Written by Devon Boen
The New Year isn’t just about setting goals, it is about trying new, fun things. So what’s a person to do when the bitter cold of January starts to set in besides curl up on the couch and watch a movie?
When your travels take you out-of-town, take a trip down Foodie Lane. Montana is filled with many interesting and unique foods, whether they come from tiny local joints or large, fine-dining establishments.
The Tupelo Grille is an acclaimed restaurant in Whitefish that one reviewer called “a little gem.” The establishment features gourmet Cajun and southern cuisine. Since it opened in 1995, it has been called one of the best restaurants in the Flathead Valley. The menu includes pecan-crusted Rocky Mountain trout, grilled Australian lamb rack and black pepper sesame seared ahi, just to name a few delicious options.
The Burger Dive
Burger-lovers should head to The Burger Dive in Billings. The place puts a gourmet twist on an all-American classic and offers a wide variety of flavors and styles. Whether you order the Juicy Lucy, a patty filled with molten cheese, or the Outlaw Burger topped with caramelized onions, you’ll likely satiate your cravings, no questions asked.
The Spice of Life Cafe
If you can’t decide what type of food you’re in the mood for, head on over to the Spice of Life Café in Hamilton. Its website said the restaurant features a mixture of Caribbean, Thai, Japanese and French cuisine. Talk about variety! Apparently, this melting pot of food works beautifully according to its almost universally good reviews. The menu includes fresh steamed Washington clams, shrimp scampi with pesto pasta, among other treats.
If you want to stay closer to home, you really can’t go wrong with Asian Garden in Sidney. It looks like any old, regular Chinese restaurant, but don’t let that fool you. The menu has all the traditional meals, but they are done better with fresher and more unique ingredients. The fried rice is moist, the orange chicken is flavorful and the egg rolls aren’t bland like a lot of other Asian cuisine hole-in-the walls. It is not a fine dining restaurant, but it will certainly leave you feeling satisfied when you’re craving some decent Chinese food.
The Moose’s Saloon
Everyone loves a good beer and even better pizza, so in-turn, everyone should probably love Moose’s Saloon in Kalispell. The down-home establishment boasts “world famous pizza” with creative toppings like shrimp and sauerkraut. If you’re not into pizza, they have a long list of sandwiches and an even longer list of beer.
Chico Hot Springs
If you’re looking for a full-on get-away and not just a one-time dinner, visit Chico Hot Springs near Pray. The resort and spa offers a wide range of attractions including the hot springs and fine dining to boot. The dinner menu includes gorgonzola filet mignon, baked brie en croute and barbecue bison short-rib ravioli. If those dishes alone aren’t convincing, then amplify the experience by having dinner in the resort’s intimate wine cellar.
The concept that cooking is an art is taken to a whole new level at Fancy Sushi Asian Fusion in Billings. One look at the website will make you wonder if you’re ordering a plate of raw fish or a masterpiece. It can be true that a beautiful dish doesn’t always equal quality taste, but this doesn’t seem to be the case at Fancy Sushi. It has a reputation for being one of the better sushi restaurants in the state. Even those who are wary about eating the uncooked cuisine too far from a coastline should come try some shumai with a yellowtail jalapeno roll.
Gourmet Hot Dogs
All the glitz and glamour of these fine dining sit-downs isn’t for everyone. For those who want fast and fantastic all-in-one need to check out Tom Dooley’s Gourmet Hot Dogs in Missoula. The menu is filled with custom hot dogs including the kitchen’s signature dog aptly named the Tom Dooley, which is topped with horseradish sauce, caramelized onions and red and green peppers. What makes the hot dogs special are their high quality meat and innovative toppings. No plain-Jane ballpark franks here.