Road Trippin: The Alpine Inn in Hill City, South Dakota

What would you say if you were on vacation and ravishing for something to eat and the place you want to go has an hour and a half wait and they serve one thing on the menu?

Well, that best describes the Alpine Inn in historic Hill City in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Not only was the place packed with diners on the picturesque porch sipping drinks and cocktails in the cool summer breeze but the really do only serve one thing for dinner.

A 6 ounce bacon wrapped Filet Mignon for $8.95 or a 9 ounce for $10.95. The meal comes with a baked potato, Texas Toast and a lettuce wedge with homemade ranch style salad dressing.

I had no idea what to expect when we put our name on the wait list. I even commented to to my wife, Michele, that we would probably need a snack after our meal if that is the only thing they served.

Boy, was I wrong!

The steak dinners were excellent and the service was exceptional.

After our meal we ordered dessert. This is what makes the place, at least in my opinion. I ordered a German Chocolate desert which is chocolate ice cream, whipped cream, coconut and pecans placed on a Belgian Waffle and drizzled with chocolate syrup. That’s right– a Belgian Waffle. I am not a huge desert fan but this was a great finishing touch to a great meal.

Michele ordered a glass of local wine and a couple sodas. The total cost with tip was $45.00. Not too bad at all.

The only catch is they do not take credit cards. Only cash.

While many will balk at this idea–as a small business owner myself I totally understand. If you are not aware, when you give your credit or debit card to a merchant (restaurant, store, service provider, etc.) they have to pay a fee up up to sometimes 5% of the price and often have to pay upwards of a dollar per card swipe. If you are only charging 11 bucks for a steak dinner you should not expect that the proprietors profit be eaten up (no pun intended) by accepting credit cards. The restaurant does have an ATM on site but I think they should have better signage regarding this policy, as I like most others, rarely carry much cash.

As I always say, when you are visiting place on vacation, do yourself a favor and check out places that you might normally pass up. A place like the Alpine Inn is worth the wait and it will be a place you will remember for a long time to come.

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