Dining in South Dakota: Gem Steakhouse, Deadwood

We are in Deadwood, South Dakota, a wild west town from 1876 and still has some of its original charm (most of it is drowned out by countless slot machines though). It was nice to be back in a slightly more populated area after touring national parks in an RV for a week, so we decided that we would eat out instead of cooking at the campsite. Steak is usually a safe choice outside of major cities in the US, so I checked out TripAdvisor to find a recommended steakhouse in Deadwood. Gem Steakhouse seemed a good choice, located in the Mineral Palace hotel.


We ordered the 32 oz (900 grams) bone-in rib eye dinner for two and a bottle of Napa cabernet sauvignon. (You could also order this for one, but it is definitely enough for two.) There were four different cabs to choose from on the winelist. Our server could not tell us the difference between them, and the manager could tell us that they were all nice, but the more expensive one was nicer. So we picked one in the middle and it was fine.

The salad was okay, a bit dry as it clearly was the type of ready to eat salad that you buy at the supermarket.

The Black Angus rib eye had been aged for 21 days and was chargrilled. We had ordered medium rare, but in fact it was well done on the outside and a bit on the rare side on the inside. Sending it back would not make it better and it was definitely good beef and enjoyable enough to eat, but from a steakhouse I would expect that they know better how to grill a steak (i.e. flip more often and let it rest before serving to cook it medium rare throughout, even without using sous-vide). The huge steak knives were a bit ridiculous as they were quite blunt. The french fries were very good and the peas were fine.


The chocolate mousse cake was more sweet than chocolaty.

Our dinner at Gem Steakhouse was okay, but after the good reviews on TripAdvisor I was expecting a bit more than okay. It was great beef, but they don’t really know how to grill it. I hope this is not really one of the best steakhouses in Deadwood, but I don’t know as I haven’t and won’t try the other ones (we are leaving for Badlands NP now).

Dear readers, tell me honestly. Am I (becoming) a food snob?

17 thoughts on “Dining in South Dakota: Gem Steakhouse, Deadwood

  1. The problem is you cook better than most. It’s not snobbery but knowing what you like and knowing what is done well. YOu can’t have good food without top notch ingredients but you can sure minimize top notch ingredients not knowing proper technique.


  2. You are but that’s ok. When you can prepare most things served in a restaurant, I think it makes you more critical. I once went to a steakhouse in TX that served “the best scallops”. Not so. I had sand in mine. And they served a cold salad on a warmed plate. For $30 a plate, it should have been much better! There are better steakhouses in the US, promise!


  3. No I don’t think so – that does look like its cooked by me after a bottle of red has been downed. I went to a steak house in Wichita once and had steak with lobster – they just burned the hell out of the steak so it was black on the outside and bloody in the middle


  4. The answer is NO. The more one gets to know about a topic, the more one expects of one’s peers. However, the town is called Deadwood. There should be a clue in that!
    Enjoy the trip,


  5. I’m the same way when I go out to eat, probably because I go out to eat so seldom; when I do, it had better be leaps and bounds above what I’m able to make myself. I agree with the previous poster who said you cook so well that you get used to a certain level at home. Plus, apologies to South Dakota, but… it is South Dakota.


  6. My husband wanted me to add that he really enjoys the photos. He says they give a good overall view of the food and atmosphere of the restaurant πŸ™‚


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