"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.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Sting Sports Bar and Casino

A full parking lot and a building stuffed nearly to capacity caught my attention Thursday night, causing me to venture into The Sting Sports Bar and Casino.
Originally a pizza establishment, The Sting has been in operation for many years and since its’ move to its’ current location on 5th street south, The Sting has been a popular destination for the nightlife crowd of Great Falls.
The lifelong Montana residents who own The Sting, Richie and Sara, have striven to provide the city of Great Falls with an establishment that strongly supports the local community and sporting events of Montana.
Dozens of televisions line the ceiling of The Sting, broadcasting a multitude of sporting events in every direction.
Starting at 6 p.m. every Thursday, you can be sure to hear the musical talents of the local band, The Thrillbillies, belting out their renditions of popular rock and roll and country songs.
Although this band is highly talented and provides the bar with a fun energy, it is difficult to carry on conversations during songs as you have to shout over the music in order to be heard 12 inches away.
Old-time movie posters and fliers advertising sporting events adorn the walls painted in bold, primary colors.
Offered at The Sting Sports Bar and Casino is food typical of that found on a bar’s menu, primarily consisting of finger foods and sandwiches for around 10 dollars.
Salads are also offered as a healthy alternative for the conscientious diner.
Of the options on the appetizer menu, the waitress suggested the mini-tacos.

Mini corn tortillas filled with ground beef and spices, the mini tacos were served with a side of sour cream and salsa.
A word of caution about the mini tacos: give them plenty of time to cool as the insides are incredibly hot when the tacos arrive at the table.
The tacos did, however, have an enjoyable taste to them, and were plentiful in number. 
The shell was crispy and crunchy on the edges while the inner portion of the tacos maintained a soft shell feel.
The ground beef was lightly seasoned, giving the tacos a subtle edge in flavor.
For the main course, the Chicken Philly Sandwich sounded like it would be a good choice.
Described as a chicken breast topped with grilled onions, green peppers and melted Swiss cheese, the Chicken Philly was served on a toasted Kaiser roll with a side of tater tots.
The chicken was tender and juicy, all around well cooked and delicious.
The grilled onions and peppers were melted into the cheese and provided a smoky grilled taste to the sandwich.
The tater tots, however, lacked flavor different from the oils used to cook them.
Overcooked, the tater tots were too crunchy and so flavorless even a dose of salt couldn’t cure the problem.
Although the tater tots did not meet my expectations, probably my biggest disappointment of the night came when the waitress informed me that The Sting does not serve dessert!
Needless to say I was upset, however, had I entered The Sting with a different agenda this night, I may have had an entirely different experience.
The Sting Sports Bar is exactly that, a sports bar.
The live music was enjoyable to listen to, and the atmosphere was fun and relaxed, radiating with a positive energy.
I would highly recommend The Sting as a destination to meet friends and unwind from the day over drinks and appetizers.
I would suggest looking elsewhere, however, if your intent is to enjoy a quiet, quality meal out.

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