Day 104 – Missoula is the place, to stuff your face!

I talked for days and days about finally arriving in Missoula. It was so nice to park the Runabout, and take off the walking shirt/shorts and Under Armor walking shorts (crotch hugging underwear).  If I could have hung up a sign in my room stating “Off-Duty”, I would have.  But now looking back in my time in Missoula, I should have remained “On-Duty”! I missed out on a lot of FB updates and pictures for the blog. My bad, but hopefully I will be able to paint a picture of some of the places we went or the people I met…

Honestly, I didn’t do much! I slept a LOT, ate a LOT, drove-around a LOT, went to the fair and watched a kick-ass concert! Not much more. Let’s start with the eating…

Hoagieville, what’s so great about it you ask?! I don’t know. I say that now because I have already eaten seven hoagies over 3-days. As of now, I won’t have a hoagie craving for at least six months. I was SO excited for my friend Dave to have a hoagie. I watched him eat it and kept asking him what he thought. He said “its good”. Not great, not fantastic, not yummy…just good. How can that be!? The next day when we had hoagies again, I was sure that it would be much better this time! Nope, he wasn’t even able to finish it this time! Aggghhhh!!

No matter, I had a couple more hoagie visits in-store for Dave, so I was sure he would be won-ver. Nope! Dave ordered other items on the menu besides hoagies. This was a sad day for Jack. I now knew, that my next visit to Hoagieville may be alone. 😦  There is a very large, devoted following in the Missoula area. They haven’t had much success outside of the area though. What does that mean? Do you think they were slipping us something in our drinks? Doesn’t matter…I will be a fan forever!

Looking back at the Missoula food devouring tour of 2010, I believe Double Front Chicken will be my best memory. Dave and I rushed back from the horse races to have some chicken before rushing to the Chance McKinney-n-Crosswire concert. Double Front was the only chicken I would eat completely as a kid. And trust me, we ate lots of Double Front as a kid! You would have thought my parents owned stock in the company! We went there on weekends, and if my Dad was traveling, Mom would come home with take-out.

Well, now as an adult, I get it! The chicken is absolutely, positively, best chicken I have ever had! The icing on the cake was how well Dave and I were treated while eating that afternoon. Without asking, Jason Herndon (owner) picked-up our tab and talked with us for about 30-minutes. We would have loved to talk to Jason for much longer! He had lots of stories about the restaurant history and the colorful past of his Grandfather, Gene Herndon. I can’t wait to go back to Missoula, and see my friends at Double Front again.

The Lolo Steakhouse, need I say more? Prior to this weekend, I had only eaten at the Lolo Steakhouse once before. If you are familiar with the history of Lewis and Clark, the location of the restaurant is directly across the street from Travelers Rest. The location where they rested with the Shoshone Indians before crossing over Lolo Pass and crossing into Idaho.

In short; the food and service was great! All set in a huge log-building with a very impressive taxidermy collection. What I will remember most, is the people who I didn’t get to meet while there. Towards the end of our dinner, I read the history of the restaurant on the back of the menu. It listed the owners as the Grunow family. Grunow Family? Yes, it was the same Grunow family that owned the grocery store,  the liquor store,  and the Dairy Barn. I practically grew up seeing them around town! Heck, I even remember their kids playing at work sometimes! One of those kids (Matt) was the guy who sat us at our table. Of course, by the time I realized who they were…Matt had left for the evening. Again, I look forward to going back someday and reconnecting with my past.

Yes, Dave and I stuff our faces at some other small places in Missoula. Dave, not quite as excited as I was. Weird?

Something that isn’t so exciting to write about, is how much sleeping I did. I was able to sleep-in for two full days! Dave (with the patience of a saint) didn’t whine or complain a bit! I would finally get myself up and he was either outside speaking with his beautiful wife Nancy, or doing some business on his laptop. What a guy!

We did actually go out on the town a couple of times while in Missoula. The first night we met my buddy Mike Erickson and went to The Elbow Room. For those of you who know the Elbow Room, you may start laughing now. If you go to Missoula, you just have to go there! It’s been around for at least the last 40 years, and it just boggles your mind that it’s still standing erect?! I think they began with a single mobile-home and just continued adding on over the years. Maybe not…but it does look that way!

Our other outing took directly across the street from the Elbow Room, and to the NEW Sunshine Saloon. Country music dancing bar at its finest! If not country dancing, I’m absolutely confident that some knock-down, drag-out bar brawls happen on a regular occurence here! Dave and I met my friends Cara & Craig Torgrimson there. A brother and sister duo, who after many years apart, are living back at their childhood home together. Unfortunately, what brought them back was health problems with their parents.

Everybody drinking at a steady pace, there was lots of lovely ladies waiting for some cowboy to come take’em two-stepping! Dave was a wall-flower and this cow-poke wasn’t doing anything that required standing-upright! At least that is my excuse…

To be honest, I don’t remember a lick on how to swing-dance! When I get back home, I’m going to check myself into a dance-rehabilitation clinic and get myself back in action!

 Swing-Dancing is a bit like CPR. If you don’t use it, you will lose it!


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