When it comes to cooking, you might say Chef Kirt Martin likes to walk on the wild side. And his passion for unusual foods is evident on the menu of his Hagerman restaurant, Snake River Grill, which has become a destination for folks in the Twin Falls region.
“Most of our products are produced here in Idaho, whether it’s Kurobuta pork, Kobe beef, sturgeon or trout. And we get our seasonal fruits and vegetables from the local farmers’ market,” says Martin, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in Ottawa, Canada. “Sturgeon is an extremely popular item on our menu because very few restaurants serve it. We serve it grilled or breaded and fried with your choice of side – Idaho fries, mashed potatoes, sautÃ©ed vegetables, rice pilaf, soup or salad bar.”
Tender alligator bites are one of Snake River Grill’s best-loved appetizers. The dish is served lightly breaded and fried golden brown with a chipotle dipping sauce. Breakfast features include homemade sausage, three-egg omelets bursting with fresh veggies, and one-pound breakfast burritos. And the restaurant’s ever-popular dessert menu offers everything from homemade pies to eight varieties of cheesecake.
“My wife, Carol, does all the pies, so when we say they’re homemade, we mean it,” Martin says.
Snake River Grill History
A third-generation cook, Martin moved to Idaho in 1988 from Minnesota, where he ran a family restaurant. He opened Snake River Grill in 1995.
“I found a little piece of heaven here and started over,” Martin says. “I don’t take this for granted. I’ve lived in cities, and here I have 10 acres and a wonderful place to raise my 3-year-old triplet sons – Daniel, Andrew and Benjamin.”
Snake River Grill’s unusual cuisine is a result of Martin’s background in classic French cooking and his love for hunting and fishing.
“Idaho is a mecca of wild game, and I like to take it back to classic French techniques,” he says.
In Hagerman, Snake River Grill continues to thrive with the support of hungry patrons looking for cuisine that’s refreshingly different, locally produced and impeccably prepared.
“The support has been very good – we get a lot of drive-downs from the Twin Falls area,” Martin says. “We put a lot of love into this place. It’s my passion.”
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