Silver Gate, Montana
When I arrived in Cooke City I wasn’t really impressed with the service of the visitor’s centre. With such a small town I wanted to know of they had any restaurants that were particularly old or of significance to the community and they sent me 3 miles down the road to Silver Gate, home of the Log Cabin Cafe
, which was celebrating 75 years.
I almost didn’t go because the ladies at the visitor’s centre didn’t seem very enthused about it, it simply satisfied my ‘old’ requirement. Although to be fair, it didn’t seem like they would get excited about anything, they certainly didn’t go out of their way to help me.
From the exterior The Log Cabin Cafe looks like many of the kitschy restaurants on my route and I wondered if I could find something decent to eat as I didn’t want a greasy spoon.
But this place is special.
They honour their long-standing tradition of using unprocessed and local ingredients like they did 75 years ago. They proudly state their commitment to buying local and organic listing their vendors with miles from the restaurant. They recycle (not something I’ve seen a lot of here) and use non-toxic cleaning supplies. They also donate 1% of all revenue to For the Planet.
This made not seem impressive if you live in a city or even a small town but Silver Gate was so remote I had no cell phone service and learned there was nowhere for Internet unless I wanted to rent a hotel room. It is not easy for them to serve social responsibility in these conditions.
It is a small but impressive menu. I wanted to order the bison burger but decided to go with the Rocky Mountain lake trout which has been a specialty since the beginning and is sustainably raised from Buhl, Idaho.
Disclosure: I was a guest of Visit Montana but they did not request I write a favourable review, in fact they had no idea I was heading here and I paid for the meal on my own. I give begrudging thanks to the Cooke City visitor’s centre even though I know they were annoyed someone came in and made them actually work.