Page 1


Premium wine and cheeses, from Montana and beyond.


Voted Missoula’s favorite produce department for 12 years running.

Fresh breads and pastries from our own ovens and from the best local bakeries.

It’s all good. MEAT & SEAFOOD

Missoula’s only certified organic meat department.


Beans, rices, spices, granola, pasta, snacks, coffee, baking supplies and more. Over 800 different choices.


All natural espresso and smoothies, hot breakfast, big sandwiches, housemade pizza and pasta. Plus beautifully fresh sushi. | 1600 S. 3rd St. West | 541. FOOD | 7am to 10pm Every Day

Hamilton Wine and Liquor Store

JUST OPENED Dungeness Crab Cakes

Open 7 Days 8:30am-11pm

with Lemon Buerre Blanc sauce.

The Edge Restaurant Open 7 Days 11am-10pm

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms topped with Havarti cheese.

The Edge Sports Bar Open 7 Days 11am-11pm

Curley’s Ultimate Shells & Cheese

Cucumber Cilantro Martini.

2915 Brooks







FEAST A rundown of Missoula’s must-eat morsels . . . . .5 A sophisticate’s ode to the post-work drink . . .13 Earning your menu black belt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Flathead flavor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Regional Restaurant & Bar Listings: Missoula . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Bars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Bitterroot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 Flathead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 Cover photo of Ciao Mambo by Chad Harder

Street address: 317 S. Orange St. Missoula, MT 59801 Phone number: 406-543-6609 Web:

Great Service! Great Food! Great Fun!

Breakfast Served All Day! Call 542-2449 For To-Go Orders!

Best Milkshake 13 Years in a Row! Famous Homemade Tomato Soup! Downtown Missoula 120 N. Higgins Ave Open 8am to 3pm 7 Days a Week! Feast 2009

Missoula Independent


"Ask for Ten Spoon wines at your favorite shops and watering holes!”

Enjoy Our Cabins and a Soak in Our Natural Hot Springs.

Treat Yourself to a Refreshing Get-Away.

Finish with Dining in the Boulder Room Restaurant and drinks in the Bear Cave Lounge. Open 7 Days a Week C a b i n o r RV R e s e r v a t i o n s 1 - 8 7 7 - 5 4 1 - 5 1 1 7 All Other Info:273-2290

38500 W. Hwy 12 Lolo

‡ Weekend Entertainment ‡ Music, art shows, trivia, movie nights & First Fridays!

Coffee, music & you!

‡ Couches, fireplace, & more! ‡ 100% Organic & Fair Trade Coffee M-F 10am - 4pm Downtown 121 W. Broadway 4

Missoula Independent Feast 2009



Hob Nob Café

photo by Chad Harder

Must-eat morsels A rundown of Missoula’s most popular dishes by the Independent staff Missoula food was once for the dogs—or, more accurately, it was dogs. When Meriwether Lewis and William Clark traveled with the Corps of Discovery through western Montana, they preferred to feast on traditional fare like elk, venison, buffalo and fish, but they weren’t always so lucky. When rations dwindled thin, the company of carnivores craved canines. That’s a new level of, um, ruffing it, so to speak. Thankfully, Missoula cuisine has evolved to the point that we now actually have establishments that create snacks for dogs (courtesy of Go Fetch) rather than of them. In fact, Missoula restaurants have developed quite the reputation for some of the finest food in the region. While there are no shortages of fine dining establishments—and we use the word “fine” loosely, considering jeans and a collared shirt are about as formal as we get— there are a few dishes that, over time, have

become de rigueur in our neck of the woods. Here are a few.

Starting off right Hob Nob Café chef Justin Alterowitz (531 S. Higgins Ave.) has a few buzz-worthy concoctions, but he’s perhaps most famous for his corned beef hash. The popular dish—Alterowitz goes through an average of six briskets a week— is corned on the premises and is best served with a side of toasted Birdman bread from nearby Le Petit Outre (129 S. Fourth St. W.). Similar early morning fixtures include any omelet—and there are plenty to choose from—at The Shack (222 W. Main St.), or the namesake item at Paul’s Pancake Parlor (2305 Brooks St.).

Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger A houseguest who recently traveled from Oklahoma City to Missoula via San

Francisco and Seattle arrived claiming three different people in the three different cities had all insisted he couldn’t leave without indulging in a famous Mo Club burger (139 W. Main St.). I suppose that makes The Missoula Club, as it’s formally known, our version of California’s In-NOut Burger, which is an honor not to be taken lightly, and certainly not to be missed.

Tastes like chicken It’s hard to avoid red meat in Missoula, and folks here are about as adamant about their favorite cuts as they are about their preferred coffee shop. For instance, for every fan of perennial Best of Missoula winner (even if it’s not technically in Missoula) Lolo Creek Steak House (6600 Highway 12 West, Lolo) there’s someone else who swears by the under-appreciated rib eye at Scotty’s Table (131 S. Higgins Ave., downstairs at the Wilma). Feast 2009

Missoula Independent


MISSOULA Popular pies A town can only be judged, really, by the quality of its best pizza joints. In that case, Missoula ranks pretty well with at least three top options. Longtime staple Bridge Takeout and Delivery (600 S. Higgins Ave.) sells by the slice and now includes a liquor license, meaning you can enjoy a pint of Kettlehouse Cold Smoke with your pepperoni. MacKenzie River Pizza (multiple locations across western Montana), a locally owned chain, offers a prime family-friendly atmosphere and some creative options, such as one pie with fajita chicken, roasted mushrooms, tomatoes, roasted garlic and fresh basil. The Indy’s current Best Pizza champ, however, is Bob Marshall’s Biga Pizza (241 W. Main St.), which combines local ingredients (as often as possible) and old-school family recipes for gourmet pizza that, in our opinion, rivals any other city’s best.

I scream, you scream

Old Post Pub

For every admirer of the grilled beef loin at Red Bird (111 N. Higgins Ave., Suite 100)—and there are many, since it’s widely considered the best overall restaurant in town—there’s another who wouldn’t trade anything for the filet with green peppercorn sauce at Pearl Café and Bakery (231 E. Front St.). There’s one cut, however, that transcends the steak debate, despite being a bit astray of mainstream fare and a bit east of town: Rock Creek Lodge’s Rocky Mountain oysters (exit 126 off Interstate 90, in Clinton), aka bull balls. The featured item at the annual Testicle Festival is typically filleted, beer battered and deep fried, and tastes something like a cross between chicken and shrimp. When a recent customer asked how the delicacy was best enjoyed, the server responded: “With lots and lots of cocktail sauce.”

Actually is chicken Whether you sit in the family-friendly upstairs booths or descend into the basement bar where the jukebox blares anything from The Clash to Travis Tritt, fried chicken is the reason you go to Double Front Café (122 W. Alder St.). Though it’s not for the heart-attack prone and it usually takes at least 30 minutes to get your meal (though you can order ahead), the perfectly crisped, moistly brined meat is worth any hassle. A Tennessee girl recently mentioned that it was just as good as any Southern fried chicken she’d had. Also, if you sit in the basement you can play cribbage and drink red beer while you wait for your food to arrive via the dumbwaiter.


Missoula Independent Feast 2009

Twelve years ago, a couple Missoulians cranked up an old ice cream maker in the back room of the Kettlehouse Brewery and started photo by Chad Harder creating Big Dipper ice cream. Today, the corner of Fifth Street and Higgins Avenue is the site of one of the most popular summer—and, as an example of its fame, winter—destinations for sweet-tooths seeking the original homemade creation. As for the most popular flavor, it’s a toss-up between the Coconut, Mexican Chocolate, Green Tea or Cardamom. Or maybe the White Mint Oreo. Or the Mocha Chip. Or, well, you get the point. If you prefer your ice cream in liquid form—or something that you can eat with a spoon and straw—Uptown Diner (120 N. Higgins Ave.) serves Missoula’s most elaborately flavored milkshakes. Our favorite at the 13-time Best of Missoula winner remains the “Liquid Pavement,” which includes vanilla ice cream, two shots of espresso, hot fudge, Oreo cookies, chocolate syrup and whipped cream.

Supremely stuffed If getting the most for your money is vital—and for most multi-job Missoulians, it is—then there’s been no more reliable savior than Taco del Sol (three area locations, with the original downtown storefront at 422 N. Higgins Ave.). Specifically, for $5.50 the burritoistas will stuff a 14-inch Mission Supreme Burrito with your choice of beans, and either chicken, ground beef, shredded beef, pulled pork or carne asada (steak is an additional $1), along with rice, salsa fresca, cheese, guacamole and sour cream. While Taco del Sol has seniority, relative newcomers La Parilla (130 W. Broadway St.)—try anything with the marinated bison—and El Diablo (1429 S. Higgins Ave.)—the pulled pork burrito is ridiculous—have quickly created their own loyal followings.

MISSOULA Grand greasy spoons In a college town, great bar food is as important as cold beer on tap, and Missoula has no shortage. At the top of the list, however, are three items at three of the most popular watering holes. The Dinosaur Café (428 N. Higgins Ave.), inside the historic Charlie B’s, serves some of the best Cajun vittles around from inside a closet-sized kitchen at the back of the bar. Try the authentic gumbo first. The Iron Horse (501 N. Higgins Ave.) offers what are largely considered the best sweet potato fries in town. And the Old Post Pub (103 W. Spruce St.) has a pretty extensive menu with daily specials (there’s a dedicated fish taco following), but the ridiculously huge nachos are where to start.

Late night The Oxford Bar and Café (337 N. Higgins Ave.) used to be best known for its brains and eggs, but, sadly, the item was removed from the menu years ago after the Mad Cow scare made acquiring the main ingredient impossible. Now, the 24-hour establishment and home to some of Missoula’s most eccentric characters is probably most popular for its card games and J.J.’s hot and spicy gravy. The latter, which isn’t actually that hot or spicy, is recommended for the chicken fried steak, but is available as a side dish for topping anything you like.

Biga Pizza

photo by Chad Harder

Where Even the Pasta is Sexy.

ou Eat Like Y . Mean It

The meals have become legendary in the Lodge dining room, a taste of the exotic served with genuine Montana hospitality Lodging • Hot Springs Pool Cowboy to Gourmet Cuisine Bar • Live music every Friday.

Also the ideal location for your family reunions, anniversaries, weddings, and corporate events.

541 South Higgins Ave On The Hip Strip • Missoula, MT 59801

Phone: 406.543.0377 • Take Out •

406-834-3151 • 1.888.GET.N.WET •

Open 7 days a week all year long. Serving breakfast & lunch from 8-2p.m. Dinner 5-9p.m. Feast 2009

Missoula Independent


MISSOULA $…Under $5 $-$$…$5-$15 $$-$$$…$15 & Over

Restaurant & Wine Bar 549-2906 • 111 N. Higgins • Missoula

Casual Dining in our Wine Bar Monday - Saturday • 5pm Live music on Mondays • 7-10pm Intimate Dining in our Restaurant Tuesday - Saturday • 5pm

119 W. Alder

127 W. Alder 721.8158 728.4804

Bamboo Chopstix 700 SW Higgins 543-2698 Chinese cooking is one of the most complicated cuisines to prepare. What makes Bamboo Chopstix so special is that we offer fresh Chinese food that is very delicious. Our portions are large, so one dish can provide a good meal, yet at a very affordable price. Our experienced chef and friendly servers will make sure you are able to find a favorite dish here!! Come visit us and enjoy!! $-$$ Bernice’s Bakery 190 S. 3rd West 728-1358 Where Myrtle Avenue ends at Bernice's, a tiny bakery sits as a veritable landmark to those who enjoy homestyle baked goods, strong coffee, community, and a variety of delicious treats. Join us for lunch if you'd like. Crazy delicious. Crazy cheap. 30 years and still baking. Open Every Day 6AM to 8PM. $-$$ Biga Pizza 241 W. Main St. 728-2579 Biga Pizza offers a modern, downtown dining environment combined with traditional brick oven pizza, calzone, salads, sandwiches, specials and desserts. All dough is made using "biga" (pronounced bee-ga) which is a time-honored Italian method of bread making. Biga Pizza uses local products, the freshest produce as well as artisan meats and cheeses. Featuring seasonal menus. Lunch and dinner, Mon-Sat. $-$$ Big Dipper Ice Cream On the corner of 5th and Higgins 543-5722 Big Dipper Ice Cream serves Missoula's favorite home made ice cream and sorbet. We have cones, shakes, sundaes, specialties and pints and quarts to take home. Open daily. $

Bitterroot Flower Shop 811 S. Higgins Ave 542-0309 Welcome to the Bitterroot Flower Shop, recognized as one of America's finest full-service florists. We pride ourselves on providing the freshest flowers, plants and ideas in our industry. Whether it be centerpieces, gifts, or floral arrangements, count on us to make beauty central in your experience.


Missoula Independent Feast 2009

Blue Canyon Kitchen 3720 N. Reserve (adjacent to the Hilton Garden Inn) 541-BLUE We o f f e r c r e a t i v e l y - p r e p a r e d American cooking served in the comfortable elegance of our lodge restaurant featuring unique dining rooms. Kick back in the Tavern; relish the cowboy chic and culinary creations in the Great Room; visit with the chefs and dine in the Kitchen or enjoy the fresh air on the Outdoor Patio. Parties and special events can be enjoyed in the Bison Room. Hours: Mon-Thur 11am-10pm; Fri-Sat 11am-11pm; Sun 10am-10pm; Sun brunch 10am-2pm; Tavern ‘til Midnight Sun-Thur, 2am Fri-Sat. $$-$$$

Break Time Deli 2230 N. Reserve, Suite 450 541-6498 The Break Time Deli is Missoula's finest choice for gourmet sandwiches. We offer the finest breads, meats and cheeses available. Breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a wide selection of deli options and baked sweets. Dine in, take out, local delivery and business lunches are our specialties. M-F: 7 AM - 6 PM, SAT: 10 AM - 3 PM. $

The Bridge Pizza Corner of S. 4th & S. Higgins Ave. 542-0002 Dine-In, Drive-Thru, Delivery... Truly a Missoula find. Popular with the locals. Voted best Pizza. Everything from hand-tossed, thin-crust, stone-deck pizza to wild salmon burritos, freerange chicken, rice & noodle bowls, ribs, pasta, salads, soups & sandwiches, "Pizza by the Slice." Local brews on tap and wine by the glass. Open every day for both lunch & dinner. $-$$

Butterfly Herbs 232 N. Higgins 728-8780 Celebrating 36 years of great coffees and teas. Truly the “essence of Missoula.” Offering fresh coffees, teas (Evening in Missoula), bulk spices and botanicals, fine toiletries & gifts. Our cafe features homemade soups, fresh salads, and coffee ice cream specialties. In the heart of historic downtown, we are Missoula’s first and favorite Espresso Bar. Open 7 Days. $


Catalyst Cafe and Espresso Bar 111 N. Higgins 542-1337 We're open 7 days a week at 7 AM. Serving breakfast, unbelievable espresso, lunch, and a special dinner on First Friday. Our menu uses local ingredients and varies seasonally. Try our renowned tomato-lime tortilla soup and freshly made pastries and desserts. $-$$

Ciao Mambo 541 S. Higgins Ave. 543-0377 Ciao Mambo, at the end of the Hip Strip on 4th and Higgins, serves up fresh, classic, immigrant style Italian food seven days a week. Terrific service and an extensive domestic and Italian wine list make Ciao Mambo a hit for any occasion. Dinner only and take-out service available. or 543-0377. $$-$$$

Cold Stone Creamery 3275 N. Reserve St. 549-5595 Cold Stone Creamery, the ultimate ice cream experience! Our smooth and creamy ice cream is made fresh daily using our secret recipe. Come in for our weekday specials. Get $5 off ice cream cakes with your business card. Treat yourself to a 10-minute vacation at Cold Stone Creamery. $-$$ Curley's 2915 Brooks (next to Southgate Mall on the 93 strip) 721-4133 Curley’s is a locally owned and operated Steak and Seafood house that takes pride in our home-made meals and fresh atmosphere. At Curley’s, we take the time to make sure each dish is prepared with the freshest ingredients and with the finest quality. Come in and enjoy our full bar and vast array of menu items. $$-$$$ El Cazador 101 S. Higgins Ave. 728-3657 The Independent readers’ choice for Best Mexican Restaurant. Come taste Alfredo's original recipes for authentic Mexican Food where we cook with love. From Seafood to Carne Asada, enjoy dinner or stop by for our daily lunch specials. We are a locally owned Mexican family restaurant, and we want to make your visit with us one to remember. Open daily for lunch and dinner. $-$$

El Diablo 1429 S. Higgins 728-9529 Dedicated to high quality food with flavor, El Diablo prepares all ingredients daily on-site. Picky eaters? Customize your burrito or taco by selecting your favorite meat (or veggies), beans, cheese, and salsa. Enjoy lunch or dinner for under $10. Locally owned and operated. Open 11-9 Mon-Sat. $-$$

The Depot 201 W. Railroad St. 728-7007 The Depot has been serving fine and casual dining since 1974. We serve hand-cut steaks, prime rib, and fresh seafood. The bar menu offers more casual meals. Our wine list has 14 Wine Spectator awards. Desserts are house-made. Open daily from 4 PM. 728-7007 for reservations. $$-$$$

REMEMBER Pick Up Some Pita Pit on your way home or on your way up the mountain. The Perfect Portable Edible PICKUP OR DELIVERY

Dinosaur Cafe 428 N. Higgins in Charlie B’s 549-3589 Located at the back of Missoula’s legendary bar Charlie B’s, the Dinosaur Cafe features the best Cajun food this side of the Mississippi. Featuring southern classics like Po Boys, Jambalaya and Catfish, the Dinosaur is sure to tantalize your taste buds. Open for lunch and dinner Monday – Saturday. $

130 N. Higgins, Downtown Missoula • 541.7482

Make your dining experience beautiful.

Good Food Store 1600 S. Third St. W 728-5823 Our deli features all natural made-to-order sandwiches, soup & salad bar, olive & antipasto bar, fresh deli salads, hot entrees, rotisserie-roasted free-range chickens, fresh juice, smoothies, organic espresso and dessert. Enjoy your meal in our spacious seating area or at an outdoor table. Open every day 7 am - 10 pm. $-$$ HuHot Mongolian Grill 3521 Brooks 829-8888 At HuHot you’ll find dozens of meats, seafood, noodles, vegetables and homemade sauces for the timid to the adventurous. Choose your favorites from the fresh food bars. You pick ‘em…we grill ‘em. We are as carnivore, vegetarian, diabetic, lo-salt and low-carb friendly as you want to be! Start with appetizers and end with desserts. You can even toast your own s’mores right at your table. A large selection of beer, wine and saké drinks available. Stop by for a great meal in a fun atmosphere. Kid and family friendly. Open daily at 11 AM. $-$$

Centerpieces for every occasion. 811 S Higgins Ave • 542-0309 FLORAL • PLANTS • GIFTS CENTERPIECES • DELIVERY Feast 2009

Missoula Independent



Knuckleheads BBQ 3021 Brooks 523-9900 Is there someone dear to you that called you a Knucklehead at one time or another? Well…you are not alone. We approach BBQ and all we do with that same fondness and love. Missoula's best BBQ and much, much more. So, come and have a Knuckleheads experience. $-$$

BEST BURRITOS IN TOWN! Locally owned and operated. Fresh ingredients prepared on site daily. 1429 S. Higgins Missoula 728-9529

Lolo Hot Springs Boulder Room 38500 Hwy 12 W. 273-2290 Introducing the Boulder Room Steakhouse, the newest addition to the Lolo Hot Springs family. Come in and experience a Montana elegant steakhouse featuring incredible prime rib, steaks, seafood & pastas. Start with a glass or bottle of wine from our wonderful wine selection, and finish the evening with one of our decadent desserts, then sit by the fireplace for a truly memorable evening. Now booking holiday parties. Give us a call and let our creative culinary staff put together a menu for your next catered event. $-$$ MacKenzie River Pizza Company Downtown: Front Street, 721-0077 Reserve Street: I-90 exit, next to Starbucks 721-0099 Spectacular gourmet pizzas on delicious sourdough or Italian thin crusts. Additional menu choices include made-to-order pasta dishes, huge salads, signature chicken chili, and Montana-sized sandwiches. Choose from a variety of Montana microbrews and fine wines. Enjoy service from a fun & friendly staff. Open for lunch and dinner, 7 days. $-$$ Montana Club 2620 Brooks (across from Southgate Mall) 543-3200 4561 N. Reserve 541-8141 Come as you are and enjoy friendly down-to-earth service, portions so big there’s something left over for a midnight snack and our cozy Montanalodge atmosphere. From pasta and pizza to burgers and steaks, The Montana Club has created a diverse menu of selections to please any palate. Our extensive beer and wine selections will complement any meal. Both Montana Club locations also provide private gaming areas. Open early ‘til late. $-$$


Missoula Independent Feast 2009

The Mustard Seed Asian Café Located at Southgate Mall Paxson St. Entrance 542-7333 Contemporary Asian cuisine served in our all new bistro atmosphere. Original recipes and fresh ingredients combined from Japanese, Chinese, Polynesian, and Southeast Asian influences to appeal to American palates. Full menu available in our non-smoking bar. Fresh daily desserts, microbrews, fine wines & signature drinks. Take out & delivery available. $$–$$$. Nona's Biscotti 101 Ben Hogan Drive 240-6447 As owner and creator of NONA'S BISCOTTI, Maxine Glevanik has realized her dream of bringing a touch of Italy to Missoula. With a glass of wine or with morning coffee, this twice-baked Italian treat is one of a kind. In addition to biscotti, Maxine caters private in-home dinners. Call 406-240-6447. $-$$

Pearl Café & Bakery 231 E. Front St. 541-0231 Country French specialties, Bison, Elk, Fresh Fish daily, delicious salads and appetizers. Breads and desserts baked in-house. Reservations recommended for the warm & inviting dining areas, or drop in for a quick bite in the wine bar. Now, you may go to our wedsite Pearlcafe.US to make reservations or buy gift certificates; while there check out our gorgeous wedding and specialty cakes. Open Mon-Sat at 5 pm. $$-$$$

Pita Pit 130 N. Higgins 541-PITA (7482) Fresh Thinking . . . Healthy Eating . We have pitas for every taste. Choose from Chicken Breast, Turkey, Black Forest Ham, Seafood; a wide selection of Vegetarian options, including Garden, Falafel, Humus and much more. Eat in or, for a late-night delight, we deliver ‘til 3 am Sun-Mon. $-$$

Pizza Pipeline 630 S. Higgins 721-7500 At Pizza Pipeline we use only fresh, never frozen, pizza dough that is made on-site daily, as well as using only the freshest veggies that we hand-cut each day. Stop in between 10am & 4pm when all slices are $1. Open late. Sun-Thurs, 10am1am, Fri & Sat, 10am-2am $


Potomac Restaurant & Bar 29344 MT Highway 200 E. Bonner, MT 59823 244-5577 Find us on your way to play, 18 miles past Missoula. We open for lunch at 11 AM. Our family-friendly menu features traditional fare, done fast and done well. Specials 3 nights weekly. Our bar opens at 11 AM. Stop and see us for a pleasant surprise. $-$$ Red Bird Restaurant & Wine Bar 111 N. Higgins Ave. 549-2906 A hidden culinary treasure in the Historic Florence Hotel. Treat yourself to a sensuous dining experience, service, cuisine and ambiance delivered with creative and elegant detail. Seasonal menus featuring the freshest ingredients. Wine bar open Monday Saturday, 4:00 - 10:30. Enter through the Florence Building lobby. $$-$$$

Romeo's Italian Kitchen 919 SW Higgins 721-1500 Authentic Italian food is, above all, a creation of local and fresh ingredients, gathered and prepared in dramatically different ways. Romeo's has a great menu developed by our Executive Chefs and inspired by the food and traditions of Italy. Taste and tradition are combined using the best imported ingredients from Italy and fresh, local Montana flavors and ingredients. Come in and enjoy a vibrant Italianinspired culinary experience. $-$$

Sa Wad Dee 221 W. Broadway 543-9966 Sa-Wa-Dee offers traditional Thai cuisine in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Choose from a selection of five Thai curries, Pad Thai, delicious Thai soups, and an assortment of tantalizing entrees. Featuring fresh ingredients and authentic Thai flavors–no MSG! See for yourself why Thai food is a deliciously different change from other Asian cuisines. Now serving Beer and Wine! $-$$ Sushi Hana Sushi Bar & Japanese Cuisine 549-7979 Corner of Pine & Higgins Located in beautiful Downtown Missoula, serving traditional Japanese cuisine and exquisite sushi. Sushi Hana offers a variety of traditional and local favorites, including nigiri-sushi, maki-sushi rolls and

sashimi. In addition, we offer Tempura, Teriyaki and appetizers with a delicious assortment of sauces. Expanded selection of sakes, beer and wine. Open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. $$–$$$ Ten Spoon Vineyard 4175 Rattlesnake Dr. 549-8703 Wines from Ten Spoon Vineyard - ask for them at your favorite wine bar, eating establishment, or retailer. Our grapes are grown and harvested here in Missoula, so we are truly local. We thank you for your continued support!


DINOSAUR CAFE Missoula’s Best Cajun

Lunch and Dinner

428 N. Higgins in Charlie B's • 549-3589 3021 Brooks St. • Between Wendy's and the Claim Jumper Casino • 523-9900

Thai Spicy 206 W. Main 543-0260 Don’t let the name fool you!! We have the right taste for everyone!! Serving authentic Thai and Chinese cuisine since 1994. Try our new Vegan menu and other popular Thai dishes like Mom's Phad Thai, Green Curry, Panang Curry and Yellow Curry. Locally owned and operated. Easily located in downtown Missoula. Dine in or take out. Now serving Beer & Wine. $-$$ Uptown Diner 120 N. Higgins 542-2449 Step into the past at this ‘50s style downtown diner. Breakfast is served all day. Daily lunch specials. All soups, including our famous Tomato Soup, are made from scratch. Voted best milkshakes in Missoula for 14 straight years. Great Food, Great Service, Great Fun!! Monday Sunday 8a.m. - 3p.m. $-$$

OPEN • 8am to 9pm Sun - Thurs • 10pm Fri & Sat

You Gotta Love Us for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner


Worden's Market and Deli Corner Higgins and Spruce 549-1293 Say Worden's Market and you've said a mouthful - surprising wines, boutique beers, a Blue Ribbon Deli, fine cigars, fresh coffee and hard-to-find groceries—all just around the corner. Get informed, fast, and friendly service at a Missoula Downtown Landmark. $-$$$

Zootown Brew 121 W. Broadway 543-2549 Zootown Brew is a 3rd wave coffee house suited to meet both your caffeine and entertainment needs. We give you a simple menu in hopes you will enjoy or learn to enjoy what coffee should taste like. With live music, art shows, and other events we hope you will join us in celebrating the arts of life. $

Feast 2009

Missoula Independent



Mon-Fri: 11am-8pm, Sat: 12pm-8pm, Sun: Closed 700 South West Higgins Ave. 406-543-2698


Missoula Independent Feast 2009


Al’s & Vic’s and James Bar

photo by Chad Harder

Happiness is A sophisticate’s ode to the post-work drink by Nick Davis Back in 350 B.C, Aristotle noted it to be the only state of being that humans crave for its own sake. Some 2,000 years later, our founding fathers shoehorned the pursuit of it into the Declaration of Independence on the heels of life and liberty, two far more quantifiable objects. Like most emotional states, it’s a slippery devil, both in attainment and in measurement. But that doesn’t stop people from chasing it, especially in societies that largely inoculate their inhabitants from more pressing biological needs like food and shelter.

Hey, man, all we’re looking for is a little happiness. Recent economic downturns and foreign policy imbroglios aside, you’d think Americans would have more reason to feel happy than just about any other people. Comparatively speaking, we’ve got loads of money, an excellent civil infrastructure and a fair piece of personal freedom. And we invented baseball. Despite all that, though, discontent seems as healthy a strand of this country’s DNA as hot dogs and apple pie. According to Wikipedia (and really, how could millions of self-appointed experts be wrong?), contem-

porary research indicates that happiness is 50 percent genetic, so next time you get the blues feel free to lash out at your family tree. Another 10 to 15 percent of the happiness pie comes from varied things like social status, health, income, marital status, etc., so if you’ve got the downtrodden-sick-poor-single blues, go ahead and rail at The Man for keeping you down. The remaining 35 to 40 percent is comprised of individual actions deliberately designed to increase happiness—going to a baseball game, for example, or sending flowers to your grandma or kicking some anonymous person’s ass in an online game of Feast 2009

Missoula Independent



Charlie B’s

“Halo.” It’s pretty simple: The more happy things you do, the happier you’ll be. But this is America, after all, where the only thing better than doing something right is doing it right with little to no effort. Why expend all that energy making happiness when you can drink it— temporarily, at least—right from a bottle? That’s the rationale behind

photo by Chad Harder

one of the greatest of all American inventions: happy hour. Thought to be derived from designated entertainment times aboard U.S. Navy ships in the early 20th century, the term “happy hour” fully entered the national lexicon by the 1960s, when the predinnertime cocktail hours initiated by speakeasies in the Roaring Twenties were fully consecrated by an article in the Saturday Evening Post. Lest the irony of all of this go unnoticed, the birth of a designated period to drink heavily and cheaply can be directly traced to the puritanical forces that attempted to legislate our unyielding desire to catch a buzz. It’s hard to keep buzz-killers at bay for long, though. After several decades of unfettered, concentrated partying, many states began enacting laws to curb happy hour promotions. Bars responded by offering food specials along with drink giveaways, to soak up some of that booze and thus reduce the bloodalcohol content of those who drive away from happy hour. Still, happy hour discrimination continues in much of the land. There is a school of thought, fueled by common sense and a mean libertarian streak, that says people should be allowed to do what they want to themselves, as long as they do not harm others—with strict laws providing both deterrent against and punishment for such

“Why expend all that energy making

happiness when you can drink it— temporarily, at least—right from a

bottle? That’s the rationale behind one of the greatest of all American inventions: happy hour.” 14

Missoula Independent Feast 2009

BARS actions. Thankfully, that school of thought still prevails in Montana, a state that has never been all too eager to toe the line of national trends. And so it is that you can walk into Jaker’s (3515 Brooks St.) on any weekday, during not one but two different two-hour windows, order one drink, and have the bartender serve you two. It’s not premature double vision, son, that’s just happy hour. And if your work, social, and family schedule allows, you can go to Finn & Porter (100 Madison St.) during their three-hour period of largesse and snack on any number of delectable appetizers at an extremely appetizing price. Or you can head for the heart of downtown and the meaty chicken wings at the Old Post (103 W. Spruce St.) for a quarter—a quarter!—apiece. And these are but a paltry few of the happy hour promotions to be found in the Missoula area. Happiness being a hugely relative state of being, you might need to do a bit of groundwork to find the locations that serve you best. Some of those might not even offer an actual happy hour—the other night, for example, I found myself in the basement bar at Double Front Café (122 W. Alder St.), where my mouth-watering chicken dinner emerged from a shiny, automated dumbwaiter, and the courteous bartender served me a full pint of a local brew for a standard price that would’ve been a mark-down just about anywhere else. And that, my friends, made me a happy man indeed.

NEW MENU GREAT CHEF HAPPY HOUR 4 TO 6 24 HOUR CASINO Visit Your Friends at 1609 W Broadway, Missoula 406.532.3300

Bar Open 7 Days a Week 11to Close Food Served 4 to 10 Daily

Feast 2009

Missoula Independent


Featuring: DirecTV Sports Pack NFL Sunday Ticket ESPN Game Plan Mega March Madness

MLB Extra Innings NBA League Pass ESPN Full Court NHL Center Ice

Hi-Definition Cable & Satellite

Missoula's Sports Bar Since 1952 Smoke Free • Nine Flat Screen TVs

217 Ryman St * 728-9881

Montana's Largest Football Helmet Collection


Missoula Independent Feast 2009

BARS $…Under $5 $-$$…$5-$15 $$-$$$…$15 & Over Al's & Vic's 119 W. Alder 728-4804 A Missoula institution for over 70 years, Al's & Vic's keeps the tradition and its unique spirit intact for its local residents. Buckets of PBR, a wailing juke box, free pool on Sundays are just a few amenities that keep this bar a local favorite since 1936. $

Broadway Bar & Grill 1609 W. Broadway 532-3300 Have you tried the Broadway Bar & Grill lately? We have new management and a new menu offering generous portions at great prices. Or visit our 24 Hour Casino. Stop by on your way home from work for bar specials at Happy Hour, MonFri 4 to 6 PM. We're always glad to see you at the Broadway Bar & Grill. $-$$

Bucks Club Bucks Club 1805 Regent • 543-7436 Missoula’s best food & drink values. 2-for-1 food specials daily. Eat the

legend. Burgers for a buck. Over 1,000,000 sold. great breakfast served daily. If you go away hungry, don’t blame us. Mon.–Sat. Open 7 AM and Sunday 8 AM. $

The Edge Sports Bar 140 Bitterroot Plaza Drive 375-0007 With eleven big screens, a wide variety of microbrews, imports and drafts and great food, the Edge Sports Bar is the place to gather to watch the big game. Not a game day? No problem. The Edge offers signature cocktails, terrific appetizers and full restaurant menu seven days a week. Whether it’s a table for two or the entire crew, the friendly staff at the Edge Sports Bar is ready to serve. Open 7 days a week from 8:30am to 11:00pm. $-$$

Elbow Room 1025 Strand Ave. • 728-9963 Voted Missoula's Best Dive Bar in 2008. A doublewide trailer like you've never experienced before! Karaoke every Tuesday, either D.J. or live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Come join in the fun! Open every day 8am till 2am. $

James Bar 127 W. Alder 721-8158 An urban rock feel is what James Bar is all about. Enjoy sipping wine or a specialty cocktail by the fireplace in plush booth seating while rock from every generation plays in the background. It's the escape you're looking for. The menu is designed with sharing in mind as well as a Missoula take on the urban slider (little burger). $-$$ Lolo Hot Springs Bear Cave Bar & Grill 38500 Hwy 12 W. 273-2290 The Bear Cave Bar & Grill serves lunch and dinner daily with breakfast being served on Saturday and Sundays, and now come in and taste our delectable Sunday Brunch. Enjoy one of your favorite beverages or try one of our famous martinis or hot drinks. Our friendly staff is here to make your trip truly worthwhile and it’s only a short drive from Missoula; we will make it worth the trip. $-$$ Missoula Club 139 W. Main 728-3740 The World's Best Burger is in the smoke-free setting of the Missoula Club. These burgers are notorious in Missoula for being delicious and inexpensive. Grab a triple stack Griz burg-

Feast 2009

er for under $6. Add a milkshake or malt to make your meal (and day) complete. Full Bar. Open 7 AM- 2 AM daily. $

Red's Bar 217 Ryman St. 728-9881 Missoula’s Sports Bar since 1952, Red’s is the perfect place to watch the game on one of our nine flat-screen TVs. Featuring ESPN GamePlan, NFL Sunday Ticket, MLB Extra Innings, NBA League Pass, Mega March Madness, ESPN Full Court, and NHL Center Ice, Red’s is any sports fan’s dream. $ Rhinoceros 158 Ryman 721-6061 More than 50 beers on tap, plus countless more in the bottle. Go around the world in 50 beers or play pool. Summer alley patio. Happy hour 4-6 pm daily. Open Mon-Sat 11 am-2 am, Sun noon-2 am. $ Stockman's Bar & Café 125 W Front St 549-9668 Family owned for 50 years, Stock-man's features a full bar, keno/poker machines, live poker table and dance floor. Open every day of the year, 10am-2am. Kitchen open for lunch Mon-Fri, 11am-2am. $

Missoula Independent



Spice of Life Cafe

photo courtesy Ellen Holland

Earning your menu black belt How to trust your gut to best fill your gut by Ari LeVaux When dining out, sharing food at the table by passing dishes around and eating “family-style” makes for an especially fun meal. Except, it turns out, when you order better than your companions. I remember when I was 12 years old, eating a bowl of soup at an Italian restaurant in Boston, I noticed Julia Child sit down at an adjoining table and order the same soup I had. This was a nice affirmation, but I was already aware of my menu-vetting powers. I’d learned early by dining with my parents how to select a restaurant’s best dish. “Want some of my steak?” my dad would ask, as mom offered scampi, and both of them reached for my short ribs. I knew it wasn’t happening by accident. It was because I studied menus the way some people study stocks. On the rare occasions that someone ordered better than me, I’d obsess about what went wrong, and these incorrect choices were some of my best teachers. Sometimes I’d realize that the dish I should have ordered was the one I knew I wanted—knew in my gut—but didn’t have the guts to order. 18

Missoula Independent Feast 2009

But sometimes you make mistakes. Sometimes you get unlucky. Sometimes you have so little information to work with—or such bad choices—you have to punt. But that’s why I’m here to help. Reading the soul of a menu requires you to tune in to all sources of information, on and off the menu. Often what stands between you and the correct choice is no more than your own predictability. If you are a veggie burrito guy and you hit La Mas Fina, on Route 93 between Victor and Hamilton, you’re probably going to order a veggie burrito. Now, La Mas Fina has some of the best Mexican food in western Montana, and you’ll do fine with that choice. But in my opinion, you should have ordered a few three-cheese tamales, if you can take the heat. They are different, exceptional and still meet your veggie criteria. In other words, if you play your hand predictably you’re taking yourself out of the game, because you aren’t really studying the menu. If you want to be a true “menu black belt,” you need to be willing to keep an open mind, trust your instincts and curiosity, and dig deep. The menu black belt avoids the ruts of predictability like a vegetarian avoids raw liver. He’s feather-light in his spontaneity, his sens-

BITTERROOT es open to all information in his inner and outer environments. Which way will he go? Corned beef hash or frittata? Sometimes I don’t even know which way I’m going to order and end up as surprised as everybody else at what I choose. Ask questions about where things are from. Local foods tend to be higher quality and their presence on a menu speaks to the establishment as a whole. The bottom line: The more you can learn about the specific raw materials that make up each menu item, the better prediction you can make as to the quality of the finished product. And simply getting the server to talk about anything food-related, especially things that are on the menu, can deliver all kinds of unexpected gems. The more informed you are, the better able you will be to gauge the knowledge of your sources. I’m not above asking a question to which I already know the answer, simply so I can assess the response. The honorable menu black belt knows full well that foods whose production is light on the earth will often be the tastiest morsels on the table, and considers the environmental sustainability of the methods by which the food is acquired. For instance, that bluefin tuna may taste great, and be really good for you, but if it means your grandkids won’t ever get to try it, then maybe eating it isn’t a good idea. So when you walk into the restaurant, you should already have answered questions like: Where am I? What season is it here? Then

you’re ready to look at the menu, grill the server and figure out what’s really for dinner. “Specials” and the “Specialties of the House” can be fruitful menu categories. But, by using all your black belt powers of observation, you must ascertain if the daily special is a response to what’s fresh or just another day’s random, forced or rote offering. Is the specialty of the house a hyped-up bad habit the cooks can’t break or a highly evolved symbiosis of culture, place and art? In places known for their creative flair and attunement to local ingredients, like Hamilton’s Spice of Life (163 S. Second Street), the special could be a good bet if it piques your interest. But if the restaurant is some boxy franchise, you need to be able to sniff out and avoid that special which resulted from a delivery snafu that brought in a double order of Cheez Whiz, artichoke hearts and prawns. Beware the local recommendation that smacks of cultural institution, as in, “You haven’t really been to [name of town] until you’ve had the [name of dish] at the [name of restaurant/bar]!” Sometimes these dishes pan out—the curry options at Spice of Life, for example—and sometimes they don’t. Proceed with caution. Sometimes friends and strangers offer tips and recommendations, and when they do you have to make a crucial call on the credibility of the source. Most anyone will recommend the Lolo Creek Steakhouse (6600 Highway 12 West, Lolo), even people who’ve never been there, because it’s so famous. So you need to at least ask,

Always Fresh, Never Frozen, Pizza Dough Made On-Site Daily • Hand-Cut Veggies.

Home of the 26" COLOSSUS The Largest Pizza Available in Missoula!!!


ALL SLICES from 10am to 4pm Daily (Limited to Cheese, Pepperoni, and Daily Special Slice)

What more unique gift than a premium Montana wine made 100% from local honey & berries. 406.363.6323 • 1345 Hwy 93 N #5

630 S. Higgins, 721-7500 Sun-Thurs, 10am - 1am Fri & Sat, 10am - 2am

Feast 2009

Missoula Independent



“The menu black belt avoids the

but could be. If they have scallops in oyster sauce, for example, and they also have green curry with chicken, then you might consider asking for deep-fried scallops in green curry. If the kitchen’s on the ball and goes for it, they might even learn something. But be warned: Your success in such high-angle ordering can depend on things that are beyond your control, like restaurant politics—who owes who a favor, who in the kitchen has the hots for your server, etc. If your dining companions are running out of patience, and you have it narrowed down to two options but can’t decide, sometimes you can trick your gut into tipping its hand with the flip of a coin. Tell yourself, “Heads, I’m gonna order the pizza and tails, the pasta.” If, at the coin’s decision, you respond enthusiastically or with a sigh of relief, then there’s your answer. But if you feel a tinge of disappointment at the result, then you can disregard the coin toss because you no longer need it. Your gut has spoken, and the gut should be a menu black belt’s final arbiter.

ruts of predictability like a vegetarian avoids raw liver. He’s feather-

light in his spontaneity, his senses

open to all information in his inner and outer environments.” “Why?” If credibility can’t be established, only consider using such random information when stymied by a menu and forced to punt. But if you have to punt, then I haven’t done my job. So read on. Sometimes you’re close to decoding the menu but can’t quite get it, and then you realize that what you want isn’t exactly on the menu



Missoula Independent Feast 2009

BITTERROOT $…Under $5 $-$$…$5-$15 $$-$$$…$15 & Over Bitter Root Brewing 101 Marcus St. Hamilton 363-7468 Western MT's Bitter Root Brewery is located in downtown Hamilton just east of Hwy 93 at Main Street. Bitter Root Brewery offers the largest tasting room in MT, 10 handcrafted beers on tap and a full service grill with live music every Thursday & Saturday. Also, non-alcoholic beer and a selection of handcrafted sodas are available to complement the fine food from The Brewers Grill. $-$$ The Edge Restaurant 140 Bitterroot Plaza Drive 375-0007 A Hamilton tradition for more than 11 years. The Edge Restaurant offers everything you want in a great dining experience. Enjoy fireside dining with an incredible view of the Bitterroot Mountains. From sizzling steaks to succulent seafood, there’s a wide variety of tantalizing entrees served in a casual, comfortable smoke-free

atmosphere. Enjoy handcrafted cocktails and a large selection of your favorite wines. Open 7 days a week from 8:30am to 11:00pm in Hamilton. $$-$$$

tions vary from day to day with a spectacular new menu offered for every meal. The meals have become legendary in the Lodge dining room, a taste of the exotic served with genuine Montana hospitality. In the lounge and with your dinner, your favorite beers, wines and alcoholic spirits are available for your enjoyment. $$-$$$

Hidden Legend Winery 1345 Hwy 93 N. (4 miles north of Hamilton in the Sheafman corner plaza) 363-6323 Hidden Legend Winery, owned by Ken and Lisa Schultz, produces honey meads that are a contemporary version of man's oldest wine. They make worldclass wines from local ingredients, such as knapweed honey, elderberries, huckleberries, and chokecherries gathered from the surrounding mountain valleys. Our wines are a new sensation for the traditional wine drinker. $$

River Rising Bakery 337 Main St Hamilton 363-4552 Hamilton's newest bakery, deli, and espresso bar. Serving all butter pastries, delicious and nutritious muffins, cream scones, and delectable desserts. Or choose from our selection of home-made soups, salads, and sandwiches found nowhere else. Open 6:30am-5:30pm MondayFriday, 8:00am-4:00pm Saturday, 8:00am-2:00pm Sunday. Weekday local business lunch delivery available 9:00am-1:00pm. $-$$

Jackson Hot Springs Jackson, MT 834-3151 FINE DINING AT JACKSON HOT SPRINGS LODGE. Our remodeled dining room, with its bank of picture windows, friendly fireplace and attentive staff, add to the relaxing ambiance. The individual dining selec-

Romeo's Italian Kitchen 755 Main, Stevensville 777-4499 Authentic Italian food is above all a creation of local and fresh ingredients, gathered and prepared in dramatical-

ly different ways. Romeo's has a great menu developed by our Executive Chefs and inspired by the food and traditions of Italy. Taste and tradition are combined using the best imported ingredients from Italy and fresh, local Montana flavors and ingredients. Come in and enjoy a vibrant Italianinspired culinary experience. $-$$

Experience a meal that’s a cut above.

Hearty BreakfastsZSandwichesZBurgersZSteaksZSeafoodZPastaZSalads Extensive Beer & Wine SelectionZPrivate Gaming Area Banquet Room–Reserve location

2620 Brooks 543-3200 4561 N. Reserve 541-8141 Open early ‘til late. Feast 2009

Missoula Independent



photo by Chad Harder

Flathead flavor FarmHands delivers local ingredients to area restaurants by Alex Sakariassen Steve Nogal has held the idea of flavor in high regard since childhood. Visits to his grandparents’ Iowa ranch meant homegrown foods, and the contrast from bland city fare made a lasting impression. Nogal went so far as to name his Whitefish restaurant, McGarry’s Roadhouse (510 Wisconsin Ave.), in honor of his grandfather. Flavor seems key all over the Flathead Valley. Local businesses are turning more and more to local farmers for fresh ingredients, from salad greens and chilies to pork and elk. And the subsequent culinary possibilities have chefs ecstatic. “It’s a lot nicer. It’s a lot more flavorsome,” says Ryan Quiroz, a cook at Pescado Blanco in Whitefish. Pescado Blanco (235 First St.) is a prime example of the work Flathead restaurants are doing to keep money circulating locally and keep the quality of food high. Owner and chef David Lewis strives to 22 Missoula Independent Feast 2009

use as many locally grown ingredients as possible. He regularly visits farms and speaks with growers. “They do a great job, and it’s fun to get into their produce,” Lewis says. And he throws all kinds of food to his kitchen staff. Inspired cooks like Quiroz are left to turn those raw ingredients into savory dishes. “When I ate here, it definitely ruined Mexican food for me,” Quiroz says. His expectations are simply too high now for run-of-themill Mexican restaurants. Specials at Pescado Blanco typically follow what local crops are in season. This summer, Lewis threw together a list of salads incorporating goods like onions and organic goat cheese. More recently, Quiroz combined yellowfin tuna with locally grown sesame and pumpkin seeds. “It’s just been my style of cooking,” Lewis says. “Clean, simple, fresh ingredients.”


“Local businesses are turning more and more

Make Any Day Special With Our Weekday Specials: Family Monday, Two for Tuesday, Waffle Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, Fast Lane Friday Or Get $5 Off Ice Cream Cakes with Your Business Card Or Get a Gift Card for a Friend

to local farmers for fresh ingredients, from salad greens and chilies to pork and elk. And the subsequent culinary possibilities have chefs ecstatic.”

Across from Costco on Reserve by TJ Maxx & Ross • Order at 549-5595

Make mine a Griz with cheese! Open Daily from 7am-2am

Restaurant 2 Lounge 2 Motel 2 Museum 2 Trading Post

Nogal follows the same seasonal rigors at McGarry’s Roadhouse. The next round of specials will no doubt center on the winter squash yield. He even grows and harvests a number of herbs right outside the restaurant. Nogal adds that flavors must be confined to an appropriate time of year and menus are subject to weekly change. “You don’t want to have something that’s more suited to the summer, like mint, and use it in the winter,” he says. Growers like Pam Gerwe of Purple Frog Gardens understand the demand for quality ingredients. Gerwe supplies produce to both McGarry’s Roadhouse and Pescado Blanco, as well as local markets. She even encourages local business owners to preserve products they buy from local farms, as growing seasons for certain crops can be short. “A restaurant needs to understand that when you use it, you use a lot of it,” Gerwe says. Gerwe’s involvement with local food production goes beyond Purple Frog Gardens. She offers weekly tours of her land and is a founding member of FarmHands, a group of farmers dedicated to educating the public about the relationship between Flathead Valley businesses and growers. FarmHands compiles a free guide and map of the area highlighting farms and the businesses that buy from them. The guide is funded partly by participating businesses and Montana Tourism and Recreation. “They recognize that tourists who come to Montana are in love with the ambience, and farming is a major part of that ambience,” Gerwe says.

EAT at our casual Montana restaurant

DRINK in our full service lounge

VIEW the beautiful Mission Mountains

LEARN at the Museum of Early Montana*

Located off Highway 93, 6 miles south of Ronan 406-644-2588

*Museum open April-October

HOT SPOT 50440 US Hwy 93, Polson Open for Lunch 11:30AM-2:30PM Monday-Friday Dinner 5-8PM Monday-Saturday Closed Sundays • Feast 2009

Missoula Independent


FLATHEAD Gerwe’s voice rings with urgency when she speaks of FarmHands. Consumers have grown accustomed to buying non-local produce, forgetting their ability to become growers themselves. She says building awareness of the benefits of buying locally is vital in repairing a broken local food network. “It’s taken 50 years for our food system to fall into disrepair,” Gerwe says. “And I don’t know that we have another 50 years to fix it.” Business owners like Nogal and Lewis agree. Nogal says he prefers to buy his beef from Montana Legend in Red Lodge because the company’s slaughtering method, which keeps cattle from different herds separate, best preserves flavor. But he acknowledges an economic sensitivity as well. “What’s best for us is to keep the money circulating within our state economy,” Nogal says. Lewis, on the other hand, says his first priority in buying food is quality. A professional cook for 25 years, he attended the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and worked in a number of seasonal tourist towns. He started cooking in third grade. He was exposed to Mexican cooking while living in Mexico City in sixth grade. “I’ve always been all about food,” Lewis says. Luckily, Lewis says high-quality, local ingredients make it easy to satisfy his expectations. And, like Nogal, keeping the money local is important. “I really like that about this,” Lewis says. “It’s an island of wealth we can keep sustained around here.” photo by Chad Harder


Missoula Independent Feast 2009

FLATHEAD Beef entrees. Entertainment Menu. Sunday Brunch 8am to 1pm. Karaoke & Dancing Fri/Sat 10pm to 1:30am. Espresso Bar with grab to go Pastries & Bagels. $$-$$$

$…Under $5 $-$$…$5-$15 $$-$$$…$15 & Over

Hot Spot Thai Cafe 50440 US Hwy. 93, Polson Hot Spot Thai offers some of the most flavorful Thai-style cuisine in western Montana. Located on beautiful Flathead Lake in Polson, adjacent to the S&K marina. Drop in by boat or drive through. We would love to see you soon. Open for lunch Monday Friday 11:30am-2:30pm. Open for dinner Monday - Saturday 5pm-8pm, Closed Sundays. Visit us on the web at $-$$ Jocko’s Steakhouse & Lounge 303 Hwy 93 Polson, MT 883-3636 ext 423 Jocko’s at Kwataqnuk, where customers come to be entertained with trend-setting dishes. From breakfast to brunch, to healthy appetizers, to creatively inspired entrée and unique desserts. While taking in our spectacular lake view, please enjoy any one of our Certified Angus

Ninepipes Lodge 69286 US Highway 93 Charlo, MT 644-2588 Restaurant, Lounge and Motel located on Highway 93 in the Mission Valley of Montana. Centrally located between Missoula and Kalispell, a short distance from Ronan, Charlo and St. Ignatius. Fine dining with a view, lounge, conference room and motel with an outdoor flair. Gift shop and Museum of Early Montana next door. Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. $-$$ Withey's Health Foods 1231 S. Main St. Kalispell 755-5260 Our family-owned store offers organic grocery, nutritional supplements, health & beauty products, home brew supplies, wine & beer, Solid Gold & other pet food. Phone and mail orders welcome! Mon-Sat 9:006:00 $-$$

Just outside Southgate Mall, Paxson St. Entrance, Off Brooks • 542-SEED

You want a great

newspaper. . . and you want it

for FREE!

Feast 2009

Missoula Independent


ADVERTISER INDEX Al’s & Vic’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8,17

El Diablo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9,10

Pearl Café & Bakery . . . . . . . . . . . .10,12

Bamboo Chopstix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8,12

Dinosaur Cafe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9,11

The Pita Pit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9,10

Bernice’s Bakery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

The Edge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2,17,21

Pizza Pipeline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10,19

Big Dipper Ice Cream . . . . . . . . . . . . .8,9

Elbow Room . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17

Potomac Restaurant & Bar . . . . . . . . .11

Biga Pizza . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8,16

Good Food Store . . . . . . .9, Back Cover

Red Bird Rest. & Wine Bar . . . . . . . .8,11

Bitter Root Brewery . . . . . . . . . . . .20,21

Hidden Legend Winery . . . . . . . . .19,21

Red’s Bar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16,17

Bitterroot Flower Shop . . . . . . . . . . . .8,9

Hot Spot Thai Cafe . . . . . . . . . . . . .23,25

Blue Canyon Kitchen . . . . . . . . . . . .8,16

HuHot Mongolian Grill . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

Break Time Deli . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

Jackson Hot Springs . . . . . . . . . . . . .7,21

The Bridge Pizza . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

James Bar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8,17

Broadway Bar & Grill . . . . . . . . . . .15,17

Jocko's Restaurant . . . . . . . . . . . . .24,25

Bucks Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11,17

Knuckleheads BBQ . . . . . . . . . . . . .10,11

Butterfly Herbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

Lolo Hot Springs . . . . . . . . . . . . .4,10,17

Catalyst . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9,26

Mackenzie River Pizza Co. . . . . . . .10,26

Ten Spoon Vineyard . . . . . . . . . . . . .4,11

El Cazador . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9,25

Missoula Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17,23

Thai Spicy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10,11

Ciao Mambo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7,9

Montana Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10,21

Uptown Diner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3,11

Cold Stone Creamery . . . . . . . . . . . .9,23

The Mustard Seed . . . . . . . . . . . . .10,25

Withey's Health Food . . . . . . . . . . .21,25

Curley’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9,27

Ninepipes Lodge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23,25

Worden's Market & Deli . . . . . . . . .11,15

The Depot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9,12

Nona's Biscotti . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8,10

Zootown Brew . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4,11

• A Local Hang Out • Unbelievable Coffee • Homemade Pastries and Desserts • Kelly's Famous Tomato Lime Tortilla Soup • Seasonal Menus with Local Ingredients Breakfast 7 AM Every Day Lunch 11-5 Mon thru Fri, Noon to 5 Sat Monthly First Friday Dinner 7 to 10 PM

111 North Higgins 542-1337 26

Missoula Independent Feast 2009

Rhinoceros . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 River Rising Bakery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 Romeo's Italian Kitchen . . . . . . . . .11,21 Sa Wad Dee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10,11 Stockman's Bar & Café . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Sushi Hana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11

Hamilton Wine and Liquor Store

JUST OPENED Dungeness Crab Cakes

Open 7 Days 8:30am-11pm

with Lemon Buerre Blanc sauce.

The Edge Restaurant Open 7 Days 11am-10pm

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms topped with Havarti cheese.

The Edge Sports Bar Open 7 Days 11am-11pm

Curley’s Ultimate Shells & Cheese

Cucumber Cilantro Martini.

2915 Brooks




Premium wine and cheeses, from Montana and beyond.


Voted Missoula’s favorite produce department for 12 years running.

Fresh breads and pastries from our own ovens and from the best local bakeries.

It’s all good. MEAT & SEAFOOD

Missoula’s only certified organic meat department.


Beans, rices, spices, granola, pasta, snacks, coffee, baking supplies and more. Over 800 different choices.


All natural espresso and smoothies, hot breakfast, big sandwiches, housemade pizza and pasta. Plus beautifully fresh sushi. | 1600 S. 3rd St. West | 541. FOOD | 7am to 10pm Every Day


Western Montana's dining and bar guide


Western Montana's dining and bar guide