Local Bison were put to a taste test at Grazers restaurant Jan. 23 as part of a menu tasting event.
They passed the test and have become part of the new menu at the Bowman Lodge and Convention Center.
The menu tasting was part of a new quarterly menu, according to Bowman Lodge manager Gene Anne Kulseth.
“It will be quarterly or seasonal where we could add some special menu items. We want to change things up and give our guests a little more variety. This first one (new menu) we will have chicken wings with a variety of sauces. We have our Bison burger, steak tips, jalapeno poppers and our fried donuts,” she added.
“As our menu items become popular like our Bison burger and steak tips, we’ll incorporate them into the future menus.
“Otherwise, we will kind of rotate to introduce new items. With each menu, we will do a tasting so people can see what is coming. It is a fun event for people,” she added.
The menu unveiled Jan. 23 included steak tips, the jalapeno peppers, the chicken wings, the Bison burger and our fried donuts.
She added that the Bison burger and the steak tips got the biggest response. “They are on the menu right now.”
The bison used in the burger is locally produced, she said. “Our supplier is actually Skull Creek Bison Ranch in Rhame, which owned by a local family. From what I understand, it is actually a co-op of bison producers and they make a special blend for us – an 80/20 blend – especially for our burgers.
“It makes it a little extra special for us and is unique to us,” she said.
Having a seasonal menu is something special often found in some of the big restaurants in the big cities, she explained.
“It gives people a little bit of variety and we want to stay true to our concept … a fresh, never frozen, burger restaurant, where all of our fries are hand cut and freshly-made per order. We want to stay true to that as well as offer a variety from what is on our everyday menu.
“Everybody has their favorites on our menu and we want that to remain the same. But, it is always nice to go to your favorite restaurant and have something new to try. That is kind of the idea behind it.”
The next menu change may be in early to mid-summer, she added, noting there has been a great response to the new menu items already.
“Our concept is the all-American burger restaurant,” she said. “It is nice to stay within that concept and still keep our old favorites and try something new from time to time. It is variety, change and something new.”
The Bowman Lodge and Convention Center has Grazers as an attached restaurant. “We are owned by a co-op of investors. Doug Peterson is one of the owners of Grazers Burgers and Beers.”