Sandwiches: We Checked Out Three of Billings’ Newest Shops
I'm always on the prowl for a great sandwich. The concept is simple: two pieces of bread filled with ingredients. But a sandwich is so much more than that. They're portable, usually easy to eat with one hand and most of them hold up well in a lunchbox or the office fridge. Whatever you like on your sandwich - roast beef, turkey, ham, tuna salad, Italian, egg salad, vegan or even a toasty grilled cheese - it's tough to beat a great sandwich for lunch. For some reason they always taste better when someone else makes them. Have you ever noticed that? I can buy the best ingredients, make them with care and my homemade sandwiches turn out just good, not awesome.
As a sandwich lover, I was excited to hear about three new additions to the deli/lunch scene around Billings. I should clarify, one is a second location (of Chalet Market) and the other two are brand new. Let's take a look.
First I swung by Market Deli & Catering, located in the basement of the Valley Federal Credit Union building on N. Broadway downtown. The owner, Daniel Burt, told me they've been there for about three months and business has been steady. How did I not know about this place sooner? It's like two blocks from my office and will probably earn a spot on my lunchtime rotation.
Market Deli & Catering features a fairly simple menu of sandwiches and soups, made with fresh ingredients. Prices seem very fair.
They also are doing "heat-n-eat" meals. The menu is announced weekly if you place an order before the deadline you can pick them up and eat at home. When I stopped by, they were preparing these awesome looking chicken fajita bowls. They smelled fantastic.
Next, I strolled over to the First Interstate Bank building, where Chalet Market just opened their second Billings location.
Located in the basement of the tower, this new location features the full menu of their 24th St. location, as well as many of their Montana made gift items like huckleberry preserves, chocolates and their famous jerky and meat sticks.
Chalet Market has been one of my favorite sandwich shops forever and this new downtown location will be convenient for many workers in the area, including yours truly.
Lastly, I hopped over to Evergreen Plaza (13th and Grand), where inside Evergreen Ace Hardware you'll find a new deli called... Evergreen Cafe. H/T to the Billings Gazette for sharing the announcement about this new mid-town lunch spot.
Owners Cyd and Stu Hoefle are new to the restaurant business (she owns Raised in the West Magazine and he's a retired engineer), but they've hired a couple of experienced sandwich artists to help make great sandwiches, soups, salads, fruit trays and charcuterie platters. They were fun to chat with and I could really feel their excitement about their new venture.
I forgot to take a picture of the Italian sub I ordered before I scarfed it down, but it was delicious. Soft, fresh bread filled with tasty salami, ham & cheese. So good. Evergreen Cafe uses Boar's Head meats and sources locally as many other ingredients as possible. They have a "grab-n-go" setup, where you can pop in and get a ready-made sandwich (that's what I did) or they can make one up for you with toppings of your choice. They also serve Wilcoxin's ice cream.
With some local restaurants closing because of COVID-19, it was inspiring to see a few newbies brave enough to throw their hats in the lunchtime arena. All three of the places I visited are locally owned and all of them make great lunches. Give them a try when you get a chance.