The Tower is not really near anything so generally you need to stay the night. This gives you the opportunity to view the Tower in glorious sunset colours and catch the prairie dogs grazing before the sun goes down. There is a walk around the base taking around an hour which allows you to admire it from a number of angles. Whilst the campground and registration were open, all of the facilities including the cafe, were closed. In the absolute middle of nowhere with clear skies and the temperature dropping rapidly, we were after a hot meal before we spent the night in our freezing cabin. If we were going to make first contact, we wanted it to be on a full stomach. A short drive up the road, the aptly named Tower View Cafe offered the only option for many miles and, will you look at that…Broasted Chicken!
The cafe is run by a husband and wife team. She takes care of the gift shop and he looks after the cafe and cooking. We slid into a booth and perused the menu. I pretended I might try the highly recommended buffalo burger or something else on the menu before going for the 4 piece Broasted chicken dinner with ‘jojos’. It wasn’t the first time I’d seen jojos on the menu so I had to ask, ‘What’s a jojo?’ The answer – potato wedges.
Our meals were cooked in a jiffy and quaintly served on paper plates with plastic cutlery. I was finally about to try the mysterious Broasted chicken and yes, it was as delicious as I had hoped. The coating was unbelievably crunchy and light and not highly seasoned. The chicken, juicy and moist. Not a hint of greasiness. This may have looked something like the Colonel’s but there the similarities ended. Now there’s 4 pieces of chicken and, there’s 4 pieces of chicken in Middle America. As can be seen in the photo, each piece of chicken was huge and far too much for one meal. Whilst organising a takeout container for two of the chicken pieces, I chatted with the owner about my first taste of Broasted chicken. He was surprised to learn that I had only recently heard of Broasting. He took me in to the kitchen to show me the Broaster and explained how it worked and told me there was actually a chain in the US called ‘Broasters’. He was a little embarrassed that I took a photo and said he would have cleaned it up if he had of known it was going to feature.
After saying ‘no’ to the homemade pie and signing the guest book, it was time to head back to our cabin and layer up in as much clothing as we could fit on ourselves. It was so cold that even the lure of two pieces of Broasted chicken in a styrofoam container couldn’t entice the aliens to Devils Tower that night.