Ted’s Montana Grill
A meal at Ted’s Montana Grill is more than a culinary experience; it’s an educational journey into sustainability and the American bison. Founded by media mogul Ted Turner and restauranteur George McKerrow, Jr., Ted’s Montana Grill stars the bison, which is leaner than beef, boasting a high iron content, fewer calories and lower cholesterol.
Although most entrées come in either certified bison or Angus beef, it would be a shame not to try at least a bison slider. Even the soups and the pot roast feature bison, which is slightly sweeter and lighter than beef.
Ted’s also promotes sustainability for the planet, which is the reason your drinking straw is made of polymer-coated paper. Ask for server Maria – one of the few with a “100%” pin from McKerrow – and she will enthusiastically tell you all about the environmental considerations at Ted’s, along with bison as a sustainable source of red meat.
In addition to forging relationships with local farmers, the Coconut Point location is the only one in the chain of 44 restaurants with its own organic herb and vegetable garden. Guests who come for weekday Happy Hour on the patio will not only find a waterfront view, but a walkway lined with greenery, where Chef Juan Rangel can harvest mint, tomatoes and basil.
Inside, the decor is reminiscent of a turn-of-the-century Old West saloon, with a full mosaic-tiled floor, mahogany paneling, pendant lighting and a pressed tin ceiling. Servers give change in $1 coins and $2 bills.
Proprietor Jacob Haskell says Ted’s goes beyond just saying it’s “fresh.” Everything is made from scratch, down to the fresh-squeezed lemonade, orange juice and grapefruit juice. All steaks are hand cut, and bison is ground fresh twice a day. Even the fish is shipped from the coast or flown in fresh.
“The only thing frozen here is the Haagen-Dazs ice cream,” Haskell says – which tastes great, by the way, atop Ted’s amazing Apple Pecan Crisp!
01. STARTERS/ ST. PHILLIP’S ISLAND CRAB CAKE
Ted’s crab cake is heavy on the crab and light on the breading. As a bonus, it’s served with handmade guacamole and fresh cole slaw, seasoned with dill from the patio herb garden. Also try the Bar None Sliders if you’re after a taste of bison without committing to a full entrée.
02. SOUP/ ‘FLYING-D’ BISON CHILI
This hearty and comforting dish is enhanced by the rich flavor of bison meat, topped with cheese and jalapenos. The chili also is the star of the Bison Nachos. Other soups are featured throughout the week. We tried the chicken tortilla, topped with crispy fried tortilla strips, available on Thursdays.
03. BISON BURGERS/ THE AVALON
It’s the tasty blend of toppings which makes this burger a standout among the list of 20 burgers available at Ted’s – offered in either certified Angus Beef or bison certified by the National Bison Association. The Avalon features melted Gruyere with a hint of bleu cheese, along with crumbled bacon and caramelized onions. Top it all with roasted garlic mayo and baby arugula for a mouthwatering combination. Also try the No. 11, this year’s anniversary burger, topped with horseradish cheddar, slow-braised bison and grilled mushrooms. Order the 50/50 side to get both fries and onion rings.
04. STEAK/ DELMONICO RIBEYE
The aged and hand-cut bison ribeye is lean and flavorful, especially when topped with lemon butter and paired with garlic mashed potatoes. For a vegetable, try the new corn soufflé. Other cuts of bison include filet and Kansas City Strip. Beef prime rib is available on the weekends, and often throughout the week during peak season. Pair it with a glass of Bison Ridge cabernet sauvignon.
05. SEAFOOD/ SALT-AND-PEPPER TROUT
Although not known for seafood, Ted’s has some tasty fresh-from-the-sea options. The crab cake is offered in an entrée-sized portion, along with Cedar Plank Salmon and two versions of trout. The Salt-and-Pepper Trout is topped with a fresh corn and tomato salsa and served with asparagus.
06. DESSERT/ APPLE PECAN CRISP
You definitely want to save room for dessert. The giant Apple Pecan Crisp comes out hot and bubbly and is sized for sharing. The pecans add a nutty crunch to this gooey, warm dessert. Pair it with an after dinner drink to cap off a Ted’s Montana Grill feast.