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A casual place to get a drink, relax and have some of the best comfort food in the neighborhood. It’s also great for brunch, especially if you’re craving baked eggs. Though the “Appalachian East coast country food” theme is a bit heavy-handed, Montana’s Trail House has quickly established itself as a go-to joint for locals with great food and friendly vibes. Don’t miss the fried chicken.
The state of Montana seems to be referenced in the joint’s moniker, it actually represents the given name of owner Montana Masback, former bartender at the Last Chance Saloon. A Bushwick bistro opened by a dive bartender? Here anything can happen….We loved the brisket braised in root beer ($23), and never asked if the braising liquid was organic or not. The thick slabs flopped across something called rice grits, creamy and salty. From a choice of four other entrees, we forewent the fried chicken (you can get good fried chicken anywhere in Brooklyn these days), the “barnyard” trout, and a vegetable plate, in favor of the so-called “tongue and cheek reuben” ($15). This fine sandwich features those two variety meats with house-cured sauerkraut. Apart from a certain sameness in our two entrees, we were satisfied by the quality and quantity of the food.
Google Montana’s Trail House and words like “Appalachian black magic” and “East Coast country” will pop up. What exactly that means and how that all plays out on a corner in Bushwick, it’s kind of hard to tell—but it works. In a gas station refitted inside and out with beautiful wood salvaged from a barn in Kentucky and plenty of pieces of old Americana, owner Montana Masback has transformed the space and divided it into two dining rooms: the Roost, a tiny wedge of a corner room, welcomes you up front, and the Tack Room around the corner houses the bar, a bookcase with a secret door to an outside patio, complete with two-tops and seats covered with green and red vinyl, and hanging rusty antiques. Throw in some young, model-esque servers and tattooed bartenders, a playlist of soul and country, plus vintage wallpaper, and you’ve got some trail-house fun.
A creative selection of reasonably priced cocktails starts at $10. The waiters are diner-style friendly, but not always knowledgeable. The locavore menu reads like a scene from “Portlandia” (“barnyard trout” and “kale slaw”), while the late-night bar snacks include fried pickles and corn dogs.y.”