Thursday, January 24, 2008

Last Night's Dinner - Meatball Sandwich!

photo by Gustavno Rivera

1 lb. Organic Real Food Store Hamburger
1 lb. Ground Pork

I mixed the meat with some Chipotle powder, creole spices,  salt, pepper, parsley, chopped onion and garlic and some breadcrumbs with an egg together with my hands and formed them into 1 inch balls. I coated the inside of a glass baking pan with some butter and place about 15 meatball onto it, baked for about 30 minutes, until the 'balls are done. I put the meatballs into some simmering artichoke marinara sauce for about ten more minutes, while the bread was toasting in the oven. Topped off with some Parmesan.


Not bad. It does appear to have exploded however. Nobody makes a great meatball sandwich in Helena. Except ME!!!
Perhaps some peppers next time?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Berry Pornography

photos by Gustavno Rivera

Strawberries & Blackberries in bowls forever.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sushi Tonight?

photo by Gustavno Rivera

Wok N Roll Sushi Bar
(406) 449-4200
2058 Euclid Ave.

The best sushi in Helena, in fact, the best sushi I've had in a restaurant in Montana. Their salmon sashimi melts in your mouth and they have a delicious Plum Sake, sweet, but not too sweet. Crab Spring Rolls with warm cream cheese and a sweet chutney dipping sauce is my favorite of their appetizers, but their combination plates are a good place to start.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Best New BBQ!!!

139 Readers Alley
(406) 442-2595
Tues-Fri 11-8 &  Sat 10-2

Karmadillos new BBQ sandwich's defeats the reigning champ as Helena's best BBQ sandwich. Slow cooked Pork, Beef or Chicken topped with homemade BBQ sauce, cheese and a Arkansas style jicama coleslaw for a cool $5 sounds good to me. I love that they don't use frozen meat and almost every thing is homemade, slow cooked and full of flavor. In fact I'm going there on my way home to grab another one! The new lunch special is here to stay, so head up to Karmadillo's and grab a couple of these delicious BBQ sandwich's...
They also have a 5 lbs. burrito covered with chili sauce, stuffed with meat, cheese, rice, beans hot peppers, more hot sauce and other food stuffs. If you can eat it in a certain amount of time (I forget) you get it Free! Justin call's it the Whole Enchilada and it's $35, also available for parties and satanic church gatherings, 'cause this mother is hot! (Unless you pay for it, then you can have it how you want.)

photo by Gustavno Rivera

Update: I stopped back on my way home and grabbed a BBQ Beef. A bit more smokey and BBQ flavor. One doesn't top the other, just whatever you're in the mood for.

Update 2: Went back for lunch today and did a pork and beef side by side, and I think I like the beef just a liiiiiiiiittle better. Make sure you ask for some slaw on top!

UPDATE 3: They are now served on a custom made Whole Wheat Jalapeno Cheese Roll. Yums.

The Montana Baja Burger

photo by Gustavno Rivera

A grilled burger with creole spices topped with aged super sharp vermont cheddar, fresh guacamole, tomato, green pepper and some sour cream on a toasted sesame bun. (I was out of onion.) The green pepper seemed to really round it out. Served with some oven fries from the Real Food Store. (I know, they're frozen - I was hungry and lazy and didn't want to make my own potatoes, plus they're pretty good) and spicy ketchup. (Catsup?) Yum.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Wednesday's Lunch - PLANET GYROS

photo by Gustavno Rivera

Planet Gyro's
1431 11th Ave
(406) 449-2550

That very gyro above was my lunch today. This is the Beef Zues with extra Feta, a monstrosity in lunch time eatery. They used to serve lamb too, but not enough people ordered it. I prefer lamb, but this is a tasty beef substitute. Grab a side of Midas sauce (a tangy BBQ-ish sauce, delicious!) to finish it off.

Montana's BEST Steak

Sir Scott's Oasis
204 W. Main Street
Manhattan, MT 59741
(406) 284-6443

Sir Scott's or the Oasis or Sir Scott's Oasis, no matter which you call it, they still have the best damn steaks in Montana. I remember going to Bobcat games with my dad and we'd stop in Sir Scott's for a huge steak, jo jo's and maybe some salad. I remember the first time I ordered their finger steaks. I ordered a small (8 oz.), but what I got was a mountain of hand cut, hand breaded finger steaks. All their steak is aged and cut daily on the premises. Their portions would make a Texan cringe with fear! They also serve fresh seafood, but c'mon, STEAKS!!! 
 This is what Montana steaks are all about.
Worth the drive.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

2007 Best of Helena Eats


Best Donuts - Donut Hole
Best Coffee - General Mercantile
Best Burger - Suds Hut/Rialto
Best Fries - Suds Hut/Rialto
Best Chili - Parrot
Best Milkshake/Malt - Parrot
Best Salsa - Thriftway (?!!)
Best Gyro - Planet Gyro's
Best Appetizers - Silver Star Steak House
Best Steak - Cafe Artemis' Filet Mignon
Best Brewery - Blackfoot Brewery
Best Fine Dining - Caretaker's Cabin 
Best Old School Mexican - Melaque
Best New School Mexican - Karmidillos
Best Chinese - Wong's
Best Italian - Lucca's
Best Thai - Toi's Thai
Best Sushi - Wok N' Roll
Best Bakery - Park Avenue
Best Pasties - Benny's
Best Porkies - Sara's Porkies
Best Special Sauce - No Sweat Cafe
Best Hotdog - Coney Island
Best Pizza - MacKenzie River Pizza
Best Fast Food - RB Drive-In
Best Candy - The Parrot
Best Grocery Store - Real Food Store
Best BBQ - Steffano's BBQ Beef
Best Sandwich Shop - Staggering Ox
Best Cheap Eats - The Gold Bar
Best Late Night Eats - Pita Pit
Best Soup - The Jailhouse
Best Dessert - I don't eat dessert
Best Burrito - Taco Del Sol
Best Breakfast - No Sweat Cafe
Best Lunch - Karmidillos & Rialto
Best Dinner - Karmidillos for chill environment
Caretaker's Cabin for an ultra romantic environment

Best Fine Dining Helena Restaurant of 2007: Caretaker's Cabin
Best Casual Dining Helena Restaurant of 2007: Karmadillo's

Cheap Eats Pt. 1 - Gold Bar

The Gold Bar
400 N. Last Chance Gulch

A small kitchen tucked inside a smokey bar where you have to be at least 21 to enter, thus eat, but if you're not 21 they do have an outdoor pickup window. Opening at 7 and closing at 2, this breakfast/lunch eatery is in the spirt of a cleaner greasy spoon. Breakfast and Lunch specials like Breakfast Bowls, Meat Cheese and Egg Biscuits, Biscuits and gravy, Shepherd's  Pie, Turkey Salad Sandwich, a decent cheeseburger and soups like Scotch Broth (2nd Fav), Shrimp and Crab bisque, chunky tomato, Bacon Bean & leek and my favorite The Blue Cheese Soup. Soups and specials change daily. Good bacon, decent burger, cheap prices and you can have a beer if you want!

Saturday, January 5, 2008


Big Night. A great movie. You should see it. You should buy it, I did.
Co Directed by Tucci & Cambell Scott who is in one of my favorite David Mamet movies, "The Spanish Prisoner." This was the very first film I showed as a projectionist at the Myrna Loy during my high school years, and I remember it fondly. A great film, but don't watch it on an empty stomach.

The In-N-Out

The In-N-Out Double Double with Onions from Santa Barbara, CA.
photo by Gustavno Rivera

In-N-Out. For those who have never been don't know, but for those of us who have, ahhhhhh..... Can a fast food burger really be that good? Never frozen meat, fresh, fresh veggies - thick cuts of crisp iceberg lettuce, fresh sponge-y bun and a delicious 1000 island like secret sauce. The fries are fried in 100% vegetable oil with nothing but other fries. Hell, they don't even have freezers, just a walk-in for cheese and veggies. They are always packed, but they are quite efficient. Their menu consists of Hamburgers, Cheeseburgers, the Double-Double (which is exactly what you'd think it is), fries, soda and milkshakes. They also have an extensive list of off menu items like Animal fries, fries with cheese, onion and special sauce slopped on top. If you are ever in California, Nevada or Arizona (and in the future possibly in Southern Utah) try to hunt one of these down and go for the #3 (a double double, fries and a drink).  For those of us who don't live near an In-N-Out I offer this recipe. Two very important things are to get the burger patty very, very, very thin and FRESH iceberg lettuce and FRESH tomato and FRESH onion. FRESH meat too, but that should be a given. Here's what you'll need:

Buns - Soft & Fresh
Fresh White Onion
Fresh Tomato
Fresh Iceberg Lettuce
Fresh Hamburger meat
American Cheese
Kraft 1000 Island Dressing

The How to:
Warm a pan to Med - Med/High
When the pan is warm put the buns on for a few minutes to brown, or just throw them in the toaster for a minute.
Toss FULL slices of onion on the pan and lightly give a little color to each side. Very lightly.
Make the burger patty VERY thin, like 1/8".  Grill first side on the pan for about 2.5 minutes. As soon as you flip the burger put on two slices AMERICAN cheese and cover pan. When the cheese is gooping off the burger in the pan place the burger on the bun. The order of veggies is as follows:
Bottom Bun
1000 Island
Thick cut Iceberg Lettuce
Slice of Tomato
Meat & Cheese
Top Bun

Make some homemade oven fries or make your own fries and you're almost set. Mix some ketchup and Chipotle Tabasco together for a nice, easy, smoky hot ketchup, then you're set.

My Final Version of the In-N-Out Copy Cat Dirty Thief Version, Not Bad.
photo by Gustavno Rivera

Hamburger Helena

Cheeseburgers. Possibly one the finest creations ever. Aston Martins, Johnny Walker Blue, filet mignon and perfect cheeseburgers. Yum. Here in Helena we have several good places to grab a great cheeseburger. Personally, a nice homemade cheeseburger can't be beat. But, if I do go out for a burger here's where I go:
1. Suds Hut (2701 N Montana Ave.)
2. Rialto Bar & Grill (52 N Last Chance Gulch)
3. York Bar (7500 York Road, technically not in Helena, but work the drive)
I've got some more places to check out, so we'll see who for 100% certain, has the best damn burger in Helena.