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 Fire? Bacon? Mayo? Chugging Missoula’s strangest cocktails  Discover Hamilton’s unlikely connection to the Scotch egg  Local servers, barkeeps and managers list where they eat out


Missoula Independent

Feast 2010





FEAST Expert recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Missoula’s strangest cocktails . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Montana’s Scotch egg capital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Paradise found . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Regional Restaurant & Bar Listings: Missoula . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Bars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Bitterroot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 Flathead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Cover photo of Sushi Hana by Cathrine L. Walters

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

Photo by Cathrine L. Walters


Great Service! Great Food! Great Fun!

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

Best Milkshake 14 Years in a Row! Famous Homemade Tomato Soup! Downtown Missoula 120 N. Higgins Ave Open 8am to 3pm 7 Days a Week Feast 2010

Missoula Independent


Photo by Cathrine L. Walters

The Bridge’s gluten-free pizza.

What do you recommend? Servers, bartenders and restaurant managers reveal their favorite local dining spots by Jennifer Savage Few know Missoula’s best restaurants better than the very people who work in the local restaurant industry. That’s why we decided to ask those who bring us our burgers, grill our steaks and pour our IPAs where they prefer to eat around town. We gave each person a few specific scenarios and asked that they answer however they want—without, of course, nam4

Missoula Independent

ing their own place of employment. We received a pu pu platter of responses, if you will, and the best cross-section of those answers appears below.

Some sort of steak. If I’m going to The Pearl, I’m going all out. What are you drinking? Wine How much are you spending? $100–$150

Date night Jen Nave Server, Sean Kelly’s, 130 W. Pine Street Where are you going? The Pearl What are you ordering? Feast 2010

herbs, grilled and served with sundried tomato salsa. Indy readers voted The Pearl “Best Restaurant” in its most recent Best of Missoula poll.

Hangover special Pearl Café and Bakery is located at 231 E. Front Street. The menu includes a classic filet mignon ($33.50) wrapped in bacon and grilled, as well as a Tuscan-style flat iron steak ($20.75) marinated in garlic and

Ralston Coorough Server and barista, The Catalyst Café, 111 N. Higgins Avenue Where are you going? The Shack

Innovative and Traditional featuring: organic montana flour fresh, local ingredients seasonal menus artisan meats and cheeses on site beer & wine

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

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Hi-Definition Cable & Satellite

Open for lunch Monday through Friday; for dinner, Monday through Saturday

Missoula's Sports Bar

241 W. Main Street 728-2579

Smoke Free • Nine Flat Screen TVs

Since 1952

217 Ryman St * 728-9881

Montana's Largest Football Helmet Collection

Feast 2010

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Photo by Cathrine L. Walters

Dinosaur Café’s po’ boy.

What are you ordering? Buffalo pie What are you drinking? Coffee and mimosas How much are you spending? $10–$20 The Shack Restaurant is located at 222 W. Main Street and is best known for its threeegg omelets. The Buffalo pie ($8.25) includes hash browns topped with ham, one egg, cheddar and jack cheeses, and gravy over the top.

Late-night eats Keith Miller Bartender, The James Bar, 127 W. Alder Street Where are you going? 6

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The Dinosaur Café What are you ordering? Po’ boy What are you drinking? Blackfoot IPA How much are you spending? $5–$10 The Dinosaur Café is located inside Charlie B’s at 428 N. Higgins Avenue. The restaurant offers a million different po’ boy sandwiches— okay, maybe not that many, but a lot—including the alligator and pork sausage, classic pulled pork and spicy Cajun catfish ($6–$8). Helena’s Blackfoot River Brewing Company says its IPA is its best-selling and most-beloved brew. Feast 2010

Casual dinner Kira Loken Server, Sushi Hana, 403 N. Higgins Avenue Where are you going? Biga Pizza What are you ordering? The Sicilian pie, with a panzanella salad—but hold the olives and mushrooms. What are you drinking? Iced tea How much are you spending? $15–$30 Biga Pizza is located at 241 W. Main Street. The Sicilian ($12 or $18) features Italian sausage, mascarpone, roasted red peppers, mozzarella, roasted garlic and olive oil. The

panzanella salad ($9) combines braised scallions, roasted mushrooms, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, kalamata olives, black olives, feta, basil, fresh mozzarella, roasted garlic, olive oil, vinegar, reggiano and toasted house bread.

Nice night out Danielle Lattuga Front house manager, Scotty’s Table, 131 S. Higgins Avenue Where are you going? The Red Bird Wine Bar What are you ordering? Beet salad with horseradish vinaigrette, or a wine and cheese plate, or some sort of

The last time I was there I had this Asian porridge with all these garnishes and a poached egg on top. They also have great benedicts. What are you drinking? Mimosa. I think if there is a mimosa on the menu, no matter where you go, you order a mimosa. How much are you spending? $30

dessert. They have really great desserts. What are you drinking? A recommendation from Adam, their wine guy. He’s usually spot-on. How much are you spending? $20–$30 The Red Bird Wine Bar is located next to the Red Bird Restaurant at 111 N. Higgins Avenue. The beet salad ($9) includes mixed greens, cucumber, gorgonzola and walnuts tossed in a horseradish vinaigrette and topped with crisp candied beets. The gourmet cheese plate ($9–$14) is selected by the chef and varies day to day. Adam Sandoval is “the wine guy” and recommends pairing the King Estate pinot gris ($8.25) with the beet salad.

First meal of the day Katherine Nook Server, Hob Nob Café, 531 S. Higgins Avenue Where are you going? The Catalyst What are you ordering? The buckwheat waffle What are you drinking? Coffee How much are you spending? Less than $10 The Catalyst Café is located at 111 N. Higgins Avenue. The Buckwheat waffle ($6.95) is exactly what it sounds like— one waffle made with buckwheat. As for coffee, the

Photo by Cathrine L. Walters

Red Bird’s beet salad.

Catalyst serves Caffe Vita drip ($2 includes refills), as well as a full menu of espresso beverages.

Lunch on the run Tyler Clairmont Bartender/server, Blue Canyon Kitchen & Tavern, 3720 N. Reserve Street Where are you going? The Bridge What are you ordering? The special on red sauce What are you drinking? Dad’s Root Beer How much are you spending: $6–$7 The Bridge is located at

600 S. Higgins Avenue. Generous slices ($2.50 or $3) are offered on either red or white sauce with various toppings. The Bridge also now serves wine and beer, including Kettlehouse Cold Smoke and Bayern Dancing Trout for $3.25 a pint.

Weekend breakfast Jennifer Marrow Deli manager, Good Food Store, 1600 S. Third Street Where are you going? Hands down, the Silk Road. The brunch there is extraordinary. What are you ordering? Feast 2010

The Silk Road is located at 515 S. Higgins Avenue. The Congi ($5) is described as an Asian rice porridge with vegetables, house cured shaved pork, peanuts and soft boiled egg. Four different benedicts— Florentine, black forest ham, cured salmon and salt cured steak—are served on an English muffin with poached egg and hollandaise sauce ($4–6).

Grabbing a quick bite Kristin Bailey Server, Posh Chocolat, 119 S. Higgins Avenue Where are you going? #1 Gyros What are you ordering? The special What are you drinking? Fountain soda How much are you spending? $7.50 #1 Greek Gyros and Pastry Shop is located at 520 S. Fifth Street. The special includes a g yro, fries and medium soda. Missoula Independent 7




Anthony Cesare


MISSOULA $…Under $5 $-$$…$5-$15 $$-$$$…$15 & Over Bagels On Broadway 223 W Broadway 728-8900 Our bagels are made from scratch every day and are boiled & baked in old world style, You'll get a bagel with the traditional hard crust and flavor that nobody else can copy. Our bagels contain no fat, preservatives, or cholesterol. Sandwiches, a variety of cream cheeses, soups, salads and sweets. Try a bagel for a healthy alternative for breakfast, lunch or a snack. $-$$ 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 a "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 & dinner. Beer & Wine. Mon-Sat. $-$$ Bitterroot Flower Shop 811 S Higgins Ave 721-1482 Welcome to the Bitterroot Flower Shop, recognized as one of America's finest full-service florist. We pride ourselves on providing the freshest flowers, plants and ideas in our industry. Whether it be centerpieces, gifts, or floral arrangements, count on us to make it beautiful. Blue Canyon Kitchen 3720 N. Reserve (adjacent to the Hilton Garden Inn) 541-BLUE We offer creatively prepared American cooking served in the comfortable elegance of our lodge restaurant featuring unique dining rooms. Kick back in the Tavern; relish the cowboy chic and culinary creations in the Great Room; visit with the chefs and dine in the kitchen or enjoy the fresh air on the outdoor patio. Parties and special events can be enjoyed in the Bison Room. Hours: M-Th 11am-10pm; FS 11am-11pm; Sun 10am-10pm; Sun brunch 10am-2pm; Tavern ‘til midnight Su-Th, 2am Fr-Sa. $$-$$$


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Feast 2010

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 Missoula's best pizza. Everything from hand-tossed, thin-crust, stone deck pizza to wild salmon burritos, free-range chicken, rice bowls, ribs, pasta, salads, soups, sandwiches & "Pizza by the Slice." And now offering gluten-free dough. Local brews on tap and wine by the glass. Open every day for lunch & dinner. $-$$ Brooks & Browns 200 S Pattee Located inside the Holiday Inn Downtown 532-2056 Get hooked on Brooks and Browns and come down and experience the best happy hour in town from 4 to 7 daily. Tuesdays we have open mic night from 7 to 10 pm & live music every Friday night. We feature a fast lunch menu from 11 to 2 daily all under $7.00! $$-$$$ Butterfly Herbs 232 N. Higgins 728-8780 Celebrating 37 years of great coffees and teas. Truly the “essence of Missoula.” Offering fresh coffees, teas (Evening in Missoula), bulk spices and botanicals, fine toiletries & gifts. Our cafe features homemade soups, fresh salads, and coffee ice cream specialties. In the heart of historic downtown, we are Missoula’s first and favorite Espresso Bar. Open 7 Days. $ Caffè Dolce 500 Brooks St. 830-3055 A neighborhood landmark known for local, seasonal, and delicious food, a stunning wine & beer list, and a seasonal patio. A traditional Italian espresso bar, bakery, and artisan gelato complement. Don’t overlook the pizza—it’s as good as it gets. All meals M-S. Brunch Sunday. Kids welcome. Reservations recommended. $-$$ 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

MISSOULA want to make your visit with us one to remember. Open daily for lunch and dinner. $-$$ Chapman Homebrew & Lolo Peak Winery 2506 Mount Ave. (the corner of Mount & Reserve) 549-1111 Chapman Homebrew/Lolo Peak Winery, your local source for beer and wine making supplies, equipment and information. It’s easy, fun and economical. From stouts to pilsners, from rieslings and merlots to local fruit, we have what you need to take charge! Make your own wine and beer at home. Ciao Mambo 541 S. Higgins 543-0377 Ciao Mambo, at the end of the Hip Strip on 4th and Higgins, serves up fresh, classic, immigrant-style Italian food seven days a week. Terrific service and an extensive domestic and Italian wine list makes Ciao Mambo a hit for any occasion. Dinner only and take out service available. $$-$$$ The Community Food & Agriculture Coalition 127 N. Higgins Suite 305 880-0543 The Community Food & Agriculture Coalition works to enhance Missoula County’s food system from field to plate by: creating and expanding markets for local food, increasing access for low-income citizens to those markets, protecting farmland within our foodshed, and helping growers access those lands for agricultural production. For more information, check out our web site. Curley's 2915 Brooks (next to Southgate Mall on the 93 strip) 721-4133 Curley’s is a locally owned and operated Steak and Seafood house that takes pride in our home-made meals and fresh atmosphere. At Curley’s we take the time to make sure each dish is prepared with the freshest ingredients and with the finest quality. Come in and enjoy our full bar and vast array of menu items. $$-$$$

Famous Dave's 2915 N. Reserve 541-7427 Stop in, or grab a load to go! Either way you'll enjoy the most succulent meats, savory seasonings and lipsmackin’ sauces around. Twenty five years of tastin’ and cookin’ make Dave’s 'Que the best ever. Dave's ribs are classic, St. Louis-style spareribs, hickory smoked to perfection, and Dave's award-winning Rich & Sassy sauce is made from a secret recipe even his mother doesn't know! $$-$$$ Good Food Store 1600 South 3rd West 541-FOOD 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 7am - 10pm. $–$$ Grizzly Grocery 447 Hill St. 721-2679 Grizzly Grocery has you covered breakfast, lunch and dinner. Grab a breakfast sandwich and coffee for the a.m. Tuna, egg or meat sandwich with chips, fruit and a soda for lunch. Try our Take and Bake pizza for dinner or a late night snack with your favorite beer or wine.

WHAT'S FOR DINNER? delicious, affordable meals delivered to your door! Starting at $7.50 per portion

Dinner, Lunches, Desserts, Holidays, Parties

Free Delivery 406-207-2203

Hunter Bay Coffee 800-805-2263 Missoula’s only local roaster since 1991! We use award-winning coffee recipes and traditional European small-batch roasting techniques to create our premium coffees. Hunter Bay’s gourmet coffees and unique coffee gifts are available locally and on the web. For freshly roasted coffee delivered to your door, join Hunter Bay’s Coffee of the Month Club! products/coffee-club. Indulge Bakery 700 SW Higgins Ave 544-4293 Looking to indulge? We are located at 700 SW Higgins on the east side of the Social Security building facing the Silvertip Casino. We specialize in gourmet cupcakes, special occasion cakes, pastries and specialty breads. Have a special occasion at the office or at home? Call and place a special order with us; we'll do your baking for you! $-$$

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MISSOULA Iza Asian Restaurant 529 S. Higgins

Connecting Food, farms and community in Missoula. See our website for information on how you can be involved:

830-3237 All our menu items are made from scratch and we use no MSG products. Featuring dishes from Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, Korea, Nepal, and Malaysia. Extensive hot and iced tea menu including bubble tea. Join us in our Asian themed dining room for a wonderful IZA experience. Open Mon-Sat, lunch and dinner. $-$$ Jakers 3515 Brooks St. 721-1312 • Every occasion is a celebration at Jakers. Enjoy our two-for-one Happy Hour throughout the week in a fun, casual atmosphere. Hungry? Try our hand-cut steaks, small plate menu and our vegetarian & glutenfree entrees. Call us for reservations or take-out . $$-$$$

add tricky stix to any other order for only $4.25

add a 2 liter soda for only $3.00

Only $17 X-large 2 topping pizza and an order of tricky stix Must present coupon for discount not valid with other discount offers. Expires 12/31/2009


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Feast 2010

include made-to-order pasta dishes, huge salads, signature chicken chili, Montana-sized sandwiches and tasty panini. Choose from a variety of microbrews and fine wines. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. $-$$ The Mustard Seed Asian Café Southgate Mall Paxson St. Entrance • 542-7333 Contemporar y Asian Cuisine served in our all new bistro atmosphere. Original recipes and fresh ingredients combined from Japanese, Chinese, Polynesian, and Southeast Asian influences to appeal to American palates. Full menu available in our non-smoking bar. Fresh daily desserts, microbrews, fine wines & signature drinks. Take out & delivery available. $$–$$$

Lindey’s Prime Steak House # 1 MT Highway 83, Seeley Lake • 677-9229 “The Place for Steak” On scenic Highway 83 N., enjoy the beautiful sunset over Seeley Lake while dining on prime steak, green salad, homemade potatoes, sautéed mushrooms and toasted garlic bread. The service is friendly, the view is breathtaking, and the steak is unforgettable. Serving dinner October-March, 5-9pm Thursday-Monday; MaySeptember 5-10pm 7 days/week

Pearl Café & Bakery 231 E. Front 541-0231 Country French specialties, bison, elk, fresh fish daily, delicious salads and appetizers. Breads and desserts baked in-house. Reser-vations recommended for the warm and inviting dining areas, or drop in for a quick bite in the wine bar. Now you may go to our website to make reservations or buy gift certificates; while there, check out our gorgeous wedding and specialty cakes. Open Mon-Sat at 5:00. $$-$$$

Liquid Planet 223 N. Higgins 541-4541 From Latté to Lassî, Water to Wine, Tea Cup to Tea Pot, Liquid Planet has the best beverage offerings this side of Neptune -- with a special focus on all-natural, organic, and sustainability. Their distinctive and healthy smoothie menu is worth the visit too! Quick and delicious breakfast and lunch is always ready to go; pastries, croissants, bagels, breakfast burritos, wraps, salads, and soups. Open 8 am to 10 pm daily. $-$$

Le Petit Outre 129 S. 4th W. 543-3311 Twelve thousand pounds of oven mass...Bread of integrity, pastry of distinction, yes indeed. European hand-crafted baked goods, Pain de Campagne, Ciabatta, Cocodrillo, Pain au Chocolat, Palmiers, and Brioche. Several more baked options and the finest espresso available. Please find our goods at the finest grocers throughout Missoula. Saturday 8-3, Sunday 8-2, Monday-Friday 7-6. $

MacKenzie River Pizza Co. Reserve St: I90 exit • 721-0099 Downtown: Front St. • 721-0077 Spectacular gourmet pizzas on delicious sourdough, natural grain or thin crusts. Additional flavorful and fresh menu choices

Pita Pit 130 N. Higgins 541-PITA(7482) Enjoy a fresh and exciting eating experience. We have pitas for every taste. Choose from chicken breast, turkey, black forest ham, seafood, a wide selection of vegetarian to include garden, falafel,

MISSOULA humus and much more. Eat in or, for a late night delight, we deliver until 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 10 a.m & 4 p.m. when all slices are $1. Open late. Sun.-Thurs. 10 a.m.-1a.m; Fri. & Sat. 10 a.m.2a.m. $ The Press Box 835 E. Broadway 721-1212 Enjoy our breakfast special, Monday through Friday, 7 AM to noon. We have great pizza, burgers & appetizers, and more! 21 beers on tap. Continually voted best sports bar in Missoula. Enjoy any game, any time on 35 HDTVs at The Press Box. $-$$$ Red Robin 2901 Brooks St. 830-3170 Try the other side of Red Robin: our Ensenada Chicken PlatterTM, Apple Harvest Chicken Salad or Caesar’s Chicken Wrap. We’ve got salads, wraps, and entrees, to go along with our more than two dozen award winning Gourmet Burgers. Our Gourmet Burgers are served with Bottomless Steak Fries.$$ SA WAD DEE 221 W. Broadway 543-9966 Sa-Wad-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! $-$$ Staggering Ox 123 E Main 327-9400 1220 SW Higgins 542-2206 Home of the famous Clubfoot Sandwich - unique, portable, delicious! We serve fantastic sand

wiches on fresh-baked bread. Call in your order and pick it up on your way to play. $-$$

Taco Del Sol 422 N. Higgins 327-8929 Stop in when you're in the neighborhood. We'll do our best to treat you right. Home of the Famous Fish Taco. Crowned Missoula's best lunch for under $6. Mon-Sat. 1110 Sun. 12-9. $-$$ Taco Sano 115 1/2 S. 4th W. 360-9706 Good food at good prices in your neighborhood. Tacos and burritos made fresh as you order. Quick service, generous portions, open late. $-$$ 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. $-$$

Order online at Take Home Some Tacos & Burritos 1151/2 S. 4th St. W.

We Deliver

Pick Up Some Pitas 130 N. Higgins 541-7482

We Deliver

Western Montana Growers Cooperative 726-GROW We strive to improve the “local food system” by reducing the demand of produce being shipped here from long distances, while enhancing the sustainability of local farms and contributing to local economic growth. What’s For Dinner Meal Delivery Service 207-2203 Delicious, affordable meals delivered to your door. Fresh dinner menu changes weekly, frozen dinner and dessert menus change monthly. Order by noon on Monday, deliveries are made Tuesday. Meals start at only $7.50 per portion. Menus and ordering available on our web site.

$…Under $5 $-$$…$5-$15 $$-$$$…$15 & Over Feast 2010

Missoula Independent


Photo by Cathrine L. Walters

The Broadway’s Fishbowl.

Make it a double—with mayo We line up Missoula’s strangest signature cocktails, then try to knock ’em down by Skylar Browning Turns out, it’s not so simple to narrow down Missoula’s strangest signature drinks. We talked with maybe a dozen bartenders and each one either wanted to expand the list to unwieldy and mundane proportions (sorry, Sex on the Beach doesn’t make the cut), or rightfully turn their nose up at 12

Missoula Independent

the premise, as if they couldn’t be bothered with cheap tricks and brown bag-level booze. But we were able to glean some constructive advice from the professionals and use it to develop our own criteria for what constitutes an oddly memorable Missoula cocktail. Loosely, it’s the drink you drink on a dare. It’s the drink that spices up your bachelorette Feast 2010

party. It’s the drink that your friends insist you chug on your 21st birthday. (And that you inevitably vomit, along with cheese fries, at 3 a.m.) It’s the drink that your out-of-town guests order to be cute and feel like they ’re experiencing Missoula when a regular microbrew or whiskey won’t do. It’s the drink that’s different, for better or worse, and stands out

on a menu. Could you order something like it in Spokane or Boise? Perhaps. But these drinks are still special—and make for special occasions— here at home. The Fishbowl In big cities, “the fishbowl” is pretty easy to find, usually at some tiki-themed joint or Asian restaurant. In Missoula,

they’re a little harder to track down. We heard of many places that will serve a fishbowl-like drink in a standard beer pitcher, but few who still use an actual fishbowl. Paul Weber at the Broadway Inn explains that fishbowls are such a novelty that people like to steal them, hence the shortage around town. Nevertheless, he unearthed one for us—truth be told, it looked like a light fixture—and proceeded to fill it to the rim with an assortment of stuff that ended up looking neon blue. The Broadway ’s fishbowl includes vodka, r um, peach schnapps, Blue Curacao, 7UP, pineapple juice and—the real kicker—blue Powerade. Weber doesn’t explain the measurements, only that he tries to “make it worth the

$15.” And he admits there are other variations of the fishbowl, including the addition of Red Bull or going for a red coloring (grenadine and Malibu instead of Blue Curacao, and red instead of blue Powerade.) We found it to be pretty sugary, and definitely big enough to require four or more people. We also found that it garners a lot of attention, and Weber says that’s usually the draw. “It’s only popular when someone sees one ordered,” he says. “Then everyone tries to get their friends to go in on one.” The Flaming Blue Lamborghini Perhaps the consensus choice for inclusion in this list—and perhaps the only drink in Missoula that

Photo by Cathrine L. Walters

Feruqi’s Flaming Blue Lamborghini.

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comes with a list of rules. Before Feruqi’s bartender Ember Townsend struck a match to light this drink on fire, she barked instructions at our photographer/designated drinker Cathrine L. Walters. “Number one: Don’t touch

the world,” he said. “That’s all I’ll say.” Feruqi’s serves the Lamborghini mostly during birthday or bachelorette parties. Townsend says she’s mixed as many as eight in a night and, in over a year of tending bar at

Lawson mixed well gin, slow gin, tequila and Wild Turkey in a

All dishes made from scratch & no MSG. Extensive tea menu & Missoula's original bentos & bubble teas Available for catering & Private events 529 S. Higgins • 830.3237 •

1-ounce shot glass. Then, she went to the grill area behind the bar, opened the refrigerator and grabbed a tube of mayonnaise. the glass,” said Townsend sternly. “Two: Don’t catch yourself on fire. Three: Drink fast, before the straw melts. Lastly, wait until I say go. Now, ready? Go!” Walters said the drink— served in a martini glass—tasted like a Tootsie Roll. Townsend asked that we make sure to describe the experience as “intense.” Feruqi’s proprietor Matthew Wiles made us swear to keep the ingredients a secret. “It’s composed of four liquors from all four corners of


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Feast 2010

Feruqi’s, hasn’t had to call the fire department once. “If you follow the rules, you’ll be fine,” she says.

The Montuckey-Tini Not all the drinks on this list require multiple drinking partners or fire-retardant clothing. In fact, just watching veteran Finn & Porter bartender Eric Legvold make a Montuckey-Tini elicits a certain respect for the drink. First, Legvold pours a 6 or 7 count of Woodford Reserve

bourbon into a martini shaker. Then he squeezes an orange slice, making sure to get “just a little pulp.” Lastly, he adds “a dash to a splash” of Grand Marnier—enough to make the drink sweet, but not overpowering. The biggest secret, Legvold explains, is to not “bruise the liquor” by shaking too hard. Preparing the martini glass is an entire other process. First, Legvold chills the glass with ice while mixing the liquor. Then he takes an orange and delicately mists the glass with a natural spray—easily the coolest part of the preparation. After he pours the drink into the chilled and misted glass, Legvold garnishes it with an orange twist. The drink itself? It’s orangey, as you would imagine, but with a distinct bourbon aftertaste. Another Finn & Porter bartender added the Montuckey-Tini—and the extra “e,” apparently—to the restaurant’s award-winning martini menu for a little local flair. Legvold says it’s not as popular as the pomegranate or chocolate martinis, but still a solid seller. Homemade bacon vodka This sounds like a joke, but it’s not. Not even remotely. Bacon-infused vodka turns out to be an outstanding addition to a Bloody Mary, and it’s popular enough to spur commercially distributed brands, such as Seattle’s Bakon Vodka.

even order the bacon vodka straight. “Your brain says chew at first,” she says, “even though it’s just liquid.”

Photo by Cathrine L. Walters

The Bodega Birthday Shot.

The Rhino, however, keeps things in-house. Bartender Anne Hanks is one of those in charge of infusing vodka at the Rhino and a few months ago, after reading a newspaper story about the rising popularity of bacon vodka, she decided to give it a try. She gets the bacon from Two Sisters Catering, “chunks it up” and

then puts it into an infusing jug. “Then I sprinkle the love in there and let it sit,” she says, usually for about seven days. The result is a damn fine ingredient for a $6 Bloody Mary—noticeable, but not overpoweringly meaty. Hanks says it’s good enough—or enough of a novelty—that some people Feast 2010

The Bodega Birthday Shot Bartender Emily Lawson actually apologized before pouring us The Bodega’s signature birthday shot. Once we saw the ingredients, we understood why. Lawson mixed well gin, slow gin, tequila and Wild Turkey in a 1-ounce shot glass. Then, she went to the grill area behind the bar, opened the refrigerator and grabbed a tube of mayonnaise. “They call this a tapeworm shot in other places,” Lawson explained. Why? Once the mayo is squeezed into the shot glass, it looks like a tapeworm. And strangely artistic. Or maybe scientific, like something preserved in a biology lab. Either way, nobody wanted to touch the thing. “I haven’t had one for a long time, but I remember it was horrible,” said one gentleman at the bar. Then Greg Lindstrom, a newly turned 21-year-old University of Montana photojournalism student, entered the bar with two friends. We suggested he help us “report the story” by taking the birthday shot. He did. “It tasted like cherry,” he said, unaffected. “And it was kind of chunky.” Missoula Independent 15


Missoula Independent

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BARS 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 and free pool on Sundays are just a few amenities that keep this bar a local favorite since 1936. $

The Badlander 208 Ryman 549-0235 The Badlander/Palace compound Missoula's most unique and diverse downtown destination! Voted Best Bar and Best Place for Live Music in the Indy's 2009 Best Of Missoula. 4 bars of entertainment and social gatherings, including live bands, djs, gambling (including bingo and live poker), fundraisers, operas, dance lessons, karaoke, poetry readings, and much more!

Bayern Brewing 1507 Montana St. (just west of Russell) 721-1482 Bayern Brewing is the only German brewery in the Rockies serving quality German Beer! Baked pretzels and landjaegers available. A great place to meet your friends or study. Wireless internet available. Check out our Beer Gear merchandise available in the tasting room. Our beer is a proud sponsor of Trout Unlimited. Banquet Room available for parties. Open every day except Christmas Day & New Year’s Day. Mon - Fri 10am 8pm, Sat & Sun 12pm - 8pm.

Club Q 112 N. Pattee 728-6963 Missoula's place to be yourself! Open the 3rd Saturday of the month from 9pm-2am. Dancing, pool table & full bar! Located in the basement of the Elks Lodge, at 112 N. Pattee (the side entrance). Check our website for special events listings!

Grizzly Liquor 110 W Spruce St 549-7723 Missoula's Tailgate Headquarters. We carry all of the spirits and accessories to make your tailgate party a success! Largest selection in Montana. Special baskets for any occasion: events, parties, promotions, benefits, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, employee thank you's.... Create your own theme and we can create the right basket for your occasion. Open M-F 96:30, Sat 9-6. Iron Horse Brew Pub 501 N. Higgins 728-8866 We're the perfect place for lunch, appetizers, or dinner. Enjoy nightly specials, our fantastic beverage selection and friendly, attentive service. Not matter what you are looking for, we'll give you something to smile about. $-$$

Feast 2010

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). $-$$ 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 flatscreen 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.

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

Missoula Independent


Photo by Cathrine L. Walters

Montana’s Scotch egg capital What the hell is a Scotch egg? We’re glad you asked. by Jule Banville When Rob Herdman bought Dooley’s Irish Pub in Hamilton five and a half years ago, he changed the name back to the Signal Grill, overhauled the restaurant and remade the menu—save for one appetizer: the Scotch egg. If you’re unfamiliar with this delicacy, it’s understandable. Few places outside the U.K. and a couple of British-themed pubs in the United States sell their clientele on hard-boiled eggs dipped in flour, wrapped in ground sausage, breaded and deep-fried. Google the term and you’re likely to come across a scene from “The Office,” BBC version, where the Keith character randomly 18

Missoula Independent

munches on a spongy-looking one while discussing repeats of “Peak Practice” on the telly. Yet at the Signal Grill on Hamilton’s main drag—very likely the Scotch egg capital of Montana—this $7.25 item on a packed menu continues its surprisingly popular run. Even more surprising: It’s delicious. Maybe it’s because they’re fried to order, rather than shelved and wrapped in cellophane, as they’re often sold across the pond. Maybe it’s the fresh herbs and garlic in the sausage mix or the fact they’re rolled in panko, giving Signal’s eggs a lighterthan-expected texture. It’s possible the trick is in how head chef Amy Littlefield

Feast 2010

boils the egg, the way her grandmother taught her, with a little vinegar in the water to keep the yolk nice and bright. Or maybe just about everything coming out of a deep-fat fryer and served with tangy steak sauce is plain tasty. Littlefield, 28, took on the chef job a little more than two years ago and is the only one on staff who makes Scotch eggs. That prospect didn’t, at first, thrill her. “I was, like, are you kidding me? But once I tried them, I came around. Now they’re one of my favorite things on the menu,” she says, sipping an afternoon beer inside the 60-seat restaurant. And speaking of beer, the Signal, which has been a restaurant of some sort since

the 1890s (known back then for its “cathouse” and card games rather than its food), sits a couple of blocks from the Bitter Root Brewery. Brewers there likely weren’t trying to come up with a beer that would complement a Scotch egg, but Littlefield has a recommendation among the several local contributions on tap: the Sawtooth Ale. “It’s a little more light and refreshing,” she says. Those aren’t the words for Scotch eggs, which owner Herdman guesses is the reason they sell better during tourist season in the Bitterroot. “I think they might be a bit heavy for some of our locals. It’s not something I would eat all that often, for example,” he says, quickly adding: “Not that they aren’t good.” Herdman came to Hamilton almost a decade ago from California where, among his ventures, he regularly served paella from the sidewalk outside of one of his

“Once you get the courage to try these, they are kind of addicting.” -Amy Littlefield, Signal Grill chef

restaurants. He’s also owned a restaurant in Mexico and is especially a fan of the Baja tacos on Signal’s menu. Although he still gets a kick out of his customers’ reaction to the Scotch egg—mainly: “What the hell is a Scotch egg?”—his focus is decidedly else-

where, especially on his restaurant’s steaks, the brick-oven pizza night (Thursday) and an expansive, relatively new brunch menu. “We serve real hollandaise. Not the stuff from a mix,” he says, adding a plug for the complimentary cream biscuits. Still, breaded, fried eggs do have their local fans. One regular, whom Littlefield describes as a “cowboy-type,” comes in every week, orders two Scotch eggs and a Caesar salad. Another woman who works across the street orders hers with homemade huckleberry barbecue sauce or whatever else is on hand. “She really doesn’t like the steak sauce,” says Littlefield. Littlefield makes the eggs at the start of her shift and, on occasion, demand will outpace her. On other days, no one will order one. Typically, the restaurant serves about 15 to 20 Scotch-egg orders a week and, although they’re made fresh, Littlefield has a confession. “They’re best

Photo by Cathrine L. Walters

Photo by Cathrine L. Walters

when they’re a day old,” she says. “I think it’s because the ingredients in the sausage have time to sit there and blend. “Once you get the courage to try these,” she adds, “they are kind of addicting.” And, yes, they’re rich and they go to your thighs and, as Herdman says, “they’ll keep talking to you” after you eat them. But all that guilt can be assuaged by saving the planet. Herdman’s VW Jetta runs on straight grease from Scotch eggs, fries and the restaurant’s kickass homemade potato chips. It’s not biofuel in the tank, but pure vegetable oil he 20

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takes from the restaurant to a friend’s house, where it’s specially filtered under pressure. Herdman admits that, based on popularity and the quirk factor, he may be stuck with Scotch eggs on the menu for as long as he owns the place. But this is western Montana. “We’re still environmentally friendly,” he says. “And we use fresh, local ingredients.” The Signal Grill is located at 131 W. Main St. in downtown Hamilton. (406) 375-9099.

BITTERROOT $…Under $5 $-$$…$5-$15 $$-$$$…$15 & Over Bitter Root Brewing 101 Market St., Hamilton 363-7468 Bitter Root Brewery is open 7 days a week serving delicious microbrews and tasty hand-crafted food. Live music is EVERY Thursday and Saturday from 6-8:30pm. Check out our website for upcoming events, menus, and other info to help you “Get Local.” Caffe Firenze 281 Rodeo Dr., Florence 273-2923 Please visit us at 281 Rodeo Drive, just east of Highway 93 on the Eastside Highway in Florence, Montana. Caffé Firenze provides each guest with a warm and inviting atmosphere, personalized service, dinners featuring Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, and a wonderful assortment of wine, beer and spirits. We offer hearty breakfasts, aromatic coffee and espresso drinks, garden-fresh salads, sandwiches, pastas and house-made soups seven days a week. Caffé Firenze -- a destination unlike any other… Visit for additional information. $$-$$$ The Edge Restaurant 140 Bitterroot Plaza Drive, Hamilton • 375-0007 A Hamilton tradition for more than 12 years. The Edge Restaurant offers everything you want in a great dining experience. Enjoy fireside dining with an incredible view of the Bitterroot Mountains. From sizzling steaks to succulent seafood, there’s a wide variety of tantalizing entrees served in a casual, comfortable atmosphere. Enjoy handcrafted cocktails and a large selection of your favorite wine. Open 7 days a week from 8:30am to 11:00pm in Hamilton. $$-$$$ 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 homemade soups, salads, and sandwiches found nowhere else. Open 6:30am5:30pm Monday-Friday, 8:00am4:00pm Saturday, 8:00am-2:00pm Sunday. Weekday local business lunch delivery available 9:00am1:00pm. $-$$

Family owned & operated

Romeo's Italian Kitchen 755 Main, Stevensville • 777-4499 919 SW Higgins, Missoula 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 Italian-inspired culinary experience. $-$$

Gift Certificates Available

Open 7 days a week Monday through Saturday 4pm to 9pm; Sunday 2pm to 7pm

406-363-3522 12 minutes from Hamilton. Go 2 miles south of Hamilton on U.S. 93; left on Skalkaho Highway. We are located at the 7-mile marker, north side of the road.

The Signal Grill 131 W. Main, Hamilton 375-9099 The Signal Grill since 1898. Where the chefs are talented and the wait staff attentive. Where the fish & chips are as good as in England. Where the Baja tacos take you to a small village in Mexico. Where the steaks are char-grilled to perfection. The eclectic menu includes Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican & Indian. You want comfort food?... try out Chicken Fried Steak, or our Butte Montana Dinosaur "Short" Rib. Open 7 days a week. M-F 11am 'til 9pm; Sat & Sun breakfast & lunch 10am until 2pm, dinner 3pm 'til close. Skalkaho Steakhouse Skalkaho Hwy, Mile Mrkr. #7 363-3522 Family owned and operated. Serving prime rib, handcut steaks, seafood, chicken and our world famous huckleberry cheesecake. Full bar.12 minutes from Hamilton. Go 2 miles south of Hamilton on US 93, left on Skalkaho Highway. We are located at the 7-mile marker on the north side of the road. Open 7 days a week; Monday through Saturday 4pm to 9pm; Sunday 2pm to 7pm.

Serviing P Serving Prime rime Rib, Handcut Steaks, Seafood, Chicken & Our World Famous Huckleberry Cheesecake. Full Bar

Main Street Location; World-Wide Flavors Friendly Service Talented Chefs From Comfort Food to the unusual

Open Every Day M-F: 11 AM - 9 PM Sat & Sun Breakfast & Lunch: 10 AM - 2 PM Dinner: 3 PM - Close

131 W. Main, Hamilton 406-375-9099 Feast 2010

Missoula Independent


Paradise found A Flathead orchard opens up a world of fresh fruit opportunities by Ari LeVaux

Photo by Chad Harder


Missoula Independent

Feast 2010

“I’m a fruit snob,” admits Tom McCamant, who with his wife Lynn owns Forbidden Fruit Orchard in Paradise. “My husband is a crazy entrepreneur,” says Lynn. “I got into this business because I couldn’t find a good piece of fruit,” Tom says. Well, Tom can’t make that complaint anymore. The couple’s peaches—the only peaches commercially grown in Montana—rule the Missoula farmers’ markets in late summer, ready to burst into juice at the slightest provocation. So too do their early-season fruits, like the apricots and cherries, both of which live up to their claim of being “sinfully delicious.” “I really like bringing fruit to market, interacting with the community,” says Tom. “I feel like I’m giving something back to the universe.” With 3,400 trees planted, Tom has finally been able to quit his day job, and is getting used to living his dream. In their Missoula kitchen, he shows me how to use his refractometer, a device for measuring the soluble solids— mostly sugars—in fruit. He bites a cherry in half and squeezes a few drops into the gizmo.

Feast 2010

Missoula Independent


119 W. Alder

127 W. Alder 721.8158 Enjoy lunch & dinner menus


Access 28 local farms with one phone call.

“A lot of people could grow better fruit if they had one of these,” Tom says. Every fruit has a signature sugar content at its optimal harvest time, he explains, and if growers monitored their fruit’s sugar level, they could time their harvest for peak flavor. “We like our Bing Cherries to be around 25 percent,” says Tom. Each of their other cherry varieties, including Lambert,

fruit was harvested at the proper time, with the proper sugar content, then you should use a syrup of equal sugar content. Too much sugar in the syrup makes the fruit too sweet. Not enough sugar, and the imbalance pulls sugar out of the cherries and into the syrup. A syrup of equivalent sugar content is ideal, as it will preserve the true flavor of the fruit. While preserved fruits are most often used in a dessert or

Fruit, Herbs, Vegetables, Meat, Dairy, Eggs, Dry Goods.

“I got into this

Plan with us now for next season.

business because I couldn’t find a good piece of fruit.” -Tom McCamant, Forbidden Fruit Orchard

Sandra Rose, Rainier, Van, Skeena, Attika, Early Robin, White Gold and Sweetheart, has its own target sugar content. While nothing compares to the experience of eating fresh fruit, there are also pleasures to be had in preserving it for later use. The most common methods of doing so are to jar, freeze or dehydrate them. The topic of putting fruit in jars, like many things in Tom’s world, brings us back to his refractometer. Assuming your 24

Missoula Independent

Feast 2010

snack-like setting, they can also be used in the preparation of savory meals. One particularly delicious class of dishes results from cooking fruit with meat. Pork chops and applesauce is perhaps the poster child for this kind of pairing. Duck L’orange is a rich cousin, and Peking Duck is a Chinese version. When you cook meat with fruit, a mutual unlocking of flavors and textures occurs. The fruit’s acid softens the meat, while its tangy flavor mingles

with fat and flesh in a way that will keep you feeling warm and fuzzy, even in the cold, dark days of winter. I’ve got a generalized recipe for cooking meat with fruit that can be used with almost any kind of meat and almost any kind of fruit, fresh or preserved. This technique, which I call the “fruity meat technique,” works especially well with stonefruits of the sort you’ll find at Forbidden Fruits: peaches, apricots, cherries and plums. It also works with berries. I’ve tried the technique on many kinds of meat, including rabbit, pork, deer, elk, antelope, duck, goose and chicken, and have

yet to be disappointed. I’ll present the recipe in terms of elk and apricot, but feel free to substitute other meats and fruits, and to use your gut to play around with seasonings, like mint with lamb, anise with plum, etc. First, cut the meat into 1- or 2-inch chunks. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and dredge in breadcrumbs or Japanese panko flakes. Fry slowly in butter. When it starts to brown, add the peeled cloves of a head of garlic. When the meat is perfectly browned, resist the temptation to bail on the recipe and just start eating. Instead, add apricots, twice the amount in terms

of weight as the meat. They can be frozen, dried, canned or fresh. Add enough stock (veggie or chicken) to cover the whole business, and half a cup of sherry, Madeira or white wine. Bake with the lid on at 300 degrees until the meat is spoon tender—the tougher the cut, the longer this will take. Check your meat every 30 minutes or so, adding more stock or wine as necessary to keep it at least half-covered. When it’s almost done, adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Don’t add any more liquid, and allow the liquid in the baking dish to reduce to about an inch. Your fruity meat is ready to serve.

Feast 2010

Missoula Independent


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

Hot Spot Thai Cafe 50440 US 93, Polson 883-4444 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 11:30am2:30pm. Open for dinner Monday Saturday 5pm-8pm, Closed Sundays. Visit us on the web. $-$$ Jocko’s Steakhouse & Lounge 303 US 93, Polson 883-3636, x423 Jocko’s at Kwataqnuk, where customers come to be enter-

tained with trend-setting dishes. From breakfast to brunch, to healthy appetizers, to creatively inspired entrées and unique desserts. While taking in our spectacular lake view, please enjoy any one of our Certified Angus Beef entrées Entertainment Menu. Sunday Brunch 8am to 1pm. Karaoke & Dancing Fri/Sat 10pm to 1:30am. Espresso Bar with grabto-go pastries & bagels. $$-$$$

Ninepipes Lodge 69286 US 93, Charlo 644-2588 Restaurant, lounge and motel located on US 93 in the Mission Valley. Centrally located between Missoula and Kalispell, and 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. $-$$

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. 26

Missoula Independent

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Curley Burger



Bloody Mary

Beef Kabob Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette & Patron Margarita

Spicy Shrimp & Chicken



& Key Lime Martini

2915 Brooks


721-4133 Feast 2010

Missoula Independent


Local talent. World-class flavor. When not teaching in our demonstration kitchen here at the Good Food Store, the guest instructors in our cooking school are running the finest restaurants in Western Montana. They’ve often trained at famous culinary institutes and with renowned chefs from around the globe. So don’t be surprised that you sample world class flavor when you join us for a class. And don’t be surprised when these chefs recommend locally-raised beef, pork and lamb in the recipes they’re demonstrating. Or greens, garlic, apples and herbs harvested from fields right here in the five valleys. Because our local culinary stars recognize just how talented our local farmers and ranchers are as well. Yes, those same farmers and ranchers we’ve always been so proud to represent here at the Good Food Store. For current cooking class schedules, please stop by the GFS Customer Service Desk or visit | 1600 S. 3rd St. West | 541. FOOD | 7am to 10pm Every Day Feast 2010

Missoula Independent


Feast 2010  

Western Montana's Ultimate Dining and Drinking Guide