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Highway zen at the Ditch Café

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By Lauren Rieschel Explore Big Sky Editorial Assistant
Few establishments are capable of both being situated right on
Highway 191 and maintaining any kind of atmosphere, but The Ditch
Café makes it look effortless.
Established in 2009 by Steve and Mary Osman, The Ditch Café in Four
Corners chiefly offers up standard coffee-shop fare of sandwiches,
salads and coffee, along with friendly service. The indoor dining area is
housed in an old-fashioned wood building, but in favorable weather,
the cafe’s main attraction is outside.
The gentle burbling of a small creek (actually an exceedingly wellgroomed irrigation ditch) borders the outdoor eating area and masks noise from the highway. Clusters of wrought-iron chairs and tables are
scattered throughout the shade of cottonwood trees, perfect for a
morning coffee date or a leisurely lunch.
Although sandwiches are served at lunch, regular customers
recommend the all-day breakfast menu, as well as the crêpes. Thinking
that crêpes aren’t typical fare in Bozeman, I ordered a “tooti fruity”
crêpe and hoped for the best.
Although perhaps a bit thicker than the original, that crêpe was
nevertheless appetizing. Vanilla yogurt added some tartness to the
fresh strawberries and chocolate sauce – what’s not to like? A glass of
just-brewed iced tea made a good pairing as I sat and admired the
tranquil surroundings.
Glancing at the interior decoration reveals that Steve Osman is an
artist as well as a proprietor. Hanging on the walls, his acrylics feature
a self-described “cowboy zen” theme, quirky pieces that fuse east-west
art. A creation not easily forgotten was the painting of Buddha and
Marilyn Monroe in a trout-motif convertible, which is strangely
mesmerizing.
With a convenient location and its own distinctive character, the Ditch
is canine friendly and has another thing everyone can love – free wifi.
All in all, The Ditch Café far exceeds the expectation given by its
moniker.

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