My Slant on the Wonderland Cafe

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Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 12:17:32 03/07/21

In Reply to: Wonderland posted by Paul

For the benefit of any Loons interested in the Gardiner cuisine scene, I am adding to what Paul has provided regarding the wonderful Wonderland Cafe.

We have fallen into the habit of patronizing this establishment for a host of reasons.

For those who frequented the venerable Park Street Grill, the newer, but also disappeared Raven Grill, or the Sawtooth Deli, the Wonderland Cafe is Gardiner's culinary savior!

We were just in there last night, and they must have been playing the Rolling Stones' Greatest Hits. "Satisfaction" and "19th Nervous Breakdown" were two I recognized and enjoyed. There are two flat screen TVs up high in the bar area (beer and wine only). One had a basketball game on (March Madness and the NBA playoffs approaching) and the other, a hockey game.

One amenity that is historically unknown in Gardiner to my knowledge is sensitivity to special diets. The menu is peppered with gluten-free items, and most others offer a gluten-free option. For such empathy, we suspect there must be someone with celiac disease within the family or family orbit that suffers from the disorder.

We had a discussion over dinner last night where I was lamenting the fact that this past year and a half, since the Raven Grill closed its doors for the final time, was the first time in almost 25 years that one could not find an establishment serving the revered "Crazy Mountain Alfredo" (unless the Comfort Inn, which is only open in the summer these days, is still serving it). One could pen a book, or if not, certainly a short story, tracing the history of that dish. It would feature drama like how Red and Rosie enticed those two well-regarded chefs to depart the opulent climes of Big Sky to come to Gardiner and open the Park Street Grill where they would have full rein. They were destined to be the creators of "Crazy Mountain Alfredo". Years later, when the bloom was off the rose, and they split up, one of them took the recipe to the Comfort Inn. I don't remember where the other one went, but I wonder if it had anything to do with the eventual appearance of the dish on the menu at the Raven Grill, where the Town Cafe had previously resided.

With first, the corner where the old Sinclair station and the Raven Grill being torn down, and then the fire having destroyed the newer restaurants facing Park St., as well as the Two Bit Saloon, the restaurant front along Park St. is down to one pizza joint, with narrow hours. Outlaws Pizza finally reopened, but not for dine-in during the pandemic. Delaware North, the every-hungry acquisition-crazed behemoth that it is (see how much they own of West Yellowstone these days), purchased the Yellowstone Inn Best Western, changed its name to the "Best Western Plus Motel by Mammoth Hot Springs", and IMHO, trashed the Rusty Rail Lounge and the Yellowstone Mine restaurant.

Now I'm going up top to post on a few other subjects.


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