St Patrick's Day is almost here, and I have been fantasizing about some good eats. I have always loved the classic St. Paddy's dish corned beef and cabbage. It is one of the most simple recipes a person can make and proof the less is more. But, St. Patrick's Day eats don't stop there.

Back in the 1800s, miners in Butte, MT were predominately Irish immigrants. They needed a meal that could easily be transported down the mine shafts, for lunch. That is where pasties were the most popular. Originating in the UK and Ireland, pasties are hearty meat pies that could easily fit in a lunch box and keep the miners sustained through their long workdays.

If you are looking for a meal that is has it's roots in both Irish and Montana heritage, you need to try a pasty. It is one of those kind of meals that can't be beat. Simply meat and potatoes stufed inside a crispy pastry. You can't truly consider yourself a Montanan until you try one.

The website recently ranked the top 7 places to get an authentic pastie in the Big Sky State.

1. Lisa’s Pasty Pantry, 2004 W Sussex Ave., Missoula

2. Nancy’s Pasty Shop, 2810 Pine St., Butte

3. Wind’s Pasties, 208 E Park Ave., Anaconda

4. Pug Mahon’s, 3011 1st Ave N., Billings

5. Joe’s Pasty Shop, 1641 Grand Ave., Butte

6. Sean Kelly’s Stone of Accord, 4951 N Reserve St., Missoula

7. Truzzolino Tamales, 1921 Harrison Ave., Butte

Bite into a piece of Montana history this St. Patrick's Day, while you celebrate Irish heritage. Erin go bragh!

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