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Good Fresh Food at Penny’s Gourmet

Today I had a noon meeting at Penny’s Gourmet to Go in downtown Great Falls, MT. I’ve managed to get in a bit of a habit when I go to Penny’s because I always, yes always, have one of her homemade soups. And, to continue the “always” haves, I have her homemade bread. It is simply my favorite fresh baked bread!

Penny’s restaurant was started as more of a deli featuring “to go” foods with just a couple of tables. Driven by demand, owner Penny Rubner expanded and carved out more space for tables and chairs for diners. Again driven by demand, Penny acquired the building next door and expanded again. In addition to more seating, she now has two meeting rooms.

I can tell you some more favorites about this restaurant.

First of all, the staff is smiling and that makes me feel good. Somehow, those working back in the kitchen seem to perceive when a line of customers is forming and they are up front and ready to take orders.

They eagerly show you the entrees of the day which usually include a couple of soups (seafood chowder and tomato vegetable today), quiche of the day, plus some type of chili. Entrees vary from lasagna to burritos to vegetarian dishes. Today one of the entrees was ham and cheese muffins and they looked wonderful. And there is always a fresh pizza of the day that you can purchase by the slice. Several types of salads include pasta, fruit or mixed greens and there are sandwiches made with real meat, not seasoned deli slices.

If you aren’t hungry yet, I’ll tell you about dessert! Let me note I did not have dessert today…I’m trying hard to get out of that habit and just have it every now and then. My favorites are most everything but I’d always recommend lemon bars and fudgy wudgy cookies.

The decor at Penny’s sets a homey feeling. Handmade, brightly colored tablecloths are on each table.

There is an art showing at the restaurant tonight so there were several paintings and some pottery displayed on the walls.

Penny’s is open Monday through Friday from 10am to 3pm. I wish she was open on Saturdays but she also does a lot of catering and much of that is on the weekends.

One more thing I like about Penny’s Gourmet to Go is the quilts she displays. Behind the order counter, right next to an espresso machine, is a quilted wall hanging of coffee cups. Other full-sized quilts adorn the meeting rooms. In addition to being a great chef, Penny is also a quilter. How did one person get so much talent!

Penny has written several cookbooks that you can purchase at the restaurant. Or, you can do like I do, start reading the cookbook and then run downtown for a to-go order!

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