Ted’s Montana Grill has taken root in Boulder where it serves predictable fare
Last September, I was invited to a preview of Ted’s Montana Grill in Boulder. It was crowded with local businesspeople, merchants, politicians and a small sprinkling of media. We ate onion rings, sliders and nachos passed by waitstaff challenged to thread through the throng. The best part, as I wrote then, was the chance to “breathe the same air” as Ted Turner, whom I greatly admire. I didn’t actually meet him, but no matter.
A few days ago, my husband (who was hankering for a big burger) and I returned to the restaurant in the late afternoon. Instead of standing in a crowd and mingling where it was loud, we sat at a quiet booth. We had been to TMG on Larimer Square in Denver some years back before the theater, and the atmopshere and food then and now were very similar. The turn-of-the-last century-inspired decor features high-backed wood booths in the bar area and tables in the back, lots of oak, pressed tin ceiling, reproduction light fixtures, frames of Western theme images on the walls and Western music on the sound system.
The menu is the same in the nearly 50 Ted’s Montana Grills in 15 states, one of which is actually Montana but mostly in the East, South and Midwest (including Ohio where the “concept” was launched ). The food remains middle-of-the-road, aim-to-please-all and “safe” — not surprsing given its Ohio origins. As we were crossing the street, I initially thought that I would order a burger, but by the time we had studied the menu, I ordered trout instead. The trout was OK (the cole slaw being the best part), and my husband’s burger was too big to finish. Next time, we decided, we would split an order of sliders.