For the purposes of this post, I’m going to go Bakken wide here and not just pick on Williston. After being here for a few years I have come to accept that this area will never be what I want for food. Don’t get me wrong, we have found a few fabulous places that rival any place in the country. Mezzaluna in Fargo is one such spot. So superior was every meal there, it became a staple for us anytime we were in town. But I’m not talking about Fargo here. I’m talking about the Bakken which includes a little bit of Montana. I have come to realize that North Dakotans prefer things simple. They prefer them uncomplicated and unpretentious. I can no more change how they view food (and what they enjoy) than they could change how I view food. So as time went on, I have learned to embrace it and find those things that are little gems.
We are always on the search for new things to try and taste. It is something we love to do because it expands our pool of ideas when it comes to cooking in our own kitchen. Everything we do started as an inspiration somewhere. So if you are looking to try something new, maybe one of my favorite things will make you as giddy as they made me.
Honorable Mention: Prime Rib at Palermo’s– (Located in Palemo, ND, not really the Bakken but it’s an honorable mention) Normally this dish is so delicious that it would warrant a higher standing on this list but the last two times we went the quality was not great. The last time I went I even sent it back. That being said, we have had it enough that we know it’s typically spot on and we hope the quality issues are short lived. When it’s good it’s GOOD. It’s even priced fair.
5. Mongolian Beef at Basil– (Located in Williston, ND) I can’t believe I don’t have a picture of this dish. It’s awesome and comes to your table sizzling. I loved it particularly when I am cutting out carbs because the main dish is just wonderful seasoned beef cooked with beatiful green onions. Simple yet complex. Delicous and hearty. I definitely suggest giving it a try.
4. Tomahawks at Outlaws– (Located in both Watford City, ND and Williston, ND) Their burgers here are also good, they at least cook them to a true medium rare, something no other burger place has been able to do for me. But this is not about their burger. These are about a hearty meatsicle slathered in a rich gravy on top of potatoes. Perhaps the reason I like this is it’s very reminiscent of German food. It’s just a hearty meat and potatoes kind of dish. Yum. It’s also sold as an appetizer but it’s really a meal.
3. Whirl a Whip at Dakota Drug– (Located in Stanley, ND) Ok this might be pushing it for inclusion in the Bakken area. It’s been featured in multiple places including an issue of Food Network Magazine. It is as close to frozen custard as you can get without being frozen custard. Using a machine that is just not found anywhere else, they take regular ice cream and whip all the air out of it. They add flavors like peanut butter or pickles and the result is a frozen treat beyond reproach. Personally, my favorite is the cheesecake peanut butter.
2. Orange Chicken at Asian Garden– (Located in Sidney, MT) My only selection in Montana, this little dive has some great Asian food. Typically when you get orange chicken somewhere it’s thickly coated and heavily fried. Plus it’s covered in a heavy goopy orange sauce. I’m always disappointed. This was different. This was nothing short of a revelation. This chicken is still fried but it’s covered in an almost tempura like batter. You can watch them batter it up after you order it. The coating is light and crisp. Then it’s covered in the most delicate orange sauce I’ve yet to try anywhere. It’s a simple concoction of brown sugar, rice vinegar and orange juice. It’s not as good if you take it home and re-heat it but brought fresh to the table, it is worth every delicious calorie.
1. Fish Tacos at Doc Holiday’s– (Located in Williston, ND) So I have tried Doc Holiday’s a number of times. I have learned that there are items to stay away from and things that are good every time. It’s all about knowing what to pick. Their fish tacos are on the appetizer portion of their menu but I always make it my meal. You get two super stacked tacos and they don’t use Tilapia (yuck). Even more impressive is that they wrap each taco in two corn tortillas which is the traditional way. The fish is meaty, not flat and one note. The sauces mix with the fish flavors which mix with the pickled onions which mix with the salsa that you add when it gets there. The combination is a delightfully messy monstrosity that I keep going back for over and over again.
So there you have it. My choices, my favorites. What are your favorites things to eat?