Friday, August 20, 2010

Happiest Hour: Missoula Airport Restaurant and Lounge

Posted By on Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 3:30 PM

It's Friday. And because we can't pull off that long anticipated tropical voyage this weekend, we'll pretend. We've found this week's Happiest Hour pick, the Missoula Airport Restaurant and Lounge, provides just the fuel we need to trigger our imagination.

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Atmosphere: Fake ferns, bland décor, Griz gear and flags above the bar that say, “Welcome to Missoula.” The interior decorator won’t win any awards. But from a local’s perspective, the Airport Lounge is a perfect spot for daydreaming. We like putting on a pair of flip-flops and a flower print shirt before heading there. Dressed like a vacationing tourist, ala Don Ho, this bar offers a prime view of Missoula International Airport’s tarmac. It’s a perfect spot to sip a fruity drink and watch planes take off, all the while imagining that we’re about to fly away on an epic tropical vacation.

Who you’re drinking with: Folks lugging carry-on bags, honeymooning couples making out in the corner and families filling up before taking off.

What you’re drinking: The Airport Lounge offers a full bar. Whiskey and Coke is a favorite, says bartender Rocio Visquez, who, on a recent Wednesday afternoon, hustles to make sure everybody is taken care of before take-off. Local brews like Cold Smoke and Scape Goat are popular for the out-of-towners, too. “They love the local beer,” Visquez says. “Moose Drool, I would say, is the most popular.” Like most airports, though, drinks are pricey. Moose Drool costs $4.25 and a whiskey and Coke $5.

If you’re hungry: The Airport Restaurant and Lounge serves up typical grilled Americana cuisine, including club sandwiches with tater tots, burgers and fries and bacon and eggs.

Where to find it: Take Broadway west 2.6 miles from Reserve Street. Missoula International Airport is on the left. The lounge is in the terminal.

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