If you are going to eat your way across the US, then you just have to include a little Cowboy culture. Outside Colorado Springs, CO. is the Flying W Ranch. I was there when I was maybe six. (I hope to be back soon)
It is and outdoor dinner theater and working cattle ranch. They serve a chuck wagon dinner, served outdoors under the stars. Only in the west, right? Along with your barb bq and beans, you get live cowboy music. This is truly an adventure.
Of course being six at the time, anything was adventurous, including going out with the Grandparents, or maybe especially going out with the Grandparents.
Back then they served the meal on tin trays, and we sat at picnic tables with a napkin tucked under your chin, and listened to some real Western music. I remember the trays were hot, but the food was tasty.
Flying W is still there, and it is still a working ranch with the dinner shows. These days you can find them on the web at http://www.flyingw.com/.
From looking at the menu, the faire is pretty much the same. Foil wrapped potatoes with butter, backed beans, and bar bq’d beef. and biscuits. (I wonder if they still serve iced tea in mason jars.)
• 2 pounds porterhouse steak
• 8 cloves garlic
• 6 tablespoons chipotle chili powder
• 6 tablespoons kosher salt
• 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 tablespoon black pepper
Combine garlic, chili powder, salt, oil and pepper in a small bowl. Mix until it forms a thick paste. Rub paste over the entire surface of the steak. Wrap steak in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours. Preheat grill. Grill steak over as high a heat as you can for 2 minutes. Flip and continue grilling for 2 more minutes. Move to a cooler part of the grill or reduce heat to medium. Continue grilling until done. About 4 minutes per side.