DJ Snuggle Monster and I were discussing the hunt for the typical “best” food items…everyone’s always determined to find the best pizza joint and the best burger joint in every town. And then inevitably they proclaim it “the best” to anyone that will listen. I asked DJ Snuggle Monster where the “best” burger joint was in Jax – since this is his town anyway – and he was stumped for a bit. Then he returned his answer – which was pretty spot on. Ted’s Montana Grill is the best burger joint in town – and we’ve eaten there at least three times already, and I hadn’t even realized it. And here’s why it’s the best – juicy burgers (bison among your choices thankfully) and amazing toppings.
Ok – so because the burgers are so choice, it’s not exactly a $5 burger – it’s more of a $12-$16 burger. But hello – you can get bison for your burger – delicious. Let’s discuss your burger creation options – There’s about 10-12 specialty burgers to choose from (including the plainer Naked or Cheese or Delicious Duo).They even have a homemade veggie burger. And for any of their selections, you can choose beef, bison, or chicken (so a bonus if you want to bring your non-red-meat eating friends). I’ll be honest – I haven’t worked through the entire list, but there have been a few I’ve tried – and all have been messy. My first selection was the Avalon – because I’m such a sucker for cheese, aioli, and arugula. And this is the messiest burger I’ve eaten (and swear – I didn’t ask for extra cheese or sauce!). But the spicy arugula combines well with the rich cheese and aioli. For me, there’s a bit too much of the “bacon caramelized onions,” but I’m not a fan of a lot of onions to begin with. I’ve also tried the Canyon Creek. The spicy jalapenos combined with the blackberry jam was an amazing combination, and well, a fried egg makes anything better. Only complaint was that I could’ve done with more jam…but alas, I’m a saucy lady. DJ Snuggle Monster tends to go for the same thing every time – the George’s Cadillac. It’s a monster and has bacon, so of course. Somehow, though, he never ends up going through thirty napkins and a bib when he eats his (I’m a great eating companion, right?). The amazing part is that no matter what burger you get, the toppings never overpower the natural taste of the burger itself (whether you get beef, bison, or chicken).
EDIT: We recently re-visited Ted’s and I tried their Montana Breakfast Burger (sans ham, sorry!). I have to admit, that this burger ranks pretty highly on the Ted’s burgers list. It’s just below the Canyon Creek. The burger comes with a spicy tomato jam, which honestly, is basically salsa. I normally hate salsa on things that aren’t chips (I really don’t understand Huevos Rancheros…), but the salsa worked well with the meaty bison burger and the runny egg. Of course I asked for extra spicy tomato jam because I’m a saucy lady (and yes, I tell that to the server everytime I do it too) and that definitely helped. I ordered the garlic mashed potatoes instead of the french fries since I’m not a fan of their fries. They weren’t horrible. I would’ve like the consistency to be a bit better – either chunky or completely smooth, but they worked well enough to warm me up and stick to my stomach.
Next on the list – because I’ll definitely be back is the New Mexico or Swiss and Mushroom…but call me crazy, even the Skinny Dip (no bun, tomatoes, kale, and avocado) sounds amazing.
My only gripe is that the french fries are limp. Yep, limp. While I prefer a fry on the crispier side always, I’ll take a tenderer fry if required. But these fries are verging on the point of mush. But let’s face it, you’re there for the burger goodness anyway.
Ok, so maybe I have a second gripe. Instead of bread, customers are treated to a small bowl of salted cucumber slices when they sit down. I like cucumbers, I like salt, I like pickles. And I’ve even been known to salt my cucumbers (and henceforth rinse them). But these things are just like a squishy salt lick. Gross. I’d prefer a pickle. Wasn’t it Thomas Jefferson who said something along the lines of “nothing causes more of an appetite than a pickle”? Also, I hate their minuscule toilet paper roll straws. I want to eat out of plastic, not this strange flimsy tube. It’s a strange experience for sure. Ok, that’s the last of the gripes.
Service has always been amazing every time I’ve been. There is a super tall waiter that always intrigues me every time, but he’s also an amazing server. I love the feel of the inside too – dark wood, dim lighting (mood lighting?), taxidermy. Everything you expect from the home of a truly legit Midwestern Bison Burger.
(Sorry for the photo – I couldn’t help myself but to go ahead and dive in. It was the Avalon burger – will post better photos from my inevitable next trip).