Best Burritos in Missoula

There are quite a few Mexican restaurants in Missoula, but which one has the best burritos in town? I am basing the choosing of the restaurants on that they must be local restaurants, I have burritos, they are not fast-food or a national chain, and I have been there. As of early February, 2020, there are 4 restaurants in Missoula that fall into all of those categories, so in no particular order they are: El Diablo, Fiesta En Jalisco, Taco Sano, and Taco Del Sol. All of these will be referenced as to the last time I was there and what I ordered. So, let’s just go in order as how they are above.

 

El Diablo – Last time I was there was about a month ago and I had ordered a carne asada burrito with white rice, black beans, hot salsa, lettuce, and some other vegetables on it. I remember the burrito its self being really good with being about 10 inches in size but the only caveat I had with it was the tortilla the burrito was wrapped in. The tortilla was warm but not necessarily cooked as in it was chewy and it really took away from the rest of the burrito. Overall it was really good but when the shell it’s surrounded in is bad, it really takes away from it all, 6/10.

 

Fiesta En Jalisco – I went to the restaurant on reserve around December and I remember getting there thinking it would be another Montana “Mexican” restaurant but in reality, it was far better than that. I had ordered an al pastor burrito (as finding those in Missoula are a rare find) and when it arrived, I was very excited. The burrito was the size of the plate length wise and served with rice and beans on the side (which were excellent and traditional in the sense that the beans were made with lard) but the burrito its self was very tasty and reminded me of a burrito you would get from a taco truck parked outside of Dodger Stadium. Definitely one of the better spots in Missoula for sure 9/10.

 

Taco Sano – Taco Sano is in a cool spot being on the hip strip across the way from the Roxy movie theater. I only bring up the location for Taco Sano because it is one of the big reasons as to why I go there so often in comparison to the other restaurants however, that’s all it really has going for it. The burrito I got when I was last there was their carnitas burrito with white rice, black beans, lettuce, jalapeños, onion, cheese, with sour cream, and their hot sauce ‘Glacial Melt’. They also serve tater tots which is cool and odd for a Mexican restaurant, but non-the-less the burrito while the first few bites were filled with wonderful carnitas, lettuce and beans the rest of the burrito was painful. The rice was cooked well but must have been older and left out (as in not heated properly) because when I made my way deeper into the burrito every bite made me scared as to whether or not I’d crack a tooth on the rice or not. So, for this reason they get a 4/10, because it was still a solid burrito.

 

Taco Del Sol – Taco Del Sol is another local spot that evoked another memory of being back home one that reminded me of being on the beach in San Diego. I walked into the store and there were surf boards hanging all over the ceiling and walls, the atmosphere in there was that of a bonfire in Moonlight bay, a fun environment with a chill vibe. This time however, instead of getting a custom burrito I got their shrimp burrito which had: shrimp, black beans, salsa, shredded cabbage, white sauce, their hottest salsa and jalapenos. I got it looking forward to a shrimp burrito because they’re like lizards, often found in the warmer regions and harder to find the more north you go. This shrimp burrito was by the far best I had with no complaints other than it being a longer drive across town than it should be, 8.5/10

In conclusion, my rankings for best burrito in Missoula goes as follows:

4. Taco Sano, 3. El Diablo, 2. Taco Del Sol, 1. Fiesta En Jalisco.

 

Now this is just my opinion and if you want to see which one truly is better, well there’s no better way than to try them out for yourself.

The Hipster Test

Effortless

Are you a Hipster?

 

 

Take this short questionnaire:

  1. Do you wish your dad or mom saved their clothes from the 60s/70s so you could wear them?
  2. Do you only listen to obscure bands and artists on vinyl?
  3. Do you visit a coffee shop more than three times a day?
  4. Do you wear the same brand of shoes you wore in 1996?
  5. Do you have any facial hair?
  6. Do you not shave your legs, but kind of wish you did?
  7. Do you wear a beanie?
  8. Have you eaten cauliflower or toast in the past 24 hours?
  9. Do you alternate ordering beer, cider and  kombucha?
  10. Does your 4-year-old have a half-shaved, half long-hair hair style?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, proceed.

The Art of the Aging Hipster

Too hip? Or too hip to care?

CHOICES:

 

Vans on. Vans off.

 

Where to shop.

 

  • Keep it local.
  • Bring your dog.
  • Drink a smoothie at the same time.
  • Where your sunglasses inside.
  • Reintroduce yourself to people you’ve met several times before.
  • Shop only at stores containing a woman’s name
  • Talk about how you only thrift these days.

 

Are you woke? (quiz forthcoming)

 

Always look behind you. Always hold the door open for everyone even if you have to stand there for a very long time. And always remember:

 

 

Lesson: Pronouns

 

As part of your email signature add any/all of the following:

 

she/hers

 

he/his

 

ze/zer

 

Pop Culture.

 

When in doubt, use the words you said when you were in 7th grade. If they aren’t in the vernacular at this moment, they might be next week.

Activity.

Spot the difference!

Have a suggestion for a question, photo or want to nominate a Hipster of the Year? I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

5 Missoula Bands On Their Way To Being Household Names

Pearl Jam

It’s no secret to those of us in Missoula that we have a music scene with the potential to launch bands to the next level. With local claims to fame in Pearl Jam, The Decemberists, and The Lil Smokies, who’s to know who the next act to burst out of the local scene will be? Not me, but I have my suspicions. So, below are my top 5 Missoula bands (in alphabetical order) that are making moves to become national names.

Author’s Note: There are so many amazing acts in Missoula, it’s impossible to give them all the recognition they deserve. These are my opinions and my opinions only, based solely on interactions with and what I know about each group or individual.

Chloe Gendrow

Chloe Gendrow – photo by Ryan Schmitz, collage by Kamilla Varga

While on a bit of a (much deserved) hiatus after graduating from the University of Montana, the release of full-length album 22 Below, extensive touring, and being featured on the lineup for Pilgrimage Music Festival with names like The Killers, Foo Fighters, and Keith Urban- Gendrow certainly holds promise for becoming a leading lady in pop music.

Getting an early start on her career while still in school, Gendrow was featured on Missoula to Memphis, an album put out by UM’s student record label Switchback Records and the Entertainment Management (UMEM) program. Her cover of Elvis’s “And I Love You So” and a live performance at a Switchback Records Showcase caught the ears of many friends and advisors of both the label and UMEM program that have proved to be helpful connections.

The Fertile Crescent

The Fertile Crescent – photo by Sara Diggins

The 7(ish) piece group that is The Fertile Crescent has had a big few months. In January they released their single “Onion Garden” on the same night that they filled The Top Hat to capacity. With LA-based management and connections to publicists in place, the band is already setting their sights onto bigger and better things.

The band has said to expect a full length album by summer, but what about larger Logjam Presents venues or a summer tour? This extremely driven group of students might just have the ambition and connections to do all that and more.

Letter B

Letter B – photo by Mikey Graef

With a full-length album and an EP under their belt and promises of new recorded music soon, Letter B has been carving a name for themselves in Missoula’s music scene for years, and it’s working. Not to mention that they’re touring machines- letting other cities know who they are, as well.

With multiple packed Top Hat shows, the band seems to have received more promotion from local giant Logjam Presents than a good amount of other local acts. With Logjam ranking in the top 100 promotors nationwide, this certainly doesn’t hurt. If my math is right, adding Letter B’s local power and continued heavy touring together could result in a major breakthrough for the band.

Norwell

Norwell

When listing popular Missoula bands or artists, Norwell may not be one of the first you’d think of. However, I dare you to make that same list without naming at least one other band that Norwell front man Brady Schwertfeger isn’t involved in. As Brady is a master of collaboration, a good amount of Norwell’s success is in working with other artists- including recording with Chloe Gendrow, Ira Wolf, and Maxy Dutcher.

Another local collaboration with UM’s Switchback Records placed Norwell and Ira’s cover of “I Hear A Symphony” in the hands of LA music professionals who chose to feature it on Falcon Music’s Motown Mixtape, on which the song has outperformed every other cut on the EP by tens of thousands of streams on Spotify.

TopHouse

TopHouse – photo via Logjam Presents

This folk trio has just recently moved from Missoula to Nashville and is doing the thing.

With gigs in the country music capital and dynamic content on their social media (think weekly podcast style vlogs and insane folk-stylized covers of songs like Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls” or Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive”) someone with the power to blow these guys up could at any moment.

Honorable Mention: Dead Phones & Dogs

Dead Phones & Dogs

While only halfway Missoula-based, this Missoula/Chicago band deserves to be recognized for all they’re doing to get their path started. Within less than two months of releasing their first self-titled EP, they’re racking up streams just shy of 10,000 on two of their songs on Spotify, largely due to strategic playlisting.

Not bad for a band with 1,300 miles in between the two members.

A blog post for Marketing Analytics at the University of Montana by Aeriel Martens. Do you agree with my choices? Why or why not? Find me and @ me if you need to. <3

Camping Without the Crowds

By: Breanna Harmer

Choosing the correct time of year is crucial.

Think a little outside of peak season when camping.

I’m personally a fan of mid-May and September.

Two Medicine, Glacier National Park in September

Consider backpacking. Yes, it is a bit more work but it is also 100% worth it.

Waking up to a backcountry sunrise is an unbeatable feeling.

I would highly recommend the Grand Tetons in August, especially if you’re a fan of wildflowers. It is still chilly so pack your warm gear!

Get your backcountry permit early! It is surprising how quickly these go and there are limited sites. If you’re unlucky and don’t get a permit you might be forced to find a different hike or abandon your backcountry plans altogether.

Check out apps like AllTrails

We went backpacking in the Mission Mountain Wilderness on the 4th of July and it was one of the best ideas we’ve had. There weren’t many people, the weather was perfect, and we were away from the National Park chaos.

Holidays like Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day are major camping holidays. Opt-out of the beer and think whiskey and backpacking. Look for trails that are more under the radar. There might be some like-minded people like you on the trail but far less then if you were to try to claim your stake on Seeley Lake or Flathead.

Be flexible! If a site seems too busy, don’t be afraid to look for a different one. Some of my favorite camping sites have been found after leaving a less exciting one behind.

Checking a map for a water source is a good way of finding a good site. Chances are that if it’s near a river or lake that it’ll come with a view as well.

Avoid geotagging on social media. If you like a site because there weren’t many people there, don’t expose it.

This might be controversial but I really do believe every little bit helps in preserving the things we love. It’s one thing to tell a few friends but if you have 1,000 followers on Instagram, you could possibly be telling around 1,000 people about this newfound gem. Mum’s the word

Don’t worry, he wasn’t caught. Just an expert fence climber!

I also think part of the joy of camping comes from discovering new spots on your own. It has become too easy to look everything up, it’ll mean more to you if you find it yourself.