The first time I ever experienced the joy that is Alpine Inn was almost 5 years ago on a trip my husband and I took out to visit some friends in the Black Hills of South Dakota. They took us to the tiny, tiny town of Hill City, SD, which is just a great tourist trap kind of place. The main street is littered with small shops made just for people who have to waste some time while they wait for a table at Alpine Inn. And wait you will! I think we waited over an hour and a half that time & there were just 4 of us.
So when Leslie, my co-leader for our Week of Ministry trip, suggested that we go to Alpine Inn with the group on Friday night – after a fun “free” day spent seeing the sights – I lept at the chance. It had been too, too long.
The great thing about Alpine Inn is that you have two evening meal menu options: big steak or little steak. Both are fillets wrapped in bacon and grilled to your own preference of perfection (mine = medium). Either comes with a lettuce wedge drowned in homemade ranch, a baked potato with butter & sour cream (on the side, so you can choose) and Texas toast (bleh – I gave mine away). And these menu items are delish. A perfect American meal concoction. I love the sheer simplicity of ordering from this evening menu. (And it’s possible that a full day of hiking around in the Black Hills promoted a healthier appetite which in turn made the food taste even better. I highly recommend that routine! Hike, eat steak.)
But then. Oh, after you eat your heart’s content of this wonderful kind of comfort food, they top it off with a 15-item homemade dessert menu. Heavens, this is a hard decision! 5 years ago I went with the Tiramisu. It was good, but not my absolute fave. (It is the only item on the menu that warns you of the alcohol content since the pound cake is drenched in a couple kinds of liquor. So that’s fun!) So this time I wanted to try a different option, but which one?! I vacillated between several options for awhile: the Napolean (a local-recommended filled French pastry), the bread pudding (yes, I do love bread in THIS form – especially when it says right on the menu that raisins & nuts are absent!), the German white chocolate mousse and the German chocolate Belgian waffle. Go to the website & read the dessert menu and you’ll see what a hard choice was before me.
Eventually I chose the bread pudding and when the kind waitress asked if I wanted it a la mode, who says no to that?! So, yes, please cover my homemade-caramel-sauce-drenched dessert in ice cream to cut the sweetness!!
And it was good. So, so good.
But I think I’ll have to go back and try some of those other options soon. Very soon. It’s worth the 9 hour trip it’ll take me!
Oh, and by the way: they let our group of 18 bypass that hours-long-wait when we called ahead and were told that either we should arrive by 5:00pm when it opened (the lounge opens at 4:00pm so you can start lining up) or we could come at their next available opening for a group that large – 7:30pm. We were there bright & early! But otherwise, no reservations. So come early or shop around while you wait!