Montana’s BBQ & Bar
10330 G.A. MacDonald Ave. (Calgary Trail south of Whitemud Drive)
Six other Montana’s locations in Greater Edmonton
Sunday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Dinner for two, not including tip, tax or beverage: Basic, $30; loaded, $50
Food – 4 of 5 Suns
Ambience – 4 of 5 Suns
Service – 3.5 of 5 Suns
Edmonton hard-core foodies, this Weekly Dish review is not for you.
Montana’s BBQ & Bar has close to 100 locations across Canada, seven in Greater Edmonton alone. Executive chefs do not create specialty dishes on location – line cooks make the same ribs and wings and fries in every single Montana’s.
Montana’s market is about moms ‘n’ dads ‘n’ kids going out without dressing up, about ball caps and pick-up trucks and team gatherings after the game.
Montana’s competition isn’t the fancy-schmancy downtown restaurants. It’s the other big-box, suburban chain eateries – Boston Pizza, Moxie’s, Tony Roma’s.
Within that context, Montana’s does a really, really good job.
The décor is comfortable, all wood and wood beams, warm and inviting with a hint of BBQ smoke in the air to get the stomach rumbling.
The servers, in flannel shirts and jeans, are coached in western hospitality. The tables are covered with brown wrapping paper with crayons for the kids.
Montana’s smoked ribs are a true highlight: finger-lickin’ delicious, big and bountiful. A big rack – nine bones weighing at least two pounds – arrives hot and glistening with an apple butter glaze.
The meat falls off the bone, the glaze sweet, garlicky and savoury. The Rib ‘N’ Wing Combo comes with four tasty chicken wings, crunchy rustic fries, sauces and one piece of corn bread, fresh but not hot.
According to our server, all the smoking is done ON SITE. Each Montana’s outlet – at least in Edmonton – has its own 12-hour smoker. Which makes the meat sing with smoky goodness.
Everything our party of five tried was good.
The dieter in our midst appreciated that a brisket dish ($16) could be ordered as a skillet of sliced beef with veggies, as well as piled into a bun with fries.
The chicken waffle club sandwich ($17) was delightful – a fresh, seared chicken breast between two fluffy waffles with bacon etc., finished off with a maple sriracha flourish.
The smoky bacon mac ‘n’ cheese was hot, no scrimping on cheese that could easily have been grated into the mix.
What is so pleasant about Montana’s is what it is not. None of the food was greasy, nothing was stale, everything came straight from the oven to the table, piping hot as all good food should be. No back ground music! What a treat to speak without having to yell!
Service on a Saturday evening was good. Just as we were getting restless waiting, our order came parading out of the kitchen.
The only criticism was the apple slices on the apple-pecan salad. They were brown and mushy. The rest of the salad was fine.
You leave Montana’s with that special tummy satisfaction caused by great BBQ’d ribs – you know what I’m talking about.
It might do foodies some good to take nieces and nephews to Montana’s for a kids’ night out. I can guarantee they’ll love the ribs … comparable, in my mind, to the city’s best smoked ribs at MEAT or Sloppy Hogs Roed Hus.
Avenue Magazine has released its list of 2017’s Best Edmonton Restaurants as determined by its own editorial board, and it is most credible.
Best Overall include RGE RD, Corso 32, Hardware Grill, Uccellino, and The Marc.
Best for “Sharing” (strange category) were Bar Bricco, Cibo Bistro and Bundok.
Best New Restaurant – Biera, Bundok, OTTO, Ono Poke and Tokiwa Ramen.
NAIT’s culinary school kicked off its “Alumni Chef Pop-up Series” on Monday, March 5, 2018 at its on-campus Ernest’s Restaurant.
A $30 price-tag featured all-you-can-eat, splendid appetizers from three food stations as created by illustrious school graduate Andrew Fung. Andrew is the
chef/managing partner of the XIX (Nineteen) restaurants on the South Side and in St. Albert.
Featured were Fung’s XIX signature appetizers – tuna twist, beef tataki, braised pork belly, pea falafel and Philly steak + cheese-filled spring rolls.
Next up in the Alumni Chef Pop-up Series, on Monday, March 19, will be a charcuterie evening from Peter Keith and Will Kotowicz of Meuwlys meat specialities. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations.
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