Tag Archives: Montana

The Silk Road: Missoula, Montanta, USA

4 Nov
by Deanne

The Silk Road Restaurant—Missoula, MT

While we were on the road  in September, we tried to adhere to eating in a healthful manner.  We learned that it can be challenging when you are away from your garden or farmers market to eat whole, mostly plant based foods.  But we did find a restaurant worth sharing in our Real Local Cooking Restaurant ReviewsThe Silk Road is located on Higgins Avenue in Missoula, Montana and was a pure delight.  Once you own a restaurant, you are very hard to please so it means a lot when I say this place was wonderful.Photo of Spicy Eggplant at Silk Road

Review: (Real Local Cooking’s criteria)
Localness: 3

Photo of Gazpacho Verde at Silk Road

Yes, they do source many of their ingredients locally.  They also have a seasonal menu, but that is not what makes them great. Read on and look at the pictures and you will see what makes this tapas style restaurant worthy of  our praise.

Flavour: 5

Each and every little dish was a treat. We truly did crave many of the dishes the next day and even now looking at the pictures our taste buds get excited.  We really, really liked the Spicy Garlic Eggplant.  We have never found an eggplant dish we enjoyed this much.Photo of Skewered Beef

Pleasant Surprise: Yes

For our family, when we find a place that earns a rating of 5 on flavour, it is a pleasant surprise!  It is something we hope for every time we painstakingly research a restaurant and walk through their door.  We leave most restaurants, as you can see by our other reviews, unimpressed in the flavour catagory.

Comfort+Coziness = The C factor: 5

The waiter was really outgoing which set the tone for a fun evening.  The table had maps and postcards under glass and matched the eclectic nature of the menu.  We were very comfortable and found ourselves chatting with the ladies at the next table while we ate bites of our little plates.

Photo of Grilled Summer Squash at Silk Road

Overall Rating: 13+

One interesting aspect of The Silk Road is that they do sell spice combinations used in their dishes.  A  person could purchase them and then experiment in their own kitchen.  We have referred our cooking class students to this service provided by The Silk Road.  So even if you can’t visit the restaurant and you like to cook, we do recommend looking over their seasonal menu and selecting a spice blend to try a similar dish at home.

Photo of Poached Shrimp

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A Fall Roadtrip: Montana, Idaho, Washington and Back to Montana

21 Sep
by Deanne

Steve and I jumped at the chance to help Luke drive to Missoula, Montana.  We arrived early Sunday morning after an all night drive from Minnesota.   We arrived just in time for brunch at a busy breakfast place, Catalyst Cafe, which satisfied my craving for a cute cafe.  Luke’s week long photography class, the reason for our trip out to Montana, was just down the street so he arrived (slightly) refreshed after a night on the road.

Before hitting the road again, this time to visit my cousin in Coeur d’Alene, we visited a farmers’ market a few blocks away.  The weather was lovely and the colors vibrant.

Photo of vegetables at Missoula farmers market

On Sunday evening Steve and my cousin, Susan, bonded over preparing the evening meal.  They put together a wonderful steak salad that Susan had seen in this month’s Sunset Magazine. In the end, we sat back and enjoyed a congenial conversation and a sunset meal with Susan’s husband and their friends. 

Susan told us about a place near Spokane called Green Bluff.  She explained that Green Bluff is an area with more than a dozen farms that to visit.  After touring a few farms, we checked out beautiful Manito Park, just south of downtown Spokane and enjoyed lunch on the patio of Rockwood Bakery.  I really liked the feel of the Rockwood Bakery which is tucked into a little neighborhood only a few blocks from the park.

We had so much energy about being in the northwest again, we got the bright idea to go to Moscow, Idaho.  Since we grew up in Idaho, we’d traveled there for college visits during high school. Link to Photo of DeanneOn the way to Moscow, I remembered that Mary Jane Butters, who started MaryJanesFarm and the whole farmgirl craze was from the area. A few clicks on our mobile device;) and we found the address of her original  retail store.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go inside because they are closed on Mondays.

Tuesday we traveled back to Missoula through Lolo Pass, an area of importance in the Lewis and Clark expedition…we read a plethora of historical markers to refresh our knowledge of United States history.

Photo taken at Lolo Pass

Onward we traveled to a town near Bozeman.  There we met an industrious farmer named Gary who is doing some amazing things to provide people with gluten-free oats.  (I will write more about gluten-free oats in an upcoming post.)  Truly gluten-free oats are very difficult to find in the US But we think we’ve found some that will work for one of the breads Steve is busy developing.

We ended the evening at another farmers’ market in Bozeman.  There we wPhoto of Cowboy Farmeratched as people gathered around an outdoor wood fired pizza oven and we saw a cowboy farmer selling produce.

The next two days were equally busy with new beautiful vistas and more historical sights.  We saw old mining towns, lovely streams and the sight were Lewis and Clark had to portage around the Great Falls.  Now we are relaxing in a cozy little studio apartment and getting rested for our drive home.

Have you ever been to Montana, Idaho or Washington?  Do you have any fall road trips planned?