Win a Limited Edition 18 x 24 Missoula MADE fair poster

Contribute to our website by signing up to be a contributor and writing a post OR like/share the poster post on facebook and we will enter you in for a chance to win this limited edition poster!

Offer valid through Wednesday, June 26th. Name will be drawn Thursday, June 27th, 2013 and winner will be notified via facebook or email (depending on if you are a contributor or shared/liked the poster on Missoula Online facebook).

You can also learn more about the Missoula MADE fair poster artist Courtney Blazon here.

MissoulaMADEfair_18x24poster

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Summer MADE fair coming right up!

The alternative arts and crafts market that was started 7 years ago by Carol Lynn Lapotka, owner of REcreate designs, grows more and more each year. The artists are unique in their styles and showcase what Missoula is all about. We don’t need to say a whole lot as the made fair poster illustrated by Courtney Blazon speaks for itself. There will be food and drink vendors as well so if you have a hungry belly or need to quench your thirst while you shop that won’t be a problem. Don’t miss out!

Missoula MADE fair summer 2013

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You could have your own mini superpowers

MissoulasWorms_MissoulaInsidersGuideSeriously, worms really are mini supers. They can clean up your trash, help your garden grow faster and healthier, and just enrich your life through their simple, yet powerful, ways of doing things.

I have gotten the chance to have chickens, bees, and worms and worms were my absolute favorite (bees are pretty close though but require land and more maintenance). Worms live a pretty carefree lifestyle other than you need to make sure to take out food particles if they start to mold and to feed them, which lets honestly hope you would remember that anyhow. Also, as surprising as it might seem, it can be refreshing to open their compost lids when you feed them and get a whiff of their freshly made compost. Another plus is they are slow movers and like to stay pretty cozied up so you don’t have to worry about them escaping, which can sometimes be a royal pain in the behind with other pets.

Anyhow, there is a wonderful company called Claudia’s Worms now selling compost kits that are pre-made, affordable, and available for you to start your own mini superpower community. She can also give you quite a bit of worm loving advice and help so if you are interested check out her site!

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Best Donuts in Missoula, Part #2

This is a rant, on many levels. I’m not going to sugar coat or glaze over the issues. When a business opens to sell donuts, it needs to know how to make donuts, and how fast it can make them. If a business can’t stay open, then don’t open.

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It may sound clever to say, we are open at 6am, and close when we run out, but when that is before 9am. It’s not so clever, it is insulting, and wasteful. Maybe you didn’t do your homework, or maybe you did and thought things would be different. Missoula is strange town, we love the new and love the old, not a fan of recent stuff. The places that have been open for 20 plus years, or the place that just opened. The 2 to 5 year window is where many business cover up those windows never to be noticed again.

Why would you take 4 months perfecting your recipes, only to have no idea at the pace you can produce the donuts at? I know there are many establishments, The Pov, Nursing Homes, Elementary Schools, Airports, that you could have done a full production run of a few hundred donuts and dropped them off to very hungry individuals to both get free advertising and full tummies.

Instead you put up your giant sign, bring in your equipment, and leave a town in the dark. Your sign saying we will be open by the end of the month, and a few random posts on facebook attempting to get you to reveal your open date only lead to the suspense and disappointment as the full month came and went without a donut hole in sight. When opening day finally came, so did the crowds, but I wonder having arrived after the donuts where gone, what happened? Did you not realize limits might be good? why would you let a single individual order 3 dozen? or even a dozen? Let people have a few, to meet the demand, not sell out in a few hours.

On black Friday, you don’t see someone putting 10 Playstations into their cart at Bestbuy, no there are limits. Maybe that is something you can learn from Big box retailers, peoples eyes are bigger then their stomachs, and will buy more then they need, just to falsely inflate the market demand and make others go without.

Now onto the actual donuts, being determined and hungry, I knew at some point I would have the chance to try out the goods, and let me just say, I was disappointed. With such a small display case, it appears like you can only produce a few varieties, which is fine, but then stick to the basics. I purchased 6 donuts, 2 of each, and felt they where not worth the wait. I felt the exotic flavors where overpowering, I didn’t think I was eating a donut, but rather a spoon full of mocha powder or vanilla bean extract. If I go by and see a Boston Creme, I will have to get a few, and maybe if they post their flavors of the day to facebook, there might be a few variations that would lure me in the door, but I will not become a regular of their pastries at this time.

So, where are the best donuts in Missoula? My choice is Orange Street Food Farm. I like them, they are cheap, available and great for dunkin’ in coffee. No fancy flavors or exotic ingredients, no long lines or disappointment and OSFF has some of the best prices on beer in Missoula.

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Where in Missoula’s is the Best Donut?

It’s maybe a little unfair to write a review of a place that hasn’t been open for more then a week, and that I haven’t gotten a chance to taste their goods, but that is the joy of the internet. Here it goes.

Having closed as quickly as they have opened, arriving just 2 hours after the opening time on their first day, and they where SOLD OUT, I would have to say Missoula is very excited to try out this new donut provider. This town has lacked a source of quality reliable, fresh, round donuts. We scared Kripsy Kreme out as quickly as they came in, I recall they lasted about 5 months.

Now a few days after opening, they decide to shut down for a whole week, to hire more staff, increase production, and learn how to make enough donuts to hopefully stay open until noon.

Treasure State Donuts Boston Creme

Treasure State Donuts Boston Creme

For a place that has been in the works for 5 months, has a perfect location and huge demand, lets hope that all this excitement isn’t just a bubble, and will keep them open for many years to come.

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Hidden Menu Items in Missoula

Often times people wonder, looking at the menu what else they could possibly order. Here are 3 of my favorites in Missoula.

1. The Ice Cream Sundae at Liquid planet

There are those days, when your just not in the mood to walk all the way across the bridge to Big Dipper for a proper Sundae, so stop by Liquid Planet. You have to ask nicely, as some of the recent hires are a little less then friendly, but Choose any of the shake, and ask for them to make it as a Sundae, now it really isn’t a hidden menu item, as it is printed on the menu:

Liquid Planet Shake Menu

Liquid Planet Shake Menu

But the results can be amazing, especially if you start to get a little crazy with caramel and nuts. Also you could add a shot of espresso to it, or if you ask nicely maybe 1/2 a banana!

Liquid Planet Hidden Menu Item

Liquid Planet Hidden Menu Item

2. Buffalo Shrimp at Old Post

Their shrimp is pretty good, but their Buffalo sauce is one of the best in town, combine the two and you get a meal that pleases the whole mouth.

Shrimp Plate at The Old Post

Shrimp Plate at The Old Post

I was in the Old Post one night, couldn’t make up my mind between buffalo chicken and the Shrimp, so I accidentally asked for buffalo shrimp, the waitress walked away came back and asked what I wanted. Realizing the opportunity to have something amazing, I asked her to send the order to the kitchen, I was not disapointed.

3. Most kitchens will make anything you ask for, if they have the ingredients

Just be nice about it, and understanding if it doesn’t meet your expectations. Things like added fried eggs to hamburger, or cheese fries at places that don’t list them are pretty common. Don’t expect a burger place to make you a pizza. Also expect to pay more for substitutions or alterations. Adding a chicken fried steak to a garbage omelet at the Oxford is expensive, the last time I tried, they had to charge me for a full 2nd meal, since they didn’t have any way to ring up just a Chicken Fried Steak patty. It wasn’t worth it. Other times the hidden menu items can save you a few bucks, like the lunch special at the new top hat. $10 for Salad AND a tapas. That saves you 3 or 4 bucks, compared to ordering them separately.

Do you have any other secret menu items you like? Add them in the comments!

 

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The Loft of Missoula

The Loft of Missoula is a member’s only social club which provides a comfortable, relaxed, yet refined atmosphere for our members to socialize and do business.  The Loft of Missoula has been created to be a convenient meeting place for city dwellers and commuters working, conducting business or recreating in town. It’s a place where deals are closed, friendships are forged and memories are made. 

 

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