We were road weary, windblown, sore, and had only enough ambition to step onto the trolley in Deadwood, SD to check out what the town had to offer and grab a bite to eat. We had woken up that morning in Huron, SD and ridden straight to Sturgis. It was technically a pre-rally day, so the crowds were down, but the temperature and humidity were up, and by the time we got our annual Sturgis Rally patch from the Jackpine Gypsy’s, we were spent.
Our hotel, The Gold Country Inn (a bit of a dive with a sloping floor, but comfortable bed and tasty breakfast), was the first stop and close to downtown, so we had a few minutes in the trolley alone with the driver. The Biker Chef asked, “So what’s the best place to eat here in Deadwood?” Trolley Driver Mike said, “Without a doubt it’s the Deadwood Social Club, which is above Saloon #10.”
I’d heard of the famous Saloon #10, the bar and brothel, noted as being the death place of James “Wild Bill” Hickok. In fact, the town does a reenactment during tourist season, but not during Biker Week. The saloon is a living museum with numerous mining and wild west artifacts throughout. Bring the kids for lunch or an early dinner, but the place turns into an adult bar scene in the evening, complete with gaming tables.
Upstairs, though, is where the real treasure lies. The Deadwood Social Club has converted those rooms of bedroom pleasure to tables of dining delight. I have heard that we feel happy when we are pleasantly surprised. That night, we did not expect much more than another meal of bar food, a cold beer, and early to bed. Instead, we got fresh home-made bread smothered in butter, fresh garden salad with anyone’s favorite dressing. Lacy, our waitress, said that people come for the Smoked Tuaca Pheasant or the Pork Osso Bucco. The pork seemed like a heavy dish for that late hour, so the Chef went with the pheasant, plus you rarely see that on a menu. I couldn’t resist the Salmon Puttanesca, which was light and delectible, one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten. I think we were both moaning with pleasure. I had a glass of chardonnay and the chef had a mixed drink. The entire bill was $52!
The hidden treasure within this hidden culinary treasure was the outdoor patio seating. We ended up on the upper deck. We had a view of the patio. The other side looked over the streets of Deadwood. When the guys at the table near the wall were finished eating, I went over to their side to get a shot of the streets at night.
Alright, we liked that meal so much, that we came back on our final night in Deadwood. We figured it was our last chance to eat there for a year, so we’d better take advantage! We started out with drinks in the saloon. I enjoyed looking at all the artifacts and chatting with the bar tender. This night we sat indoors, and our waiter Troy took good care of us. We were again weary from the rides through the hills that day, and had good appetites. I decided to go for the Pork Osso Bucco, a pork shank surrounded by vegetables, Italian mirepoix and wild rice pilaf – delicious, huge and filling! The red wine went great with it! The Chef wanted to “dine off the page” so he asked for the Penne Primavera with shrimp instead of chicken. It was savory goodness.
The most exciting part of this meal, however, wasn’t the food, but our waiter Troy’s description of it! In his sultry, deep, cowboy voice he described the sensual details of the featured items. Even though we couldn’t have fit one more bite in, his descriptions of the home-made cheesecake sent chills down my leg. I asked him if he’s done radio, and he said that yes, he has. I’m telling you, folks, if you need someone to do voice-over for your ad, especially for food, hire Troy! Plus, he’s a really nice guy and seems to enjoy the people.
The Biker Chef says that many people have their favorite eating place in the hills, that bar with the best burgers, or a steak sandwich they’ll go out of their way for, even as the prices increase. We know where we’ll be staking our claim – the Deadwood Social Club. The menu is loaded with so many savory choices. Reserve us a table during next year’s rally!