The quality of a meal is important, although sometimes how we get there can offer another element of excitement to a great meal.

Snowmobiling on Tug Hill offers hundreds of miles of groomed trails, with some great restaurants along the way. Best yet, most of these restaurants can be accessed by car, although be careful following your navigation system. Sometimes they will take you on “seasonal roads” that become snowmobile trails in the winter. As snowmobilers, we tend to pick where we are dining based more so on where the groomed trail leads than on a specific restaurant. Nothing beats getting lost on the trail and discovering a new restaurant!

Today the groomed trail took us to The Montague Inn in the town of Montague. This Lewis County restaurant serves great food and has a groomed snowmobile trail leading directly to the front door. A longtime local hangout, this snowmobile stop serves up some great food with an extensive craft beer selection unequaled on the trail. They offer lodging as well as gas for snowmobiles.

I went with my personal favorite, a chili burger. Named after my Facebook food blog the “Eating in Upstate New York” chili burger is a must try! It’s a burger topped with mayo, mozzarella cheese, and diced onion served with some amazing homemade chips. The chili is made with fresh chopped tomatoes (fresh equals a slightly sweet taste), cumin, freshly ground hamburger, scallions, pepper, onions, and a secret ingredient. They also use a hint of Sam Adams Boston Lager to give it a rich flavor.

They also offer an amazing garlic and butter bread bowl filled with their signature chili, then smothered in salsa, sour cream and fresh chopped chives.

Looking for something local? The Lake Effect Wings and the Drunken Fries are huge hits developed by a couple of locals. Add that to their standard restaurant items and you have a selection that is sure to please every member of your group. The size of this restaurant is well suited to remain compliant with all social distancing requirements.

The prime rib is slow roasted and filled with just the right amount of marbling. The fresh-cut fries were crisp and not soggy like most. This is well worth the drive! You can drive through the Maple Ridge Wind Farm, then stop in for a great lunch or dinner.

The master of the chili, local chef, and our server today was Debby. As she prepared our meal (from scratch) it was easy to see she is a hardcore foodie. Serving with her was Jen, another foodie and one of the quickest bartenders around. Both of them only highlighted our visit, ensuring everything was perfect while still handling a mass of hungry snowmobilers.

They are open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The kitchen closes at 9 p.m. and everyone (by order of the Governor) must be out of the building at 10 p.m.

Numerous restaurants follow my blog so I always share who the distributors are: The hamburger used in the chili is Schweid and Sons (a long-time favorite of this blog) which they purchase through Renzi Food Service out of Watertown. They also use U.S. Foodservice.

Located at 6765 Sears Pond Road in the town of Montague (type in Lowville, though, on your navigation) this off-the-wall location is worth the stop. They are conveniently located on the ATV/ snowmobile trails and have plenty of places to drop your trailer. They also have a motel on the premises. They can be reached at 315-376-2078.

I would like to thank NNY Living for the opportunity to write for this informative magazine. Sharing the importance of promoting our local family-owned restaurants is what my blog and this featured section are all about. Our local restaurants have never needed us more! Please like and share my Facebook food blog, “Eating in Upstate New York and Beyond” to help others enjoy the ride on the foodie trail as I delve deeper into the food the north country has to offer.

My name is Lee Hinkleman, and I’m a Foodie.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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