Buffalo chili won't you come out tonight?

  • David Smith photo
From the 01/21/2009 edition

What: Ted's Montana Grill's Karen's "Flying D" Bison Chili ($5)

Why: A bowl where the buffalo roam

Ted's Montana Grill rustles up a bowl of dark red chili that tastes freshly made, yet long-simmered. It's more meaty than beany, with only a few floating roughage-loaning frijoles. While it sports a spot of spicy heat, it's pretty straightforward and balanced. In fact, I'd call it a Goldilocks bowl: It's not too bland and not too spicy, not too thin and not too thick, not too tart and not too sweet.

But don't fixate on befuddled bears, because it's another beast that dominates here - bison. Named for Ted Turner's personal cook when the mogul is home on the range, Karen's "Flying D" chili (the airborne letter is the name of the range) delivers full cowpoke flavor but without a stampede of calories -because it's made with beefy-tasting, yet lean and mean ground bison.