No-beef burgers: Ted's Montana Grill

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive
The restaurant:

The burger: This is where the buffalo roam, and Ted makes great bison burgers ($11). What's more, apparently you can eat members of his thundering herd cooked rare or medium rare without any kind of bacterial scare.

They're actually quite beefy tasting, only with an obvious lack of fat - which makes them refreshingly lean and juicy instead of heavy and greasy. But make no mistake - though they eat cleaner and lighter, even slightly grassy, they will wholly satisfy your burger tooth.

The bun: I recommend getting the sturdy and dense "oatie wheat" bun to reinforce the semi-healthy (though your mouth'll hardly know it) burger experience. That bun is dark brown, slightly sweet and sprinkled with oat clusters on top, and is served nicely buttered and lightly toasted.

Toppings, sides and extras: Ted's topping options are as wide as the Montana sky - with everything from bacon (of course) to guacamole to hot chilis and more. One of my favorite combos is the Chili Burger with fresh and fiery jalapenos, sweet sauteed onions and Ted's beany bison chili.

All of Ted's burgers come with a big pile of hand-cut, crispy-enough, blocky fries sporting actual potato flavor.

I'm also a big fan of the unlimited and free, freshly homemade garlicky pickles, the surprisingly good Caesar salad and the inspired Buffalo margarita made with Bombay Sapphire gin.