If you’ve ever visited the tiny town of West Yellowstone, Montana then you may have noticed the insane restaurant-to-population ratio. Although just over 1,000 people live here year-round, thousands (and thousands) of people visit each year to access Yellowstone National Park. There are over 30 restaurants in this mountain town, and let’s just say that some are better than others. From barbecue to pizza to burgers to Chinese food, the decision to feed your family can be overwhelming. And we’ll tell you firsthand that a lot of your options are mediocre at best (for our top 10 favorites, however, check out this guide).
One restaurant that stands out from the rest? Cafe Madriz. This Spanish restaurant on the north end of town has been open for over a decade, and Spanish Chef and owner Elena de Diego knows how to authentic and delicious Spanish dishes. Come here for imported olives, cheeses, meats, homemade paella, and pan con tomate. And make sure and save room for the spinach salad, or “Ensalada de Espinacas y Pinones”.
Favorite Menu Item: Cafe Madriz Spinach Salad Recipe
This Cafe Madriz Spinach Salad Recipe is topped with sautéed red onions and bacon, fresh organic goat cheese, pine nuts, and served with a warm bacon vinaigrette. Similar to many Spanish dishes, it’s simple and unfussy, but this simple salad is one you won’t forget. We’ve created the closest home version of the Cafe Madriz Spinach Salad Recipe so you can enjoy it from the comforts of your own home. Let us know if you make it, and next time you’re in West Yellowstone pay a visit to Cafe Madriz for a delicious Spanish meal in the mountains.
Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
- 8 ounces thick bacon, uncooked
- 1 red onion
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 6 ounces baby spinach, washed
- 3 ounces goat cheese
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- Slice red onion into thin slices and chop bacon into small pieces, roughly 1 x 1/2" pieces. Heat olive oil over medium heat and cook bacon and red onion simultaneously for 20-25 minutes, until bacon is slightly crispy and onions are soft and nearly translucent. Do not burn or overcook.
- When the bacon and onion are nearly complete, fill a large serving bowl with spinach. Top with goat cheese, either crumbled or in small dollops. Using a slotted spoon, gently spoon bacon and onion on your bed of spinach, trying to make contact with the goat cheese so that it warms slightly. Whisk red wine vinaigrette and a few cranks of sea salt and freshly ground pepper into remaining oil and bacon drippings. Drizzle over salad according to your taste, although you may not need the entire dressing for this salad. Serve and eat immediately.
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$$ Spanish, Gluten-Free, Tapas Bars