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Gas, Füd, Lodging
Judge Vardigan

Summer 2002
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Montana

Cinnamon RollStella's Kitchen & Bakery
110 N. 29th
Billings, MT
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"She's a Nice Italian Girl," this Stella. So reads the menu. And she bakes gargantuan cinnamon rolls and pancakes. I knew this going in, having read about them in Roadfood. What you see here is a SMALL cinnamon roll. When I'd peeled away and eaten the outer ring, it remained larger than my coffee cup, and I couldn't even touch the beckoning, fluffy clump of butter. And butter is no foe of mine. At $1.50, the colossal roll is quite a deal.

Needing something to balance out the meal, I ordered two whole-wheat blueberry pancakes ($4). The most you can get is four, and on the menu it says, "FREE CINNAMON ROLL IF YOU CAN EAT FOUR MONSTER CAKES." They were bigger than the plate they came on. I felt pretty sheepish making it through only a fraction of my meal, but it was delicious.

 

Matt's Drive-InMatt's Place Drive-In
2339 Placer St.
Butte, MT
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This one's a little tricky to find. Take a left off the 90, then a slanting left just before the train tracks. I never saw the street sign, but it's that slanting left. The restaurant will be on your right just a ways down. Matt's opened in 1930 and in 2001 was added to the National Register of Historic Places. If anything has changed since 1930, they do an airtight job of hiding it. Of the many diners I visited, Matt's Place typified the classic feel I hoped for more than any other. No surprise it produced my best füd photo of the trip, although I felt criminally 21st-century shooting with my digital camera. So vintage was Matt's Place that I half-expected the photo to come out black and white. I won't spoil it with any more words.

Diner heaven?

 

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