For around 15 years, this northeast Des Moines space contained a Country Kitchen, before the owners switched over to the Montana Mike’s theme in January. The restaurant is pretty unrecognizable from its Country Kitchen days, shifting its focus to steaks and burgers, with the walls covered in animal pelts and taxidermied heads.
Montana Mike’s is a chain, but the company is only in eight states, with just two locations in Iowa (the other is in Newton). Oh, and it isn’t run by the spoiled kid from “Tiny Toon Adventures.” That’s Montana Max.
When we stopped in Montana Mike’s for a weekday lunch, the restaurant wasn’t packed, but the parking lot was pretty full and there were a good number of groups spread around the restaurant.
The restaurant advertises six “fast & fabulous” lunches for six dollars each. Options include an 8-ounce chopped sirloin, a lunch salad, chicken tenders, a grilled chicken breast (or a sandwich version), sirloin beef tips or a half-pound cheeseburger. I went with the burger with seasoned wedge fries as a side. The burger had a good bun, the fries were tasty and the meat itself was good, though not spectacular. As far as chain burgers go, it was serviceable, just not exciting. I got my six bucks worth.
My dining partner was not as thrilled with his choice, the Mountain Topper Chicken, a chicken breast topped with bacon, sauteed mushrooms, and melted jack and cheddar cheese, with a touch of honey mustard. It looked like kind of a mess, and he felt he could have made a comparable meal at home. The sandwich came with fries, which were cold, and a salad. One positive: The Mountain Topper was a dollar less than the advertised menu price.
One big plus: Our meal started with a couple of rolls that were served with a wonderful cinnamon butter. It was kind of like getting a bit of dessert before lunch.
Hopefully the steaks are better, because our lunches ranged from adequate to disappointing. I don’t think I would go out of my way for this burger, even at $6, and the Mountain Topper was far from the king of the hill.
Mountain Topper Chicken............... $8.49
Total with tax and tip: $17.49
Where: 5030 N.E. 14th St.
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Info: 528-2010; montanamikes.com