"Where do you want to eat?"
"Where do you want to eat?" generally followed by a responding "I don't know" is an exchange that is a little too familiar for a lot of today's diners. With an abundance of restaurants to choose from, deciding on one common restaurant to satisfy the desire for a good meal can seem daunting. Now enter the motivation behind this blog. The city of Great Falls has a multitude of restaurants to choose from, offering a wide variety of options depending on the dining experience you seek. A good number of these restaurants are "chains", corporate giants offering the same menus in a variety of locations throughout the country. Nothing personal against these chain restaurants, but especially in today's economy, it is incredibly important to support local businesses. When the public invests in locally-owned buisnesses, the money is recycled back into the local community. Therefore, this blog will only feature the locally-owned restaurants of Great Falls. Each week, one local restaurant will be featured and reviewed, with the intent that the next time "where do you want to eat?" is proposed, a locally-owned business will be supported.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Goode's Q and Bayou Grill
In a log cabin just off 15th Street North, the menu at Goode's combines bar-be-que, gumbo, Cajun and Creole creations from cultures such as French, Italian, German, English, Spanish, African and Native American, providing you quite the multicultural experience.
A special section of the menu is dedicated to vegetarian meal options such as Habib's Po-Boy (grilled red onions, mushrooms, green and red peppers, and olives served on a toasted hoagie with tomatoes, spinach, and "the Q" remoulade), and The Hema (marinated portabello mushrooms grilled and topped with smoked Fontina cheese and served on a toasted hoagie with tomatoes, leaf lettuce, and topped with "the Q's" raspberry chipotle vinaigrette).
Next, the waitress highly recommended the Shrimp and Crawfish Etouffee for the main course. This southern style stew is made up of shrimp and crawfish sauteed with vegetables, wine, herbs, and tomatoes in a rich seafood stock, served over rice with a slice of jalapeno cornbread on the side.
Feeling adventurous, I ordered the etouffee not knowing really what to expect. When the meal was brought to the table, the smell alone was enough to make your mouth water. Smelling strongly of oregano and basil, the distinct aroma of the herbs overwhelmed the other senses, inviting you to just breathe the smell in. The creamy stew had a delayed, slightly spicy bite to it, a residual effect of the seafood stock the dish was stewed in, and it was controlled nicely by the grains of rice within. The subtle spice gave the stew a perfect edge, encouraging you to come back for each spoonful. Riddled with plump shrimp so large it took more then one bite to consume them, and crawfish soft like crab meat, you are sure to get a spoonful each time you come back for more.
The cornbread, although made with jalapeno peppers embedded within, was not the least bit spicy. Coupled with the stew, the pair created a sweet and spicy effect, a perfect balance for the palate.
Served in a porcelain boat-like dish, the warm peach crisp was brought to the table with a melting scoop of vanilla ice cream running down the sides. If seasons have a smell, this dessert illustrates the scent of Fall perfectly. The cinnamon and nutmeg paired with the sweet smell of peaches creates an image of the colorful autumn leaves falling to the ground on a sunny, crisp day. The tangy sweet peach flavor, combined with the cinnamon and nutmeg spices, results in the down-home comfort food taste Goode's strives to achieve.
True to their motto, "Goode's Q and Bayou Grill isn't fancy, just Goode". Upon entry to this restaurant, one of the more noticeable traits is the small dining area. Tables are grouped somewhat closely together, strengthening the feeling of family Goode's offers its guests.
Sitting amongst the lights, beads and garlands, you can almost picture a busy New Orleans street just beyond the windows. The laughter and conversations amongst the other diners creates a comfortable, small-town atmosphere and the friendly staff make everyone feel at home and welcome.
If a night of "Goode" food, "Goode" friends and "Goode" times is what you're after, Goode's Q and Bayou Grill is definitely a stop worth making.