HIDDEN GEMS, WYOMING’S BEST EATS: T-Joe’s Steakhouse and Saloon Keeps ’em Coming Back

T-Joe's Steakhouse and Saloon is located 15 minutes east of downtown Cheyenne. (Wyoming Truth photo by David Dudley)

By David Dudley

Special to the Wyoming Truth

CHEYENNE, Wyo.—The conditions for cabin fever — high winds, snow and ice for days on end — visited southeast Wyoming in late October. When it’s cold outside, and roads are slick, I like to visit restaurants that aren’t too far away, serve good food and offer a lively atmosphere with games to play.

It’s a tall order, but T-Joe’s Steakhouse and Saloon ticks all the boxes. T-Joe’s is known for steaks, pork, poultry, seafood, sandwiches, salads and more in casual digs, but the cooks also are known for making the best meatloaf in town ($18). Nestled between I-80 and Lincoln Highway, the restaurant is only 15 minutes east of downtown. There are two pool tables in the back, making it the perfect place for a wintry date night.

Date night

T-Joe’s is named for a legendary bucking bronco who performed at Cheyenne Frontier Days in the 1950s-60s. The legend goes that any rider who drew T-Joe could earn a high score—if the rider could stick to his back, which was extremely difficult to do.

The restaurant was built by the Tuttle family in 1983; Sherrie Lyle, the current owner, bought it in May 2020.

Entering T-Joe’s, we were greeted by “Wanted” posters displaying mugshots of long-dead outlaws, including George Parrot, Duncan Blackburn and Bob Meldrum. I stopped to read them, but my date, Samantha, heeding hunger’s call, grabbed my hand and pulled me to a nearby table.

We ordered jalapeno poppers ($12) and pickle chips with ranch dressing ($8). The poppers were wrapped in crisp, smoky bacon. The cream cheese sets the stage for a splash of heat. While I’m typically not a fan of fried pickles, T-Joe’s strike a delicate balance between the tangy pickle and savory batter, fried until crisp. The cool ranch dressing gives them a satisfying pop of creamy dill.

Pictured above is a customer favorite at T-Joe’s: a big, juicy ribeye.  Owner Sherrie Lyle sells 75 steaks a week during the winter and 200 in the summer. (Wyoming Truth photo by David Dudley)

I quickly forgot about the meatloaf when our server, Stevie Jesselson, described the hand cut ribeye steak ($34). Samantha is partial to prime rib ($34), so Jesselson suggested the black and blue prime rib ($37), which comes blackened with bleu cheese crumbles sprinkled on top.

The steaks, ranging in size from 10 ounces to 16 ounces, are served with a salad and a choice of one side. We opted for the loaded baked potatoes.

When our food arrived, my ribeye took up much of the plate. It was cooked to medium rare, so the full flavor of the meat could shine through.

Lyle purchases the ribeyes from Goodrich Ranch in Wheatland—and they’re a T-Joe’s top seller at 75 ribeyes per week in the winter and over 200 a week during the busy summer season. I ate mine so greedily that I didn’t notice Samantha had placed a generous portion of prime rib on my plate.

I almost regretted passing on the prime rib. The combination of peppery blackening seasoning, mingled with the creamy twang of bleu cheese crumbles, was delicious, and the cut was among the tenderest I’ve ever had.

The saloon at T-Joe’s features pool tables, a shuffleboard table and a few digital slot machines—just the right mix of games to keep customers entertained. (Wyoming Truth photo by David Dudley)

Save room for sweets and fun

We were too full for dessert, but quickly surrendered when Jesselson offered carrot cake ($6) and berry mascarpone layer cake ($6).

The carrot cake, which is dense and nutty, whetted my appetite for Thanksgiving dinner, then just a few weeks away. The cream cheese frosting is subtly sweet, so the carrots don’t get lost in the mix.

The berry mascarpone layer cake is a crowd pleaser. The fluffy cake, layered with berries and white frosting, bursts with flavors that complement one another seamlessly.

We went into the saloon after supper, where we found pool tables, a shuffleboard table and a few digital slot machines—just the right mix of games to keep customers entertained.

After I lost two games of pool to Samantha, we walked into the cool night air—nearly three hours after we arrived. We felt refreshed and ready to enjoy the comforts of home again, but we also decided to return to T-Joe’s for another date night sooner than later.

T-Joe’s Steakhouse and Saloon, 12700 Interstate 80, Service Rd, Cheyenne, Wyoming; (307) 634-8750. Open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Spread the love

Related Post