy did get breakfast, gummy but filling I suppose, a canoe trip down the river was getting close I think, we were just about to call the bridesmaid for further instruction ;)

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  12. I love old Mom 'n' Pop type restaurants, and placing it on the river would give it an extra star for me. Sounds like my kinda place.

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    1. Hey Susan, it was a perfect set up in my opinion, perfect view, plenty of parking, and a packed house...after we left of course.

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  13. You two need to go on Trip Advisor and become reviewers who balance each other out!

    I got a big chuckle out of the inconvenient phone book comment! Lol!

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    1. Hey Bijoux, maybe we can do more reviews in the future, as long as she doesn't balance me completely out ha ha

      The whole time Tim was talking into that smart phone I was thinking what I would pay for a good phone book, had to throw that thought into the post.

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  14. Sometimes I think my wife has very dull taste buds. When she hates food, you know it's bad

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    1. Hey Adam, so if Daisy says it's bad then it pays to listen, refined tastebuds maybe.

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  15. Maybe your pancakes were better because they perceived you were paying the bill and leaving the tip??

    Reviews are interesting to do. They can be subjective. You can have a bad experience at a restaurant and then a week later have the best experience you ever had, same place, same waitress, etc. I tell this story often but years ago when we lived in Billings, Montana we were at the Applebee's there. Mind you at the time there weren't a lot of "fancy" restaurants so we frequented Outback and Applebee's quite a git. One Friday night we got a waitress that was efficient in what she did but had the attitude from hell we'll call it. You asked her for something and she would give you a look, but she would go ahead and do what you wanted. We ordered coffee with dessert and when the bill came, we always looked over it to make sure things were included on it, the coffee wasn't on the bill. We hesitated to call her over because of her attitude but we knew it was the right thing to do so we did it and hubby told her the coffees were left off the check. She thanked us for catching it. I told hubby to leave her a nice tip. Few weeks later we are back at the restaurant and lo and behold she is our waitress. I'm like "on no." When she came to our table I mentioned that she had taken care of us a few weeks back. She had the BIGGEST smile on her face and said "yes, you reminded me to charge you for the coffees." The BEST service ever gotten happened with that meal. So subjective. One week can be a nightmare, another week a blessing. Visit son and his lovely bride in a bit and revisit that restaurant; both of your opinions could change about it!

    betty

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    1. Hello Betty, very interesting story and a very true point, we've been places that we have sworn to never return to, but like your experience have gone back for the best meal ever.

      Maybe when we return we should order something other than breakfast, or maybe no pancakes ;)

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  16. Hmmm what was with the bridesmaids that they disappeared from memory?

    Enjoyed reading this, Jimmy, and I am so glad you found the place in the end. Sounds okay to me, not all restaurants need to be tarted up with the latest decorative fashions, so long as the food is good.

    Have a great weekend.

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    1. Hello Valerie, true point, I'd rather have good food than pretty decorations, I still like the old style diners.

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  17. I like the pictures of the interior and if that's a dive, then I'm King Kong's auntie. It looks clean and neat, the sort of place where the food being good is more important than having the latest in flashy styling. And I prefer staff who get on with service and cleaning etc instead of hanging around constantly checking and making small talk. After all, I am there to eat, not to interview for a foodie magazine.

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    1. Hi River, the only thing I can say is the pictures dress up the place more than what we saw, when looking back through our pictures I found none we had taken here, the actual place was not as bright and neat as the pictures show, but I still say my food was good.

      And that little girl was a doll with an excellent work ethic for her age.

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  18. One man's ceiling is another mans floor as the old saying goes:)

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    1. Amen to that one Rick, very true statement.

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  19. Interesting difference of opinions. We usually love the divey places because the food is usually so good, it makes up for the bad accommodations. My oldest says the best restaurants are the ones where you're likely to get stabbed in the parking lot.
    But what I'm really curious about: The bridesmaid. Was she real or a ghost? No one else seems to remember talking to her!

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    1. Hey Abby, your son is probably right about that "the best restaurants are the ones where you're likely to get stabbed in the parking lot."

      The bridesmaid was actually a real person, maybe they didn't recognize her in regular clothes, or the memory loss was from the "refreshments" at the reception ha ha

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  20. In my opinion, those old diners are usually great places to eat. While the furniture may be old, if the tables are clean and the food is good, I'm in. I loved your different opinions.

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    1. I have to agree with you Inger, as long as it's clean and the food good I'll be there.

      Thank you my friend, we normally have differing opinions when it comes to restaurants.

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  21. I love those old-fashioned diners. There's a chain called Ed's Diners and we always have our burgers in them when we're in central London. Love the ambiance and the music. :-)

    Greetings from London.

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    1. Ed's Diners sounds like a great place to go, one thing about diners like this is the locals who frequent them "the regulars", they add a lot to the ambiance of a place.

      It's good to have you stop by, hope to see you again.

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  22. Old diners are the best...as long as someone local recommends them.

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    1. That is an excellent point "as long as someone local recommends them."

      I suppose that we were covered there ;)

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