Author Archive

Colter Pedersen

Born and raised in Montana, Colter Pedersen loves to enjoy the idea of the outdoors from the comfort of the indoors.

Smaller Plates, Bigger Flavors

Text by Colter Pedersen  |  Photography by Jacqui Smith

Taking on Tapas in a Steak and Potato Town

Black and white pictures, neon signs, a King Kong poster just past a wooden horse, walking through the front door of Bert & Ernie’s presents a kitschy, eclectic combination of keepsakes and Helena history, 40 years in the making.

Then a quick look to the left delivers a different take entirely, upscale, refined, ringed in glassware and borderline bougie. That’s the original wine bar, opened 11 years ago, and the gateway to the restaurant’s deeper dichotomy, two fully functioning operations offering distinctly different, yet completely complementary experiences, all under one roof.

Both recently renovated, each creates its own ambiance, with familiar family fare (pizza, burgers, beer) on one side and a decidedly more experimental menu on the other.

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More than a Milestone, A Ruby Runner Camp 45 years in the Making

A hunting camp means many different things to many different men, but for Vern Raymond and Al Stenhjem it means nothing if not commitment. Not a commitment to each other (it’s not that kind of story), but a commitment to an idea, a connection to wilder times and wilder ways.

For the past 45 years these two men have led a rotating roster of regulars into the wilderness, setting up camps across South Central Montana, making life a little less comfortable but all the more enjoyable.

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Roadhouse Diner

Burgers, Bombers and Breakfast

“I was always going to open a diner,” begins Jason Beam of the Roadhouse. “I’ve been building menu ideas for 10 years.” He and his wife Tara recently quit their day jobs, (he in advertising, she in nursing) to follow their food dreams. Now they’re cranking out quirky twists on American classics five days a week.

It can be tough to get a spot in the modest lot, but there’s most always a seat open inside where you’ll find an old school diner with rockabilly roots.

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