When people think of cowboys, the state in America that comes to mind most of the time is perhaps Texas. Though when I was in Jackson, that western culture is strong here, which is natural considering the amount of wild game in the region, the huge ranches in the area and thus I decided to have a cowboy style dinner at one of the steak and game restaurant in town.
The one I chose to dine at was the Gun Barrel Steak & Game House located in a mall just beside the Wyoming Inn. This made it convenient for me to get to the restaurant. As I was driving back from town, I parked at the mall for the dinner. I am not sure if reservations were recommended but when I dined there, I just walked in and got a table immediately and the restaurant seems large and quite empty. Though it was quite a low season when I visited. For peak summer season and during Christmas/New Year, reservations are probably recommended.
Apparently the restaurant was opened in 1993 on what was the site of the Wyoming Wildlife Museum & Taxidermy, which explains perfectly the interior decor complete with a bison taxidermy!
The western theme with hunting rifles and memorabilia continued throughout the restaurant and I would say even visiting the restaurant is an eye-opener in itself! A more complete description about the restaurant’s history and collection of guns are described in the menu, indicating a source of pride for the restaurant’s proprietor.
As the decor of the restaurant indicates, this is a place for meat eaters so vegetarians should probably just stay away, with game meat and steaks taking the major portion, while some other food like chicken, baby back ribs and salmon takes a supplementary section. I asked for some recommendations from my server which was very accomodating and I ended up ordering a bison carpaccio for starters. I also ordered an 8 oz. (about 230 grams) buffalo prime rib and a side of cajun onion straws as that was the side I wanted but the prime rib is served only with baked potato and some vegetables.
The bison carpaccio was served with smoked gouda and garlic toast and drizzled with dijon mustard. The meat was sweet as I expected it and the seasoning over the meat added the restaurant’s own touch which was great!
When the buffalo prime rib was served, it looked like a lot of food since I am normally a light eater. The individual serving of the onion straw was quite huge and would be suitable as a shared table side dish. But a bite into the prime rib and I was instantly gratified! This has got to be the best prime rib I ever had as the meat was succulently sweet and the texture was amazing. For a game meat, it surprisingly did not taste as game-y. Certainly it was a great decision to order this main course. For those who have larger appetites, the prime rib was available in larger sizes so that can certainly be arranged with the restaurant.
The cajun onion straw also did not disappoint, and neither did the baked potato. Generally everything was good in the plate but I did not manage to finish the onion straw as I was too full.
In the end, I passed on any thoughts of dessert but it was perhaps one of my most satisfying meals ever in Jackson Hole. The whole meal costs me $58 including tips and while not the cheapest meal ever, it was worth the money as that would probably be the cost of a prime Angus steak in a high-end steakhouse in New York. For the novelty and the range of game meat served in this restaurant, I think a visit to Jackson Hole should include a dinner at the Gun Barrel as one of the highlights!