There is not yet a category that allows reviews for the Staggering Ox in Missoula, Montana, so I'm adding it here for now.
In mid December (2012), when I visited my bestie in Missoula, MT, a relative suggested that we check out the Staggaring Ox sandwich shop. So I went online to look at it and it looked like all kinds of fun and a new experience to try.
As you can sort of tell from the photo, this is sort of a vertical and cylindrical sandwich.
They bake the bread in small coffee cans which they then hollow out like a bread bowl. The menu (see the website and spend some time reading it) has some very creative names and combinations. They make the bread daily, of which there are several types to choose from. They have sauces to choose from. It really is quite a large menu for a sandwich shop. They sell the hunks of bread they pull out of the loaves as "bread guts" with sauce of your choice for dipping.
The sandwiches were fun to eat and experience. I had "The Heartbreaker" which is a veggie combo with artichoke hearts in it. I can't say it was the best thing I've ever eaten, but the prices were reasonable and I would certainly try it again sometime. The entire concept and menu is truly creative and fun. They aren't as hard to eat as they might look. You can sort of collapse the cylinder by pressing it in your hands so it is sort of like a wrap. The bread was nice and soft...not hard and crunchy.
The only thing I think I could comment on negatively is that I was psyched for a better interior restaurant. Something more jazzy, like perhaps the inside of a Fuddrucker's or something. It was clean inside, but very small. Like a tiny deli or a tiny Subway. The interior experience was a let down and not in keeping with the imaginative product. But that's minor in the big picture. It's sort of like we pulled in and said..."Wait...this is IT??"
With a funky interior, an actual wait service (vs counter orders), and some music etc, it might be an even bigger success. Atmosphere counts. But then, atmosphere is nothing if the food sucks.
I also think it would sell if they made some sort of unique french fry with the sandwiches instead of bagged chips. Sweet potato fries...or...ooh, how bout curly sweet potato fries in a bird nest? Hey...it could happen. And sell t-shirts with the photo of the interesting sandwich style on it. I would buy one.
They are onto something.
Keep at it Staggering Ox! We will come back and see you again next time we're in town and try something else on the menu!
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