Cowboy Dinner Tree
Deep in south-central Oregon sits the Cowboy Dinner Tree. Purveyors of great food outside Silver Lake, Oregon - these folks have continued a tradition of good eats after a long cattle drive or Jeep drive, in the middle of nowhere.
Almost due East from Crater Lake, Oregon, this area just starts to dive into the great Basin & Range geologic area that spans several states. Great tectonic plate extension was the cause of this great vast area of land, where you will drive through faulted mountain ranges and fallen arid valleys. Not far is the beautiful Fort Rock, Christmas Valley, and Albert Rim, one of our nation's largest fault scarps. Not far is Paisley, Oregon and DNA remains of what is now believed to be the oldest remnents of human habitation in North America, dating back close to 14,000 years ago.
You only get a few choices when you call for a reservation, yes, a reservation. Do you want a 30 oz steak or whole roasted chicken? Absolutely one of the best steaks I've ever had, rather one of the best I couldn't finish. 30 oz!! The grounds are rustic and fully of old items to look at, even a little gift shop of local things to buy. But entering the Cowboy Dinner Tree is where the real treat begins. As the story goes, this was a central location for crossing cattle drives as far back as ranching occurred in the area. The food wagons eventually setup here and that one big meal the cowboys would take each day came from the wagon cooks. Eventually leading to a shed, a cabin, added on cabins, and today - a killer steak house.
As you made your choice of beef or chicken when calling for a reservation, and make sure you do as they always fill up, you get a few more at dinner time. Lemonade, tea, coffee, or water are the only other choices you get out here. No beer and no booze but you hardly miss it. Right away you are served a fresh green salad, pan yeast bread, and a pot of cowboy beans to share with your table mates. Finally, your perfectly cooked steak or chicken arrives with a baked potato and lots of butter. Capped off with a great little cake desert and lots of doggie bags to take your leftover loot home.