Once again small town Americana, now I am in heaven! Being a village boy myself, and, much as I enjoy my outings to the big cities (such as Hamilton! ), I can really relate to a local pub, and The Antler is one such!
Walk in, order a beer and a coffee, barmaid a little wary, after all I do have a strange accent, two other customers, both drinking coffee. Find out I have just run out of cigarette papers, none behind bar, car keys in Katherine's pocket, not at bar at moment.
Within 5 minutes Katherine joins me at bar, I grab the car keys, get cigarette papers, roll cigarette - now I could live here for ever! Tell our story of abortive attempt to cross the pass and we are now all best of friends, good job I didn't tell them what the car was!
Only one beer, Ach! Then time presses, Another place for a revisit!
This was a little gem in small town America, and not, I should add, the first. As a sort of "planned stop", en route to Hamilton from Big Timber, Wisdom seemed like a good idea, being about two thirds of the way, taking the 43 between I 15 and US 93, dog-legging and taking what should have been the short route - see my introduction page story!
I should imagine this place gets very busy during the summer; on the day we were there we comprised about one third of the total lunchtime trade (here's me in fractional mode!), but the menu was pretty extensive, the food spot-on, as was the service - and I should note excellent beer - Diablo from (I think) The Big Hole Brewery - I wasn't driving.
This is obviously a family run place, the business card lists the owners as "Diane and Daughters" serving "Dining at its best in the wild, wild West." After lunch we enquired of our server about the road conditions ahead.
"No problems, they keep the road pretty clear this time of year, my bosses have gone to Bozeman for the day."
Famous last words!!
Favorite Dish: Buffalo burger, with all the bits, perfectly cooked, and Katherine's Tomato Soup which she wants me to replicate - Just what we needed for the ordeal to come!
The Big Hole Cafe was a delightful surprise. We stopped in a snow storm after driving through lots of white and very hungry.
The Cafe is owned and run by "Diane and Daughters" definitely has a woman's (women's) touch. Charming decor, a roaring fire that you smell while you're still outside, comfortable tables and a well designed menu tell you that the owners have taken pains to make guests feel at home. Even the restrooms have antique chests in them, making you feel like you're in someone's home.
Favorite Dish: My companion and I both had burgers; I had the mushroom jalapeno swiss burger with a creamy tomato basil soup side and John had the jalapeno swiss buffalo burger with fries. They were perfectly done, juicy and very tasty. John sampled a couple of the Big Hole Brewery beers and was very impressed. I was hoping he'd try the Moose Drool, but he didn't get around to it. I had coffee (Starbucks). I was about to face the drive of my life.
The restaurant serves Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and the menu for each looks like I would be happy returning to try again and again.