Of all the foreign food experiences, my personal favorite is the comfort food: Enter Ninja Mike’s Gallo Pinto, the Central American breakfast of beans and rice that is not only tasty, but instantly recognizable to anyone who went on their Spanish class trip to Costa Rica in high school.
I developed a taste for the dish after my sister came back from a yearlong mission trip to San José with a local recipe, and spent the next few Saturdays making the surprisingly intensive dish.
But skip the recipe and head straight to Missoula’s favorite breakfast sandwich spot for a change-of-pace breakfast.
The rice and beans are mixed with onion and red pepper and mixed with Lizano sauce, a variant of Worcestershire, which give them a deep flavor that’s great all its own. But Ninja Mike’s tops it all off with two over-easy eggs, slices of avocado and chipotle sour cream.
Chop and mix it all together if you want to get traditional (there are variations; my sister’s recipe called for scrambled eggs mixed in) and don’t be afraid to order it for lunch if beans and rice seem a little weird for breakfast. Like most comfort foods, it’s always a good time for Gallo Pinto.
Price: $7.25 for that filled-to-the-brim to-go box. Plenty enough for one person or to share.
Location: 200 W. Pine St. in the transfer center building. Order inside or at the corner window.
Open from 6:30 a.m.-2 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturdays.