The Roving Diner: The Buck Snort


The Roving Diner didn’t have to rove very far for this one. It is almost in Missoula’s back yard. I am referring of course to the Buck Snort Bar and Casino as well as Mr. B’s Chophouse, the restaurant within. “What?” You say in mock disbelief, having seen a number of operators come and go over the years. “The Buck Snort at the top of Evaro Hill?”

One and the same. The Buck Snort is not only back but this time it is worth the drive. In fairness and being a believer in full disclosure, I should disclose that I went there initially because my nephew Alex is a bartender there. He wasn’t there the first time we went but the bacon cheeseburger sure was and it was delicious as was the Caesar Salad that Amy (the Roving Diner’s faithful assistant  and fellow rover) ordered.

Upon a return visit we tried the Seafood Spread appetizer, a mixture of nicely seasoned crab, shrimp in cream cheese and the Ahi tuna which was seared to perfection. Upon another recent return, our dining companions feasted on sumptuous ribeye steaks that were grilled to mid-rare, just as they were ordered.

Who would expect to find fresh Ono or Ahi in a rural mountain restaurant?

Owner Ben Koepke is originally from Chicago but spent several years in Hawaii before settling in the Missoula area and opening up at the top of Evaro Hill. His time in Hawaii surely has affected his culinary style and in a most positive way.

Who would expect to find fresh Ono or Ahi in a rural mountain restaurant?…Macadamia Nut Encrusted Ono, at that.

The setting is easy comfort. The bar has televisions (we watched the Griz win the last game of the season and the Big Sky championship there) for those who like a sport bar atmosphere. Mr. B’s Chophouse is the dining room for those who prefer a quieter, more formal dining room setting. There is also a casino and an outdoor patio for those nice summer nights when outdoor dining is so refreshing.

The menu is varied with everything from steaks and seafood to burgers and sandwiches to soups, salads and desserts. The beef is Certified Angus, hand cut and aged 21 days.

The fish is flown in fresh and the coffee is 100 % Kona Coffee and served in a French Press.The one thing that I found lacking is vegetarian entrees. In this day and age, I believe that every restaurant should have at least one truly excellent choice for non-carnivorous diners and more if the demand is there.

Like I said at the start, we originally went there because my nephew is the bartender. I can however see my nephew anywhere. We went back because the food and service were excellent and the overall experience is worth the drive.I once coined the phrase the drive is short but the memory is long. Take a short drive to the top of Evaro Hill and visit the Buck Snort. I know I will again soon.

The beef is Certified Angus, hand cut and aged 21 days.

MONDAY: Closed

TUESDAY: 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm

WEDNESDAY: 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm

THURSDAY: 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm

FRIDAY: 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm

SATURDAY: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm

SUNDAY: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm


LOCATED at the top of Evaro Hill just outside Missoula off Hwy 93 North. Just before mile marker 7. Look for the billboard at the bottom of the hill. Plenty of parking for RVs, trailers, and motorcycles.


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Bob Zimorino is a full-time real estate agent with Lambros/ERA Real Estate, a retired Certified Executive Chef, a musician with the popular local band Mudfoot and the Dirty Soles, a dad, and a grandpa. He shares the experiences from his life that helped shape his careers and hobbies. His weekly “Taste It” blog is his take on the evolution of food in his lifetime.