Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Tasty Treats in Yellowstone

September 17, 2010, 9:07 am

I've fallen in love with Yellowstone National Park for all the right reasons: stunning scenery, fabulous hikes, mind-boggling geothermal features and buffalo up the wazoo (so to speak).

But I also love it for the huckleberry ice cream.

Growing up in the rather sheltered confines of rural northern Iowa, I never knew as a kid there was such a thing as a huckleberry. Sure, I knew about Huckleberry Hound from reruns of old cartoons, but figured that was just the work of the imagination of some twisted genius at the Hanna-Barbera cartoon factory.

My wife, daughter and I were convinced by a waitress at the restaurant at the Old Faithful Inn six years ago to try huckleberry ice cream for dessert. The baby blue delicacy hit the spot and we've indulged on two return trips, including last weekend. I love blueberries and, to me, huckleberry ice cream has a slightly less intense blueberry flavor.

We stayed at the Lake Yellowstone Hotel on Friday and Saturday nights and wisely followed a recommendation to book dinner reservations nine months in advance at the hotel's first-class restaurant. The dining room in the hotel offers in-your-face views of the sprawling lake. We were lucky enough to be seated at a window table one of the nights.

I had duck on Friday and buffalo on Saturday, sticking with the wildlife theme of the weekend. (The menu assures diners that the buffalo comes from farm-raised animals, not the majestic beasts you stare at in the park all day.)