Montana was our third state during our two week road trip. It was twelve days, two female road warriors who are in their forties (my friend and I), four states and a lot of eating. We definitely did our share of adventures and adventurous eating!
There are many words to describe Montana such as marvelous, breathtaking, relaxing and inspiring. For me, it was a feeling of awe that no human words could describe. There was a lot to see and do in the few days that we were in Montana. I felt that I had just scratched the surface of many new adventures that are in my future.
On our first day, we checked into our Airbnb cabin, went into town for dinner and relaxed on our front porch. Then there was the day we went on a remarkable horse back riding trip through Glacier National Park. The day after that, we drove for hours along the “Going to the Sun Road” that stretches through the whole of Glacier. On our last day, we drove out of Montana and into Idaho, driving through the back roads and along quiet highways.
I suppose you could consider my four days in Montana like an introduction to a long term relationship. As an Earth sign, Capricorn, I felt both energized and humbled with so much earthly beauty surrounding me. I may not move here since I am a city girl at heart but I can definitely see myself living in Montana for a week or two!
Out of all the four states that we road tripped through, I do believe that my friend and I did the most canaigre through Montana! I think the mountain air and big sky, made us as the old saying goes, “Hungry as a bear”. From eating Native Fry Bread that I swear expanded in our stomachs to sipping rum cocktails and watching mermaids swim, my “What I ate in MONTANA – A Food Journal – Road Tripping and Eating”.
The Sip n’ Dip Lounge – Great Falls
A tiki bar in the middle of Montana- Yasss! Sip ‘n Dip Lounge has been noted as one of the coolest places to fly into for a bar, or something like that. We drove in from Wyoming on the way to Glacier National park and spent the night in Great Falls, just so I could check out this cool tiki lounge.
The drinks were traditional tiki drinks which were great to sip on while watching the Montana mermaids swim behind the bar. They also offer a full menu which was great since I was hungry after our long drive from WY. I ordered a small bowl of Ham and Potato soup which was good, nothing to get excited about. Although it was a base of some type of food before I downed my large tiki drink!
The Sip ‘n Dip Lounge was such a cool place to visit. Check it out if you find yourself in Montana, especially if you dig tiki bars!
Four lounge information and locaiotn – The Sip ‘n Dip Lounge
5th & Wine – Great Falls
Welcome to the coolest wine bar in Great Falls, Montana! Here is where you can enjoy upscale dining in a very comfortable setting, drinking luscious wines and eat a hearty meal! My friend and I were in Great Falls for only one night and in our usual fashion, we try to locate one of the nicest restaurants in the smallest of towns. Great Falls is a big town really with a cool culinary scene, especially with 5th & Wine as a highlight!
👩🏻💻 For my complete review and blog ➡ 5th & Wine – The Coolest Wine Bar in Great Falls, Montana
We started off with a glass of Pinot Noir which was a magical pairing with our elevated steak dinner. Since my friend and I are fans of the shrooms, we started off with the Cedar Plank Mushrooms. A wooden plank topped with grilled and smoked wild mushrooms, goat cheese , roasted thyme and a drizzle of arbequina olive oil. It was a truly magnificent starter, very smoky and hearty.
Our main course was the Wagyu Beef Tenderloin Drizzled with a huckleberry demi-glace with a celeriac puree and grilled asparagus. The tenderloins served at 5th and Wine were from a local Montana ranch that raised Wagyu cattle. How perfect was this steak dinner that our Wagyu tenderloins were raised close by. It was obvious that this dining establishment was thoughtful in choosing local ingredients and meats, to help support the local economy. Plus if you are looking for a true Montana meal experience, you need to eat local and not at a chain!
For restaurant information and reservations – 5th & Wine
Tracy’s Family Restaurant – Great Falls
Tracy’s seemed to be the popular place for breakfast in Great Falls. When we arrived, there was a line of people waiting patiently outside their doors. That’s okay because it was worth the wait though especially for their Chicken Fried Steak. I have not had Chicken Fried Steak this delicious since Del’s in New Mexico. Actually after eating it at Del’s in NM almost a decade ago, I have not eaten it again. I am glad I waited because the CFS at Tracy’s was excellent! The steak was thick and the crispy batter was perfect. The southern gravy was very nice and flavorful for being white gravy!
We also wanted to try the waffle because our server suggested it. Since we really wanted the Chicken Fried Steak, we ordered the Kid’s menu waffle just to try it. Yes, it was good but not as good as their CFS!
🥩 Montana surely knows how to do a steak, even a bad ass chicken fried one!
For restaurant information – Tracy’s Family Diner
The Backroom – Columbia Falls
The fry bread, the braised chicken dinner or the rib dinner- that is all! Oh and they have a full bar! The Backroom in Columbia Falls seems to be a casual place for locals and a few tourists who wander in. The cuisine is pure comfort food and the prices are great. It is not a fancy place but they make up for it with the delicious food that they serve!
My friend ordered the ribs and I ordered the braised (fried) chicken. Both were scrumptious, especially my well-seasoned, crispy braised chicken! The frybread with their honey butter was to die for and really filled us up. I swear that the fry bread expanded in our stomachs because we got full so fast! Everything was homestyle and comfort food at it’s finest! 😋
For restaurant information – The Backroom
The Huckleberry Patch – Hungary Horse
I am known not to eat fruit on it’s own but I have no problem when it is made into a dessert! Until I visited Wyoming and Montana, I had never tried a Huckleberry! I have heard of it due to the fictional characters like Huckleberry Finn and Huckleberry Hound but never tried one.
I was hoping to try a few fresh berries but since the season was over, I ordered a scoop of ice cream and a slice of pie. Totally two different taste experiences so I recommend that you try both. The scoop was very generous and the taste was very sweet. I liked it but not sure if the true huckleberry taste was represented. As for the pie, it was very good and quite tart. The crust was light and it was loaded with huckleberries, I liked it just as much. Like I said, just try both. I mean, why choose? 🤷🏻♀️
For store and restaurant information – The Huckleberry Patch
Three Forks Grille – Columbia Falls
Columbia Falls is not a big city, it is more of a big town that is just outside the West Enterance of Glacier National Park. If you ask any local what their favorite nice restaurant is, more than likely the answer will be “Three Forks Grille”. Three Forks Grille A very good meal in a casual upscale restaurant that serves dishes made from local ingredients with an Italian twist.
👩🏻💻 For my complete review and blog ➡ Three Forks Grille – The Most Popular Restaurant in Columbia Falls, Montana
This will be a quick on the table breakdown of our dinner but if you would like to read it in detail, check out my blog and review- Details are above! So, on the table was a glass of Dr. Loosen Riesling from the Mosel Valley in Germany. It was a magnificent accompaniment to my House Salad and Grilled Rainbow Trout with summer vegetables and lentils. My friend decided on ordering the Grilled 11 oz. Ribeye with gorgonzola butter. I was lucky enough to try a bite and that gorgonzola butter was marvelous! 😋 We ended our meal with the Sweet Ricotta Tart which was good and made with mascarpone cheeses and seasonal berries. I can see why this restaurant is one of Columbia Fall’s finest! Delizioso!
For restaurant location and information – Three Forks Grille
Trixi’s Antler Grill – Ovando
Trixi’s was not bad considering they dropped the “E” from my name! 😉 If you are hungry and in the area this is your best bet for a hot sit down meal, considering there really is not much else around.
The food is average, nothing special about it and several items come from US Foods. We saw the truck being unloaded and our server said their Biscuits and Gravy were frozen. My friend asked if they were made in house and she was honest enough to say that they were frozen.
The prices were inexpensive but they only accepted cash or check, and they have an ATM on site. The ambiance is pretty cool like a Montana dive bar with buck heads, a bar and a pool table. Our server was down to earth and very friendly. I’m sure they are known for their bar life rather than their cuisine but I am grateful they were open at 10 AM!
Espresso West – West Yellowstone
We came here twice for coffee only because I knew that I could walk up and get coffee. It was okay, not anything great when it came to my Americano. By the second day, I think I just needed caffeine for the road. My Americano was pretty watered down although I do understand that it is watered down espresso. It was just super watered down or the espresso was very light OR Both!
I also picked up a couple of pastries, their Banana Nut Bread and Huckleberry Bar. Both were fresh and good, plus the lady behind the counter threw the ends for free. Other than that, the service was very friendly and the place had a line both days. It was a pretty popular place!
Picnic at Glacier National Park
There were a couple of times on our National Park road trip that we packed a picnic. It was an easy and convenient way to have our lunches on hand especially with the crowds at the park restaurants. On this particular day, we had driven the full “Going to the Sun Road” in Glacier National Park and decided to have lunch at Saint Mary Lake. This was the ending spot of the road as it was closed off to the East side of the park. It was perfect because after we lunched, we walked to the lake for photos and drove back along the same road!
For our lunches, I had made croissant sandwiches with lettuce, tomato, red onion, cheese and meat. We also purchased pasta salad from the market that went perfectly with our sandwiches. Since we love avocados too, we brought a whole one to share. I love a good picnic!
There was a lot more to see and places to eat in this great state. I already have a list of Montana experiences that I would like to do from visiting Big Sky, other cool small towns, dude ranches, steak houses and the list goes on and on. There is a lot to do, I better get cracking!
Eff Yeah! MONTANA!
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