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E AT D R I N K P L AY L I S T E N S H O P L I V E WO R K L E A R N
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One look, and you’ll see it. A rugged kind of beauty, overflowing with opportunity, that only a campus and a Montana setting like ours can deliver. Every day here brings the promise of a new challenge. It’s a boundless experience that will challenge and inspire in ways you simply won’t find anywhere else.
Moments of Friendship and Adventure Helena is a great place to explore and Carroll is a quick walk from miles of trails. I’ve built so many friendships on the trails and it’s nice to be able to get up in the hills without going too far out of town. After a hard test I like to go for a mountain bike ride or a trail run to decompress. — Baird Linke, class of 2017 “
Tell the student in your life to visit Carroll College and begin creating moments that last a lifetime.
CON T E N T S
THE LOCAL VOL . 3 | SPR ING 2019
5 . 6 .
WE L COM E Letter From The Editor
BROUGHT TO YOU BY:
A B O U T & CON T R I B U TO R S Learn More About The Local and the Contributors to the Project
9 . E AT 1 0 . MON TA N A WAGY U Feature: Stone Ranch
1 4 . E T H N I C E AT S 1 8 . F OOD T R U C K S 2 1 . D R I N K 2 2 . CO C K TA I L CO L UMN 2 3 . B R E W E R Y MA P 2 5 . D E S T I N AT I ON CO F F E E H O U S E Feature: 1889 Coffee House 2 7 . P L AY 2 8 . H OO K E D ON F LY F I S H I N G Feature: Last Chance Fly Gals
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Uniquely Downtown Distinctly Helena
4 | T H E L O C A L - H E L E N A Helena Business Improvement District | downtownhelena.com | Downtown Helena Inc.
Welcome When we began this project that has become The Local, we had no idea that it would take on a life of its own. We set out with a love of Helena and a desire to express that love with a handful of local storytellers. We simply wanted to help guide more people to our favorite spots and show them just how much Helena has to offer. We were tired of hearing the same ol’ “There’s nothing to do here.” or “There’s just not that much going on in Helena.” We respectfully (but adamantly) disagree. L E T T E R F R OM T H E E D I TO R
Inside Volume 3, you’ll find a more in-depth and hi- def image of Helena rather than a montage of brief snapshots. We wanted to go beyond the highlight reel and truly invest in telling the stories of our town in order to help our readers feel more personally connected to Helena’s people, places and businesses. That way, you’ll find your own reasons to get out and interact meaningfully with them. So, from our hard working hearts and hands to yours, we hope you enjoy the stories of Volume 3 and that these warmer months bring you splashes in the lake, huckleberries in the mountains, and homemade lemonade from the super excited kids down the street. Soak it all in, Helena style.
So, we hit the ground running and before we knew it, we had a team of amazing and talented contributors, great interest from local businesses and a wonderfully positive response from the community. Finally, we had something we were really proud of that we could share with visitors and new residents. Something that responded adequately to any doubts that may arise about how awesome Helena is. We’ve allowed ourselves to change and grow as a publication and though we’ve experienced our fair share of “Uh-Oh” moments we are driven more by the “Heck Yes” moments. So, you’ll notice a few shifts and changes with this new volume and we hope that you’ll choose to answer back on the “Heck Yes!” side of things.
CLAIRE LARSON Lead Writer & Copy Editor
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WH AT ' S N E W ? All Sections in Print
We are a team of local creatives who capture the essence of Helena, Montana, through stories, photographs, design, video and voice. We love this town and want to share the reasons why. As we dig deeper into the places and faces of Helena, we’re more and more astounded by the amount of passion and heart that drive this town. Every new story renews our inspiration and just when we think we can’t possibly love this place anymore, we do. We hope The Local will strengthen our community, illuminate the beautiful dedication of small businesses and cultivate a sense of pride for this incredible place. Our goal is to cultivate community, showcase small business, and share stories. We want to uplift our city and shine a light on the things that make this place an incredible place to live. We are independently owned and fueled by passion (and coffee and chocolate and sometimes beer). We strive to give back to our community in thoughtful ways, especially by supporting local creatives. If you’re a creative and interested in this project, please reach out to us. The Local believes in Helena. Your support allows us to harvest the creative talent within our community in order to strengthen small businesses, local artists, and all the little things that make Helena awesome. Our goal is to celebrate and promote local culture in a way that makes us proud to be a part of this community. This pride then impacts other locals, visitors, and people who’ve freshly relocated. n
Picking this up and flipping through it you might have realized it's a little heavier, a little thicker. That's because in this issue we've included ALL the sections in print AND digital. We're charging You might have noticed a small little price tag on the top right of the cover - that's right, we're charging for Volume 3 of The Local. Keeping up with the demand, the expenses of print, and trying to keep ad prices low, we've had to change some things up. We hope you see value in this project and we are excited to keep creating for you. Podcast We are excited to extend our articles and continue to help tell the stories of Helena through another avenue. Classes The Local is passionate about helping our small businesses succeed. That's why we're offering small biz classes on a variety of topics. Check the LEARN section for more information.
Contributors TO T H E LO C A L
CLAIRE LARSON // Lead Writer & Copy Editor
JASON O’NEIL // Lead Photographer
CASSIE PARR // Co-Creator & Promotions
ALLIE REYNOLDS // Co-Creator & Lead Designer
ANNA STRANGE // Advertising & Promotions
KATHY SMIDANSKY // Designer
BROOKE BOONE // Writer
KELSIE WATKINS // Writer
TIA WILKINS // Writer
JULIE BAUGHMAN // Writer
STACY MESSICK // Writer
SARA ANDERSON // Writer
BRIAN D'AMBROSIO // Writer
MEGAN CRANE // Writer
EMILY CLEWIS // Photographer
SKYE HATTEN // Photographer
JEREMY GOULD // Photographer
MARY ANN QUINN // Assistant Copy Editor
LIZZY ANDERSON // Social Media
CARLOS JOAQUIN PIMENTEL Graphic Design
JOSHUA JOHNSON // Videographer
DILLON JENKINS // Videographer
SAM ERICKSON // Videographer
COM E C R E AT E W I T H U S . Help us take The Local to the next level. We're seeking talented writers, photographers, videographers, and creators to help us with Vol. 4. Interested? Contact us! firstname.lastname@example.org
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P H OTO B Y : J A S ON O ’ N E I L
Pictured: Fiesta Mexicana
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Montana Wagyu PHOTOS by SKYE HATTEN | WRITING by CLAIRE LARSON
1 0 | T H E LO C A L - H E L E N A Pictured: Stone Ranch
S TON E R A N C H 715 Getchell St, Helena, MT
brief breakdown. Kobe beef refers to what most would consider the crème de la crème of beef. The standards are STRICT. Kobe cattle are of a purebred bloodline that has been maintained for centuries and exists exclusively in Japan. In order to be deemed true Kobe it must be bred in Japan and of the Hyogo prefecture. It’s kind of a big deal. People all over the world seek out the luxurious experience of savoring this top-shelf beef. The term ‘Wagyu’ has a bit of a wider range. Wagyu may refer to either pure Kobe beef that was produced outside the delegated area in Japan or it may denote cattle whose genes are crossbred including Kobe and Angus, like the cattle at Stone Ranch Montana Wagyu. In truth, the vast majority of all Wagyu in the United States is of crossbred genetics for numerous reasons. So how does all of this translate into taste, texture and flavor? Well, genetically speaking, Wagyu cattle store fat differently resulting in a uniquely consistent and exceptional marbling structure. And as Bill Galt, one of Stone Ranch’s main ranching partners claims, “The fat is what makes the meat taste good, period.” But it’s not only the genes that make Stone Ranch Wagyu stand out, it’s also the attention and care the animals receive. It’s the dedication to feeding them locally raised grains and grass and a commitment to keep the entire process in-state. This ensures quality control, a close connection to all involved and a fresh, exquisite product that truly represents Montana.
Every flight taken involves a measure of wonder. Maybe it’s catching a flight out of town, embarking on a long-awaited adventure or new chapter of life. Perhaps it’s an idea that has been brewing for years and - poof - suddenly a concept catches and takes flight. Maybe it’s a flight of wine with someone you love and you have the exquisite experience of slowing down and meandering through a deliberate journey of taste and nuance. You might observe color, notes, finish and feel of the wine as it lingers on your tongue. You’ll likely inquire about its origin and the story of how it came to be. This is the finest type of research. This is a trip out of the mundane and into the extraordinary. And it’s not just for wine lovers anymore. This game of mindfully tasting and comparing is catching on. In fact at ALX Gastropub, a highly regarded eatery in downtown San Francisco, you’ll find a flight of American Wagyu Steak and one of four in the lineup is our very own Stone Ranch Montana Wagyu. Jessie Lugo, ALX Executive Chef, was astounded by the quality of these cuts. “The ribeye is one of the best American Wagyu ribeyes I have seen,” she notes. And chances are she knows her steaks. The good news for Montanans is that we don’t need to catch a flight to experience the delight and awe of Stone Ranch Wagyu. They are situated right here in Helena and their partnering ranches are nearby. Local chefs have been extremely impressed and excited to work with such high-end proteins and several popular Helena restaurants are now offering Stone Ranch Montana Wagyu as specials or regular menu items. Lucky us. “We’ve had so much fun collaborating with chefs and restaurants all over the state. We really love that part of the business,” explains co-owner, Jennifer James. “We are privileged to have such a strong resort and tourism industry here which provides us with large batches of people who are looking to taste something really representative of Montana. But we’re finding that locals are very excited and eager to try Wagyu as well.” But really, what’s all the fuss about anyway? Kobe, Angus, Wagyu? Is there that big of a difference? Yes, as it turns out, there is. Here’s a
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Andrew Brosten, Executive Chef of Helena’s Wassweiler, was incredibly impressed when he first had the chance to work with Stone Ranch. “My initial impression of the product I received (prime NY strip) was that it was the best local protein I have worked with in Montana, bar none. The attention to detail of how the cattle were raised was evident in its consistent marbling structure, color of the outside fat cap, mouthfeel, and its sheer lusciousness. In essence, it is a totally unique and eloquent dining experience that is uncommon in our state. If someone is looking for the definition of what 'Montana Pride' is when sourcing beef, Stone Ranch exhibits it in spades.” The concept of a collaborative, farm-to-table business model appeals to owners Jennifer and Darryl James on many levels. In a way, collaboration and community is a part of their heritage and definitely a part of their identity as Montanans. The Stone family, of which Jennifer is a direct descendent, were key players in the initial homesteading and community building efforts of early Montana. “They truly understood that success requires a balance of fierce independence and determination coupled with group effort and the cooperation of a healthy, strong community. We absolutely honor that heritage and are very dedicated to keeping those principles intact. We didn’t just want a career in Montana agriculture. We wanted to create something that could benefit, sustain and inspire everyone involved,” Jennifer explains. So, if you ask Jennifer what a typical day looks like for her as an owner of Stone Ranch she’ll sort of chuckle and sigh at the same time. “Oh, man, it looks so different everyday.” She might be road tripping to Big Sky delivering samples of product to highly skilled chefs in exclusive establishments. Or maybe she’s working on packaging and shipping orders to customers all over the country. You might find her maintaining Stone Ranch’s incredible web and social media presence. But no matter how demanding the task at hand may be, the tone in her voice is filled with passion and pride for what her family and their partnering ranches have created. Together they’re fostering a new vision of what cattle ranching in Montana can look like. They’re breathing new life into an industry that has endured somewhat stagnant times in recent years.
Jennifer knows the cattle industry firsthand as she grew up on her family’s ranch in central Montana. “I watched my parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles carry on a tradition. They worked hard and tirelessly to put their wisdom and experience to use. They didn’t have the advantages and the market we have now. But I learned a lot about work ethic and family pride. And now I get to show my kids what it means to build something, to take ownership and pride in what you do.” Jennifer’s parents grew up in Judith Gap, Montana. Her dad grew up on a ranch and her mom’s family owned Haynes Mercantile, a small-town mercantile and butcher shop. Sometimes they tag along as Jennifer makes her rounds all over the state to meet with new and prospective clients. “We all love to get out and meet people. I think it’s exciting for my parents, especially. They’re both really active and social people and they’re having a lot of fun seeing this whole thing unfold. We’re just able to market and reach out to people in ways they never could have dreamed of,” Jennifer says. Has all this talk of steak piqued your appetite? Most chefs in town agree that when it comes to serving this caliber of meat, the flavors speak for themselves, but many are having a ball creating sauces, sides and finishes to compliment the unmatched flavor of Stone Ranch Wagyu. Here’s a list of spots in town that you will likely find Stone Ranch Montana Wagyu offered as either a special or regular menu item. It may take the form of steak, burger, meatloaf, carpaccio, summer sausage or perhaps even bratwurst. Green Meadow Country Club, On Broadway, Lucca’s, Wassweiler, The Hawthorn and Jackson Creek Bar and Grille. If you fancy yourself a chef and would prefer to do your own thing, you’ll find steaks at Super 1 Foods or can order directly from Stone Ranch’s website where Jennifer often comes up with really clever package deals to choose from. So, go. See for yourself. Upgrade your next dinner to first class and revel in the chance to experience a meal that encapsulates the magic and mystique of our wildly beautiful state. It’s about taste, yes, but it’s also about deep connection with Montana’s land and people. When you can have both in one bite, it’s a moment worth savoring and one you won’t likely forget. n
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wassweiler.com 4528 West Hwy 12 Helena, MT (406) 502-1303
Ethnic Eats PHOTOS by JASON O'NEIL & EMILY CLEWIS WRITING by CLAIRE LARSON It’s true. Helena, Montana, is pretty far north. We’re sometimes accused of being overly isolated and very insulated when it comes to diversity and culture. But, little by little, Helena is hearing the call for more and responding. We want to taste the world and embrace the unknown. We are ready to explore flavors beyond steak and potatoes (not that we don’t still love them). We long to hear stories and listen to music and witness art from afar in new and exciting ways. We don’t always want to have to jump on an airplane or drive for hours and hours to experience these things. Yay for us, it’s happening. And in some cases, we’re lucky enough to continue enjoying the treasured, authentic spots that have been pleasing local palettes for decades. So, yes, Helena is not Portland where you’re bound to find a hip new food truck on every corner on any night of the week. But, our food scene is growing, changing and expanding and locals are showing up in droves to support and sample the worldly flavors of our ethnic eateries old and new.
1 4 | T H E LO C A L - H E L E N A Pictured: Mediterranean Grill
M E D I T E R R A N E A N G R I L L 42 S Park Ave, Helena, MT The Mediterranean Grill is owned and orchestrated by Ersun Ozer, who grew up in a small town in Turkey and has been cooking all his life. The “Med” as locals call it, opened in 2004 and offers a refreshingly diverse menu featuring French, Italian, Spanish, Greek, Moroccan, Turkish and Northern African dishes. Ersun admits he was a little culture shocked when he first came to Helena. “Everyone was driving around in these dirty, rickety pickup trucks with their gun racks and it was cold and there was dirty snow all around and I thought to myself, ‘What have I done?’ But then it grew on me and now I’ve raised my family and they’re raising their families in a town the same size as the one I grew up in in Turkey. We love Helena and are very proud to be living here now.” The dining room is spacious and elegant while remaining cozy all the same. Some of the facades were inherited but the murals themselves were painted over many late nights by Ersun, his son and a local art teacher. The result is a colorful, eclectic collection of scenes and images that seek to transport guests to an ancient courtyard or sweeping Mediterranean countryside. During the warm months, you’ll find a patio that is tough to beat. Dining in the golden summer sun on Park Avenue creates a vivid and sensual experience that is unforgettable. The Med Grill focuses on fresh, high quality, intensely flavorful food. “Every single dish is prepared according to authenticity, with so many different countries and spices involved you can be very creative.” As far as suggested dishes go, Ersun recommends any of the kabobs which are meticulously trimmed, marinated, grilled and drizzled with high quality olive oil. The flavors just sing. Also the salmon salad, tiramisu and any of the spreads or dips.
If you love wine, you’ll be happy here. The Med Grill wine list has been recognized by Wine Spectator for eight years in a row. We can’t even tell you how great it is. All we can do is tell you to go there and see for yourself. Don’t be shy about asking questions about some of the less familiar old world style wines. You can thank us later. E L VAQ U E R O TAQ U E R I A 1338 11th Ave, Helena, MT Another husband and wife duo, Adam and Erika Mendez, along with one other employee operate this booming business much to the delight of local Helenans (and visitors who are lucky enough to know about it.) Here is what you need to know: It is tiny. It is takeout only (there are a few outdoor tables.) It is busy. They are only open on weekdays. Yes, it’s THAT good. Adam grew up in the restaurant business and was taught many of his secrets by his godfather who was from Guadalajara. Meanwhile in Mexico City, Erika was learning the art of cooking and restaurant flow from her mother who owned a restaurant there. The pair met and moved to Montana where Adam worked at a retirement community for nine solid years. “In raising our family here, we decided we really wanted to own something of our own and put our cooking and restaurant experience to use,” Erika Explains Specials rotate daily and depend on seasonal availability, weather, and the chef’s mood. “It can be a challenge to find some of our specialty ingredients here so if we’re lucky enough to have tripe, we’ll be offering Menudo. If it’s a very hot day, we’ll be serving Ceviche. If it’s super cold, maybe Pozole that day.” Adam arrives around 4:30-5:00 a.m. each morning and cooks everything fresh every day. “It’s very
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important to us to be hands on with everything. If you are the cook and the owner, you care a lot. You want to get it right every time,” Erika states. This is a part of what really makes El Vaquero standout. It is evident that their quality control is unwaveringly sharp. It’s not just another burrito where someone has gone through the motions and slapped it together. Nope, it’s something else entirely. Something you’ll want to taste for yourself. TO I ’ S T H A I 423 N Last Chance Gulch, Helena, MT Toi’s is another booming little business in downtown Helena where a torch has just recently been passed. The original owner, Toi, opened the restaurant in 1996 and spent countless hours in the snug kitchen on Last Chance Gulch sharing her traditional dishes with the community. When at last her hands grew tired she masterfully mentored two of her young cooks, Sam Collins and Dylan McCarter, who eventually became the new owners. Both are very closely connected to all things Toi. The pair carefully studied under Toi, took a month long trip to Thailand to experience the culture and food firsthand, and ultimately fell in love with the art and tradition of Thai cooking. “I remember my brother getting home from work [at Toi’s] pretty late and climbing into his bunk. He always smelled like spring rolls and I remember eating a lot of those growing up. It was kind of one of the perks of the job,” Sam recalls. He also mentioned he has been celebrating his birthday at Toi’s since the age of eight. When Sam speaks about what Toi’s means to him he is filled with gratitude. Not only for what it means to him, personally, to work in something he is so passionate about but also for what it means to the community. “We are very close with our regulars and love to meet new people, too. We work hard to be real with anyone who comes in. We want to level with people and just serve them really good food and we want to have fun doing it. That’s pretty
much what it’s all about for us,” says Sam.
Dylan takes great pride in what Toi’s has to offer and it has truly helped shape him as a person. He’s a quiet guy and carrying on this legacy has provided him a new type of expression. He speaks through flavor and delights in culinary creation. Toi’s Thai has instilled in Dylan a deep sense of pride and direction and he has come to understand that executing the perfect Thai dish is nothing to scoff at. The ambiance at Toi’s is vibrant, laid back and cozy. The music of Thailand plays gently in the background right in tune with the simmer of sauces and the subtle ting and clang of sauteing spatulas. The service is downright human, which can be so refreshing. All who work here are incredibly proud to be a part of Toi’s legacy and they will eagerly share their favorites, encourage you to be a bit adventurous and will level with you. They are most interested in whether or not you feel at home here and whether or not you love your food. They are not going to chat you up or flatter you to death, mostly because they just don’t need to. The food speaks for itself. Suggestions: Thai Iced Tea, Padd Thai, Panang Curry (in truth all of the curries are so good), Tom Kha Gai Soup or Dylan’s stellar variation of the Tom Kha Gai. F I E S TA M E X I C A N A 3425 US-12 E, Helena, MT “EAT TACOS, BE HAPPY”. This is Fiesta Mexicana’s cover photo on their Facebook page and it pretty much sums up what they’re all about - good, authentic, Mexican cuisine, fun drink specials and quick, friendly service. Fiesta Mexicana has been serving up delicious, piping hot plates since March 2014. They are a family owned and operated business who bring
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an upbeat and eclectic atmosphere to the Helena dining scene. I mean, who doesn’t love a basket of freshly made (as in twice a day hand-cut and fried) tortilla chips and salsa? The menu offers everything from appetizers like nachos and jalapeño poppers to traditional combination platters (tacos, burritos, enchiladas served with rice and refried beans) to house specials like steak picado and chicken mole. It’s all made from scratch and bursting with the flavors of Jalisco, Mexico, where chef and co-owner Felipe Murillo was raised. “[Felipe] doesn’t preorder anything, or skirt around the edges. He hand cuts all the meats, grates the cheeses and makes it all from scratch. He just doesn’t know any other way. It’s prep-heavy but truly makes a difference in the quality; it’s why our carne asada is so tender, for example,” explains Nicolette Murillo, co-owner. A small, dedicated staff delivers excellent customer service. Several of them are actually related and, as Nicolette puts it, “if they’re not family, they might as well be.” Nicolette and Felipe are the owners, and Nicolette’s sister, Kali Gomez, and mother, Sophia Gomez, work there, as well as her nephew, Juan Jr. Murillo. “They all work together so well and when it gets crazy busy they go into beast mode and get it done!” Nicolette states proudly. The food is served piping hot on a thick, old-school style china dinnerware plate which the servers are kind enough to remind you not to touch right away. Consistency and seasoning of the tamales, for example, is spot on. They are melt-in-your-mouth delicious with a sauce that is ever so flavorful and complementary without overpowering the dish. Servers will check in to be sure you’re happy but will otherwise just leave you be so you can enjoy your meal in the cheerful upbeat atmosphere. Fiesta Mexicana delivers the goods with great care and hospitality. Just eat tacos and be happy. n
V O L . 3 S P R I N G 2 0 1 9 | 1 7 Pictured: Fiesta Mexicana
Food Trucks PHOTOS by JASON O'NEIL WRITING by SARA ANDERSON
There are few experiences as delightful as the outdoors of Helena. In recent years, Helena has been added an onslaught of food trucks to its restaurant scene. Locals relish in the convenience of food parked right in the middle of their outdoor activities whether it be a leisurely walk downtown, a night out with friends, an event, or right outside their workplace. Ease and deliciousness delivered directly into your very own hands. S A I GON A L L E Y It’s hard to miss the light blue allure of Saigon Alley as it’s parked at the Capitol, by the hospital, in the Great Northern Town Center, the walking mall, Alive @ 5 and other events around town. For an idea where you could spot them day to day visit saigonalleyhelena.com and look up their full calendar of locations. Saigon Alley is owned by Rachel Conn from Fairbanks, Alaska, who has a background in farming, non-profit, and the food industry. In all of her experience, she kept coming back to a love for the creative process involved in making delectable meals. From this love and her mother’s authentic recipes from Indonesia, Saigon Alley was born. Rachel has crafted a menu of Vietnamese and Thai dishes with locally sourced ingredients to create unique and affordable dishes that are fresh, aromatic and delicious. Rachel herself recommends the Bun Thit Nuong, a rice vermicelli with fresh
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vegetables, chopped peanuts and choice of meat. Ask anyone around town and they’ll tell you Mom’s Peanut Chicken is worth having again and again. WA F F L E WAGON Author Lauren Myracle once said, “You should eat a waffle! You can’t be sad if you eat a waffle!” You know a good place to get waffles in Helena? The Waffle Wagon—or store front Nosh Cafe located at 105 E. 6th Avenue. If you’re looking for waffles on the go, you can often find The Waffle Wagon at Alive @ 5, Out to Lunch, or at the Governor’s Cup and other local races. On this menu skillfully crafted by owner Claire Bischoff you will find an array of items that are, as Claire said, “A creative take on classic breakfast food without the restrictions of breakfast food.” Not only can you get a waffle as a breakfast item, but lunch, dinner, or dessert as well. Have you ever tried a BLT on a waffle? Here’s your spot. Love chicken and waffles? Again, this is where you need to go. Chips and salsa made from waffle pieces. Salads in handcrafted waffle cones. Belgian waffles with a long list of toppings to choose from. Stop in for breakfast or lunch. You’ll be thoroughly If you’re looking for something classic and filling— meat and potatoes and more—then keep your eye out for Copperline Pasty Company stationed on the side of the road at 1018 W. Custer year round. The black, grey and orange food truck can typically be found at Alive @ 5, legislative sessions and the fair. Here you can find a classic pasty made fresh (never frozen) daily with steak, potatoes, and sliced onions and the option of gravy. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and the Breakfast Pasty allows you to have your sausage, eggs, cheese and hashbrowns wrapped in a signature dough and on the go. It’s always worth checking in to see what new variety of pasty owner Tara Hunsaker comes up each day whether it be cheeseburger, chicken enchilada, reuben… the list goes on. With a 24- delighted with this twist on waffles. CO P P E R L I N E PA S T Y COM PA N Y
hour notice, you could even order these tasty treats in bulk. Another option locals have at Copperline are the espresso beverages. Along with all the offerings of your typical espresso bar, Copperline prides themselves in offering white espresso. Where traditional espresso is bold and intense, white espresso is said to have a nutty flavor with pronounced acidity and minute bitterness. As if the pasties and coffee aren’t enough to lure you to stop by, it’s worth noting that the road side location has a back patio that is perfect in the summer. T H E M I S S I ON A R Y Love tacos? Let’s taco ‘bout The Missionary food truck. Eder Sanchez and his family came to Montana from Dallas, Texas, with a love for cooking and longtime family recipes in tow. This unique food truck offers some of the most authentic Mexican food Helena has to offer and it comes to you on wheels! Most often the food truck can be seen at 2910 N. Montana Avenue in the parking lot adjacent to Town Pump and City Brew. To see where else the truck might be, whether it’s one of the breweries or the fairgrounds, check their Facebook page daily. The menu is simple but delicious: tacos, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, tamales, pozole, nachos… all with your choice of meat. If you’ve noticed reviews, you’ll notice the general consensus considers this stop “amazing!” But don’t simply trust the voice of the public, decide for yourself. Locals highly recommend the street tacos. These are just a few of Helena’s food truck options and while the list is detailed, it is not all inclusive. Be sure to check online listings for other food trucks around the area and always keep your eye out for new food trucks preparing to hit the streets. You really can’t go wrong. All you have to ask yourself is, ‘what am I in the mood for?’ and then find the truck to match. n
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BRUNCH SATURDAY & SUNDAY 10AM-1PM
broadwatermt.com 4920 W US 12 | (406)443-5777 BOTTOMLESS MIMOSAS $15
2 0 | T H E LO C A L - H E L E N A Pictured: 1889 Coffee House
P H OTO B Y : J A S ON O ’ N E I L
Pictured: Blackfoot River Brewing
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CO C K TA I L CO L UMN : T H E H A N K Y PA N K Y
WRITTEN BY TYRRELL HIBBARD Co-owner, Gulch Distillers
The Martini arguably holds title to the Most Iconic or Quintessential Cocktail. To strike the right balance between gin and vermouth is to satisfy the palate and stimulate the appetite in a perfect manner. Today we generally know the martini as a dry tipple with a scant addition of vermouth (six-to-one as a rule of thumb), but it originated as a sweeter libation when vermouth was a new and interesting ingredient. In fact, the first iteration of the martini, in the 1880s, called for equal parts gin and Italian (read: sweet) vermouth and a few dashes of bitters. No surprise then to find this formula as the foundation for many other classic cocktails. Add a measure of Campari and you have a Negroni. Substitute the gin for whisky and you have an early edition of the Manhattan. In 1925 London, Ada Coleman—the head bartender at the American Bar in the Savoy Hotel—created her brainchild that has since enriched menus all over the world. Challenged by a regular who she credited as “one of the best judges of cocktails I knew” to make him “something with a bit of punch in it,” she added a small amount of Fernet to this trusted formula. When her esteemed customer drained the glass, he exclaimed “By Jove! That is the real hanky-panky!” and thus christened her now classic creation. In the parlance of the day, “hanky-panky” meant magic. And the magic of this cocktail is the use of Fernet’s bold character to elevate the gin’s botanicals, highlight the vermouth’s bitterness, and to create an altogether new, harmonious, and bracing blend of flavor. n
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Pictured: 1889 Coffee House
A nice hot cup of coffee ties the whole scene together and suddenly you’re basking in a cozy but highly motivating space whether you have work to do, a friend to catch up with or just a bit of time to count your blessings or watch the seasons do their thing. Wiensch says they wanted to keep things local to Montana so they’re serving coffee by Ghost Town Coffee Roasters out of Bozeman. There’s also the fact that Ghost Town just happens to have a signature 1889 coffee blend that ties in nicely. I ordered a cup, walked upstairs and parked myself on one of the comfy sofa chairs in front of the fireplace. The second story windows offer gorgeous views of the surrounding area which is quite a treat and a bit unusual for coffeehouses in the area. The plush furniture and upstairs fireplace create a retreat-like space, encouraging patrons to sit for a spell. “We want people to feel like this is their place. It’s a house, it’s not a shop. A house is someplace you can come stay,” said Wiensch. A great option to try as the weather shifts and Helena begins to warm up is their cold brew coffee on tap. It’s potent, creamy in texture and crafted with care. Cold brew coffee is also lower in acid due to the long, cooler temperature brewing process so it is easy on the ol’ tummy. It’s basically the Guinness of iced coffee and if you’ve not taken a ride on the cold brew train yet, now is the time to stop by 1889 and try a great local version before hitting the trails or heading out to the lake for the day. On the menu you’ll find everything from breakfast sandwiches, soups and salads to a cinnamon bun big enough to share. Wiensch says one of their specialties is the nacho grilled cheese chicken sandwich (try to say that three times fast). Take your basic grilled cheese and add some nacho cheese and pepper jack cheddar, throw it in the oven with a five-and-a-half ounce chicken breast, and for the final touches toss some crunched up Doritos chips on top... because why not?! People seem to rave about it so it’s on my list of things to try next time. 1889’s top priorities are offering fresh food and great coffee, providing good customer service and being a positive addition to the community. Check, check and check. We highly recommend you get in there and experience it for yourself. n
Destination CO F F E E
H O U S E PHOTOS by EMILY CLEWIS
WRITING by BROOKE BOONE-MILLER 1 8 8 9 CO F F E E HO U S E 1800 Prospect Ave, Helena, MT
1889 Coffeehouse, named for the year Montana officially became a state, is one of the latest coffee options in Helena. It’s conveniently located on Prospect Avenue just down from the Capitol and the Montana Historical Society, an area that is surprisingly sparse when it comes to places to meet on the fly, study for a bit or return a few emails. This is a family owned and run small business that was almost two years in the making says owner Brett Wiensch, who is operating the business along with his wife and daughter. Wiensch is a veteran with a background in restaurant management. His daughter Ashley handles the baking which really influenced their concept of what a coffeehouse could be. “We didn’t want to just be your normal everyday coffeehouse, we wanted to add a twist. We want to serve good, fresh food baked in house and we also want to call it a destination,” said Wiensch. 1889 Coffeehouse is a two-story building with a modern take on a rustic atmosphere. When you first walk in it feels open and welcoming. Wiensch says he’s spent a lot of time in coffee shops that felt crowded so he wanted to make sure to avoid that. He says they could have added more tables and chairs but they really wanted people to feel comfortable and at ease rather than rushed and cramped. Windows span the room so there is an abundance of natural light.
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Offering fly fishing instruction for the beginner to intermediate. Call (406) 461-8585 to schedule your adventure.
greatdividecyclery.com (406) 443-5188 336 Jackson Street Helena, MT 59601
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P H OTO B Y : J A S ON O ’ N E I L
Pictured: Anglers on the Missouri River
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Hooked On F LY F I S H I N G
Pictured: Danya Ann Fly Fishing Prewett Creek
PHOTOS by JASON O'NEIL WRITING by BROOKE BOONE-MILLER L A S T C H A N C E F LY G A L S We certainly are fortunate to have so many different waters to explore in the Helena area like Prickly Pear Creek, the Little Blackfoot River and the blue ribbon Missouri River to name a few. And if you ask around you'll probably find most agree that one of the best ways to enjoy them is by fly fishing. What's long been a male concentrated pastime is catching on with more women than ever these days forging their own path to the fishing hole. One way to tell is the growing numbers of women-specific fishing groups popping up, including our very own Last Chance Fly Gals. Shalon Hastings, who owns Hub Coffee and Taco del Sol, had seen other groups like United Women on the Fly and decided to test the waters locally. She started with a post on social media to see if there was any interest. "The response was crazy. It was overwhelming. And that was just in my own network," she said. She pulled together a handful of women including Anna Lindstrand, Amy Glasscock and Kim Agee to help organize and get things moving. These women are all avid anglers and became the founding members of Last Chance Fly Gals. The first meeting was held in March 2018 and brought a whopping turnout of 140 gals. "It was amazing and speaks to how much the industry is growing for women who want to get into it," said Lindstrand who had a rod in her hand at a young age when her father introduced her to the sport. "I love just being in the water. It's a way to explore Montana in a different way, learning where the river goes and how to get to it." Now she's helping introduce and inspire many other women to wade in. "Many women have a fear of going alone and there are safety concerns. And unless you have someone to help get you into it how do you know what gear to buy or what fly to use? It can be really intimidating for a lot of gals and I really like being able to help other women learn more and improve their skills." Hastings, like Lindstrand, grew up around fly fishing as well. But she admits it was only about four years ago while on the Missouri with a friend and guide that she learned there was more to
it than casting a dry fly out onto the water. "I’ve really evolved since that day and took the steps to become a guide myself," she said. Not only did Hastings become a guide, she recently started her own business called Fly FisHER Adventures where she offers individualized fly-fishing instructions. "I came to the realization that there are a lot of women who really want to learn and get out there. And that has become a business opportunity I can really enjoy." Manufacturers are seeing the business opportunity as well with the growing number of female fly anglers becoming customers. "I remember several years ago I was looking for gear and there just wasn't anything for women. It was all men’s," said Lindstrand. "Things have changed so much and now there is gear catered to women." Since they formed a year ago, Last Chance Fly Gals have grown to more than 400 members who have joined on the Facebook page. It's a place where women can connect with other women, arrange fishing trips, talk about gear and share upcoming events. "I've really enjoyed meeting other women who are interested and active in fly fishing. When you're out with other women it's not competitive it's just a fun environment," said Amy Glasscock. She started teaching herself how to fly fish when she was given her father's rod. "Learning to do it and being really good takes a long time and you're always going to be learning. But that's half the beauty of it." For Hastings, Lindstrand and Glasscock it's a passion for fly fishing that keeps them coming back for more even when they don't get a bite. Glasscock says, "You can't be mad or upset or anything when you're out there casting. It's the most powerful way of being in the moment that I've ever experienced." Listening to women anglers describe why they find themselves going back day after day is compelling. There is undeniably something in the water that is hooking more and more women and it seems to be about more than just fishing, although they don't call it a grip and grin photo for nothing. n
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WO L F C R E E K A N G L E R 515 Recreation Rd, Wolf Creek, MT
At Wolf Creek Angler, laid back, yet passionate and knowledgeable staff work hard to ensure each customer gets as much or as little information as they want. If someone comes in with no prior fly fishing experience, wanting to know everything from what supplies they need to how to cast a rod, they’ll happily—and patiently—explain it all. “We don’t require any actual or implied fly fishing street cred when you walk through our doors,” owner Jason Orzechowski says. His goal is to create a chill space where everyone can feel at ease. As a seasoned fisher himself, Jason has a lot of experience being a customer in fly fishing shops. Before opening Wolf Creek Angler, he made note of what he found intimidating or frustrating in some stores, and what brought him back to his favorites. He’s applied these experiences to how he runs his business today, hoping to be the shop that hooks people on fly fishing. Another one of Jason’s goals is to put Wolf Creek on the map. His shop is the first one fishers pass on their way to the Missouri River from Helena, and it also boasts the shortest trip to a major put-in spot: Hauser Dam. To Jason, opening his store here was a no-brainer. Since his family is rooted in Helena, Jason wants others to recognize what a great fishing spot it is. The shop itself has a selection of flies that span the tried and true to the experimental, and carries the best brands in the industry for all fly fishing supplies. Wolf Creek Angler is a full-line Simms dealer and has the highest quality flies money can buy. They also offer lodging, guide service, drift boat rentals and shuttle service, with boat rentals being free to vets and active duty military personnel. While the selection may be overwhelming for a fly, the passionate staff are more than happy to help. Regardless of skill or interest level, Wolf Creek Angler is worth a stop.
PHOTOS by JASON O’NEIL WRITING by MEGAN CRANE Fly Shops
Pictured: Anglers on the Missouri River
H E A D H U N T E R S F LY S HO P 145 Bridge St, Craig, MT At Headhunters, the YETI outside on the deck is always fully stocked with cold drinks for customers. There’s wifi, cell service and frequent weekend BBQs for hungry fishers at the end of the day. All these free perks turn Headhunters into a meeting place where knowledge and stories are shared among strangers, as if among friends. With music and bright colors, Headhunters’ goal is to be the fun fly shop. Co-owner Mark Raisler says his mission statement is entertainment, information, education and customer service. Mark wants his shop to be non intimidating, so he keeps it staffed with friendly and educated fly fishers. The Headhunters team includes two women in management roles and two who are guides to make for a more women-friendly environment. As lively an environment as this is, Mark says he and his employees take fly fishing very seriously; this isn’t just a hobby for them. He calls Headhunters “the regional HQ for all things Trout Spey.” Both online and in person, customers can peruse the most popular and effective flies for catching Montana trout, including those that are locally tied. Web purchasers aren’t as likely to get personalized advice from staff, who the shop boasts all get out each day to cast a line and who have tried everything that’s sold in the shop (and more). They know the Montana landscape and, as such, can show you the best flies and techniques for reeling in dinner. “We are not afraid to help you set up your nymph rig, outline a few dry fly techniques and even help you immediately with your cast on our casting lane at the shop,” Mark says. The shop even has demo rods and trout spey lines customers can try out on the casting lane before buying. Of course, they also carry some quirky non-essentials, such as locally- made Craiglandia merch. If you’re looking for a solid dose of fun with your fly fishing, drop into Headhunters before you hit the Mighty Mo!
C R O S S C U R R E N T S 311 Bridge St, Wolf Creek, MT & 326 N Jackson St, Helena, MT
When you enter CrossCurrents’ Helena location, you’ll be hit with a pleasant woodsy scent and casually greeted by an employee. It’s a comfortable, cabin-like setting, made for tourists to quietly browse or for folks new to fly fishing to ask questions and learn. Owner Jim Stein worries people have an idea that fly fishing is expensive, difficult and snooty. While he admits it can be all those things, in his shop, it’s not. He wants to show customers how un- intimidating fly fishing can be. All staff have extensive fishing experience, making it easy for them to break it down to something simple for customers new to fly fishing. In fact, CrossCurrents offers a number of classes to teach the basics of catching trout. Starting in April each year, Jim teaches a three-day course where students get a broad overview of pretty much everything they need to know to get started, and then some. Over two evenings and one full day, he goes over subjects such as knots to know, entomology and fly selection. Come snow, his fly tying and rod building classes kick off. Fly tying is something Jim particularly likes to see folks do because he thinks it’s great to be able to catch fish with a work of art created by the fisher themself. CrossCurrents also offers guiding services and lodging on the Missouri and many other hot spots around Montana. Fishers can book full guiding experiences in places such as the Blackfoot, Deerborn and Rock Creek rivers, as well as in Yellowstone National Park and Gallatin National Forest. Those lucky enough to get a Smith River permit can count on CrossCurrents for equipment rentals, including bear fences and rafts. Jim wants customers to know fly fishing boils down to being an enjoyable day in the wild. Getting out to enjoy the beauty of nature is something he thinks more people should do and through CrossCurrents, he hopes to inspire them to do just that. “Trout don’t live in ugly places,” he likes to say.
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T H E T R O U T S HO P 275 Bridge St, Craig, MT 59648
MON TA N A F LY GOOD S CO 3180 Dredge Dr # A, Helena, MT 59602 When you walk through the door at Montana Fly Goods Co., you’ll immediately be warmly welcomed by human staff and Jenny, the shop dog. If you’ve been in before, you’ll likely also be greeted by name and asked for an update on how your last fly fishing adventure went. Even if you’re one of the hundreds of customers who come in during a day in the busy season. At this family-owned business, people matter. They want to make sure everyone who walks through the door feels welcomed and important, and are given the level of service they’re looking for. Customers who want to browse are left to do so, without any pressure to buy. But if you’re going on an overseas fishing trip and don’t have a clue what flies to bring, co-owner Garry Stocker might just pull out his personal collection, sit you down at the fly-tying table in the back and give you his own personal advice. And maybe even a fly or two of his own. Montana Fly Goods Co has the largest selection of fly tying gear around. People come from all over to get what they need, whether they’re looking for the tiniest of dry flies or are planning to catch marlin, are going out on the Missouri, or travelling to Belize or Alaska. Montana Fly Goods Co is proud to sell supplies made in the US and try to push those products the hardest, not only in order to support American- made companies but also because that’s where you find the highest quality. Bozeman-based Simms makes what they consider to be the best waders, which are made out of Gore-Tex and can be serviced in Bozeman. They also carry products from Sage, R.L. Winston Rod Co., Ross Reels, Nautilus and more. Fly fishers who like to have personalized shopping experiences will not be disappointed with the service at Montana Fly Goods Co. n
All of a fly fisher’s needs can be taken care of in one stop at The Trout Shop, which has been a growing fixture in Craig for nearly 30 years. They offer all services themselves, rather than using third parties. Currently, they have lodging and a fly shop within walking distance of the river, as well as a restaurant and deli, guide services, boat rentals and river shuttles. Co-owner Jerry Lappier is not messing around when it comes to customer care. He wants to get everyone out on the river to have a great time, and he knows his customer service can make someone’s trip a success. The guiding principles for The Trout Shop are honesty, integrity and empathy. He seeks employees who exhibit these characteristics in their daily personal lives, and then he further presses the importance of these values upon them, encouraging staff to continue working on themselves and their skill set. With this, Jerry ensures The Trout Shop’s customers can trust they’re getting accurate information and recommendations, and they are fully respected and treated with compassion. Employees are made to understand that the most important aspect of the job is helping people to the best of their ability. Another important employee goal is to help customers as efficiently as possible so folks can get in and out as quickly as they want. The Trout Shop’s staff know the Mighty Mo is calling and want everyone to have as much time as possible on the river. They carry a supply of every fly, gadget, clothing item and name-brand tackle needed to make a fly fishing trip a success. Every item that’s in stock in the storefront can also be found in the online shop, so customers can check out the selection before even arriving. The only thing The Trout Shop offers that isn’t on the website is the staff’s desire to help customers have the time of their lives. If you’re looking to do your messing around in a boat, not in a store, The Trout Shop is your no- nonsense stop!Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 82
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