Our weekend in Missoula really didn’t start off as an adventure, but Missoula is such a cool town that a great long weekend just sort of evolved! Our reason for being in Missoula was 100% mundane – we were there to get an oil change on our car and a routine service inspection… not what you’d usually call an adventure! But since we were going to be driving 2 hours to get there, we decided to make a weekend of it, and we had so much fun that we’re already looking forward to going again.
Missoula, Montana is a college town which keeps it young at heart with all kinds of festivals happening almost weekly! There’s also a good range of shopping (for Montana anyways) and lots of interesting restaurants to go to. The downtown area is super walkable, so it’s fun to shop the main roads for fun finds. My favorite find of the trip was a place called The Silk Road (picture further down in the post) which is both a restaurant and a place to buy exotic spices, (we’ll talk more about this soon with recipes to come)!
There’s a nice area to walk along the river after dinner at your choice of downtown location, and you might even see some surfers practicing Montana style!
We celebrated with a belated anniversary dinner at Pearl Cafe which has distinctly classic French food with a little bit of modern flair! We both got filet mignons, one with a green peppercorn sauce, and the other with a port wine roquefort cheese sauce – served with classic frites (super thin and crispy french fries) and perfectly cooked asparagus. Both dishes were perfectly executed, and the sauces were beyond description!
When we went to the Silk Road, I ended up buying every single one of their handcrafted spice mixes. I’ve used a couple of them so far, and I’ve been blown away by each one! It’s definitely well out of my comfort range with Persian, Ethiopian, and Japanese spices, but it’s been super fun to experiment with a whole new flavor palate!
We went for brunch on Sunday at the restaurant Catalyst and everything we tasted was awesome!
I had the build your own omelet with sausage, caramelized onions, salsa and sour cream for a Mexican twist. For a side you can pick between their famous cheddar potato casserole or homefries. I picked the potato casserole, (because it’s famous and all) and while it was really good, the homefries that Tyler got with his meal were clearly the unsung hero!
My favorite place in Missoula is the Good Food Store (Montana’s version of Whole Foods) for 1 simple reason… their cheese counter is amazing! They have a broad selection of perfectly ripened French cheeses as well as cheeses from California and all over Europe. I always make sure I have some splurge money to take home a few wonderful cheeses!
If you’re not gluten free, they also carry a great selection of artisan breads from a local bakery to pair with your cheese! There is also a great selection of gluten free crackers that work well in substitution for bread, and I always get a few hundred grams of salami to round things out as well. They also have a kitchen menu, deli, and salad bar where you can stock up for picnics, camping, and road trips!
So… if you’re ever passing through Montana, Missoula is a wonderful place full of all kinds of things to do from outdoor adventure to festivals, to all kinds of eating adventures!