Yeah, you read that right, I’m reviewing restaurants in Bismarck, ND. I’m as surprised as you are. Bismarck happens to be a place I find myself going more frequently since, as of last year, my entire family moved there. On one of my recent trips, I made my family take me to three new restaurants and they were all really super. I flew in late on a Thursday night, (Frontier only has one flight per day and the times are all crap! What are you gonna do.) and we went straight to Butterhorn, a sort of updated, hip, old-timey cowboy type of place. Since there were six of us, I made a reservation for 8pm. Only one other table was full but hey, Open Table points amiright? We ordered the namesake Butterhorn, which is a large bun type piece of delicious served with whipped butter. When googling Butterhorn to try to find the origin, you find out they are either Turkish, Jewish, or even a cookie! So…. who knows. My sister and I shared the Beet & Pumpernickel salad and the Indian Butter Chicken. The server kept calling the salad “Beet & Pump” which made me highly uncomfortable. I think he got a kick out of it. My mom, aka Roxy, ordered the Squid Ink Chitarra and my brother the Butterhorn Burger. Overall, everything was delicious and just weird enough to feel like adventure-time eating. The Squid Ink pasta was a bit over-orangey but that didn’t ruin the meal. My fav was the Beet & Pumpernickel salad (I will not say Beet & Pump!), which was layered with butter lettuce and perfectly spring time tasting.
The next morning, Roxy and I went to Fireflour Pizza & Coffee Bar for brunch. They have a few pastries and two different brunch entrée items, in addition to toasts with different toppings and some yogurt and granola. We ordered one of each of the entrée items, Roxy having the Prosciutto Benedict and me with the Eggs & Greens. The Eggs & Greens, plus my coffee drink (a Café con Miel or honey latte with cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla) was one of the best breakfasts I’ve had. On my last trip back I returned, looking forward to having another Miel. They were out of almond milk, so I couldn’t have one which was very disappointing. However, they apparently had enough almond milk to make me a cappuccino and put honey and spices in it. Confusing. ANYWAY! Back to the Eggs & Greens. So delicious, spicy, and salty! The greens and eggs were heaped on a tasty piece of very thick toast in a tomato, pepper sauce. I will return.
Next stop, noodlezip. Don’t go here if you are starving. The place is teeny, and you will probably have to wait. We were there at an off time and still waited for about twenty minutes. It was worth the wait. I had the best eggplant of my life. Eggplant is hard for me. I always want to love it and typically in restaurants I like it, at best. I can’t cook it myself, never works out. Whatever they do at noodlezip, they should win an eggplant award. The eggplant was my sister’s meal – luckily, she was happy to share. I had the Spicy Seafood Noodle – quite tasty although it had octopus and I’m working on not eating octopus after reading The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery. Those darn things have emotions and memories! I would highly recommend reading that book and planning to never eat octopus again. Roxy and sis got Crème Brulee for dessert, which seems like a strange thing to get at a noodle joint but it had lemongrass, vanilla beans and fresh berries and they loved it.
Bismarck is a growing city and has a lot of great options, while still having a homey, small town vibe. Here’s a list of additional restaurants to try if you find yourself in NoDak:
- Humpback Sally’s Small Plate Tavern (great craft cocktails and small plates….obv.)
- The Walrus (really good veggie wrap)
- Peacock Alley (go if you are trying to feel fancy but don’t want to spend a ton of money)
- Pirogue Grille (I’ve not been to this one yet, will add it to my list for next time. Will definitely order the Walleye & Potato Pierogies)