Big Timber, MT – Country Skillet

Montana has no shortage of casino/gas stations, and each one seems to have a diner attached. One I stopped at was in the small burg of Big Timber. It was high noon on a weekday, and the cafe had more workers than customers. My fellow diners included one senior couple, two elderly levels, and two traveling businessmen, in a place with an occupancy level of about 120. There was a soma-like quality to the atmosphere, and the people’s movements paralleled that, almost like it was a set of a film, and I expected someone to shout “Reset” any moment, and the people would return to their original positions and start their same movements over again.

There are apparently several locations for this diner in the state, and I suspect there are clones operating under different names, as they are all combo gas/cafe/casino operations.

I don’t know what brilliant person thought Montana needed a casino or two on every corner, but apparently somebody did.

On the table for one’s bemusement was a copy of “Montana Meanderings” (purchase your own copy at the cashier for 6.95), a collection of “recipes, old-time remedies, and Montana cartoons.”

Here’s just a sneak preview, sure to make you want to find a copy of this book: recipes for pasties, and green bean hot dish. Witticisms like “you know it;s a rotten day when your twin sister forgets your birthday.”

And tips like “peppermint sprigs chase mice away.” Valuable stuff, huh? Well, someone thought so! It’s even available on Amazon, tho it’s listed at $25!

The meal was a bacon cheeseburger with fries, which was pretty good, actually, hand-formed patty cooked to order, fresh bun, good fries. My only disappointment was halfway through the meal, there heretofore mentioned businessmen place their order and one said “and a side of tater tots.” DAMN. I didn’t see tots on the menu! Must have to be an insider to know that!


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