The 10 Foods That You Must Try in Missoula, MT

Missoula, Montana is home to beautiful views, friendly people, and incredible food. Whether you’re just visiting and don’t know where to start, or you live here and want to switch things up, you can’t go wrong with these 10 dishes and drinks!

 Liquid Planet Grille: Biscuits & Gravy

Liquid Planet Grille Biscuits and Gravy

The Liquid Planet Grille sits right across the street from the University of Montana campus, making it a hit with students and faculty alike. Aside from having killer sandwiches, fries and tots, this joint is also home to some of the best breakfast dishes out there. We’re talking about biscuits & gravy. This savory dish is the perfect way to fulfill your growling tummy in the morning (or any time of the day for that matter). Two flakey, buttery biscuits get topped with rich sausage gravy infused with the earthy flavors of sage and rosemary. As if it can’t get any better, the good folks behind this masterpiece top it all off with candied bacon. Yes, candied bacon! You don’t want to miss out on this one. I know you’re drooling just thinking about it. I sure am.

Biga Pizza: Flathead Cherry Pizza

Biga Pizza Flathead Cherry Pizza

If you are a lover of pizza, or just food in general, then Biga Pizza is for you. Aside from tasty salads, antipasto plates, sandwiches and calzones, Biga creates some of the most incredible pizzas out there. From classics like cheese or pepperoni, to more exotic flavors like maple chipotle or fig and prosciutto, there is something for everyone. There is one pizza on the menu, however, that stands out above the rest. The Flathead Cherry Pizza is from another world. The homemade sausage, smoked gouda cheese, fresh mozzarella, and fragrant garlic oil is paired with a sweet cherry chutney to create a mouthwatering combination that is finally cooked to perfection in a brick pizza oven. It might sound unconventional for a pizza, but the juxtaposition of the savory sausage against the sweet cherry chutney, completed with two creamy cheeses is sure to satisfy anyone’s pizza craving!

Jaker’s Bar and Grill: Scones and Honey Butter

Jaker's Bar and Grill Scones and Honey Butter

 Whether you’re looking for a delicious steak dinner, or an endless soup and salad lunch, Jaker’s has it all. The item on the menu that just tops it all off, however, actually comes to your table courtesy of the restaurant. Instead of classic bread and butter with your meal, the fine folks at Jaker’s offer something much more dreamy. Scones and honey butter. It sounds simple, but these aren’t just any scones. Soft, sweet, decadent, and paired with honey butter that melts in your mouth. You might actually find yourself full before your meal comes, because it’s impossible to have just one….or two…. or four.

 Top Hat Lounge: Chicken and Waffles

Top Hat Chicken and Waffles

 The Top Hat Lounge is a special joint located in downtown Missoula. They host a variety of events, concerts and shows. While you’re soaking up some entertainment, don’t forget to check out the menu. From small plates, to burgers with locally sourced meats, the Top Hat offers some tasty combinations with crazy fresh ingredients. If you’re looking for a little snack or flavorful meal, you cannot go wrong with the chicken and waffles. The waffle has a hint of sweetness that comes from a vanilla batter. The chicken comes in the form of perfectly fried little nuggets of heaven. To make this dish even more irresistible, it comes with maple rosemary butter and some maple syrup. The perfect combination of sweet and savory that you’ll come back for time and time again.

 Thomas Meagher Bar: Pub Nachos

Thomas Meagher Bar

 Pronounced “Mahr Bar,” this Irish Pub knows how to satisfy an appetite. Meagher Bar has a wide selection of tantalizingly good dishes, from a range of mac and cheeses, to wings, bruschetta, and pasties. They have a trivia night and a beer bingo night; both offering prizes and drink specials. So why wouldn’t you want to go here? It gets better though. The hidden gem that you MUST try from the menu is the Pub Nachos. The regular nacho toppings are all there, from onions, black beans and tomatoes, to jalapenos, cheese and salsa. But what makes these bad boys really special is the Irish Beer Cheese Sauce. Not to mention, you can switch out the boring tortilla chips for Doritos. Yes, I’m serious. This giant plate of Dorito, Irish Beer Cheese Sauce nachos will give you an entirely new perspective on nachos. So try them.

 Big Dipper Ice Cream: Dusty Dale

Big Dipper Ice Cream

 It’s no secret that Big Dipper Ice Cream is home to some of the best sweet treats in town. With lines flowing all the way to the street, it seems that customers will bear any type of weather to get a taste of the famous ice cream. Have you ever tried cardamom ice cream before? How about El Salvador Coffee ice cream? Big Dipper’s homemade ice cream comes in just about any flavor you can think of, and they’re all incredible. If you’re a fan of chocolate, there is one concoction that you don’t want to miss out on. The Dusty Dale is a combination of chocolate ice cream, chocolate sauce, malt powder and whipped cream. The variety of textures creates a creamy, crunchy, chewy, soft, crazy delicious party in your mouth. It is the perfect way to cool down on a hot summer day, or just to enjoy and rich and sweet treat any time of the year.

 Taco Sano: Breakfast Burrito

Taco Sano Breakfast Burrito

Taco Sano is a locally owned burrito shop that focuses on using fresh and local ingredients, and homemade sauces for a Mexican food experience unlike any other. The breakfast burritos are an item on the mouthwatering menu that can make any Monday morning brighter. Not to mention, they are accompanied by free coffee! The burritos start with scrambled eggs, to which your choice of juicy meat can be added. Choose from BBQ brisket, pulled chicken, ground beef, Pacific salmon, or pulled pork. Next comes the cheese, salsa, your choice of homemade sauce (my favorite is cilantro lime), and finally potatoes and sautéed veggies. This is no ordinary breakfast burrito, so start your day happy and swing by Taco Sano, on the Hip Strip yo.

 James Bar: Sweet Potato Tots

James Bar Sweet Potato Tots

 James Bar is a cool little spot tucked away in the heart of downtown Missoula. Dimly lit, chic, and classy, but with a rustic, friendly and approachable feel, James Bar offers an eclectic menu with some ridiculously flavorful food. From comfort food such as smoked gouda mac and cheese or shepherd’s pie, to quinoa cakes and lobster sliders, James Bar has something for any type of diner. The “Local Legend” on the menu that is a must-try comes in the form of sweet potato tater tots. These babies come piping hot to your table and are crispy and golden on the outside, but unbelievably creamy on the inside. There is no way to do these things justice with words, because they are honestly that good. As if they can get any better, you have the option of dipping sauces, from classic ketchup, to mango ketchup, ancho ketchup or caper tartar sauce. So whether you’re staying for dinner, or just grabbing a drink and a snack, make sure to ask for some sweet potato tots.

 Doc’s Sandwich Shop: Doc Holiday

Doc's Sandwich Shop

 Doc’s Sandwich Shop is located in the Higgins Building in the center of downtown Missoula. Known both for the crazy names of their sandwiches, as well as their genius sandwich creations, Doc’s is the perfect lunch joint. You can try a Doctor Strangelove if you’re in the mood for a meatball and marinara sandwich. Or maybe you’d like a Doctor Doolittle if you like chicken salad with some unique and yummy mix-ins such as apples. If nothing sounds quite right then you can “write your own prescription” and choose all the fixings yourself. But before you dive into that, the sandwich that you MUST try is the Doc Holiday. Referencing the festive Thanksgiving ingredients in the name of the sandwich, the Doc Holiday is the best combination of familiar holiday foods for us all. The multi-grain bread is stacked high with fresh sliced turkey, herby stuffing, cranberry sauce, lettuce and mayo. It is Thanksgiving dinner rolled into one perfect sandwich that can be enjoyed any day of the year, and it never disappoints.

 Montana Distillery: Blood Mary

Montana Distillery Bloody Mary

 After trying all of the incredible food that Missoula has to offer, you’re probably going to be in need of a drink. The Montana Distillery is a unique micro-distillery, bar and tasting room that offers some of the highest quality vodkas out there. A laundry list of flavors is available, from pepper to ginger, and bacon to huckleberry. This isn’t artificial flavoring either. Montana Distillery’s vodka is made from all-natural, fresh ingredients, creating the most authentic flavor possible. The menu of specialty drinks will keep you busy for hours, but the one thing you have to try is a Bloody Mary. This customizable drink allows you to pick your vodka (I like pepper and bacon) to add to their homemade Bloody Mary mix, topped off with a variety of garnishes. This drink is aromatic, so flavorful and truly the perfect way to end a busy week.

Hoopfest Stereotypes

hoopfest
                                                                                                                            http://www.spokanehoopfest.net/

Every summer at the end of June, downtown Spokane is engulfed by basketball. Often bringing players and teams from across the United States, Spokane’s Hoopfest hosts the world’s largest outdoor 3 on 3 basketball tournament. Those who have experienced this one of a kind event will surely be able to relate to these stereotypes.

  1. The Dad “Coach”

Every bracket has that dad coach who is screaming obnoxiously at either his son or the court monitor. Often times the dad is more passionate about winning than the child.

giphy

2) The Family Division

Team of guys in the family division claiming they are blood related, however don’t look anything alike and are made up of completely different ethnicities.

are you sure.

3) The Manchild

There is always a couple dudes that either hit puberty at an incredibly early age or just don’t know how old they are. Often have more hair on their face than other kids have in their armpits, and opposing mothers always demand a birth certificate.

i don't believe you

4) Overly Involved Court Monitor

Not much needs to be said, here is video proof that court monitors are the real entertainment during Hoopfest weekend.

5) That One Mom

Just when you are making yourself comfortable in an already crowded downtown sidewalk, some mother moves her chair directly in front of you. Even worse, she starts to make a big scene screaming at the kid that fouled her son.

annoying mother

6) Backboard Survivors

These are the people who do not touch a basketball all year until Hoopfest. They realize how awful they are, however, find success by throwing the ball off the backboard.

terrible basketball

7) Street Fighters

The people who take Hoopfest way too seriously even though they are terrible at basketball.

street fighters

8) Party Hard Ballers

The team of true bros that go downtown and party hard the night before, only to wake up still drunk or too hungover for their a.m game.hangover

 

9) Unathletic family member

The family member that hates sports but is always forced to watch Hoopfest. Often found feasting on kettle corn and snow cones.

giphy (5)

10) Hoop Til I Die

Last, but not least the old guys that are still convinced they got game.

They can't do what I do

 

Please share, and post any other stereotypes in the comments below.

Home

Zoo Town Brew Fest Lineup

MSO Brewfest
If you live in Missoula, and enjoy drinking beer, then I am sure that you are fully aware of what has happened in the last 10 years, but first, go back in time to 1986. At this time, Missoula Brewing had been out of business for over 20 years, and Americanized pilsners like Ranier dominated the market. In 1987, German brewmaster Jürgen Knö¨ller opened up Bayern Brewing, and the local craft beer industry had once again been established in Missoula. Five years after Bayern’s opening, Jürgen and a few other local business owners started an annual tradition that still holds today. The annual Garden City Brewfest had begun, and craft brew lovers have flocked to Caras Park in downtown Missoula for the event ever since.

Now, look back to just ten years ago. Believe it or not, there were only three breweries in Missoula. In the past 10 years, the love for craft beer has blown up to ridiculous proportions, and the greater Missoula area is soon to be home to over 10 breweries!

When you live in a city like Missoula, which is in a state that takes 2nd in the nation for breweries per capita, one brewfest is simply not enough. The first brewfest of 2016 was the Winter Brewfest, which was on February, 19th but there are still five more to come!

Remember, drink responsibly!

Backcountry-Hunters-Anglers

April 1st

Backcountry Brewfest

Caras Park

 

PigSeal

April 16th

Bacon & Brew Fest

Caras Park

 

GCBF-Logo

May 7th

Garden City Brewfest

Caras Park

 

mav-logo

September TBA

Mavericks Brewfest

Caras Park

 

1085_665_brewed_from_the_ground_up1_300x272_jpg

October TBA

MBA Fall Fest

Caras Park

5 St. Patrick’s Day Snacks That Will Leave You Feeling Lucky!

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner! The day of green beer, good luck, and everyone is Irish! I am going to help you make your St. Patrick’s day a little tastier with these fun, festive, and delicious treats.

Disclaimer: these are what the treats REALLY look like. I’m not a professional Pinterester so they may not be perfect, but that gives you a good idea of what they will realistically look like!

 

ONE: Little Lucky Bars (gluten & dairy free option)

Just like your traditional Rice Krispies Treats but with Lucky Charms.

IMG_2288What you will need:
– 8 cups of Lucky Charms
– 1 bag of mini marshmallows
– 1 tsp. of vanilla (optional – I like to add it)
– 3 tbs. of butter (I use vegan to avoid dairy)
– Green food coloring

 
Instructions:
1. Melt butter in large sized pot on stove
2. Add full bag of marshmallows to IMG_2304melted butter. Continue to stir         consistently to avoid burning the marshmallows until fully melted.
3. Add vanilla and about 5 drops of green food coloring and mix evenly.
4. Remove marshmallow mixture from heat and mix in 8 cups of Lucky Charms.
5. Once cereal is mixed in pour the mixture into a grease 8×12 inch cake pan and press down the top lightly until flat.
6. Let the mixture cool, then cut and serve!

TWO: Luck of the Irish Mix! (gluten-free) 

Have you had Puppy Chow or Muddy Buddies? Make those ordinary treats a little more lucky with this Luck of the Irish Mix recipe!

IMG_2287What you will need:
– 1 bag of white chocolate chips
– 8 cups Chex cereal
– ½ cup peanut butter
– 1 tsp. of vanilla
– ¼ cup of butter
– 1 ½ cups of powdered sugar
– Green candies – I chose mint M&M’s
– Green food coloring

 

 

Instructions:
1. Combine chocolate chips, butter, and peanut butter in a medium microwavable bowl.IMG_2303
2. Microwave to melt the contents, stirring frequently to avoid burning mixture.
3. Add green food coloring and vanilla
4. Place Chex cereal in a large bowl and add melted mixture.
5. Stir thoroughly to make sure all pieces are coated
6. Add powdered sugar and mix well. This works best if you have a lid for your bowl so you can shake it.
7. Let the mixture cool.
8. Add sprinkles, M&M, Lucky Charms, or any other green candies!

THREE:  Irish Jell-O Shots (for the adults)

It’s not St. Patrick’s day without at least a little bit of alcohol. You can solve that problem with these Jell-O shots that are the colors of Ireland’s flag.

What you will need:IMG_2290
– 1 box of orange Jell-O
– 1 box of lime Jell-O
– 4 packets of unflavored gelatin
– 7 oz of sweet and condensed milk
– 1 1/2 cups Vodka of your choice
– Whipped cream (optional)
– Plastic cups to make your Jell-O shots in. I like to use the cups with lids for easier storing.

 

Instructions:
1. Start with the box of lime Jell-O. Combine 1 cup of boiling water with contents of Jell-O packet. Stir until dissolvedIMG_2306.
2. Add ¾ cup of vodka and ¼ cup of cooled water
3. Fill 1/3 of shot glass with green Jell-O.
4. Place in fridge to set.
5. Combine contents of four packets of unflavored gelatin with 1 cup of boiling water, mix until dissolved.
6. Add 7oz of sweet and condensed milk to unflavored gelatin mixture.
7. Fill the next 1/3 of your shot glass.
8. Place in fridge to set.
9. Finally, with your box of orange Jell-O, combine 1 cup of boiling water with contents of Jell-O packet. Stir until dissolved
10. Add ¾ cup of vodka and ¼ cup of cooled water
11. Fill 1/3 of shot glass with green Jell-O.
12. Place in fridge to set.

FOUR: Leprechaun Hats – my personal favorite!

Every little leprechaun will love these special treats! Perfect for making with the kiddos.

IMG_2283

What you will need:
– 1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
– Circular cookies of your choice
– 1 bag of marshmallows
– Green frosting
– Yellow sprinkles

 

 

Instructions:IMG_2305
1. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave. Stirring every 30 seconds to avoid burning the chocolate.
2. Coat the cookies and marshmallows with semi-sweet chocolate chips.
3. Add a little extra drop of chocolate to the bottom of the marshmallow and stick on the center of the cookie.
4. Put in the fridge to set.
5. Use frosting to add a band where the marshmallow and cookie meet.
6. Use yellow sprinkles to make a buckle.
7. Ready to serve!

FIVE: Shamrock on a Stick  

Mix sweet and salty to create these decorative treats!

IMG_2284What you will need:
– 1 bag of white chocolate chips
– Pretzels
– Lollipop sticks
– Green food coloring
– Green sprinkles

 

 

 

Instructions:
1. Melt chocolate chips in the IMG_2313microwave. Stirring every 30 seconds to avoid burning the chocolate.
2. Add green food coloring to the chocolate.
3. Dip pretzels into the chocolate and set on greased baking sheet in groups of three to form a shamrock.
4. Place the lollipop stick in the center of the pretzels and add a small amount of extra chocolate
5. Add sprinkles if desired.
6. Let the shamrocks dry and then serve!

Enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day treats! There’s a recipe for everyone!

This blog was written by Anne Hagerty. 

Top 5 Things You Miss About Home

College is great, don’t get me wrong, you have freedom to do as you please but you take for granted the little things from home. As a senior in college there are definitely a bunch of things that I miss about being home and you really learn to appreciate all the things your parents did for you!

5. Your Pets

pugYour dog is just something you can’t take with you to school. Sometimes you might miss your pet more than some family members (shhh.) It’s like leaving your best friend behind and you’re not able to talk to them at all! Your mom lets you “facetime” the dog, but come on, that dog has no idea what’s going on.

4. LAUNDRY

laundry

I absolutely despise doing laundry. I’ll put it off for as long as humanly possible and there are clothes all over my floor. Being home your parents will just throw it in for you and you have no worries about it. (side note: laundry detergent isn’t free and we have much more important things to buy!)

 

3. Home Cooked Meals

food

Being someone who, frankly, sucks at cooking, one of the biggest things you miss is mom’s cooking and dad’s barbecuing. After a while you just get tired of ramen noodles and Taco Bell (crazy concept right?) and you just want a substantial meal. Not to mention, mom isn’t going to make you pay her for the meal, thanks mom!

 

2. Your High School Friends

friends

Chances are, if you don’t go to school with a bunch of your high school friends you’re going to drift apart. Everyone gets busy with either school or starting their careers and everyone seems to go different ways. You reminisce about fun and crazy times you had with the people you grew up with!

 

  1. Your Family

family

No matter how old you are you always miss your mom and dad when you leave home! It doesn’t get easier leaving and you’re always counting the days til the next time you get to see them. They’re your main supporters and have helped you throughout your whole life so it’s scary when you get out into the world by yourself! You might not admit it, but you even miss your annoying siblings! Leaving home really makes you appreciate the time spent with your family, so to my family: thank you for everything!

 

Post by Shane Monsen, Senior at the University of Montana.