So as we all know, give me anything remotely American-themed and I’m there. My family have been giving me glowing reviews of Missoula for a while now, and faced with finding an almost-local restaurant for my birthday dinner, it seemed like an obvious choice.
American restaurants are ten a penny these days (gone are the days when pulled pork & sweet potato fries were a rarity!) but Missoula is styled off Montana, rather than the south, which sets it apart a little bit. It has a fun mismatch of animal-skin chairs, hunting paraphenalia and tribally prints that were all right up my street, and a not-enormous but carefully selected menu. Plus, the cocktail list had some fun American-themed choices that I was dying to try.
Funny story – I ordered the Huckleberry Lemon Drop first, which I thought was delicious. For my second, I opted for a Cherry Bourbon…and was served exactly the same drink I’d already had. I’m not really sure whether I got two Lemon Drops or two Cherry Bourbons (the bill said the latter, but that would make our waiter psychic) but whatever it was, it tasted good. After a lot of confusion over what cider was available, Matt ordered an American Hornsby’s that was actually delicious and that I will definitely be keeping my eye out for in the future!
We kicked things off with shrimp and wings. My family is big on wings and we’re all on a journey to find the best buffalo wing ever. We basically order wings at every restaurant we go to and these stand out as especially good: not buffalo wings as such and they were drier than usual and not battered, but they tasted great. The shrimp was also yummy, with a really light batter and nice big prawns in the middle.
Much as I love and adore pulled pork and burgers – and the offerings were tempting – I was a little bit sandwiched out and plus, on the night we visited, three of their steak cuts were half price. At those prices, it would have been rude to say no, so I went for an 8oz sirloin that M and I are both sure was way bigger than 8oz when it actually came.
We also got a side of pulled pork topped fries. I was more than a little upset when they arrived topped with cheese (where was that on the menu, kids?!) but Matt did a pretty good job of removing it and there were quite a few chunks of pork to be salvaged underneath. Also on the table was a steak salad for my virtuous dad, and burgers for the young’uns.
We were all pretttty stuffed by the end but couldn’t resist dessert. My sister & her boyfriend, and my mum and dad each shared a warm cookie dough skillet that had disappeared before I even got a chance to try, while M and I split a cherry pie – one of my all time fave desserts, as it happens. It came as an adorable little individual pie and it was fab.
Service was a little bit hit and miss, especially at the beginning, and the restaurant was almost empty (at least inside) so atmosphere was more than a little lacking. BUT they did have an excellent soundtrack of some of my alltime favourite country songs (I’m talking real, bona fide country music, not in a tacky way) and that, the food, and the company more than made up for it. I’d definitely go back to Missoula, maybe on a weekend night, and I believe they also do brunch. If you’re in Milton Keynes (or York, where the other branch is) and want something other than the millions of chain restaurants, I’d definitely recommend it!