Some people enjoy eating out because it gives them a chance to order food they can’t get at home. For them, it’s an opportunity to try something new. Others stick to what they know, ordering comfort food they can easily make at home but don’t have the time or inclination to actually do it. Then there are those stuck in the middle who enjoy trying different food, but they’re always tempted to order the meatloaf or the pot roast when it shows up on a menu.
In the Cowboy State, it doesn’t matter which side of the fence you land on. Many of our crave-worthy restaurants specialize in can’t-miss comfort food, but they put a Wyoming spin on the recipes. This list of 9 eateries around the state is just an example of some of the places that serve familiar dishes with an out-of-the-box twist you’ll love.
1. Sloshies from the Liquor Store & Wine Loft of Jackson Hole
115 Buffalo Way, Jackson
Remember cooling off in summer with a fruity shaved-ice drink the consistency of slush? When you order one in Wyoming, it comes laced with booze, and we call it a "sloshie." Several bars and even convenience stores have sloshie machines that dispense delicious mixologist-created flavors such as huckleberry vodka, pina colada, and mudslide. When you're in Jackson, stop in and get yours at the TLS - the Liquor Store & Wine Loft. Good news: they're not just a summertime treat anymore and are available year-round.
2. Fried Wyomatoes at the Spur Restaurant & Bar
Teton Mountain Lodge, 3385 Cody Lane, Teton Village
You can find fried green tomatoes on many menus these days, but the ones offered at the Spur are extra-special and extra-tasty. That's because they make them with Wyomatoes, a specialty variety of tomato grown in the high elevation of Big Piney. Sweet and with just the right amount of juice, they fry up deliciously in a seasoned breading and are served with crème fraiche and a drizzle of spicy sauce.
3. Wild Game Nachos at Open Range
Sheridan Inn, 856 Broadway Street, Sheridan
You've probably had nachos with shredded and ground beef, chicken, barbecue, and maybe even a vegetarian version, but you've never had them like this. The chef at Open Range uses bison meat spiced just right to provide this comfort food snack-time favorite with a unique flavor.
4. Soda Bread at the Cavalryman Steakhouse
4425 South 3rd Street, Laramie
Soda bread is typically associated with the Irish, but Native Americans were baking it long before any Europeans landed at Plymouth Rock. They discovered they could make a quick-rising bread using natural soda taken from campfire ashes, and it was a trick pioneers were happy to pick up. The warm, flavorful soda bread at the Cavalryman isn't made with wood ash soda, but it is baked following a century-old pioneer recipe.
5. Bison and Bacon Chili at the Silver Dollar Bar and Gill
Wort Hotel, 50 North Glenwood Street, Jackson
Many places claim to have the best chili, but the Silver Dollar's chili is literally award-winning. You can order it as a side for any entrée, but the deep dish brimming with a just-right spicy mix of beans, onions, peppers, celery, and chunks of bison meat and bacon is big and hearty enough to fill you up.
6. Bison Burger at the Pioneer Grill
Jackson Lake Lodge, 101 Jackson Lake Lodge Road, Moran
Sure, Wyoming has an abundant supply of bison, but there's another reason you'll find it on many menus and in a lot of your favorite dishes. It's a lean, flavorful meat that adds to any recipe you put it in. Heck, it even tastes great gilled on its own and served on a bun, burger-style. When you go to this 50s-style diner to get one, it comes served on a buttery whole-wheat bun, with mustard aoli and all the fixin's - tomato, lettuce, onion, and cheese - and with a side of crispy house-cut fries.
7. Steak at the Gun Barrel Steak & Game House
862 West Broadway Avenue, Jackson
We purposely left what kind of steak out of the description because they have it all here at the Gun Barrel. Craving good old beef? Fine, they have it at the Gun Barrel, but a Wyoming steak can also refer to some sort of game meat, so you can get that at here, too. Bison sirloin, elk chops - even a mouthwatering buffalo prime rib so tender it will make you want to cry. If you have a hankerin' for a steak, the Gun Barrel satisfies.
8. Trout at Cowfish
128 Main Street, Lander
Wyoming isn't all about beef, bison, or elk. It's also one of the best places in the country for fishing and is best known for having a large variety of trout. If a good old-fashioned fish fry is your idea of comfort food, Cowfish in Lander won't disappoint. The trout here is panko crusted and served with artichoke hearts, spring peas, and toasted hazelnuts. You don't even have to be a fish-fanatic to fall in love with this dish.
9. Ice Cream Sandwich at Lickety Splits
61 North Main Street, Buffalo
Sure, anyone can do ice cream sandwiches, and making them using cookies is nothing new, but Lickety Splits has mastered the art of combining the perfect cookie with the most delicious ice cream to create a simple but heavenly treat that satisfies just as well as any gourmet version out there.
Have you eaten at any of these restaurants? Where else have you tasted lip-smacking comfort food done with a Wyoming twist?
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