I got to know the Staggering Ox at its original Helena, MT location in the Lundy Center. It's still there, and presumably doing good business. It was a quasi-alternative health food sandwich shop before such places were cool.
You place you order at the counter. They give you a playing card, and you sit down amongst the plants until they bring you your order.
The plant collection was impressive when I was there form 1989 to 1995. Apparently it was even more impressive before the blast in 1988 (a train explosion in February that blew out all the windows -- the frigid temperatures killed the existing plants).
The Staggering Ox was a favorite lunch place when we were feeling wealthy -- and willing to spend $5 or so.
The sandwiches are amazing. My favorite was always "The Nuke". It includes Ham, Turkey, Roast Beef, Swiss, Provolone, Sharp Cheddar, Lettuce and Sauce. I always ordered it white, with Italian dressing, and tomatoes. It was always a great sandwich.
I hadn't realized how much I missed it until today when I heard the add. It's been at least 6 or 7 years since I've been there. So tonight I eagerly headed out to:
So the Missoula location is basically a generic stip mall store front. Maybe they'll personalize it more in the coming years.
But it is in a nice neighborhood.
The Staggering Ox is the kind of place that can't be bothered with those modern "drinking glasses".
You will drink your soda from a Ball canning jar, and you will like it.
And they were doing it before it was trendy.
But I know what you really came here for. You want to see the sandwich.
Isn't she a beauty? The Clubfoot sandwiches are basically a food long round, wide, hollow bun. It's closed at one end and stuffed with tasty sandwich fixin's.
The trick to eating one is that you have to start at the top. Pick it up so you are looking at the stuff in the sandwich. Now rotate the sandwich so the seams are on top and on bottom. When you squeeze the sandwich, squeeze by those seams. This is very important. If you rotate it 90 degrees so the seams are parallel with the table, and then squeeze, you might split the sandwich and end up with meat and lettuce all over the the place.
It was as good as I remember.