Many years ago, I heard about the Cowboy Dinner Tree. I wrote down the name on a piece of cardboard and pegged it to the wall over my garage work bench. It was something to do someday.
Every few years, I would mention the possibility of going there and each year there was a conflict, interruption etc. You know how it goes. Well, this year, out of the blue, my wife suggested we go to the Cowboy Dinner Tree. Amazing suggestion. I made the reservations for not only the restaurant but for one of the two little cabins near the restaurant. The plan was set and we recently ventured to central, Southern Oregon to fulfill this long time quest. It was a very wonderful outing.
The drive was about 5 hours with all the usual stops one has to make. The pace was easy going and we arrived just before the 3pm check in time. I had scheduled dinner for a bit later.
We dined with about a dozen other diners this evening. You pretty well sit by yourselves and take in the interior decor, the low light and the amazing service from Connie…such a sweet, hard working woman. You can review the site for info re the meals, but suffice to say you can choose either from a whole roasted chicken or a large sirloin butt steak that ranges from 26 to 30 ounces. A salad, fresh baked rolls with a beverage choice starts you out (no alcohol here).
You are hungry so the salad goes down easy enough along with a few rolls. Then a large serving bowl of beans arrives with ladle. This blend of spices, pinto and black beans is some of the finest I have ever tasted. Simple, hearty and wait, you ate that whole bowl of beans! Hmmm. Before you can fully contemplate the beans, here comes your over flowing plate. My wife and I chose the beef. Next time we would do one chicken and one beef. It is a shockingly big cut of beef. You anticipate this because you’ve heard about it or read about it. But, no it is actually big. Count on left overs. Bring a cooler, ice and a container for inside the cooler.
The meal is finished off, well you are finished off, with a nice reasonably sized dessert and you are done. It is immensely tasty and if you pace yourself and allow for left overs you will survive it just fine.
There is a gift shop but it was closed for repairs while we visited. It looked to have some art work, the usual T’s and other keepsakes to show you were there. I grabbed a cap from the restaurant.
At this point, I was so full and almost delirious that I forgot to take a pic of the dessert, a little strawberry, sauce and cake affair.
Now the whole dinner is admittedly over the top quantity wise, but this is a left overs situation. Plan on this so a goodly amount of food does not go to waste. There will be enough meat for several days of ‘normal’ eating. Ok, you are done. So, don’t just rush to your car and drive away. If the weather allows walk around the grounds a little bit and take in the old ranch equipment and take some photographs.
The weather had cooled off considerably and a front was pushing in to the NW. We made our way down the road, a short distance, to the “small cabin”. It was a perfect shelter complete with a small fridge, coffee maker, wood burning stove, indoor plumbing and the world’s smallest hot water heater & a shower…hurry! Electricity, a heavy quilt and it is a cozy place to contemplate your stomach.
The morning was a bit chilly. We probably didn’t need a fire, but I got up early and made my way to the wood stove I have prepped the night before. It took the edge off the chill….especially after that hot water heater empties out fast!
The Cowboy Dinner Tree (south of Silver Lake, Oregon) was an enjoyable adventure. It has been around for 20 some years and has a devoted following. Any hearty carnivore should venture there once, or more.