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Jackson Hole to Riverton to Cody Wy

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We're driving from Jackson Hole through Riverton, Thermopolis and Codyi into Yellowstone in Aug. Wondering if there are any recommendations on where to eat or stay along the way - especially smaller local places - rustic is good ! but greasy is not :)

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  1. Jackson is easy - tons of options and you should search other discussions already on Chow as there's not going to be much difference : )

    Thermop is HORrible. Have been more than once, and it's never good. I can recommend Black Bear Cafe for breakfast, lunch if you're still there, but dinner anywhere is just awful and disappointing. The resto in the hotel that everyone recommends, Safari Club - take a pass. I've had to default to eating there 2x in recent years. The Stones Throw (golf club) is even worse. Pleather bucket wheeled swivel chairs from the 1980s mixed with church bazaarish seating and food off of a Sysco truck at best.

    Cody you'd do fine at the Rib 'n Chop House, or if you want an independent Cody-only steak experience, Cassie's. You can watch locals (and visitors) 2-step while you eat, which has its charms.

    Regarding where to stay..... if you haven't booked places yet you may be sleeping in the car! Get on that right away, very difficult to find bookings in Jackson, Cody, and even Thermop in the summer.

    Most importantly, please report back! Hounds like feedback.

    1. I can only speak to Jackson but keep in mind my experience there is limited. I found the buffalo burger served at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar to be overpriced and disappointing. It's worth checking out however. Grab a drink and eat elsewhere.

      1. In Jackson now and heading to Lander tomorrow and then on to Cody . Will report
        We had an ok lunch here our near Jenny Lake at Dornan's. Perfectly ok salads and sandwiches. There's an amazing wine shop next door with incredible range of choice. We're staying with friends in Jackson so mostly eating at home
        Will report back on Cody & Lander

        2 Replies
        1. re: sonomajom

          We'll be outside Cody starting Monday; if we can get WiFi (haha) I'll be looking for your further reports.

          1. re: sonomajom

            I just ate at Dornan's last week. The pizza was kind of like Amy's Frozen pizza, though arguably with less flavor -- too doughy, too cheesy, not saucy enough, and too sparing on the toppings. The spinach salad was very fresh and large, but way overdressed. I agree the wine shop is really good for the region. The main draw here -- unquestionably -- is that the top patio has a phenomenal view of the mountains, and is a perfect place to watch sunset. It's just too bad it doesn't have a better menu.

            We did eat a very good meal in Jackson itself at the Local, right on the town square. Nice, unadorned vibe, and nice service. The star of the meal was actually the side dishes, which are ordered separately, but at 3 for $12 (for large, share-able portions) were a wonderful deal. Excellent mushrooms, brussels sprouts (we left off the completely unnecessary and misguided bacon vinaigrette) and heirloom tomatoes. Asparagus was nothing remarkable, but was fine. The elk tenderloin main I had was very properly cooked -- the rare side of medium rare -- and an excellent texture, but I found it a remarkably flavorless piece of meat. I think it's the first elk I've had, and I expected it to be more flavorful than beef, and it was not. I also thought it was overwhelmed by the sweetness of the sweet potato/huckleberry puree in which it was served. Other party had a trout that was a nice piece of fish, but a bit too breaded. Nice wines by the bottle, a weak white-by-the-glass selection. Still, while not fantastic, generally quite good.

          2. We had reserved places to stay so no problems on that side but I noticed lots of vacancies along the way - not what I had expected that time of year

            Best meal of the trip was at Cowfish in Lander. You need to reserve. It shares an outside area with the neighboring more casual pub/restaurant. Service was a little erratic and despite a reservation we waited 20+mins for a table
            I had good green chile burger - fries were fine My husband had a vegetarian pasta which he said was good though orchiette were ocasionally stuck together - I guess not properly stirred during cooking. We had an excellent kale salad with croutons (which I normally detest and dont eat) that were clealry freshly made, garlicky, warm and crisp. I actually ate them.
            Choices were good with some creative pasta options, meats and salmon.
            Dessert was described as a caramel budino but was more a creme brulee consistency.
            It's a place for beer rather than wine as they run a microbrewery and had great selection. Wine selection was fine

            Nothing else worth talking about foodwise. There was a promising bakery in Dubois beside a restaurant called bistro. However I was looking for a sandwich at 3pm and found nothing anywhere beyond an uninviting deli selection at a deli on hte main street that promised organic and creative food but didnt seem to be delivering either. Bakery was only offering baked sweet goods, but they looked homemade and inviting.
            We were staying near Cassies in Cody but wait was too long as we were headed to the rodeo
            We spent a ffew days in yellowstone and ate at Grant Village restaurant. Food was uninspired - I had elk/venison meatloaf one night and prime rib another. Meatloaf had tasteless brown sauce over it and rib was somewhat fatty. Not sure how these state park restaurants always somehow make food taste cafeteria like - though service was good one night and setting fine. Strange though the cheaper cafeteria was right on the lake but serving lot of greasy fried options.
            Overall - not a great trip for food

            We did stay in some cute cabins in Lander - Baldwin Creek cabins - simple but very nicely done and in very pretty location about 5 miles from town.