We might live in Montana, but that doesn’t mean we are completely deprived of the luxuries available to residents of more populated states — even when it comes to fine dining.

You don’t have to be a New York business executive or a California movie star to pay a lot of money for a tiny plate of food. No, you can do that right here in Missoula. In fact, I did it this past weekend.

Because I’m such an awesome girlfriend, I decided to treat my boyfriend to an expensive birthday dinner at a fancy Missoula restaurant that shall remain unnamed. When our server set our plates down in front of us, we looked across the table at each other with raised eyebrows and facial expressions that said, “That’s it?”

Granted, the food was good — there just wasn’t much of it. As we walked back to the car, we both agreed that we are just not fine-dining people. We also agreed that we were still hungry and needed to make a food stop on the way home. (Thank goodness for Five Guys — one place I know will never leave me feeling hungry and disappointed.)

I can appreciate gourmet cooking and plates of food that look like artistic sculptures, but just as I am not sophisticated enough to understand abstract art (why would I pay hundreds of dollars for a painting of a green square?), I guess I am not sophisticated enough to understand how a snack-size salmon filet stacked on a snack-size scoop of rice can be considered a meal.

Maybe it’s just my Montana roots, but when I order dinner, I actually expect to eat dinner. I can only assume that there must be a lot of hungry rich people in New York and California.

Brooke is a 2010 graduate of The University of Montana, where she ran track and cross country for the Grizzlies. She is currently working as a writer and editor in Missoula.