We knew that huckleberries were a popular fruit throughout Montana, but we didn’t realize how much of a state favorite they are until we found ourselves in Hungry Horse. We stopped at The Huckleberry Patch in the center of the small town and were greeted by the sweetest older lady who challenged us to find anything in the building that wasn’t made from the famous fruit. Preserves, honey, homemade fudge, jelly, pie filling, licorice, even popcorn…and that was just the beginning. After we racked up as many treats and souvenirs from the shop as we could, we made our way to the restaurant, the Alpine Grill, where we found a menu of more huckleberry-infused food.
The staff were some of the friendliest people we’ve ever encountered. They pointed out the most popular burgers, sandwiches, wraps, and kids meals.
We chose the frequently ordered “Great Northern” pork sandwich and “Avalanche Wrap.” Both were large and came with a generous amount of crinkle cut fries. After the first bite of the sandwich, it was obvious that the pork was slow roasted: the meat was so savory and well complemented by the melted cheddar cheese. Peeling back the fresh and fluffy French roll revealed actual whole huckleberries blended into the barbecue sauce used to season the pork. We used an extra side of this unique condiment, which resembled a sweet A1 sauce, to add flavor to the rest of our meal.
The wrap wasn’t as exciting as we expected. It consisted of a few slices of deli turkey, Swiss cheese, lettuce, and tomato all in a large flour tortilla. Sides of huckleberry cream cheese and huckleberry vinaigrette did make it a more interesting and tasty dish.
Though enjoyable, our sandwiches were overshadowed by something that caught our eye before we even ordered: PIE. Of course we treated ourselves to the Montana favorite: huckleberry pie a la mode. It came with the biggest scoop of vanilla ice cream we’ve ever seen as well as a baby scoop of the huckleberry flavor. The pie crust itself, slightly firm and tasty, is nothing compared to the actual filling. The warm rich pie insides combined with the ice cream alone was absolutely fantastic.
If you have even the slightest interest in this North American fruit, The Huckleberry Patch and Alpine Grill is the place to go. The variety of free samples will help decide your treat of choice and the attached restaurant offers a good ol’ authentic Montana meal to leave you satisfied.