Tuesday, May 19, 2009

". . . at the Cowboy"

Go into TripAdvisor.com and look for restaurants in Dubois, WY, and you'll find three listings.

One is the Sundance Café, which I wrote about a few days ago. Another is the Wyoming Café, which, using my superior powers of deduction, I have concluded was the Sundance Café in a previous life. (The Wyoming Café’s address is the same as the Sundance Café’s). The third is the Cowboy Café, and it was there where we had a late breakfast the other morning.

The Cowboy Café can best be described as homey. It seats forty-eight inside and another sixteen at sidewalk tables. Decorated in cowboy memorabilia with "Gun Show" and "Horses for Rent" flyers, it seems to be the restaurant of choice for the locals. Our friendly waitress seemed to know all of the other patrons, greeted many by name, and even knew what some typically ordered--even the gentleman having lunch at 10:30 a.m.

It was a Wednesday that we ate at the Sundance Café, and the Cowboy Café is closed on Wednesday. Upon receiving his French press coffee, the gentleman seated next to us at the Sundance Café remarked to his dining companion that he would be more comfortable “at the Cowboy.”

Many of the breakfast listings seemed to be big breakfasts for big men. In addition to steak and eggs, the “big man” breakfast is a Chicken Fried Steak with a half order of biscuits and gravy, two eggs, and hash browns. Other items included: the Santa Fe Omelet with jalapeño pepper sausage, cheese, salsa, hash browns and toast; the Mexican Omelet with chicken, tomatoes, olives, green chili, onions, cheese, salsa, hash browns, and toast; the Veggie Skillet which is a bed of hash browns topped with tomato, onion, mushrooms, and cheese; and the Swiss Mushroom Melt served on hash browns and topped with mushrooms and melted Swiss cheese. We didn’t order any of these.

I really like corned beef hash and hadn’t seen it on a breakfast menu in months. So, while I was tempted by the Santa Fe Omelet (yes, I passed on jalapeno pepper sausage), I went a more traditional route and had the hash with two eggs over easy, hash browns (fried crisp), and toast. The hash was above average, but not dazzling. It was crisp on the outside and soft and moist inside which is the sign of a good hash. The eggs were cooked past over easy, so were lacking in liquid yolk. And, while I am sure that the hash browns came from a bag or box, they were cooked to the right degree of crispness. It is a challenge to cook hash browns so that the exterior crisps but the inside doesn’t resemble mashed potatoes.

Chuck went all a la carte. He ordered two buttermilk pancakes, one chocolate chip pancake, hash browns, and a side of three slices of bacon. Our waitress looked at him and asked “Are you really hungry? These pancakes are really large.” He reconsidered and changed his order to one buttermilk and one chocolate chip pancake.

The bacon was thick cut, lightly smoked, and not too salty but with enough salt to offset the sweetness of the pancakes. And let me tell you, the chocolate chip pancake was sweet and loaded – and I mean loaded – with chocolate chips. These were very good pancakes – not the best we’ve had but still very good. Chuck did thank the waitress for the "heads up" and admitted that, even with my frequent sampling, he would not have been able to finish the third pancake.

Breakfast that morning was good, but not out of the ordinary, and rates a 3.5 Addies on our 5.0 scale.

We left "the Cowboy" and were greeted by this representive of the canine population of Dubois. As you might expect, most trucks going through town had a dog in the front seat or the truck bed. In every case, the dogs would put forth a series of barks.

Dubois is a very friendly town.

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