Whenever we go on a road trip, we usually head for the mountains for a family wilderness adventure or Denver for a couples date night. Rarely do we drive farther south than that, and never have we driven north or Fort Collins. I’ve never had the desire or need to venture up into Wyoming until this weekend – and no, it wasn’t for Cheyenne Frontier Days.
I needed to grab some camping and hiking gear on the cheap, and we’re fortunate to be within driving distance of the Sierra Trading Post Warehouse and Outlet. So, we woke up and hit the road, planning to grab breakfast along the way. Usually, Yelp isn’t as helpful as I’d like it to be, but when it came to trying to find a great breakfast spot in an unknown city – we weren’t led astray. The reviews for the Luxury Diner actually made us go out of our way for some classic diner grub.
The Luxury Diner is a small restaurant next to the Wyoming Motel and across from the busy railroad tracks in Cheyenne. The diner itself is a trolley car that ran from 1896 to 1912, and then found new life in 1926 as an eatery. Over the years, they grew by adding an addition to the trolly, but it’s still very cramped. They make homemade biscuits, rolls, soups and homemade pies – and the place is jam packed with people waiting to partake in a slice of Americana (especially during busy weeks like Frontier Days).
After waiting for at least 30 minutes for a table (people were lined out the door), we quickly decided on our menu items and placed our order, knowing that the kitchen was slammed and it would take some time. The kids both wanted the Jr. Pancake with scrambled egg and bacon. The Husband ordered “The Caboose” – chicken fried steak with sausage, gravy, and two eggs over easy. I ordered “The Water Tank” – trout with an egg over easy. All meals came with toast and hash browns.
While we waited for at least another 30 minutes for our breakfast under the glow of red neon lights, we played “I Spy” with the kids to keep them entertained and well-behaved. Of all places, this is THEE place to play “I Spy.” There are antique knickknacks all over the walls, old fire trucks on shelves, and train memorabilia everywhere. It’s exactly like an I Spy book. While the wait was on the line of unbearable, our server was one of the nicest we’ve ever had, completely living up to the claim of ‘The Friendliest Place In Town,” and making sure to keep our coffee mugs full.
Once our meals arrived, I was lucky to even get pictures before the hungry savages tore into them. But, the wait was completely worth it.
The kids’ pancakes were a very generous portion and everything tasted fantastic. The pancakes had a deep sweetness that was better than most pancakes I’ve had. You almost didn’t need maple syrup for them. The soft scrambled egg was simple and delicious, and so was the crispy bacon. No frills, no fuss – just good home-cooked goodness.
The Husband’s chicken fried steak was a meal fit for any railroad worker. It was enormous, thick, crispy, crunchy, delightfully salty, and beyond filling. The amount of gravy was just right – which is unlike most diners, drowning the entire plate in taupe goop. He couldn’t finish it and almost went into a post-breakfast coma.
My trout was good, but not as amazing as the other dishes. It was a large filet, covered in crispy cornmeal batter and pan fried. It was on the drier side of dry because of the cornmeal and needed to be slathered in the house-made tartar sauce with capers (which was tasty). The sauce actually brought out the earthy river flavor of the fish a bit more than without, which was also nice. While this wasn’t a home run, it was still decent.
After many mugs of bottomless diner coffee, and bellies full of comfort food, we rolled ourselves out of the crowd to make room for the next group of people waiting in the never ending long line (that was then building for lunch). I don’t foresee us making many trips back up to Cheyenne, but if we do, a stop at Luxury Diner is a must on our list of things to do.
Parking: Scattered and limited street, and lot parking
Healthy Options? Not really – Large portion sizes and limited vegetarian options
Budget-Friendly? Shockingly – Yes, under $10
Recent Health Inspection: Inspections are not rated – 8 total violations