Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Itti Bitti Bistro hatches big plans as Saturday street fair debuts May 30


Absarokee veterinarian and businessman Rex Anderson and his wife Monica launch a weekly Farmers and Flea Market Saturday. Tourists are expected to fill the streets of Absarokee, and locals are invited to participate.
PHOTOS By BRUCE KELLER and courtesy Monica and Rex Anderson

WHEN THE ITTI BITTI Bistro made its debut on main street a few years ago, Absarokee veterinarian Rex Anderson said he wanted to bring "a little variety, quality and fun" to the food scene in downtown Absarokee, Montana.
He succeeded -- with tasty soups, sandwiches, pies and desserts attracting business people, tourists and locals looking for new mid-day dining.
Now, with an artistic wife, Monica, who moved to Stillwater County from Livingston when the couple married, the two entrepreneurs have devised a continuing Saturday event. 
ENTER THE new, weekly Itti Bitti Farmers and Flea Market.
The summer happening begins this Saturday, May 30, and will continue Saturdays through the summer, except during Fishtail Family Fun Days June 27. It should appeal to locals as well as tourists looking for a colorful day.
Itti Bitti Bistro serves up a mean pizza.  Food and drink are part of the plan.
Absarokee, Montana's main street will liven up each Saturday through summer.
Each Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the couple debuts an expanded version of their corner bistro.  "We'll be using the building and environs inside and the outside, for people of  Absarokee and the outlying areas to come and shop, buy, sell, and trade," says Monica.
Booth space is for sale.
Demonstrations and live music are planned, along with, arts, crafts, garden produce, farm eggs, honey, food and drink.  "As it grows, we welcome  fundraising endeavors, and community enterprises,”
says Monica.
THE COUPLE welcomes vendors large and small to gather weekly at 30 S. Woodard.
“Bring the kids for ice cream, specialty drinks, and our famous artisan craft pizza for the market’s May 30 grand opening,” says Monica.
Wayne and Connie Burleson will be on hand Saturday to demonstrate
organic growing and share their knowledge and plants.
Regional authors will sign and sell their books (full disclosure: this blog's writer Christene Meyers' novel, "Lilian's Last Dance," is part of the arts and book display. Signed copies are available, with an "Itti Bitti" discount.)
THE ANDERSONS have also invited popular gardening instructors, Wayne and Connie Burleson, of Gardening 4 Life. They will offer free organic gardening demonstrations each Saturday at 11 a.m. "Kids and adults will learn from their clever and easy to implement techniques," says Monica.
The Burlesons are on tap at the market's debut this Saturday to demonstrate the "MOZ" Bucket, a fast and simple way to grow healthy foods.
Each Saturday, a market is planned in downtown Absarokee. All are welcome.
Market headquarters are inside and outside at Itti Bitti Bistro.
The "MOZ" Bucket Garden got its name when the Burlesons traveled to Mozambique, Africa, to volunteer their time and expertise in improving farming and gardening techniques.
Market goers will learn to layer super soils with organic material -- sticks, compost and straw.  “The plant growth rate in the "MOZ" Bucket Garden is crazy.  Imagine vine ripe tomatoes in July!”  says Wayne Burleson. The Burlesons will have hardy tomato and other seedlings for sale at the market.
MONICA envisions a "swap meet" atmosphere, too, where people bring used, quality garage-sale type items and art objects, as a good way to empty closets and recycle. She's also invited jewelers, soap and lotion makers, craftsmen, bakers, and creators of homemade jams, jellies and other edibles.  Her husband promises to share his award-winning barbecue.
The gorgeous sandhill crane takes a bow at whereiscookie.
Interested persons may call Monica at 406 298-0246 to inquire about booth rates. Or e-mail her at

COMING UP: The sandhill crane is back in Montana and we've been spotting and photographing these lovely and graceful creatures each time we drive down from above Nye, to Fishtail and into Absarokee.  Remember to explore, learn and live -- and take time to enjoy the sandhills!  Catch us for travel, adventure and fun ideas on the road, Wednesdays and weekends, at: 


  1. Santa Barbara Absarokee boundMay 27, 2015 at 4:01 PM

    We happened on Absarokee a couple years ago, on a Yellowstone Park visit from our home in Santa Barbara. We loved the park, then Cooke City and Silvergate, the fabulous Beartooth Highway and Red Lodge. We stayed a fun night in Absarokee and will always remember the sad drive to return our rental car to the Billings airport. Hope to make one of the Saturday fairs! Thanks for the tip.

  2. Midwest MotorhomersMay 27, 2015 at 6:16 PM

    If I come to Absarokee, Montana, can I visit this delightful "Itti Bitti" venue AND see the sandhill cranes? Or would that be gilding the lily? I am learning how to pronounce "Ab-sarr-kee" and look forward to a visit.

  3. We always stop in Red Lodge when we come from New we have a new stop-over, and will make it on a summer Saturday. What fun!