While we do a lot of grilling outdoors and cooking in the SaraLinda, we really love to find great local places to grab a meal after a hard day of fishing. Below you’ll find highlights of some of our favorites as well as some “Honorable Mentions” (with our goto menu item). Bon Appetit!
Mark’s In and Out (Livingston, MT) / Double Cheeseburger w/ Rings
After a day on the Yellowstone River or exploring the northern part of Yellowstone National Park, our “regular” stop is at Mark’s In and Out, not to be confused with that California-based chain burger joint. This is as local a spot as you can get. Located on the main road into Livingston as you go north down Hwy. 89, Mark’s In and Out is a walk up place specializing in burgers, fries, rings and the best shakes and malts. The “vibe” is that of any other small town walk up burger joint. The staff are as friendly as you can imagine and in summer, you can typically count on a line of folks waiting to order…. but…. take our word on this, its totally worth it. Just look how happy Dr. James Kelley is in the pic above.
Crumbs (McArthur, CA) / Everything, including chocolate bread pudding!
Our guide, Matt Mitchell from the Fly Shop in Redding, on the Fall River, told us if we only ate at one place nearby it had to be Crumbs. He did warn us however, that we should make reservations as Crumbs was very popular with locals and visitors alike. Turns out, the chef at Crumbs was a chef at a fancy NYC restaurant originally and moved back to McArthur with his wife who was from the area. So, we called ahead, made a 6:30 reservation and proceeded to McArthur, which was about 10 minutes from our campground. Arriving at the address, we found a cute little cottage surrounded by beautiful flowers and vines. Inside was just as casually decorated and the food was absolutely amazing! Think gourmet food meets small town farm-to-table at small town prices and you have Crumbs. You can salivate over the pic above of our dessert from Crumbs, chocolate bread pudding.
Ekstrom Stage Station (Clinton, MT) / Trout
Tucked off the road that parallels Rock Creek as it flows into the Clarks Fork is a small RV park and restaurant, Ekstrom Stage Station. You’d never see it from I-90 as you head from Butte to Missoula, but you should definitely take the detour a bit off the interstate to enjoy dinner here. This is a down home, country cookin’ kind of restaurant that will leave you stuffed, but make sure you leave room for their desserts as well. Oh… and be sure to take one of their giant cinnamon rolls with you for breakfast the next day.
Izaak’s (Craig, MT) / Cowboy Burger
We included Izaak’s in our Top 10 Beer-Drinking Establishments, but, we also need to include it in our “Good Eats” list. The food here is quite good and the clientele is all anglers, all day long. Check out more about Izaak’s in our Beer Post.
Yak’s (Dunsmuir, CA) / Uncle Bob’s Barbalicious BBQ Burger
This is one of the top burger spots in the country and actually, was rated a Top 100 Restaurant by Yelp! A great selection of 20 local craft brews is available to wash down burgers like the Blonde Bombshell Burger, Morning After Burger, the Screw It, I’m on Vacation Sticky Bunn and Bourbon Bacon Burger and my fav, the Uncle Bob’s Barbalicious BBQ Burger. We gave it an “Honorable Mention” in our Top 10 Drinking-Establishments because of its craft beers on tap. Just down the street along the Upper Sacramento River are plaques commemorating some of the famous fly fishing leaders from the area including Ted Fay. Yak’s sits in the beautiful little mountain town of Dunsmuir in Shasta County.
Pine Tree Store (Grand Lake Stream, ME) / Any meal, any time
Grand Lake Stream (ME) consists of 5 dead end streets (ending at water’s edge) with only one road in/out of town to the outside world. Where all those streets intersect, you’ll find the Pine Tree Store. It is the ONLY store in GLS that isn’t a lodge or fishing/hunting/outdoor outfitter. If you look it up on TripAdvisor, you’ll see its “#1 of 1” in GLS. Inside the Store you’ll find hunting/fishing gear, a small section of groceries, a cooler of beer and sodas and most surprisingly, a great grill with counter seating and one large community table. Usually, when we’re out with a guide, they’ll have a lunch packed for our wade/float trip which we eat somewhere in/along the river. In the case of fishing GLS with John Arcaro, when lunchtime came, we went tot he Pine Tree Store, walked right in wearing our waders, and sat down to burgers, fries and drinks. It was awesome, so good in fact that we came back and had several other meal; breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Store. It is the community center of GLS for locals and tourists alike.
Wayside Country Store (West Arlington, VT) / Rachel
Our fishing guide on the Battenkill, Ray Berumen, asked us to meet him at the Wayside Country Store in West Arlington, VT, for our wade trip on the Battenkill River. While we were to meet him at 9am, he commented that we might want to get there around 8:30 and enjoy breakfast. Not one to miss every moment of sleep we can, we got there about 8:45, went inside and found ourselves transported back in time to a place where “Country Stores” like this existed everywhere, or at least everywhere in Vermont. Their motto, “If you can’t find it here, you don’t need it”. What endeared us most was the friendliness of the staff in the store, from the clerk behind the cash register to the folks running the deli. All of them going out of their way to make two “tourists” feel right at home. What was also welcoming was this huge round table where anyone who wanted could sit, read the paper, chat, and have breakfast or lunch. As we found out, BOTH breakfast and lunch were so good. We even enjoyed ice cream, maple-flavored of course, and dessert, sitting out front on the wooden bench. This was a real throwback in time treat. If you ever find yourself heading to the Orvis Flagship store or anywhere in and around Manchester (VT), head west down VT 313 (Battenkill Road) and about half way before you hit the NY state line, on the left you’ll find Wayside Country Store.
Infinity Music Hall and Bistro (Norfolk, CT) / Short Rib
As we were driving the SaraLinda to our campground to fish the Housatonic River, about 10 minutes out, we drove through the little town, Norfolk, CT. As we cruised the main street, we passed this huge green building, Infinity Hall. Intrigued, after we setup the RV at the campground, we went online to see what this place was all about. As the website explained, Infinity Hall was “Built in 1883 as a combination opera house, barbershop and saloon. Today, it is a thriving music venue and bistro that serves great pre-show meals in an intimate setting below the music hall. After a great day on the Housy with Bert from Housatonic River Outfitters, we had the pleasure of having dinner before hearing three local CT bands, including one who shared their music with us, Atlas Grey. Whenever you can get great food and music together, you have to stop…. so make sure if you’re ever near Norfolk CT, you stop in at Infinity Hall and Bistro.
Roosevelt Lodge (Yellowstone National Park) / Applewood Smoked BBQ Ribs
Full disclosure, we absolutely love the northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park…. who wouldn’t…. less crowded, great wildlife and the fishing…. wow! We’ve fished every stream in every direction from Tower Junction including the Lamar, Soda Butte, Slough Creek, Yellowstone, Tower Creek, Pebble Creek and a few “Nunya” tributaries. Our “go to” spot to stay in YNP is Roosevelt Lodge and we usually end up in one of their “no frills” cabins (aka. twin bed, heater, desk, no restroom, no sink) as seen in the pic above. Our day in this area often unfolds this way; breakfast, the moment the Roosevelt Lodge Dining Room opens, fishing all morning, lunch on the river (crackers, fruit, energy bars, H2O), dinner, the moment the Lodge dining room opens at 5pm, and then back to the rivers for fishing until dark. Breakfast options abound with all the regulars, but the Wrangler’s Skillet is my favorite. For dinner, again, options galore, but at least once you’ve got to enjoy their Applewood Smoked BBQ Ribs and Roosevelt Beans. Yum!!!
Hitching Post (Melrose, MT) / Steak Sandwich
Deb’s Cross Fork Inn (Cross Fork, PA) / Wings
Spruce Creek Tavern (Spruce Creek, PA) / Famous fries
Cliff Dwellers Restaurant (Marble Canyon, AZ) / Ribs
Filling Station Deli (Bryson City, NC) / Big Chief meatball sandwich
Hofer’s Bakery and Cafe (Helen, GA) / Strudel
Wolfe’s General Store (Slate Run, PA) / ANY deli sandwich!
Roscoe Diner (Roscoe, NY) / Breakfast
Spike’s Keg ‘O’ Nails (Grayling, MI) / Spikeburger
Steamboat Inn / Idleyld Park, OR / Mountain Cristo
TroutHunter (Island Park, ID) / Any burger
Granny D’s (Canyon Lake, TX) / Chicken Fried Steak
Rock Inn (Estes Park, CO) / Pizza, you build it!
Round Up North (Brule, WI) / Joe’s Pizza
Tellicafe (Tellico Plains, TN) Tellicafe Stuffed River Trout
Zoey’s Double Hex (Manchester, VT) / Holy Moly Burger
Slow Groovin’ BBQ (Marble, CO) / ummmm BBQ!
Arp’s (Creede, CO) / Chicken Fried Steak
Cinnamon’s Bakery (Estes Park, CO) / Cinnamon Rolls to die for
Breakfast Club (Mammoth Lakes, CA) / Eggs, bacon, pancakes… BREAKFAST!
McAllister Inn Steakhouse (McAllister, MT) / Filet
Otto’s (State College, PA) / Cowboy Burger
Lake Placid Pub and Brewery (Lake Placid, NY) / Maple Melt
Woodfire Kitchen (Hereford, MD) / Crab Cake Sandwich
Worthy Kitchen (Woodstock, VT) / Buttermilk Fried Chicken