as told to Mackenzie Wilson | photos by Meg Roussos
A lot of people fall in love with the simple way of life out here. Our restaurant is a couple of miles outside of town in Silver Lake. To us, Lake County is the most beautiful spot in Oregon.
I’ve been working at the Cowboy Dinner Tree since I was 14 years old and it’s where I met my husband, Jamie. My parents, Don and Connie Ramage, bought Cowboy Dinner Tree in 2007. When they were ready to retire in 2012, Jamie and I took over.
Jamie was celebrating his birthday at Cowboy Dinner Tree when we met in 2005. At the time, I was working as a dental assistant in Bend, so I was just helping out that weekend. He ordered the steak and I guess you could say it was love at first sight—we got married that same year. Now we have three beautiful kids, Wade, 6, Jack, 8, and Dani, 11, who help us at the restaurant. Regulars like seeing our whole family when they come in for dinner; and by regulars, I mean, they come in once a month. There’s so much food, you wouldn’t want to come every weekend; we serve whole chickens and thirty-ounce steaks.
We like the way of life out here and like to share it with people. It’s one of the best areas to see the sun rise and set because the terrain is wide open. We get a lot of people who come out just to look at the stars; there’re no lights here to hide them, it’s so rural.
I can’t imagine moving back into a town or city, but it would be nice to have a doctor’s office closer than La Pine. Here we are though, living at the edge of the mountains with millions of acres right out our front door. We can go do about anything we want, any day of the week … when the restaurant isn’t open. It allows us to make a living out here, but if we didn’t have it, we wouldn’t move. As long as you’re ready to get your hands dirty, there’s always work in Lake County.
Having eaten there we recommend it to all our friends who stay at Sun River. It’s a memorable meal!
Sounds like a great adventure! Last time I was in Silver Lake I do not remember a hotel close by…..can anyone help?
Try the Best Western Newberry Station in La Pine.. Awesome place to stay!
Our family tries to get there at least once a year, we live on the coast, but it is so worth the trip!! The food is delish and the hospitality is wonderful. We usually take the rvs over and stay at Thompson Reservoir or Lapine, but we go for the food and the company. If you haven’t gone, you need to check it out, but don’t forget to call and make reservations!
What a great place to go!!! I have only had the pleasure twice, but loved every moment!
Can we still byo whine?
How do I make reservations? Went there once…can we still by whine?
We make a Jeep run out there every year and always have dinner at The Cowboy Dinner Tree before we head back to Medford. So much to do and see in Silver Lake and Christmas Valley.
The Oregon dessert certainly does have it's own beauty. Another plus is the lack of traffic!
One of the best places I have ever eaten at. Great food, and such an amazing amount of it. We also stayed in the big cabin, so comfey and had a visitor several times a cute little jack russel, he made himself to home.
What a beautiful story. Yall are truly blessed.
I lived in Silver Lake in 1974. Then there was a small grocery, a gas station, a post office and a restaurant. We had to go to Bend or Klamath Falls to get groceries of any variety. I have often wondered if it has grown into an actual town since then!
Good read & intro to some people who are very lucky, and who am sure, work hard. Thanks for sharing a bit of your life with us! ☺️
I was just at the diner, and spent the night in their large cabin.
It was indeed the most peaceful night, we took a walk and star gazed and was serenaded by the coyotes. Truly a beautiful place to be, it is the best of oregon and the diner is a major bonus..
Thanks for the hospitality
Never a bad experience at the Cowboy Dinner Tree!
The food is incredibly good and the service is outstanding!!!
Thank you Angel and Jamie!
High Desert Adventures
Love restaurant business