Farm to Table

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Billings, Montana

I was greeted at the airport by Visit Montana and starving, fortunately the first thing on our itinerary was lunch at Cafe Decamp.

Even better news was that it was close and just down the hill from the airport but as we drove into what looked like an abandoned restaurant in an industrial area I was suspicious.

I was quickly reassured this was well recommended by locals and in fact I would especially like it.

It turns out Cafe Decamp is owned by a couple adamant about the local, organic food market. Opened in July 2009 it had been a location well-known by the locals since the 50s as a destination restaurant.

In fact some people are surprised when they arrive after a few years of being away that it’s not a Mexican restaurant – although they keep huevos rancheros on the menu as an homage.

Emily was once a cosmetologist and machinist, she handles the bookkeeping. Jason always worked in food and has been passionate about the local food movement and seasonal menus.

 

cafe decamp owners

Working with 30+ Montana farms and ranches they are serious about supporting the local economy:

– Everything is made from scratch including the ketchup, except for the bread which is brought in locally.

– All of the produce except for the fruit is local and they have developed relationships with farmers so they can request crops.

– If they can’t find an ingredient locally they supplement with the best, closest organic they can find.

– Fish options are obviously not local except the local trout they have worked to source

– They use a lot of preserved produce for winter menus. But the biggest challenge is finding local greens all year round
As good as the food is, the tiny restaurant feels less than ideal but that will all be changed as they are moved to a restored building from 1918 in the historic district to accommodate more people in a central area.

My roasted beet salad was amazing and I really hope it’s an indication of food to come in Montana.

 

Disclosure: I was a guest of Visit Montana, they did not require that I write a favourable review or hope that I had more room in my belly for a second course.

 

 

Join the Conversation

  1. I love places like that. I’ll put it on my list for the next time I feel the need for a long-weekend roadtrip!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Just the beginning of what you can see in Montana. Eight days was not enough!

  2. EarthDrifter says:

    That salad definitely ranks high on presentation. It also looks super healthy, and it must be beyond taste worthy. It covers all the bases.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      So delicious, I love beets and order them any time they are on a menu.

  3. These kind of places always rank highly with me. Totally agree with the kudos on the presentation and health factor – major deciders for my business, that’s for sure!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I would have never found it on my own, it`s a really good thing they are moving as I think they`ll be really popular.

  4. Chrystal McKay says:

    You know, I really should just give in and try beets already. The colour always frightened me so I never tried but I think I’d like it. There is a tiny place in Thunder Bay called the Organic Garden Cafe which does a great job sourcing as many local options as possible and even growing a few things themselves! I always appreciate my food more when I know its local.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      You are afraid of beets? The only thing I will warn you is if you get red ones (there are yellow ones as well) and eat a lot, they go through you.

      I started eating them a few years ago and adored them so I would eat shredded beet salads and then went to the washroom and thought I was dying. It`s just the beets. You can thank me later for that piece of information.

      1. A Cook Not Mad (Nat) says:

        I love beets but no matter how often I eat them I always forget about the after effect and think that I’m dying.

  5. Looks like a nice place and what a cute couple. As you may know, the farm to table movement is huge here in California, especially in my area, which is very agricultural outside of the cities. A journalist on the Napa press trip called the movement “hoof to lip” and that always make me grin, but seriously, it is an important movement to support these days.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I also love the idea of supporting young entrepreneurs. It`s really hard to run a small business but they are what an economy runs on, it`s so nice to see people succeeding in what they love.

  6. Chompchomp says:

    How gorgeous do those beets look? I used to hate beetroot as a child and recently have been converted by a fellow beet lover. Im now making up for lost time! I eat them whereever I can!

  7. I love places like this. When we’re in Australia we always get food from the farms but without a car in Norway it’s become impossible (though now more necessary than ever with the state of the grocery stores here)

  8. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures says:

    What a cute couple! I looooove beet salad!

  9. Mark Wiens says:

    Your salad looks great, and I think I’d want to also try their huevos rancheros!

  10. I’m a meat lover but this salad looks yummy and it is so important to start eating and buying more local food! I’d like to have one delivered to Berlin please!

  11. If the food is good moving to a new location will definitely put them on the map. Good for them!

  12. Camels & Chocolate says:

    Oooh, Scott makes balsamic-marinated beets weekly, and they are TO DIE FOR. Without fail, though, I always wake up the next day and think I’m dying (after a trip to the loo, ha).

  13. Caanan @ No Vacation Required says:

    Love the farm to fork movement. We visited O’o Farms in Maui for a similarly delicious and sustainable meal.

  14. I still have to head up that way to visit a friend. Sounds interesting!

  15. Emily in Chile says:

    Looks delicious!

  16. I love Montana and cherish my memories there as a kid. I really need to return as an adult, it seems!

  17. Raymond @ Man On The Lam says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard of ketchup made from scratch. That’s pretty darn cool.

  18. I bet you got the freshest food in Montana!!!

  19. Agness (@Agnesstramp) says:

    These kind of places are my favourite ones. You look like a proper local farmer in the photo 🙂 (no offence,you look great!) x

  20. oh man….that looks really good. i love finding these types of places!! good looking out!

  21. Leslie in London says:

    Mouthwatering post. While there is no doubt that Montana is not going to end up on the top of most people’s foodie lists of America, when I was there for a week and was blown away. The hipness of Bozeman’s university town vibe and the natural beauty were unreal. Thanks for sharing!

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