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

December 6, 2012

Pho at Pho Real


■■■■□ 4/5 “It’s the Subway of Pho”

Good news! If you’re like me and have been waiting for a phở restaurant in Bozeman for years, the wait is finally over. The restaurant Pho Real recently opened up shop downtown on Main (located where the Homepage Cafe used to be).

Even for the small size, the pho is served in a huge bowl, filled with steaming hot rice noodles. (A large would almost be two meals.) You can choose the type of broth, protein, and toppings, making it a streamlined process very reminiscent of Subway. The taste is good and you can’t beat the price: $5.95 for the small bowl (the small bowl is now $7.95, but it’s still worth it!).

Reviewed by Eric Barnes

May 20, 2011

Sushi at Seven, Part II


■■■■ 5/5 “Best Sushi in Bozeman”

We’ve been to Seven Sushi quite a few times, as the mere number of photos above can attest. It’s a bold (and I’m sure debatable) statement, but Seven has the best sushi in Bozeman. While this claim is certainly based on personal opinion, it is also backed by continuous experiences of friendly service, a modern and comfortable dining area, beautiful sushi presentation, fresh ingredients and out-of-this-world taste.

While I won’t go through all of the rolls shown in the photos, I will mention a few highlights. South by Southwest is a flash fried roll containing yellowtail and jalapeños. It’s not too spicy, but bursting with flavor. If you want something spicier, The Hammer is a good choice. It’s served with a spicy chili sauce and jalapeños on top. The Dancing Eel is another favorite: shrimp tempura with cream cheese topped with eel and avocado. It’s drizzled in a sweet-and-salty eel sauce. The Hosomaki provide simpler (and surprisingly just as tasty) thin rolls of fish and vegetable. Seven also provides a great deal of other options, including a must-try miso soup.

I could go on, but really, if you haven’t tried Seven Sushi yet, you should definitely check it out.

Reviewed by Eric Barnes

May 17, 2011

Sushi at Seven


  4.6/5 “A great addition to Bozeman’s sushi offerings!”

Taste of Bozeman welcomes it’s second “official” sushi restaurant to town, Seven. We’ve told you about Dave’s Sushi before, but Seven has a much different feel to it, and a great selection of sushi.

Seven feels a bit classier than Dave’s Sushi, and offers a decent variety of options at standard Montana sushi prices. To test the waters, I ordered a simple nori roll and a specialty roll, the Ziggy Stardust.

While the nori roll was average (very average, actually), the specialty roll was over-the-top delicious. The Ziggy Stardust was coated in coconut flakes, lightly fried, and drizzled with a sweet soy sauce. It did not require soy sauce or wasabi, and was one of the best rolls I’ve eaten in Bozeman. Oh, and they also put cucumber slices in the ice water… just thought I would mention that :-)

Web site: http://www.7sushibozeman.com
Menu: http://7sushibozeman.com/menu.pdf

Reviewed by Craig Dugas.

Don’t forget, you can get sushi at a few other restaurants in town, such as Watanabe on West Main, I-Ho’s Korean Restaurant near the university or Louie’s Down Under on East Main Street.


May 9, 2011

Chicken Shish Tawook at the Chickpea Café


■■■■□ 4.5/5 “It’s Mediterranean Soul Food”

A friend had this to say about Chickpea Café: “it’s Mediterranean soul food.” In particular, he had nothing but praises for the Chicken Shish Tawook. Having so highly recommended it, I was excited to try it for myself. The Chicken Shish Tawook Plate is marinated chicken sautéed with onions and green peppers, which comes with rice and a small chopped salad on the side for just under $10. (There is also a sandwich version, which I’m curious to try as well.)

The marinated chicken pieces were crisp and flavorful. I’m tempted to compare it to teriyaki, being both slightly sweet and salty, but the flavor is actually more complex. Although the menu doesn’t divulge the marinade’s exact ingredients, it is typically made of yogurt, tomato purée, garlic and a variety of spices. Combine that with the onions and green peppers, and you have delectable awesomeness.

The meat was complimented nicely by the “timmen and kishmish”—rice and onion/raisin toppings as well as the chopped salad made of lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes drenched in a vinegar-based dressing.

The meal is a little heavy for lunch, but would make for a great dinner.

As an aside, their hummus is also very good. I’ll be back for more Mediterranean soul food soon.

Reviewed by Eric Barnes

February 17, 2011

Seitan BBQ at Starky’s Authentic Americana


Reviewed by Craig Dugas.

■■■ 5/5 “Impressive!”

Seitan, pronounced say-tan, is a combination of high protein wheat gluten, liquid and seasonings… it’s not something that is easily found in Montana. In fact, I can’t name a single location in Bozeman, Montana that I’ve ever seen serving a seitan-based meal. Regardless, when Starky’s posted Seitan BBQ as their special on Vegetarian Night (a night where the special is dedicated to a vegetarian dish created by their in-house chef talent), my interest was captured.

I’ve had seitan quite a few times, but this was hands-down one of the (if not the) best prepared I’ve ever had. It was perfectly tender, well-seasoned and slightly charred. Served with a side of collard greens and a side of mashed potatoes, the meal was rounded out well.

Presention was nice, but in the end, taste is king, and this dish had it. I hope to see this and similar items available at Starky’s Authentic Americana in the future.

November 9, 2010

Bozeman Community Food Co-op – Re-visited


Reviewed by Craig Dugas.

■■■■ 4.5/5 “Best tofu in town.”

Eighteen months ago the Taste of Bozeman posted a review of a made-to-order sandwich from the Bozeman Community Food Co-op. As promised, we re-visited our local co-op 18 months later. And, well, here’s what we found out.

It turns out that ordering from the co-op takes a bit of practice, or at least a bit of instruction. When ordering the previously reviewed roast beef and Havarti on Ezekiel bread, I expected a hearty sandwich, packed with veggies. The sandwich I received had an average amount of meat and was very, very light on the veggies. To say the least, it was not satisfactory. Fast forward 18 months.

To truly appreciate the co-op, the last thing you want to do is order a sandwich you can get at any old deli. Leave the roast beefs to the New York delis, and order something a bit more adventurous. Try ordering the baked, seasoned tofu on Ciabatta, topped with carrots on a hummus spread. Although the chincy leaf of lettuce I received a year and a half ago still seems underwhelming, this time they did it right. Fresh veggies piled up and pressed back down when they firmly applied the top slice of bread. Whew!

But wait… there’s more! Their daily-made soups, self-serve salad bar, and behind-the-counter salad bar are not only fantastic, but are also accommodating to anyone’s simple or complex dietary desires.

Plus, most of the people that work there are really friendly!

I’m glad to have given the Bozeman Food Co-op another try, and suggest you stop by and try it out for yourself. Or maybe you already have. Share your experiences at the Bozeman Community Food Co-op in the comments below.
October 4, 2010

Chicken Man-Du-Guk at I-Ho’s


Rating: ■■■■□ 4.5 / 5 “Don’t wear white while eating this soup :)

The Chicken Man-Du-Guk at I-Ho’s Korean Grill could be called the Kitchen Sink Soup—it has it all! 

It is served in a huge steaming bowl, loaded with vegetables: bean sprouts, zucchini, carrots, onion, cabbage, scallions and sweet potato noodles. The broth is made of oxtail with the addition of red pepper powder to give it spiciness. The best part of the soup is the “man-du”. These large, Asian-style dumplings are, according to the menu, handmade with a chicken-based filling. Coated with the red soup, they are delicious.

All of this comes with a side of steamed white rice. Unfortunately this soup is expensive: $13, but it’s certainly makes a healthy and hearty meal. 

정말 맛있어요! ;)
September 12, 2010

BBQ at the Horny Moose

Update: The Horny Moose has since gone out of business.

Rating: □ 4.0 / 5 ”This is a review of pulled meat at the Horny Moose. Let’s keep it professional :)

Aside from the giant wooden moose that greets you at the door and friendly atmosphere at this Downtown Bozeman establishment, what makes a meal at the Horny Moose so special? Well, Horny Moose smokehouse master Tom Geer would claim that smoking the meat for wicked long hours over Minnesota apple wood and hickory makes all the difference in the world. Apparently, local BBQ competition (Bar 3, Famous Dave’s) primarily use propane and propane accessories to put the heat to the meat.

As far as the food goes, it was enjoyable. BBQ is prepared with your choice of house-made sauce, the original sauce having a very bourbon-y hint to it. The pulled pork was satisfying, but the pulled chicken was fantastic – quite moist and full of smoky aroma. 

The side of fries was great, although I found the dispersement of seasoning a bit rushed. Some areas were dense with salt, and others were unseasoned, requiring the eater to carefully choose bites. Although they weren’t bad, the onion rings were pretty stock-standard (if you want the best onion rings in town – go a few blocks west to Ted’s Montana Grill). This reviewer still prefer’s Bar 3 for pulled pork, but give the Horny Moose a try, it’s a nice addition to the Bozeman eatery options.