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A completely random, delightful source of Indian food . . . in WYOMING?!

May 14, 2010

My favorite foods in the world are pizza, Mexican/South American cuisine, and Indian food.

There aren’t any really great pizza joints in town, but I can make my own pizza. There are plenty of Mexican-type restaurants in the Scottsing area (though none that I’ve found thus far are particularly heart-healthy). But Indian food? I figured I was SOL on that one, unless I went to Fort Collins or made it myself, which would require a trip to Colorado for ingredients anyway.

Then I happened to see a truck stop on I-80 in Wyoming when I was on my way west. The Antelope Truck Stop.

I saw signs for “Indian food”, but I figured that meant Native American Indian. Much more likely in this area of the country than Asian Indian. I wondered what kind of food “Indian” might be. Frybread and bison meat?

But then a friend told me it was, in fact, ASIAN INDIAN FOOD. At a truck stop in the middle of nowhere Wyoming.

How. Completely. Random.

I *HAD* to try the food!!

On the way back from shopping in Cheyenne and hiking (erm . . . floundering through snow) at Vedauwoo (post on that place later), husband and I stopped at the Antelope Truck Stop and approached the place, which is simply called “Restaurant” outside, but says “Antelope Restaurant” on its menu.

The restaurant isn’t much to look at inside. The tables look handmade. Hand-lettered signs, posters, and random artwork adorn the walls. Obviously a family-run establishment, since there is kids’ sports team memorabilia on display. The TV was blaring when we came in, the channel later changed to some teenybopper show by a boy who tilted back in his chair to watch.

The restaurant is not titled an Indian restaurant for good reason — there’s a lot more than Indian food on the menu. You can get ordinary items like salads and sandwiches and eggs and burgers and ice cream. But that’s not what we came for. We were there for the Indian food.

Judging by the symbol on the menu cover, the folks who run the restaurant are Sikh (though our server appeared to be of Mexican descent). However did Sikhs, and the sari-clad women we saw entering the restaurant as we were leaving, wind up in Wyoming??

One menu item bills itself as “Indian food for Americans”. If I recall correctly, it was a tandoori chicken dish.

We got the samosa appetizer. It wasn’t like the pastry-type samosas we were used to, but it was very, very good.

Before we’d taken two bites of our appetizer, the main dishes came out.

The menu items didn’t come with a lot of explanation, but they were generally divided by main ingredient. I chose off the vegetarian menu: aloo gobi. I thought I remembered that it was a cauliflower dish, and I was correct. It didn’t come with rice. I ordered basmati rice on the side. Husband ordered a “special” dish. I forget what it was, but it was green and pureed and quite tasty. His came with a mini side salad of fresh veg. He ordered a side of chapati (which is pretty much frybread) with his meal.

TV kid brought us a couple of seen-better-days containers of “pickle”, as he called it. It was chutney: one mango, one lemon (complete with rind). I never know quite what to do with strong-flavored chutneys. I tried both of them. The lemon was more tolerable than the mango, but both of them sent me searching for something to cleanse my palate. I am not a fan of chutney.

Other than the chutney, the food was fantastic (though, as most Indian restaurant food, a little too salty).

When we were done with our meal, out waitroid had disappeared, leaving only the TV-watching boy. We approached him to ask about paying our bill, and he tallied our bill like an old pro as a shy younger girl peeked around the corner. It was a bit spendy, about $25 for our meal, but I think it was yummy enough to be worth it.

While it’s unlikely that I’d drive the 90 minutes out to the random Wyoming location on a whim, I will probably plan to stop there every time I travel to and from Cheyenne, Denver, and other points west.

Mmmmmm . . . Indian food!

Copyright 2010 by Katie Bradshaw

5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 14, 2010 9:58 am

    I love Indian food! Thanks for the heads up!

  2. CallzmlikeICzM permalink
    October 19, 2011 6:12 am

    My wife and I were returning from Cheyenne from Nebraska one night and she said she saw a sign “Indian Food” at the Antelope Truck Stop in Burns. After we got home I did a websearch and found your review. Thanks to you we went and checked it out. It is now one of our favorites. Here’s my review of the place:

    Antelope Truck Stop Pronghorn Indian and American Restaurant

    4850 I-80 Service Rd
    Burns, WY 82053

    (307) 547-3355 6 AM – 8:30 PM M-F 6AM – 8 PM Sat & Sun

    Authentic “home style” Indian restaurant that also serves some “American fare” for those who prefer it. Has vegetarian and flesh food options. Everything is homemade from scratch including their yogurt.

    This is not “Americanized Indian like, but the real deal.” Not every item on menu is available every day, but what they have has always been good when I’ve been there. Each item on the menu we’ve had has been distinct in flavor as opposed to “variations on a theme.” I highly recommend their samosas which come smothered in cholay (chick-pea curry) topped with yogurt, tamarind chutney, and peppers!

    If you find food is spicier than your liking, try adding some yogurt to your curry and enjoy! Flatbreads are made fresh to order. The chai and other drinks most excellent. They also have wonderful traditional deserts such as rice pudding, Gulab Jamin, and Rasgulla (just ask because their not on their printed menu). Prices are very modest for these kinds of treats. Prices are very modest for these kinds of treats.

    They do have a smoking section which is sufficiently separated from the main dining area that it does not intrude on non-smokers (like us). If it did, we would have never tried the place out.

    The truck stop is run by either a small community (or really large extended family) from India (Punjab region) and many of the people working or eating there speak mostly their native language. They are very polite and help with explaining the delightful dishes they serve.

    We are really enjoying having wonderful Indian food only 15 minutes from our home instead of having to drive to Ft. Collins or Denver. The atmosphere is a humble mixture of small, rural, truck stop, and stepping in to a local diner in Punjab. Take exit 386 off of I-80. It’s the only place out there.

    5 stars for authentic food
    4 stars for service (variable)
    3 stars for atmosphere (it’s a truck stop)
    5 stars for value
    5 stars for hospitality
    5 stars for cultural experience

    Enjoy!

    • Katie Bradshaw permalink*
      October 19, 2011 6:38 am

      Cool! Chalk another one up for the blogosphere!

  3. WyoDesi permalink
    November 3, 2012 8:15 pm

    FYI “pickle” is an extremely sour and sometimes spicy method of preservation for mango, chili, lemon, etc used as a condiment. Chutney is completely different, generally sweet

    • Katie Bradshaw permalink*
      November 3, 2012 9:42 pm

      Thanks. I have trouble with unfamiliar condiments. If I could take a class on Indian food, I would!! The homework would be very enjoyable.

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