Restaurant Review: Ted's Montana Grill Arena District

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Problem: You relish red meaty meals that feature beef, but you need some healthy relief from its rampant fat and dangerous cholesterol.

Remedy #1: Risk a cheerless and austere existence by going hardcore vegan.

Remedy #2: Moderate your intake, start exercising like a madman and ask your doctor about statins.

Remedy #3: You can have your red meat and eat it lean, too, if you occasionally switch over to buffalo.

If you're considering Remedy #3, I suggest you pay a visit to Ted's Montana Grill in the Arena District. Because if you can get past the vast ego of this place's creator (it's that Ted Turner), then you can indulge in some good old American comfort food which won't lay such a heavy blanket of flab across your ever-expanding holiday gut.

But before I get to the meat of the matter, I suggest starting off with a "Buffalo Margarita." Made with Bombay Sapphire gin, Cointreau and a restrained sour mix, it's tart and tight and surprisingly good.

While sipping on that winner and nibbling on fresh and homemade garlicky gratis pickles, you can decide if you want to go big, medium or (actually not-that) small.

If you opt for "small" then you're probably going to get one of Ted's (by-no-means-teeny) bison burgers. I highly recommend you order that burger -and, in fact, all of the bison offerings here - medium rare, because bison is extremely lean meat and you don't want it to dry out on you.

Now, if you decide to go "medium," I suggest the bison pot roast ($16). It's hunks and strands of homey, comforting dark meat with no visible signs of marbling, i.e., artery-clogging fat. Still, it's got plenty of beef-ish flavor.

The pot roast comes with a little light brown gravy sweetened with long-cooked onions; sturdy and righteous mashed potatoes made with Yukon golds; and green beans cooked until limp but sporting a porky saltiness and an edge of vinegar.

OK, if you're splurging on "big," check out Ted's well-crusted Del Monico ribeye bison steak ($24). It has a nice chew to it, but it's still super-lean and way more healthy than a beef steak. Like all the bison here, it eats close to beef but has a cleaner, lighter, pleasant "grassier" aspect to it.

Ted's Montana Grill

191 W. Nationwide Blvd., Arena District