by Emily Roth
It’s filling, full of flavor and from Montana. This description sums up the Clubfoot sandwich at The Staggering Ox. One more thing, it’s shaped like a can.
Loaves for the Clubfoot sandwiches are baked fresh daily in metal cans and hollowed out. They are stuffed until bursting with a delicious variety of fillings and come with a choice of specialty sauces. This process gives the sandwiches the unique appearance of an overflowing banded barrel and the perfect option for hungry college students on the go.
“You can hold it in one hand or set it on the table while eating and it stands up,” owner Jason Crippen said. “It’s portable, and you don’t have to worry about everything falling out.”
Located in Spokane Valley on East Sprague Avenue, The Staggering Ox also prepares all its sauces and soups every morning in the spacious, ranch-style restaurant.
“There are not many places around here where you can get that,” Crippen said. “We do everything fresh. There’s a lot of labor put into the final product.”
The most popular sandwiches are The Club House, Maui Wowwi and Mount St. Helens. The Club House is filled with bacon, turkey, ham, Swiss, sharp cheddar, guacamole, tomato and lettuce. The Maui Wowwi has a more tropical twist with ham, pineapple, Swiss, feta, tomatoes, onions and lettuce. But for the truly starving, there’s the Mount St. Helens which holds five meats, five cheeses, onions, lettuce, green peppers, mushrooms, black olives and sunflower seeds.
For those who wait until closing time, it’s possible to arrive and find all the Clubfoot loaves are gone after the lunch crowd has come through. Fortunately, there are other ways to enjoy these unique sandwiches as the restaurant offers catering and large order deliveries. To deliver to the Whitworth campus, for instance, would require an order of at least 10 sandwiches.
Anyone planning a party or other group event can also rent the restaurant after hours. The Staggering Ox has a bar, dance floor and stereo system for event use.
Prices at The Staggering Ox are typical for restaurants of its kind, with an additional 10 percent discount for students, military and seniors. The complete menu is available online at the Spokane branch web site. Potato dishes, salads and soups are served besides sandwiches. Several vegetarian options are included as well.
The Staggering Ox was founded in Helena, Mont. Since its opening, franchise branches have been opened in Missoula and Billings, Mont. Crippen owned the Missoula location with his brother, Justin Crippen, before moving to Spokane eight years ago.
“We bought the original Missoula location about a year after it opened,” Crippen said. “We both worked the store while we went to college and got our degrees in business.”
The Staggering Ox can be found at: staggeringox.com/spokane