Road Trip Across North Dakota and beyond ...
Is it hoping for too much to find a decent meal in Bismark or Jamestown? Will have been driving for hours across Montana before hitting the Interstate in North Dakota and hoping there is a spot we can aim for where a lovely martini and great food await. Ultimate destination is Lancaster, Ohio and we haven't quite figured out yet where Night #2 will be. Any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated......even a lunch break on Day 2. Many thanks in advance.
Jamestown is home to the Buffalo City Grillw (www.buffalocitygrille.com). It's downtown; most hotels are by the interstate, but it's definitely worth the drive into the city just to eat there. I work for a company that has their headquarters about 30 minutes west of Jamestown (a wide spot in the road called Medina...and no, I don't recommend anything there. My co-workers are great cooks, but I doubt you could get a home invite on short notice!). Whenever I have to travel to Medina, I make it a point to stop at Buffalo City Grille. Upscale in the middle of the prairie. Yes, they serve a variety of bison dishes, I've tried the bison stew and the bison bleu cheese fettucini, both were excellent. The broiled walleye is also quite good. The sweet potato fries are light and crispy, the sweet glazed corn and the wild rice . The wine selection isn't bad, certainly more than I expected in east-central ND. You'll definitely be able to have your martini here, the bartenders aren't necessarily creative, experimental mixologists, but they do a nice job with classic cocktails. Honestly, I've eaten a few places in Bismarck, and Buffalo City Grille was better than any of them, for food, drinks and ambiance. Hands down. I'd go on to Jamestown and spend my dollars at Buffalo City rather than stopping in Bismarck.
East 40 makes a great martini, and has great food. I am from Minneapolis, so I have always found the steaks to be extremely affordable. It's also casual enough that you can feel comfortable after a long day of driving. If you are going to stay at the Ramkota, that's a good idea, but don't eat there.
The Peacock is a bit cheaper, and had a nice, old-school bar feel to it. My food was fine, but I don't remember enough about it to insist that you go there.
Depending on when you need to pivot from 94 to 90, Minneapolis would be a good late lunch spot. You'd probably be getting there around 3, so you'll miss the crowds at the better spots.
I'm from Bismarck and have a few local favorites. Besides a lot of chains, you'll be hard-pressed to find a lot of fine-dining. A friend runs the Bistro restaurant. Very good food and drinks. Probably one of the nicer places in town. There's another place-Pirogue Grill that is suppose to be good as well. The Seven Seas in Mandan is classic, old-school super club dining. Caspers East 40 used to be at a similiar level, however, I think that the menu has gotten too large and expensive for what is served.
As far as lunch--favorites are the Country House Deli--awesome sub sandwiches. Best in town. Bistro has a nice lunch as well. If you're looking for grease, Big Boy is the place-pizza burgers flying style, fries with gravy, and a purple cow.
Good luck on your adventure!