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East Idaho Eats: Black Bear Diner serves up homestyle eats and atmosphere

East Idaho Eats

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IDAHO FALLS — For this week’s East Idaho Eats, we went to a new restaurant in town — Black Bear Diner. Although it’s a franchise, local workers say it definitely has a local feel.

“We were so excited to get here, incredibly excited,” Assistant General Manager Jeanette Fields says.

The restaurant opened its doors Jan. 30. This marks the 88th Black Bear location for the franchise and the third for Idaho. The other two are in Boise and Chubbuck. The restaurant originated in Mt. Shasta, California in 1995.

Black Bear Diner prides itself on serving homestyle comfort food — the kinds of meals you would find at home.

“Good family food, large portions, the feel, the atmosphere. It feels like going to your grandma’s or your aunt’s house at the holidays,” Fields says.

What’s for breakfast?

Bigfoot Chicken-fried Steak and Eggs: This meal may seem hearty for breakfast, but it’s one of Black Bear’s specialties. A large slab of chicken-fried steak is served with eggs, strip-cut hash browns, country red potatoes, or with fresh fruit and homemade biscuits.

Breakfast extra: Try the house-made Bear Claw. It’s a delicious, flaky pastry topped with almonds.

What’s for lunch?

Bob’s Big Bear Burger: This burger is named after co-founder, Papa Bear Manley. This burger is the largest one on the menu. The beef patty weighs nearly a pound. It comes with a grilled onion, tomato, pickle, lettuce, mayonnaise and Thousand Island dressing. It’s also served with bacon and your choice of cheese.

What’s for dinner?

House-made Meatloaf: This meatloaf recipe is a Black Bear classic. It’s made with ground beef, house-made sausage and is roasted. It’s then topped with beef gravy. It’s served with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy.

What’s for dessert?

Cinnamon Apple Cream Pie: This dish is among the popular desserts at Black Bear. It’s cinnamon apples over cream filling with a graham cracker crust. It’s then topped with brown sugar oats and whipped cream.

Blackberry Cobbler: Blackberries and filling enveloped in a golden brown crust.

What to drink?

Orange juice, juiced in-house.

Something new on the menu:

Chicken Penne Pasta: Penne pasta served with pesto sauce, topped with grilled chicken, tomatoes, cheese, and served with a side of garlic bread.

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