Cowboy Dinner Tree review

The Cowboy Dinner Tree was fabulous. A real experience, one I would absolutely do again! So this review will mostly consist of gushing over the meal (I can’t think of anything bad to say), followed by a few pictures. Read on…

The drive was almost exactly one and a half hours. You turn off right before entering the town of Silver Lake and drive about four miles down a county road that’s paved, though barely. You come across the gate with a small sign, and the restaurant is at the end of the gravel driveway.

We got there a little early, so browsed the gift shop while we waited. All very western-themed and handmade. It looks like a lot of stuff is made my locals to be sold to the tourists.

This place is about as rustic as rustic gets. You walk down the wood plank gangway to the door that is being overrun by a wild rose bush, and the door itself is a half-screendoor deal with a deer antler for a handle. Inside, it’s simply a rough-planked cowboy mess shack, with gear hanging all over the place and low ceilings. None of the table or chairs match, nor do the table settings. It’s great.

Drinks are served in quart-sized mason jars. Pink lemonade was the order of the day (no alcohol; it’s lemonade, iced tea and water). We’d already ordered the steak dinners when the reservations were made, so the waitress (also the owner) walked us through what to expect and then brought out the courses.

First was green salad. A big bowl of it, with homemade ranch and honey mustard dressing served up in mismatched canning jars. You eat as much as you’d like. Next, piping hot dinner rolls and soup. We got a giant platter of the rolls (and there was only two of us), and a huge bowl of vegetable beef soup and a ladle to dish yourself up—again, like the salad, all we wanted. The soup was very good, though peppery-spicy (tabasco).

Then came the main course: the steaks. These are just so far beyond ordinary steaks that my mother, seeing the leftovers later, commented that she would call them roasts instead. They were massive; mine was a good three inches thick if it was an inch. And excellent! Very lean, very flavorful. A baked potato came with the meat.

(And by the way, whatever you do, don’t order ketchup… a woman at the table next to us had done so, and the waitress said, jokingly yet loud enough for everyone to hear, “And here’s the ketchup for your steak!” She then laughed and said she was required by law to announce that whenever someone ordered ketchup…)

After wisely only eating perhaps a third of the steaks, we went with dessert. It was a marionberry shortcake in heavy cream, somehow the perfect accompaniment to the dinner. We bagged up the leftover steak and dinner rolls, paid the bill, and rolled on out. We bought the items at the giftshop we’d picked out beforehand, and started home.

All in all, truly excellent. If you haven’t yet gone, then do so. Soon.

Cowboy Dinner Tree sign

Entrance to the Cowboy Dinner Tree

Massive steak!
Good grief, just look at that steak!!

Wooden teepee?
I don’t know, it was like a plywood teepee that was just sitting there.

Beef. It's what's for dinner.
This was too good to pass up. I have that western theme song stuck in my head from those commercials…

4 Replies to “Cowboy Dinner Tree review”

  1. My aunt and uncle owned the place but sold it a year ago or so (in 2005 I think, maybe in 2004). I visited and ate there a couple times before I left Oregon – great food and great people!

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