Missoula Montana anyone?

I decided I needed a trip to the big city, so I packed up my car and drove down past the Mission Mountains to Missoula, home of the U of M Grizzlies. And a potful of cafes I have heard of and never been to so I decided to remedy that. I started with the Double Front Cafe, their roasted chicken is something a Montanan hears about when people talk about Missoula. Very nice lady had me seated and served me a cold locally brewed hazy IPA in a heartbeat. They roast every chicken (or half chicken) individually so it takes nearly 30 minutes to get served your meal. So I had that IPA and then the Goose IPA which was a nice bonus. Good thing my AirBNB was walking distance away…
The chicken was served piping hot, burn your fingers if you are not careful, straight out of the oven hot. Moist and delicious, crispy skin, perhaps even better than the Two Lemons Chicken I prepared last week. Well worth coming back for. I had it served with fried mushrooms which were pretty darned good too. Plus they served it with some dill pickle chips that were a kind of a nice bonus.
If you are in the area, it is a nice locals joint with rather good food.

Since Double Front is on Alder Street, i will post a picture of the Black Alder between my room and the Clark Fork River.

I can not believe i drove past the Missions without taking a picture. They are beautiful this time of year! Here are the nearby Swans last week.


Now I want to go to Missoula just for that chicken!! It looks incredible! Well worth a 30-minute wait.

1 Like

It really is! I enjoyed both the food and the atmosphere there. It is slow food in a good way.
I also visited Notorious P.I.G. for an early lunch of BBQ today, half slab of pork ribs, plus small portions of pulled pork and burnt ends. I ended the meal satiated and profoundly disillusioned. Disappointed? Something sad.
I ordered at 11:10am which violated one of my BBQ rules right off the bat. I usually do not order bbq until the place has been open 30 minutes and never visit less than 2 hours before they close. YMMV.
Anyway, i got my iced tea and the ribs arrived at my table when i did. That always worries me. But the ribs were pretty good, house sauce was good on the pulled pork but the burnt ends were the meaty, fatty type not the tough cartilagy crispy type i remember from years ago in Southern Maryland or Virginia. The last place i got good burnt ends was at the Pit Stop at Gilberts Corner in NoVA.
But it was a good meal and when i got the to-go container the pit guy and the waitress asked me how it was and i told them truthfully that the ribs were good, plus both the deviled potato salad and bbq beans were really good. Then i mentioned that i missed the old type of burnt ends that were cut off the rack and were crusty and crunchy. They looked at me like i was a bit loosely wrapped and said, " We throw those away."
That made me sad.
Funny now but at the time i was,
“You… Throw them away?”

Somehow this view made me think of John Ford Westerns.

I reversed it to make the apparent motion go left to right.


Where are you based? I was super impressed with Fleur bakery in Whitefish when I passed through on my way to Glacier NP last summer.


Thanks for the heads up! Fleur is just a couple blocks from my breakfast place, Loula’s. I will give it a try next time i am up there. What were your favorite items?
I live near Flathead Lake, about 30 minutes south of Whitefish.


Those are the kinds of burnt ends I prefer, although I’ll happily chew on the crispy cartilage, too. Different strokes for different folks, I guess!


Most BBQ places don’t throw anything out. Trimmed fat and every little bit of meat goes into the beans. Waste not want not.


Burnt ends are a BBQ thing that I did not grow up with and never fully understood. My first experiences with pork BBQ were at Johnny Boy’s and Randy’s in Southern Maryland. If you did not irritate the pit boss every once in a while he would ask if you wanted burnt ends with your order. Then they would just dump a couple in with your half slab. The wonder bread in wax paper plus your greens in a paper cup were stacked on top. I thought they were normal “extras” but I was just a bbq newby trying to look like I knew what I was ordering.
I last got them at Pit Stop but that must have been 10 or 12 years ago because I sold that car years ago.
I do miss the chewy little bites.

Miss Belle, that makes more sense than throwing them out! They would add a ton of flavor to the beans. And the whole “waste not, want not” might as well be written in stone for a cafe owner.


I didn’t grow up eating BBQ, either, but I did grow up gnawing cartilage and connective tissue. When I’m done with bones (of any sort), they look like they’ve been coughed up by an owl! Mrs. ricepad can’t stand to hear me crunching on cartilage.


That sounds familiar!

I miss Montana!
Glad I visited twice in 2018!


2018 isnt that long ago!
The western half is changing fast, which is both a good and bad thing, but mostly bad.
Eastern half is changing slower, but changing for the better, mostly.
Eastern Montana food choices in the 1970’s were abysmal. Now brewpubs and decent cafes are reasonably common.
I actually had a decent Italian Sub at Tagliere last year! In Montana!

Not sure what these guys were up to but “no good” probably covers it.


My cousin is heading to the Mint Bar in Opheim for a meet-up this month. :slightly_smiling_face:


I was at the Mint 2 years ago w most of my Mom’s side of the family. It was a Celebration of Life several months after the funeral so we were a rowdy crew, from the 9 year olds to the octogenarians.
Opheim is my ancestral hunting ground. So to speak. If throwing bails is considered hunting.


I’ve stopped there around half a dozen times.


I don’t remember what I had, just that it was excellent and I wished I’d gotten more for the road.