Travel site Thrillist picked The Best Small Town Restaurant In Every State. I don’t know about the other 49, but for the Cowboy State, I think we have a dead on bull's eye winner in Pitchfork Fondue in Pinedale. It's not like anyplace that has the word “Fondue” in their name. Let's start with how Thrillist so eloquently put it:

Watch a bunch of hardened Wyoming badasses jam huge steaks and chicken breasts on a pitchfork, then dunk those bad boys in a cauldron of hot oil until they're crispy on the outside, tender in the middle, then bring them to your table with buckets of dipping sauces.

For one price, it’s all you can eat, without alcohol adding to that bill. They don’t sell any, but you are welcome to bring your own. The $30 includes appetizers of freshly fried potato chips and bison brat chunks. Dessert is brownies and lemon balls. Owner Matt David says, “There aren’t many places that will ask you if you’ve had enough or want another piece of steak or chicken.”

Pitchfork Fondue Facebook
Pitchfork Fondue Facebook

Pitchfork Fondue considers their base of local customers extending far beyond Pinedale’s population of 2,080. That includes “as far as an hour or two away.” They get calls from around the world every time an episode of “Man, Food & Fryer” repeats on Food Network. Look for the next airing of the one titled, “Sizzling Steak.”

Mr. David says the key to their 30 years of success is that everything is fresh, homemade, “There are no shortcuts.” There are other western style places, but Pitchfork just sees them come and go because they use “pre-made, pre-done foods.” I’d imagine Pitchfork can’t do that, since you can see for yourself what’s going into those 40-50 gallon cookers. Do you ever wonder about places where we can’t see into the kitchen.  One customer told Matt, “The price you charge is worth just watching you cook it.”

Yes, let’s do watch.

And see any or all of the other 49 best here.

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