Note:

All prices mentioned are based on the accuracy of my memory at the time...which may fluctuate depending on amount and type of beverage consumed.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Dimitri's Greek Restaurant

On my second repeat visit to Dimitri's for a crave-inducing gyro in 2 weeks (I tried to make three visits, but a picky coworker overruled me). I decided to go with a traditional lamb instead of the chicken which I still much enjoyed a week prior but stirred jealousy of my lamb-eating friends raving about theirs at the time. The restaurant decor is true to producing Greek ambiance with the grapes hanging from the rafters and Greek music constantly streaming. The menu is filled with authentic Greek specialties at a reasonable price, but I have not been daring enough to try much besides the gyros and the Mediterranean Sampler which comes with calamari, doulmaldes (grape leaves stuffed with seasoned lamb and rice), hummus with pita chips, feta cheese, and kalamata olives. My favorite of the plate being the doulmaldes and who can resist big hunks of cheese!!

One item that I went from despicably hating to craving daily is the Lemon and Egg Soup. It has an extreme lemon taste, so it is not for the sensitive tastebuds. I talked my coworker into ordering it with his gyro and he succeeded in swallowing no more than a spoonful before shoving it out of reach and giving me The Death Glare. One coworker only orders the Hades gyro but was initially disappointed in its lack of promised heat (hot and spicy feta spread with gyro meat, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pepperoncini). If you go during lunch hours you will find the prices to be about 5 bucks cheaper than the dinner menu but on the lunch menu you get soup, salad, OR fries as a side...on the dinner menu you get soup or salad, and rice, garlic mashed, or Greek potatoes plus Greek green beans.

A few suggestions for the owners, if there is only going to be one waitress at lunch time handling 6 tables and doing the cooking from what it seemed.... can we have our soup and salad first? that way we aren't faced with sculpting mountains with the Sweet & Low to pass time, starving for 40 minutes before it is all brought to us, and having a 10 minute span to shove it in our mouths and get our bill paid before attempting to make it back to work in time? That would make me much more apt to return more often for lunch and recommend it to fellow coworkers looking for some decent sit down food to fit into our lunch hour.

I would love to try the octopus next time they have it or witness the bellydancers that perform on occasion. All in all this restaurant is extremely beneficial to the diversity of culture specific restaurants in this town. I applaud the owners for introducing this type of food into our palates!

WARNING: I have not once left there without immediately drinking huge glasses of water the rest of the day. This is not a place for you if you are on a low-sodium diet.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Bert and Ernie's Music, Food, and Brew Pub

Whew, that's a long name for a restaurant! Amazingly enough that's one of the very few things I have to complain about after having one of my most customer friendly and delicious dining experiences in a great while! A few mere seconds upon walking through the door we were greeted by a cheery hostess who sat us in a window seat with a nice view of a downtown Great Falls parking lot (better than nothing). Upon asking what we would like to drink I pondered for half a moment and before I knew it the beer and wine menu was placed on our table. I must say they have a better than average beer selection although worse than average prices. I do appreciate that they post their beers and prices online which you can view here: http://www.bertandernies.com/beer.htm I can continue to bore you with an entire story start to finish but instead I'll just name some...

HIGHLIGHTS:
  • friendliest and speediest wait staff of all restaurants I have encountered in recent memory (when's the last time you heard someone say thank you to YOU as they took your dirty dishes?)
  • ice water with lemon was immediately brought to our table upon arrival without asking
  • stuffed pepper soup (rice, ground beef, yellow and red peppers, tomatoes) came so piping hot I had to let it cool for a few minutes but it was WELL worth the wait, and the homemade fresh whole wheat roll was a nice addition although it did cost an extra $1
  • the Stella Artois I ordered came in a branded, chalice-pint glass (yes I'm amused by the smallest things but they add up!)
  • full rack of baby back pork ribs was served with plenty of napkins and towelettes and comes with just enough food to feed two people...soup or salad, mixed veggies, and baked potato (My dinner companion recommends getting it loaded with bacon, sour cream, and chives for $1 more, I myself took a pass on it altogether but it sure looked tasty)
  • within 5 seconds of the sun starting to peek out from behind the clouds and cast some streaming light into our faces the hostess was at our table asking if we wanted the shades lowered
  • clean and contemporary bathrooms with copper fixtures, enclosed toilets, and floor to ceiling marbled tiles are some of the nicest I've seen in a restaurant or bar in GF let alone downtown (people that know more about construction materials forgive me if I got any of the descriptions wrong)

LOWLIGHTS:
  • a lonely ant crawling along the windowsill tried to join us for dinner, we didn't let him sit at our table, but did amuse ourselves trying to figure out whether he was a vegetarian or carnivore (still undecided, he was gone by the time I remembered our impromptu experiment was ongoing)
  • beer prices spendier than usual ($4.50 for a draught pint compared to $3 on average)
  • garden salad with lettuce, 2 cucumbers, and a tomato left a little more to be desired but at least it was fresh
  • limp, lukewarm mixed veggies with dinner left a LOT more to be desired
  • ribs tasted less fresh than when I ate them a few months back
Ultimately, after dinner and drinks for two, a $35 bill, and a half rack of ribs in a doggy box I was so pleasantly satisfied that I felt the need for this post after SUCH a long drought. Thanks Bert and Ernie's for reviving me!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

For Sale:

One (1) credit for a pepperoni, pineapple, green pepper, black olive, and canadian bacon pizza pocket.

Seller does not assume any responsibility for food contamination incurred (aka 3 long black hairs embedded deep within the crust)

Dear Patient Readers,


Biting into my steaming hot Stageline pizza pocket nary an hour ago made me realize how much I have missed you.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Goode's Q & Bayou Grill

I finally got my chance to try it out! Not only had my boss eaten there for dinner the night before, but he brought me there for lunch the very next day! (And no, he had no idea that I have a food review blog or that one of you suggested it.) That enthusiasm alone let me know that I better not refuse this offer.

NEGATIVES
  1. small, confusing parking lot on a one-way
  2. small, confusing dining room layout with a one person wide funnel to enter or exit which is directly next to the cash register, resulting in a huge traffic jam of bodies trying to leave, find a table, or pay
  3. short ceilings and slanted floor (or maybe slanted ceiling?) made even a person of limited stature (myself) feel like a giant and also slightly dizzy
  4. the water that I ordered for my drink was not refilled at any time during or after my meal (although I was in desperate need from the spices and salt content in my dish)
  5. I ordered the Shrimp and Crawfish Etouffee which was slightly spendy at 10.50 for the amount of food given. I had planned on taking half of it home for leftovers as I usually do, but it was only the size of a large bowl of soup so I left with nothing but a full belly (which is OK too I suppose) It was definitely different than anything I had ever eaten, mustard colored soupy rice dish with a slight film on the top, but once I dug in it was rich and delicious!
  6. florescent lights down the center of the room...I know I talk about lighting a lot which is important to me for a dining experience but there was plenty of light let in from the large windows and some soft sconce lighting on the log paneled logs, so a new light fixture instead of the cafeteria style lights would improve the aesthetics greatly.
POSITIVES
  1. small, homey diner type feel with a 40 person max capacity, red tablecloths, chairs, and drink glasses, syrupy sweet waitress dressed in shortalls who looked fitting of a Southern accent but didn't have one at all!
  2. the flavor of the food, right amount of spice, right amount of seafood (about 15 small shrimp which allowed for one in every other bite), different than your normal Montana diner options of burgers and fries ALTHOUGH they do offer that on their menu as well, which one pusillanimous person from my party opted for (the bacon cheeseburger to be exact) who labeled it 'pretty good'
  3. The owner himself was working the till and asking folks on the way out the door how their dish was and thanking them for coming with a big, toothy, genuine grin
  4. I was told by a coworker that he and his family had a long wait for their food once and were comped their entire meal!
CONCLUSION
I enjoyed the fact that it was different from my average meal or average establishment. The only major downfall I encountered was the disposition of the building inside and out. Food was on par, the owner's personable aura is refreshing....but I do hope one day he adds a catering option! If you haven't tried it yet, I would highly suggest it!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sting and Ryan's Station Revisited

Hi all, thanks everybody for your comments on my young and first blog...whether you're a lover or a hater, it's nice to see that at least someone is out there reading my POV. I've had a busy week with Rockin the Rivers and the Weird Al concerts (which were equally thoroughly amusing), so I haven't had much time to formulate an official review as of yet.

Last week I did revisit Ryan's Station which provided more of their same speedy, friendly service and delivered some tasty Fish Tacos (although slightly greasy) and Shredded Beef Tacos. Each dish came with two tacos each with a plate full of multicolored tortilla chips and some too chunky tomatoey salsa that I barely touched. What looked most appetizing however was the Hawaiian Delight Pizza which looked plump and cheesy and delicious, but was only 12" and came with a $14.95 price tag. The pineapple and ham tasted fresh but the yeast overpowered the taste of the crust. It was a so-so experience, prices still too high for the amount of food that you get, but it is a pleasant atmosphere with kind workers.

I also returned to The Sting (to much merriment) for their outdoor concert Thursday (disappointing turnout for a Food Bank fundraiser) and was perplexed, yet delighted at the Bud booth which had 16 oz aluminum bottles of Bud or Bud Light for $2!! Any of you beer drinkers who partake in their consumption at any type of outdoor event knows that's about half off the usual price, so it definitely made my day! We purchased so many (we had a big group of around 10-12, thanks to my word of mouth) that they gave us the Bud Light bottle opener to take back with us. Two of us in the group (including me) were also 2 out of 20 finalists in the running for a Bud Party cruise to the Caribbean! There were Bud reps handing out tickets and they just so happened to pull mine, but not for the cruise or any of the door prizes :( I had no knowledge of this giveaway previously and the only reason I knew about this shindig was that I found it on the Sting's homepage when I was looking up their email address to send my first ever Eat/Drink GF review to (which I never did BTW). Big Mouth BBQ was catering and I was eagerly looking forward to trying it, but they were shut down by the time I arrived one hour into the show (my guess is from lack of customers since there were so few people there.)

Anyways, the plug got pulled (literally) on the stage around 9pm and I convinced my beer munchie ravished party to head inside to try the Chicken Breast Sandwiches (we got 4 total) and of course the other half of the table couldn't go without ordering a Sting pizza. I was pleasantly surprised and amazed at the quick, friendly service and the improvements in the food. The pizza looked 180 degrees different than it normally does, with half the grease, and perfectly placed chunks of meat. The chicken breast and salads came out quickly and were hits with my crowd also. When ordering our beers, we inquired about pitchers and the waitress advised us that ordering the big mugs were a better deal. How absolutely refreshing to not be upsold! (Although, I like to figure out better deals by doing the math anyways, so it would've been found out eventually!)

And the owner even thanked us for coming to the show as we were walking out. :) It's the little things that count and that make customers return...

One request, dim the lights just a touch. I am glad I was wearing a visor, but the rest of our weary eyed group had to squint from the bright overhead lights. All in all, I just felt the urge to write about my positive experience (although this same place has now been reviewed 3 times!) to prove to everyone that I do give credit where credit is due and that my M.O. is not what some people think it is...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

And the point is...

David at GreaterFalls.com has hit the nail on the head with his comment about my Pita Pit post.
From the blogs: Our newest blogger, Epicuria, has posted a “no-holds barred” review of the Pita Pit. Yes, it’s harsh, but if I was the manager of the Pita Pit - and read local blogs so that I knew about stuff like this - I would take this as an “opportunity to excel.” Call the staff together, read the review, re-commit to high standards, implement new procedures, etc, and then invite Epicuria back for a free meal to show off the improvements. My two cents.

The whole point of Eat/Drink GF is not to delight in being a huge, insane bitch, but to spread the word of the state of our bars and restaurants (according to me) and get the people running these places to take some notice!