Sunday, May 15, 2016

Black Bear Diner - Pocatello, Idaho

 Black Bear Diner
190 Bullock Street
Chubbuck, ID 83202

The first diner that would become Black Bear dates back about twenty years to California near scenic Mt Shasta. Bruce Dean (aka Sugar Bear) and Bob Manley (aka Papa Bear) began their enterprise with the intent of making good food at reasonable prices. They have apparently done quite well towards that aim. They now have about a dozen units in 6 Western states and are in the process of adding additional units in another two states.
This newly opened family style diner has a lot to offer from is spacious booths and scenic mountain décor to its friendly and very attentive staff.  Entering the restaurant you notice the chain saw-carved black bears. They are the name sake of the diner and represent the forested mountains at the foot of Mt. Shasta where the diner chain was born. The bear carvings are done by Ray Schultz and the bears at each location are posed differently to reflect the uniqueness of the local surroundings. What is your take on the Chubbuck bears?
The menu covers are replicas of a newspaper from 1969, the decade of the founding of Black Bear Diner, featuring the major headline from way back then. The big news of the day was that “The Eagle Has Landed.” Also featured are news item from Chubbuck, “The Chubbuck Days Parade.”  It also gives you something else to read, notably 1969 trivia.  Open it up and you have the menu; it is divided into the three major meal periods, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Each one offers the guest regular size portions but also a lighter selection as well.
For breakfast there are classic egg combos, pancakes, omelets and a breakfast burrito. On a diet? There are four other selections using egg whites.  Fresh squeezed orange juice is offered all day, 16oz for $4.49 and 10oz for $3.49.  Lunch offers burgers with fries served on a platter or you can opt for the more classic approach and have your burger and fries served up in a basket.   You are offered Chicken strips, fish tacos, nine different sandwich combos from Turkey clubs to a hot Turkey sandwich and even a Cubano, a fire roasted pulled pork, ham, Swiss cheese sandwich served up on a soft Tribeca roll.
There are a nice selection of salads featuring a Bacon Cheeseburger salad, an Asian Chicken Cabbage salad and four others to choose from.  Dinner offers “home style” dinners featuring homemade meatloaf, slow cooked pot roast or Dijon crusted salmon along with several steaks and ribs combos.  You can get a Dinner Deal of Chicken and Waffles, a hot Turkey plate or herb crusted Trout. You can add soup or salad for $3.99 and a nice selection of “Extras” including but not limited to onion rings, baked potato and Italian Green Beans or a seasoned vegetable.
Black Bear features Java City coffee, assorted juices, Pepsi products and the usual selection of milk, teas etc.  For dessert they offer you a nice selection of cobblers, cakes and pies along with ice cream shakes and treats.
I had the Old Fashioned Burger for $7.99 (A 1/4 lb. Burger and French fries, served in a basket – just like the good ol’ days!) and my friend had the California Burger with Avocado and Jack cheese for $10.49 (All 1/3 lb. Specialty Bear Burgers are built with a golden brioche bun, shredded lettuce, tomato, diced red onion, dill pickle chips, mayonnaise & Thousand Island dressing.) Each order came with a generous serving of golden French fries. (Bob’s Big Bear Burger and all specialty burgers are served with your choice of side: French fries, house-made potato salad, fresh coleslaw, green salad OR cup of soup. Substitute a Gardenburger upon request.) The burgers were good size with a nice char on the meat, the toppings were fresh and they did not skimp on portion size. You get unlimited drink refills for coffee, teas, soda products but not the fresh squeezed Orange Juice.
Condiments on the table include a selection of the signature hot sauces. Crazy Cuz is a Sriracha Chili Sauce, Baby Burin (perhaps a shortened reference to bruin) is their original Pepper sauce, Mama Burn is a Chipotle Chili Sauce, and Papa Burn is a Habañero Sauce. If you fancy any of the sauces there are available for sale as well as other souvenir merchandise.
During peak lunch or dinner times the noise level can become quite high but not to the point that you need to yell across the table. Please note they will sing and clap to you if it’s your Birthday so if that’s your forte by all means let them know.  Also of note is they do not rush you as other eateries do, we lingered long after our meal was done and at no time did the servers act as if they wanted us to leave, on the other hand they kept refilling our glasses.  I was favorably impressed with the offerings from Black Bear Diner and will be visiting again in the future; it is a nice place to eat and a good addition to our area.

No comments: