I attended a dinner party this weekend at which all the men
waxed rhapsodic about their love for the bison offerings at Ted's Montana Grill. It was the
first time I had heard such enthusiasm for the Atlanta-based chain, which stampeded into Nashville
in 2003, but if the proliferation of 24-hour news shows us anything about the eponymous Ted
Turner's ability to change Americans' most basic habits, I figure there's a
good chance that soon enough we'll all be eating tatanka while we watch Headline News.
With that in mind, I led the Fox herd to Ted's to see if we could suss out the difference between beef and bison. (Founder Ted Turner
admitted in the Nov. 24 Time magazine that he can't distinguish the flavor of good beef from bison.) This was not our first
trip to Ted's, but since we usually stick with the plank-grilled salmon or the fish sandwich, this time we focused on bison burgers.
Overall, our meal at the eco-friendly restaurant was delicious, from the fountain cokes with soft ice pellets (and biodegradable paper straws) to the homemade pickles that came to the table when we sat down. We agreed the bison indeed had a distinct flavor, with a faint tinge of iron, almost reminiscent of liver--but in a good way. The most amazing thing about the thick burgers, which were cooked perfectly to medium-rare, was that they were extremely moist and juicy without being greasy in the slightest.
While Ted's menu of bison burgers is priced slightly above its beef burgers (most hover around $12), we found a surprising deal on the kids' menu, with three bison sliders on soft yeast rolls, fries and a drink for $6.50. Next time, we'll probably opt for the appetizer of four sliders for $8, which will be an ample adult meal.
If you want to test out your own taste buds--and you're sick of turkey--you can take the bison plunge on Thanksgiving. Ted's will be open for business, serving its full menu in addition to turkey and dressing.
Located at 2817 West End Ave. (phone: 329-3415), Ted's serves lunch and dinner daily.