My initial attraction to Ted’s Montana Grill was its owner Ted Turner. It’s not that I’m a giant Ted Turner fan, but his upscale celebrity burger concept featuring bison meat is different. Most celebs are trying to make a quick buck using their name with subpar food.
There are no Ted’s Montana Grills in South Florida. My first experience with one was in 2009 when I was on a family vacation in Marco Island on Florida’s west coast. You can read all about it below.
Nine years later, I would return with an experienced palate to Ted’s Montana Grill (10281 Midtown Parkway) Jacksonville with John and Fred. It was a totally different experience.
This time I skipped out on the burgers, and we went for steaks and a meatloaf sandwich. The meatloaf sandwich, as everyone knows, is a cousin twice removed from the burger or something like that. Hell, I’ve been to restaurants where their burger has so many ingredients mixed into the meat it might as well have been called a meatloaf.
Those onion rings were still great and I had a personal love affair with the bison chili. Marcela still doesn’t know what happened between us on that weekday afternoon. The fellas ate the steaks and snuck a bite of each one, they were great.
But the real truth is they were both jonesing for my bison meatloaf. One bite each is all that I allowed. It was that good. The side of mashed potatoes with gravy was excellent. By the time we were done, there was no room for dessert.
Do they even serve dessert?
Ted’s Montana Grill Food Pictures
Original Ted’s Montana Grill in Naples, Florida Post
November 2nd, 2009 – Back in February, when I was in Atlanta, one of the spots I wanted to check out was Ted’s Montana Grill. It is headquartered there, and I figured that would be the best place to try it. Since that fell through, I always knew if I made it to Florida’s west coast, I would need to eat here.
To give you a little back story on Ted’s Montana Grill. It was founded by Ted Turner (former media mogul and environmentalist) and George McKerrow Jr (Longhorn Steakhouse, amongst other things). One of the first things I noticed was the straw made out of paper for my soft drink. I don’t remember when the last time I had one of those. I appreciate their eco-friendly take on things which was best said on their website: Will all of this change the world? Maybe, maybe not. But it’s the right thing to do.
Enough saving the world talk, and let’s get to the food.
My mother decides to start with a tortilla soup while I order Bar None Sliders, Salt n’-Pepper Onion Rings & Chili Cheese Fries. Momster loves their tortilla soup. While she’s slurping it up, the other goods arrive. We’re also presented with a fresh whole pickle.
Ted’s Montana Grill (
2048 Tamiami Trl N, Naples) has a steakhouse feel along with a bison head at the bar. Nothing says warmth like a bison without a body. I was kidding; I found Ted’s to be rather relaxing for some unknown reason; maybe it was all the quotes peppered (yes, I used that word) all around the restaurant.
Burger and Slider Talk
My parents asked, as I’m sure you might be wondering why I order mini-burgers or sliders as they’re called here and a full-sized burger. The answer is that most restaurants I’ve checked out have better mini burgers than full-sized burgers. Why do I think that is? A good 99% percent of the time, the minis are ground in-house while the burger patties are not. This was not the case with Ted’s Montana Grill, by the way.
The sliders came on a biscuit-type bread with American cheese (one of them even had an American flag toothpick in it). Great sliders, really great. The Salt n’-Pepper Onion Rings were also great, and I’m sure it has something to do with this company’s being based in Atlanta. What does Atlanta have to do with it?
Every restaurant in Atlanta seems to have great onion rings. The chili cheese fries had…
great fresh cut fries: check
a good amount of melted American cheese: check
fresh jalapeños: check
bison chili on it: don’t order the chili
Bison Chili Talk
The bison chili was the one thing we came across we did not like as a group, not because it is awful but because it was slightly below average tasting. I think we got a bad batch. Marcela had ordered a chili cheeseburger (cheddar cheese, grilled onions, jalapeño, and bison chili). After trying the chili with the starters, she decided to have the chili served on the side (it was left untouched).
One thing about the burgers I didn’t mention you can either choose beef or bison, and the burgers are served on kaiser buns. Getting back to Marcela’s burger, she loved it, and I would have tried it, but honestly, the burger I ordered had all the trimmings. Both of my parents ate the America’s Cup (American cheese, bacon, grilled onions & mushrooms) burger and were raving about it (talking highly of it, not dancing weirdly).
Oh, Kitchen Sink, why are you so delicious? And it was; the Kitchen Sink has your choice of cheese (I had cheddar), bacon, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, grilled ham, and a fried egg. Yes, it was excessive and went against what I would normally eat, but damn, it was good.
The burger tasted great and broke my sliders are better than full-size burger theory. How many places do you know that can do that?
Ted’s Montana Grill Food Pictures 2009
These pictures were taken in 2009 all have one thing in common; I was still learning how to use a digital camera at the time. I used flash on all the images, which washed the colors. Hey, you live, and you learn!