by Jimmy Tobias
Slice master: Tagliare owner Cheryl Bregen stands in the shop’s close-quarters kitchen and meticulously assembles an antipasto platter. It contains meats and cheeses arranged in a ring around a glistening mound of marinated olives. The selected cuts are as hard to pronounce as they are delicious—smoked muscovy duck, two kinds of soppressata, speck, manchego, mozzarella, beemster, stuffed peppadews and bresaola. That last one, bresaola, is air-dried salted beef aged for about three months and looks a little purple. This is the kind of exotic (and expensive) stuff Bregen is slinging, and it’s what Tagliare—the italian verb for “to cut” or “to slice”—is all about.
Unsung specialties: Everyone knows Tagliare as a sandwich shop. From the “Kiss” to the “Megadeath,” its music-themed hoagie menu draws loyal customers week after week. But Bregen says her 5-year-old storefront is first and foremost a deli, and her sliced meats are the under-appreciated bedrock of her business.
“We are a deli that sells sandwiches, rather than a sandwich shop that happens to have sliced meats,” she says. “So we are trying to bring that back a little bit more, more deli.”
A slight shift: By St. Patrick’s Day at the latest, Bregen says she will be coming out with new options at her deli counter, such as grilled portobellos, eggplant and tortellini salads. She says she also wants to add more of those savory sliced meats to the popular sandwich options. “There is sort of a a shift coming … but the sandwiches aren’t going anywhere. I don’t want rocks through my window. If I take away the Megadeath, it will be over,” she says with a laugh.
Where to find it: Try the meats and cheeses at Tagliare Delicatessen, 1433 S. Higgins Ave.
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