Dining in Wyoming: Cattleguard Steakhouse & Saloon in Buffalo, Wyoming

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By Tim Mandese, Cowboy State Daily

Maybe before I regale you with stories about this week’s culinary destination, I should tell you a little about myself, because the two stories go together like a steak and a baked potato.

Literally.

I was raised the son of a man who was a real butcher. By that I mean he worked as a butcher and owned his own butcher shop in Florida. My father was a butcher for 40 years and trained me from the age of about 12 and I myself was a butcher for 20 years. So I guess I was brought up knowing which end of a steer to chew on, so to speak.

A steakhouse to me never made much sense. Why have a steak in the restaurant when I can reach the window and choose the best there is? And yes, I also know how to cook it.

But now that I live in Wyoming and hit a keyboard for a living, I no longer have that luxury. That doesn’t mean I’m depriving myself of a good piece of steak. It’s just that now I don’t mind passing the grill to someone else.

That’s where this week’s Plate O’ Goodness comes in.

Buffalo’s first steakhouse for years, according to many, was the Winchester Steakhouse. He was popular all year round, but had recently fallen off people’s radars.

Enter Dan and Deb Buckley, who bought the Winchester in December and decided to rename it The Cattleguard Steakhouse & Saloon.

“This place just needed to be brought back to life,” Dan Buckley told me. “I want this to be the first steakhouse in Johnson County and hopefully beyond.”

As you enter the Cattleguard, the first thing you see is a beautiful freestanding fireplace that that night was lit with a roaring fire. On the dining side of the fireplace is a spacious dining room that Dan says he has plans for.



The menu is pure steakhouse cuisine, but there are other dishes as well. Baked halibut, bacon-wrapped scallops, and even fresh salmon can be found, along with desserts.

Soon there will be more choices, Dan said.

“We have a lot of plans for The Cattleguard,” he said. “We will add barbecue soon.”

Dan says that out back there will be a large smoker grill, producing ribs, pork belly and butts as well as other smoked dishes. Since I have a friend in Buffalo, expect to hear about the barbecue in the future.

Tonight though, I’m here for the aforementioned steak!

As in many steakhouses, the emphasis is on beef. In this case, the beef is prime Angus quality.

“I won’t take any less,” Dan said. “Twenty-seven day suspension for aging. It’s well aged and freshly cut every night.

There are many cuts to choose from. Among others, a prime rib au jus of course, a New York strip loin and a huge 30-ounce sirloin steak. Can you say “Bring your appetite?”

Tonight I would order my favorite steak, the 16 oz grilled ribeye served with fresh mushrooms and cauliflower gratin. Opposite me, my friend will be dining on the popular Winchester steak, a Delmonico topped with mushrooms, caramelized onions and Swiss cheese. Next to me will be the classic bacon-wrapped 14-ounce tenderloin.

Before the steaks arrived, we had our salads, which were delicious and fresh, along with an appetizer of fried green tomatoes.

These were made more sophisticated for this boy from Florida, with a filling of crabmeat and drizzled with a balsamic vinegar. It was a rare treat for me and I was surprised at how well the crabmeat goes with this southern favorite. I could have made a meal with this side dish alone.

My friend who ordered the filet chose the French onion soup as a starter, and on top of that it was overflowing with grilled Swiss cheese. It was a perfect dollop of sweet onions in every bite.



Oh look! Here are the steaks! I almost got up and bowed!

The smell of the grill was the first thing to hit me. First the sirloin. I ordered my steak medium rare, and this one was done that way. It had to be, because it had a little Certified Angus beef tag that said “Med Rare” on the back. No guesswork here.



Next on the table was the Winchester. I wasn’t sure if I had made a mistake with the ribeye, because that steak looked amazing! The toppings protected another perfectly done medium-rare steak.



Last but not least was the tenderloin. This one needed a standing ovation! Fourteen ounces of tender, juicy all-American beef here!



Now I’m going to cut to the chase, or in this case the steaks, which were good bite after bite. No need for steak sauce here. You wouldn’t want to cover that. I mean unless it’s with those mushrooms, onions, and Swiss cheese.

The char on the steak was as it should be and the flavor divine. There were lots of happy forks all around and the knives did very little work to release every tender bite. I’m glad I let the grill master do all that work this time.

So if you’re looking for someone else to take over the grill for the night and serve you instead, consider Cattleguard Steakhouse & Saloon in Buffalo. This restaurant is on its way to being the first steakhouse that owners Dan and Deb Buckley want it to be!

The Cattleguard Steakhouse & Saloon is located at 117 US Highway. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The restaurant can be reached at (307) 259-2171.

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