"Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?" - Anne Murray

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Western Espresso Kiosks

Those of you from the east or the midwest may not know about these. I didn't. There are very few Starbucks here in Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming. But they have something better. Every town, even the really tiny ones, has at least one of these little espresso houses. Polson has three. And they are each one of a kind, with the owner's creative touches in evidence, from the names (like Pony Espresso), to the architecture (mini log cabins and chuck wagons), to the landscaping.  Some are little trailers. They are all drive ups, with one person working inside. They have air conditioning in the summer, and I assume they have heat in the winter. 

They all serve up their own version of the same kinds of things Starbucks mass produces, plus sometimes smoothies or ice cream or bagels or pastries. They're big on flavors in their lattes here. They can hardly hand a plain latte out their little windows without begging you to add a shot of huckleberry syrup or something. They really get espresso. Good espresso too, which makes me happy. 

There are a few other things that the rural Western communities we've encountered also really get.  Little burger joints (instead of McDonalds). Local bakeries (instead of Dunkin Donuts). Good, friendly customer service.  Clean restrooms. Whole wheat bread. Outdoor sculpture. RV's. Irrigation. Petunias and dahlias. Practical shoes. 

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  1. Good pictures. Love the deer.

    Back in 2002, we went to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons and then on to Idaho on a two week vacation. The trees there at Yellowstone gave the same appearance with dead, burned trees sticking up among new Pines.

    What was interesting is that Pines were growing where they hadn't been before. There were areas with a lot of new growth and no dead ones sticking up. We thought it might have been because the fire that caused that also created winds to blow the seeds to new areas.

    And, in regards to the stores, being out West is so much different than being in cities. Things seem to be "real" there.

  2. I love those little kiosks. A great way to get your coffee fix!


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