Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pitchfork Fondue: the weirdest picnic ever

This was the event that we have been waiting for. That all our friends have been waiting to hear about. That defines the weird town that is Medora, ND.

It is the famous Pitchfork Steak Fondue.

(keep in mind that this happens every night. that is a lot of steak!)

We're talking steak on pitchforks deep fried in 55 gallon drums of sunflower seed oil. You can see all the pitchforks lined up and ready to go before the eating begins, and you can watch the fondue-ing process. It takes about 3-5 minutes. The menu also includes fruit and vegetables, cole slaw, baked potatoes, garlic bread and baked beans.

The evening went as follows:

Guests arrive, claim a picnic table under the pavilion, and when the word is given everyone lines up at the buffet, hands in their ticket in exchange for a color coded plate referring to either a 9 oz new york strip steak, 12 oz rib eye or hot dog. Somewhere near the beginning of the line, it started raining, which quickly turned into an absolute downpour. The pavilion provides shelter, but the rain still blows in from the edges, and the fight for tables in the middle commenced. There were only 4 of us and we were near the front of the line so we managed to score a pretty good location. Live entertainment was provided by Steve Lasiter, the Burning Hills Singer, and members of the Coal Diggers. They did a great job and started playing somewhere over the rainbow when a beautiful one appeared in the sky, the plus side of the rain.

(a few of our fellow diners)

Our take on this event:

It was like a giant picnic with hundreds of strangers. The food was good, the steak was average (abby though it was weird, and well, it was), and the live band was entertaining. The rain and the fact that were hundreds of people there made it a bit of a stressful event. I wish the actual fondue-ing was a more central focus of the event. It happens off on the edge of the pavilion, and you can watch if you want to, but no one really does. Worth the $26 that paying guests spend? I don't know, but it was certainly entertaining!

(notice the pitchfork hole)

Oh and they guy sitting behind us with the shirt that said "I didn't claw my way to the top of the food chain to eat vegetables" was simply priceless.