April 23, 2013

Veggie Burrito from Taco del Sol

■■■■□ 4.0 / 5 “Simple burritos at their best”

When I moved to Missoula in 2002, Taco del Sol was the place to get your mission-style burritos. People went nuts over that place! With lines constantly running out the door, you’d think you were getting soup from the Soup Nazi.

Burrito and ginger ale Bite Nachos

I remember eating a burrito from Taco del Sol in Missoula for the first time, peeling away the bits of tinfoil like a total noob and thinking “why the heck are these people so excited to eat burritos?”

As I started to better understand Montanans and the local culture, I realized that people loved the option to eat at a local company that rolls entire healthy meals into affordable ($5-6) burritos. These burritos are packed full of fresh veggies, protein, and fiber.

It turns out the Bozeman location isn’t all that different. Shortly after arriving, a wave of people showed up behind us until the line reached the door. A chalkboard menu is hung above the ordering counter displaying a short list of burrito, taco, nacho, and kids meal options. I’ll tell you right now that if you’re looking for the world cuisine fusion that you might find in the burritos at La Parilla, then you’ll be disappointed. However, if you’re looking for a classic mission-style burrito like I enjoyed, then you’ll be plenty satisfied. With fresh food like that, it’s hard to go wrong.

If you asked what makes Taco del Sol unique, I’d have to say that it’s probably the simplicity of the restaurant. With a handful of food offerings combined with a clean interior and extra-friendly service, they’ve got the recipe for something quite rare in the area: a quick, filling, affordable meal in downtown Bozeman.

Reviewed by Craig Dugas

Address: 17 S. Tracy Ave., Bozeman, MT 59715
Web: http://www.facebook.com/tacodelsolbozeman
Phone: 406-404-1350

April 18, 2013

Burger and Fresh Chips from Heap Burger

■■■■□ 4.0 / 5 “Best food bus in town!”

Meet Heap Burger: the food bus. The more I think about it, the more I believe the food bus is just a natural successor to the space-limited food trucks that have been so popular these past few years. Pretty soon, we’ll probably be sitting down for a 5-course dinner in one of those double-decker buses they fancy over in England. Not yet, though… not yet.

If you’ve headed towards the Bridgers on North Rouse recently, chances are you’ve seen the giant red bus that’s serving up some of the top burgers in the Gallatin Valley. The menu is tight with 6 burgers, Heap nachos, a daily special, and a kids menu for the young-ins.

The Heap Burger Food BusA Heap Burger

I know the burger photo above isn’t great, but that’s just how a foil-wrapped takeout burger looks after unwrapping. I don’t think I’d change how they package it though, because when we finally sat down to eat the burgers about 10 minutes after receiving our food, it was still pleasantly hot.

The burger I had (which was pretty darn good) was the specialty of the day, which included Mountina cheese (local to Montana), bacon, caramelized onions, and a couple apple slices. You don’t see a burger like that around these parts often. The rest of the burgers range from classics to gourmet to the crème de la crème, the Heapin’ Heap. You should probably check out their Facebook page to see the Heapin’ Heap burger for yourself, topped with 2 x patties, 2 x mushrooms, 2 x bacon, 2 x caramelized onions, french fries, lettuce, with 2 grilled cheese sandwiches as BUNS! It’s a menu item like that which makes me think Guy Fieri will be stopping by Heap Burger on his next road trip.

Reviewed by Craig Dugas

Address: when we visited, it was parked on the east side of North Rouse just past the interstate underpass.
Web: http://www.facebook.com/heapburger
Phone: 406-589-1009

April 12, 2013

Gang Panaeng Curry at Rice Fine Thai Cuisine


■■■■□ 3.8 / 5 “Great curry, so-so tofu”

Even before I offered my thoughts on the Gang Panaeng curry at Rice, my friend mused, “you must have liked it, you practically licked the plate clean!”

My first impression of the curry was its great presentation. The brightness of the red-orange sauce, the swirls of coconut milk surrounding triangles of tofu and the decorative sprinkling of kaffir lime leaves all contributed to the curry’s appetizing appearance.

As far as taste was concerned, appearances were not deceiving. The sauce was rich and flavorful with a spicy kick. It wasn’t over-poweringly spicy, but still enough to be glad for the glass of cold water.

Other Asian restaurants in town seem to have the upper hand when it comes to the tofu. Rice’s tofu had a lower-quality taste, much like the cheaper variety you can buy at the grocery store. The powerful taste of the curry masked this problem slightly, but even so, I will probably order from one of the other available protein options (chicken, pork or beef) next time.

With a large side of steamed white rice, the portions were about right. The Gang Panaeng was $14.

Reviewed by Eric Barnes

Address: 140 East Main Street, Bozeman, MT 59715
Website: https://www.facebook.com/ricethaicuisine
Phone: 406-404-1196