They Got Game

It's Burger Friday at Rainbow Lodge, Why Aren't You There?

The end of each workweek brings a new surprise at the Shady Acres restaurant.

By Alice Levitt June 10, 2016

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$13 for a mix of animals you're unlikely to eat again this week.

Image: Alice Levitt

Not everyone is a game person. We use the word "gamy" to describe musky-tasting meat for a reason. But I've yet to meet an omnivore who is not a burger person. Rainbow Lodge's wild game burger, available only on Fridays, has the power to make a believer out of anyone who loves a puck of meat between two buns.

I am a game person. When prepared right, my favorite meat is bear. (Admittedly, it's not often prepared right.) But even if it weren't, chef Mark Schmidt's weekly grind would fool me into enjoyment. The one I tried right before Memorial Day combined buffalo, antelope, elk and wild boar with beef tenderloin trim to add fat to the lean wild meats. Blended together, it didn't taste of any one animal unless that animal was an intensely meaty chimera.

It was dressed simply for the holiday, with thick-cut pepper bacon and American cheese on a soft, shiny bun. Today, the only thing the same is that bun. The blend is buffalo, venison and beef ribeye trim, topped with New Mexico-style chili and queso fresco. Needless to say, long, skinny housemade potato chips are part of the deal.

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Warm croissant bread pudding, $8.

Image: Alice Levitt

And if you're anything like me, you'll save room for some croissant bread pudding after. It's just one more American classic that proves that Schmidt most certainly has got game.

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