My occasionally snarky thoughts on everything from motherhood, politics, life and current events. Cocktails are sometimes mandatory. Bottoms up!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Missing Montana...

...even though we once lived in the basement of a double-wide there.

No, really! We did! It's my redneck trump card, in fact. But that's a story for another day...

I was perusing my blogroll yesterday and came across Bitterroot at Friction and Harmony telling a meandering tale about living in the backwoods of Montana (where Ted Kaczynski was just another crazy dirty guy on a bike - there are quite of them out there, actually) and eating yummy delicious fresh beef.

An occasional grilled steak was a treat, but because we lived in ‘Bear Country,’ it was ‘rare’ indeed. One evening after enjoying steaks at a neighbors, he was awakened by bears on his deck, tearing his grill apart to lick the charred beef fat from the grate… Smart bears! After that, I was more or less forbidden to use the grill unless an adult was home. Damn!

So eventually they built The Legal Tender. Salvation! The last summer I spent in Montana, I perched at least once a week on a stool in TLT to enjoy a ’skeered’ Angus steak. (Skeered - adj. - more rare than just seared, e.g., “lead it in, threaten it with the flame, and throw it on my plate!”)

Montana is a place I hold dear - I met and married WxMan in Bozeman, MT where he was the weatherman on KCTZ Chanel 7. (WxMan is tv shorthand for weatherman.) And we spent several years living all around the state when the girls were little. I loved it there.

And the meat you can find truly is fantastic. There are some better than excellent steak houses and little back woods get-a-ways all over the state. Some more obvious than others.

There is the Mint Bar in Belgrade, MT. White tablecloths and jacketed waiters and some of the best food around. Cigars, Martinis, and killer fillets four inches thick. And Gorgonzola sprinkled on your salad. Mmmmm....

There's Sir Scott's Oasis in Manhattan, MT (just outside of Bozeman). Best prime rib ever... Jeans and tee-shirts are perfectly acceptable attire, but you better have a reservation. (Even for a random Tuesday night.)

But WxMan's and my personal favorite (and what Bitterroot's post made my mouth water for) was a steak at Eno's. (The link takes you to a message board where one of the respondents recommends the guy ask a local about the place - it is no surprise to me that that is the only reference I could find online...)

Eno's is just a little A-frame place a bit outside of West Yellowstone. I can't remember if there was even a sign there by the road, or if you just had to know which turn to take.

All I can say is oh my Lord - the steaks you could have there. Cut to order, fresh from the case. Stools at the bar, a couple of picnic type tables scattered around, maybe one TV, a couple three beers on tap, if they even had wine I never saw it, freshest beef ever served with crusty bread, salad and ginormous baked potatoes with all the fixings.

No worry about bears - a huge vented grill was in the center of the room. Everybody cooked their own under the watchful eye of the barkeep. He was none too shy to tell you to "Get yer gottdamned steak off the fire before you ruin it!" either. Heh. Patrons just tried not to get yelled at. And tourists? No idea how they would have ever found the place to begin with.

I wonder if that place is even still there... We could definitely be up for making a pilgrimage out that way next summer. Hmmm.....

And since I have been playing with the new scanner - here are some pictures from when we lived on Lake Hauser just North East of Helena, Montana in the basement of a double-wide (though we had nary a clue). The girls were 1 1/2 and 3-ish at the time.

(Click the pics to embigggen)

I have yet to see more beautiful sunrises. And I was treated to one