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purplewiz

Dining in Sheridan, Wyoming

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Due to some family business I've had to spend quite a few days in Sheridan, Wyoming recently, and a quick search didn't find any topics that covered where to eat while there. Probably because Sheridan, a town of oh, about 30,000, give or take a few, about 25 miles from the Montana border, isn't exactly known as a culinary hot spot.

Sheridan has actively tried to retain its "wild west" character to attract tourism, and boasts that it's the home of the the Mint Bar, voted by some publication or another as the best cowboy bar. I have only peeked in, and decided it wasn't quite what I was looking for.

As always, I'm not affiliated with any of these businesses, I've just eaten or drunk or bought goodies there.

So starting at the high end, I highly recommend Oliver's Bar and Grill on Main St. at Brundage. The atmosphere is quiet and sophisticated - the decor is contemporary and comfortable.

The best way I can describe the food is fine dining with Asian and Southwestern influences. We ate there three times, so we had a chance to sample a reasonable variety of the menu. Highlights included the butternut squash bisque (made with amaretti), the buffalo rib eye, the Argentinian mixed grill (the chorizo was only ok but the grilled flank steak was amazing), a crab, preserved tomato, and avocado stack with reduced balsamic and chipotle creme fraiche, and the Vietnamese beef kabobs with three dipping sauces: apple curry, basil coconut lime, and peanut.

They have quite a reasonable wine list with wines by the glass that rotate weekly, and some dessert wines I'd never tried before - I'd never had a late harvest Gewurztraminer, and it was lovely. My husband had a glass of the 20 year old Dow port each night and is now tracking down a bottle.

It's not perfect: I found eggshell in the cheesecake one night, and although the lamb shank osso buco was perfectly cooked, the beans it was served over were distinctly underdone. Still, these were the best meals I've ever had in Sheridan, and would happily go back - and not just because the restaurant is open until 10pm and the bar until 2 am.

Wyoming Rib and Chop house, located in the Sheridan Inn at Fifth and Broadway. We'd passed by this place so many times during previous trips, and finally decided to try it out and see what the fuss was. We'd seen the menu in the guest guide in our hotel, and figured it would at least involve a good steak.

We should have made reservations - since it was Sheridan mid-week, we didn't even think about it. Apparently this place is busy all the time, so while there was a 45 minute wait, the hostesses were very polite about it, inviting us to get a drink at the bar and take it out on the porch while we waited.

Sadly, the food at the place reflects the fact that it's busy all the time - and mostly with tourists. It's not BAD food - I've had BAD food in the past - but the biggest sin is that the steaks were tough. I've never had a tough NY strip steak before, and I don't care to repeat the experience. Or one with a large bone chip in it that, had I not found it with my fork, could have done damage to my dental work. (Yes, I mentioned it to our server. He apologized.)

On the plus side, the blue cheese dressing had lots of large chunks of blue cheese, and the squash casserole side had a light texture and actually tasted like squash. But you go to a place like this for the meat, and sadly, it disappointed. Especially at that price point. If I were going back, I'd go for a drink, wander around to look at the historical displays and read all about how they're restoring the Inn, and then go somewhere else for dinner.

Perkins, on Coffeen at Sugarland: Ok, it's a chain, and if you've ever had breakfast at Village Inn/Denny's/JB's/etc., you know what they serve: infinite variations on eggs, omelets, pancakes, and waffles. It's all very reliable and very safe.

I don't recommend them really for the food, although it's not half bad, even though the pancakes are tough: I recommend them for the scenery. This is where a lot of the local folks go for breakfast, and it's fun to sip your coffee, read the local paper, and eavesdrop on the conversations going on around. The serving staff knows the regulars and if you're in there more than twice are likely to remember you, too - they remembered us, and even why we were there. Service is as speedy as possible, so it's a great place for a quick, hearty breakfast when you've got a lot to do.

They're also open until 11 pm weekdays and 24 hours on Friday and Saturday nights. This is one of the many reasons I hold them in high regard - Sheridan is a small town and many businesses roll up the sidewalks at 5pm.

One of those businesses is Sugar and Spice (45 North Main St., can't find a website), a rubber stamp, scrapbooking, and coffee shop. I don't know much about rubber stamps and scrapbooking (although it looked like they had a nice assortment of products), but the small coffee bar in the back is first class. The person in the store tamps the coffee and runs the machine by hand, and it shows. They also have about six different sugar free syrups (and 5 times that sugared) and a whole mess of frozen drinks, not to mention a case full of chocolates. I had a sugar free hazelnut latte on one occasion and a sugar free caramel latte on the other, and they were both among the best coffee drinks I've had in a long time. There are two tables in the back, both of which have plenty of reading material from the local paper to craft magazines, but if you want to take your coffee to go they have these neat little plugs for the coffee lids that block up the sippy hole so you don't get hot coffee all over yourself.

The Chocolate Tree, 29 E Loucks St, can't find a website: A nice chocolate and gift shop, with truffles and peanut butter cups big enough to share and huge non-pareils. It's the kind of chocolate shop that just feels comfortable to be in, even if there are too many temptations staring at you from the case. They also gift box all purchases so they're easy to carry.

Marcia.


Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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The next time you go to Sheridan, go a bit south on I 90 and stop in at Story, Wyoming. It's a pretty little town, mostly summer people, but a few live there year-round. There's a general store with a deli, and the times we've been there, the pies and other desserts were excellent. I think they serve breakfast and lunch there. This time of year, I'm not sure of their hours. The store is fun to wander around in, and has a surprising number of gourmet items for a small town in Wyoming.

http://www.pineycreekgeneralstore.com/menus.htm

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Terrasanct, it sounds great - I'll definitely have to check it out if I'm ever up that way again!

Marcia.


Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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