We don’t often retrace our path so when we do, it’s a bit like coming home. You know you have a few favorites you want to retry, and then you also want to make sure you experience a few new things.
Missoula on the surface, looked very similar to us. College town, nestled in the mountains with a cute downtown. A chat with a bartender painted a bit of a different picture. High homeless rate, meth usage on the rise and at the same time, an influx of higher end boutiques.
For our few visits to the downtown area, it was still a very comfortable town to walk around in. Our first stop was to Kettlehouse where I had a Brick and Mortar Porter. Still a unique and enjoyable brew! We also revisited Biga Pizza and we were happy to discover it is still a delicious pie.
We also hit a few new spots. The Oxford is a lovely dive bar serving local brews and has a separate counter restaurant dishing out low end bar food. Don’t get me wrong when I say low end however, the bacon burger hit the spot that day. Another stop was a recommendation by fellow travelers Horton’s Travels and we enjoyed a few pints at Great Burn Brewing.
Our dinner that night was at another fabulous dive bar that was recommended by the bartender at Great Burn. In the back of Charlie B’s, is a cash only creole place called The Dinosaur Cafe. While maybe it didn’t quite meet the NOLA experiences we’ve had, it was a nice, hot, and spicy meal.
Later in the week, we tried another brewery Draught Works and then ate at The Shack Cafe. Don’t let the slightly creepy, antique laden atmosphere scare you too far away from the Shack Cafe – the sandwiches we ordered ended up being spot on delicious.
Last time we were in Missoula, I saw on the map Lolo Hot Springs and it sounded like a neat place to check out. We ran out of time 3 years ago, instead visiting places like Philipsburg. This time, in the mood for a short mountain drive, we set the directions in google and took off. Google took us off the paved road and when it stated ‘You’ve arrived’, we were in the middle of nowhere, just after crossing a narrow bridge. It was a perfect spot to let Samantha let off a little energy and breathe in the fresh mountain air.
So that was our revisit to Missoula, and our brief stop back into one of our favorite states. Good to see the mountains, good to drink some great brews. Time to dive back into the PNW!