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article imageTed's Montana Grill restaurant chain rapidly expanding Special

By Kay Mathews     Sep 23, 2013 in Business
The first Ted's Montana Grill was opened in Columbus, Ohio in January 2002 by Ted Turner and restaurateur George McKerrow, Jr. Since that time, the chain has expanded to 44 restaurants in 16 states with bison as the centerpiece of the menu.
Ted Turner is a jack-of-all-trades and master of most. Turner is a businessman / philanthropist / cable TV mogul / ex-MLB owner / environmentalist and a co-founder of a restaurant chain.
Serious Eats states that Turner "bought up half the state of Montana, [and] five digits' worth of roaming buffalo came with it. The majestic animal was nearing extinction, so Ted made it his mission to reinvigorate the bison ranching industry. He teamed up with George McKerrow (the brains behind LongHorn Steakhouse) and invented a turn-of-the-century-style upscale saloon that would celebrate the spirit of the Old West and honor the bison as the centerpiece of the menu."
When asked in 2007 by New York Magazine if he is "the world’s biggest bison farmer," Turner replied, "That doesn’t mean a whole lot, but I do have around 45,000 of ’em." In that same interview, Turner said, "I’m a naturalist and an environmentalist, and I was touched by the tragedy that occurred with the bison. There were 30 million of ’em on the Great Plains when the white man landed in North America. In the 1880s, there were only about 200 of ’em. I wanted to do everything I could during my life to bring them back. In order to do that you have to be able to monetize the surplus." As a businessman, Turner's notion of monetizing the surplus [more bison calf bulls than needed for breeding] involves featuring bison meat on the menu at Ted's Montana Grill. And, yet, the herd has grown and Turner now has "more than 55,000 bison."
Bison head mounted on wall at Ted s Montana Grill in St. John s Town Center.  Jacksonville  Fla.
Bison head mounted on wall at Ted's Montana Grill in St. John's Town Center. Jacksonville, Fla.
The first Ted's Montana Grill restaurant opened in Ohio 11 years ago and now has locations that span from Massachusetts to Montana. According to Ted's Montana Grill, it is "rapidly expanding nationwide."
Sign at Ted s Montana Grill in St. John s Town Center.  Jacksonville  Fla.
Sign at Ted's Montana Grill in St. John's Town Center. Jacksonville, Fla.
At the St. John's Town Center location in Jacksonville, Fla., Ted's Montana Grill keeps with the traditions of the chain as noted by other writers. A commitment to environmental sustainability is seen in the recycled butcher-paper tablecloths, energy-efficient light bulbs, and even in the type of straws used. Ted's Montana Grill features biodegradable paper drinking straws, "something," according to Serious Eats, "that hadn't even been produced in the U.S. since 1970—until Turner and McKerrow contacted the company that had first made it and resurrected it for use in all of its restaurants."
Paper drinking straws at Ted s Montana Grill in St. John s Town Center.  Jacksonville  Fla.
Paper drinking straws at Ted's Montana Grill in St. John's Town Center. Jacksonville, Fla.
The writing on the paper wrappers around the paper drinking straws states "Earth Friendly Straw" and Aardvark Straws website is listed. For those who recall drinking from paper drinking straws more than 43 years ago, you may be happy to know that "Aardvark straws are the original paper drinking straws, and still American made."
The menu at Ted's Montana Grill features everything from appetizers to burgers to classics and steaks. When ordering something meaty, customers may order traditional beef or choose bison meat. An America's Cup bison burger and one of the classic entrées, Bison Meatloaf, are seen below. The Bison Meatloaf entrée features "Two hearty slices with brown gravy, garlic mashed potatoes and 'Aunt Fannie's' squash casserole" along with a biscuit.
America s Cup burger made with bison with a side of Salt-N -Pepper Onion Rings and a Bison Meatloaf ...
America's Cup burger made with bison with a side of Salt-N'-Pepper Onion Rings and a Bison Meatloaf entrée at Ted's Montana Grill in St. John's Town Center. Jacksonville, Fla.
The America's Cup burger is described in this way: The only thing Ted finds more satisfying than winning the 1977 America’s Cup is a burger topped with American cheese, smoky bacon, grilled onions and mushrooms. The bison burger seen below is served on an "oatie wheat" bun with all the fixins (lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and pickles), a side of Salt-N'-Pepper Onion Rings, and, keeping with the norm at Ted's, an American flag on top.
America s Cup burger with bison meat and a side of Salt-N -Pepper Onion Rings at Ted s Montana Grill...
America's Cup burger with bison meat and a side of Salt-N'-Pepper Onion Rings at Ted's Montana Grill in St. John's Town Center. Jacksonville, Fla.
Ted's Montana Grill notes that "Price and availability vary by restaurant." The price of the America's Cup bison burger is a few dollars more than what you might pay for a beef burger at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and worth every extra dollar. The rich, sweet flavor of the almost fat-free bison meat is sure to please.
Sign at Ted s Montana Grill in St. John s Town Center.  Jacksonville  Fla.
Sign at Ted's Montana Grill in St. John's Town Center. Jacksonville, Fla.
The newest Ted's Montana Grill locations are Bozeman, Montana and Warrington, Pennsylvania. This restaurant chain, with the tagline "Authentic American Dining," states that new locations are "opening throughout the year" and it invites "you to visit the Ted’s in your neighborhood."
More about Ted's Montana Grill, Ted turner, Restaurant, Bison, George McKerrow, Jr
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