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Bernie's Diner is a destination diner for downtown Billings locals who love an early breakfast, as the restaurant opens every morning at 6.  It's located inside the Northern Hotel, and the restaurant is a breakfast and lunch favorite of Billings locals.  Thursday morning, August 24, 2017, I took a tip from the Billings locals who appreciate fine food and enjoyed an early morning breakfast at Bernie's Diner.

As with all of reviews that I publish, I have no affiliation with the restaurant reviewed, and there is no monetary gain on my part, as I am simply a person who likes to eat, and I love to write-up, and publish my dining experiences.

Photo:  Bernie's Diner opens at 6 every morning, and today, Thursday, August 24, 2017, I arrived about 10 minutes after the restaurant opened.  My early arrival was "strategically" planned, as I had a busy day ahead of me, I wanted to avoid crowds, which makes photography much easier, and I wanted avoid the parking meters, in downtown Billings, that don't kick in until 7 o'clock on weekday mornings.  Bernie's is located in the Northern Hotel in downtown Billings, which is the largest city in Montana.

Photo:  You walk in to a clean, modern diner, with a 1950's "old school" diner feel.  The restaurant was lightly seated on this early Thursday morning.

Photo:  Just like when I was a kid, Bernie's features a fountain menu, and the friendly staff will mix all of your fountain favorites.  As I was waiting for my order to arrive, I stared at the fountain menu and my eyes fixated on the "Montana Banana Split," which features huckleberry ice cream and huckleberries.  I nearly ordered it as a side dish to my breakfast; in retrospect, I wish I had, as it turned out that I wasn't overly fond of my choice of breakfast.


Photo:  Breakfast menu, which is served all day.  Breakfast skillet dishes aren't my usual choice, but how could I pass on an "Elk Skillet," as I'd never seen that before?  I'm adventurous and always like to try new things.  If something doesn't work out to my liking, I just suck it up, enjoy my choice, and look forward to tomorrow.

Photo:  My two friendly servers, who worked in tandem, chat with a customer at the counter, who appears to be a local.  Andri is cutting lemon slices as Karrie chats with the customer.  "In tandem" means that Kari actually took my order, and kept my coffee mug full as Andri actually served my order.  Both of these lovely ladies were charming, friendly and talkative.

Photo:  Andri brings my breakfast of "Elk Skillet" to me with a smile, as Karrie makes another pot of delicious coffee.

Photo:  Thanks, Karrie, for taking my photo, as I prepare to enjoy an "Elk Skillet" breakfast at Bernie's Diner, in downtown Billings, Montana.


Photo:  I had considered a more traditional breakfast, but since I was in Billings, and Montana is noted for elk, and other big game hunting - where is the "moose skillet?" - I ordered the "Elk Skillet."  

The menu advertises the "Elk Skillet" starts with elk sausage, and contains home fries, ranchero sauce, black beans, mushrooms, cheddar cheese, and an egg, cooked "your way."  No toast or gravy is included.  I had a few misgivings, but I just HAD to order it, and now I can proudly tell the World Wide Web that I HAVE enjoyed an "Elk Skillet" for breakfast!

The elk sausage was on the spicy side, but not enough to offend most tastes, and there was a lot of it.  The sausage was piled on top of the home fries, black beans, mushrooms, cheese and ranchero sauce.  I didn't taste either the cheese or the ranchero sauce.  I ordered eggs over easy, which topped the dish, but as the photo shows, one egg was medium, and the other one was broken and hard.  I should have sent it back to the kitchen, but I didn't...

Aside from the eggs, the skillet was good, but not great.  What would have made it great was correctly cooked eggs, a side of gravy, and an order of toast.  However, now I own bragging rights to tell the entire Web that I've enjoyed an "Elk Skillet" at Bernie's Diner!

Bernie's Diner is the quintessential restaurant of downtown Billings, as it caters to the tastes of locals, and is "the" place to enjoy a delicious, informal breakfast in downtown Billings.  I really enjoyed the hour or so I spent at this fine restaurant, as the staff are super friendly, and the place is a lot of fun.  Great food, friendly service, in a modern, comfortable diner make this small restaurant a must-visit when you're visiting downtown Billings.

Bernie's Diner
19 N. Broadway
Billings, MT 59101
406 867-6773

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