Saturday, June 9, 2012

Back in Time in Butte

I am spending a couple of weeks in Butte, MT for work and have been exploring some of the local landmarks and more importantly the restaurants.  Luckily, I have a couple co-workers here with me, so I have some company! 

For those of you not in the know, Butte is a mining town in Western Montana---today, it's probably most famous for the Berkeley Pit, which we visited after work one day.  It is very impressively large---over a mile across and filled with [acidic and metal-filled] water more than 1800 ft deep!     

Anyway, back to the food.  We found a little piece of Seattle right in Butte---a great lunch spot/coffee shop called the Hummingbird Cafe.  It's definitely the place to go if you are traveling with a vegetarian!  We've also sampled Christina's Cocina and The Upland and enjoyed both.  But nothing compares to the time capsule that is Lydia's.  What a great place.  The inside has lots of crushed red velvet and a sunken portion in the middle of the dining room and it's just amazing and awesome, and everyone should at least visit.  As far as I could tell, the only vegetarian option on the menu was "vegetarian pasta dish."  


Here was our introduction to Lydia's:
Hostess: "Have you ladies been here before?'
Us: "No, we haven't"
Hostess: "Do you want anchovies?  They are optional."
Us: "...."

So, it turns out that all meals come with sweet potato salad, iceberg lettuce salad, green onions (two whole raw green onions that we didn't touch because we didn't know what we were supposed to do with them!), canned beets, salami and "special" cheese (which tasted like american cheese) and three large containers of salad dressing (thousand island, french, and house, which was blue cheese).  Anchovies were available on request.  I ordered "the choice dinner" steak (when in Montana, order beef!) and was shocked that it came with spaghetti with meat sauce and meat ravioli!  I have never pasta come as a side to a steak let alone two pasta options (and both contained beef)!  My steak was, as promised, very, very choice by the way, and the pasta was pretty decent.  The meal came with delicious huckleberry ice cream too!