This past weekend me, my sister, and a few of our friends took my parents out for dinner. My parents were a great help in planning our recent Asia trip so we wanted to thank them with dinner.
2801 Commerce Street
Dallas, TX 75226
We decided on Cowboy Chow in Deep Ellum. It was highly recommended by one of my sister's friends, and we thought it would be cool to show my parents the ways of the West, when they helped with our trip to the East. hehehe.
So we made a reservation for 7PM on Saturday and arrived right on time. Walking in, the restaurant was bigger than I expected. I think I was hoping to see a hole in the wall. And there were cowboy-ish decor but I wanted to see more. And none of the waiters/hostess there were dressed to fit the name. There were no cowboy hats, or boots, or big belt buckles. They were just in regular clothes. Kinda sloppy clothes too if you ask me. I was immediately underwhelmed by it all...
We were seated at a long table in the bar area. We ordered drinks as well as appetizers. The prices seemed pretty cheap so we got one of everything.
My sister ordered the Watermelon Iced Tea $2~ It was no good. It tasted like watermelon flavored water, and wasn't sweet enough.
Fried Green Tomato Lollipop (served with 3 cheese ranch) $1~
I really wanted to try this so I got one for myself. It was cute... The tomato was nice and thick and the crust was good. But there was ZERO flavor....you really needed the dip. Meh...
3 Braised Beef Sloppy Joe Sliders (with cheddar) $6~ The sliders were ok. I think they looked better than they tasted. The buns were the best part for me. The meat was slightly dry and could've used more spices or something. It was just lacking...
Cowboy Nachos (homemade potato chips with queso fresco, ancho pepper salt, pico and a southwestern ranch drizzle on top) $4~ This was pretty good. The presentation was nice as well. The chips were nice and crispy and the sauce was pretty tasty. I would eat this again.
Navajo Fry Bread (with 2 sauces for dipping: spicy black bean and clover honey) $4~ This was probably one of the best dishes of the night. The bread was interesting and was slightly salted and sweet. The honey dip was a little too sweet but the bean dip was awesome!! I put that bean dip on everything! The theme of the restaurant carried through in this dish.
BTW....service was pretty bad. SUPER slow and not very attentive. At least the waiter was nice. The appetizers took forever to come out, so the waiter said he would comp one of them. And they never came to refill our waters or to clear out the dirty/empty plates. The table wasn't that big and we were running out of room w/ the dirty plates all over it.
For entrees we got...
Jalapeno Brisket Tacos (2 in each order) (fresh grilled jalapenos on beer braised brisket with cheddar & Jack cheeses, cowboy pico, sliced avocado, and lime cream) $10~ Comes with side of whole grain wild rice and refried beans. I ordered this mainly because of the word "jalapeno". haha. But it wasn't spicy...sigh~ There was too much "stuff" in the tacos along with too much meat. The brisket was dry and there's a huge chunk of it in each taco. I had to open it up and take some meat out... As far as flavor goes...there's nothing memorable about it. I quite liked the wild rice though. It was cooked nicely and had a really unique spice to it. And of course the beans were nice.
7 Hour Baby Back Ribs (with Chef Quincy's root beer BBQ sauce, with side of roasted corn/cheddar mash taters) half rack $12~ I ordered this for my dad. The ribs were ok...not super tender... Maybe they should make them 9 Hour Ribs...and cook them longer. haha. I did like the BBQ sauce though. And the mash taters were quite good.
Southwest Caesar (with queso fresco, pepitas, cowboy pico and Texas toast croutons) $9~ Add buffalo for $3~ My mom is pretty picky...and she usually doesn't eat really heavy foods, so we opted for the salad. And I added the buffalo because it's pretty lean. This was in no way healthy... The salad was suffocated by a giant layer of meat and dressing. The whole thing looked like it was just drowning in sauce. The dressing was pretty tasty though, just wayyy too much. And truthfully, I couldn't tell the difference between the brisket and the buffalo...both were equally dry and lacked flavor.
Bacon & Texas Toast Crusted Mac & Cheese Casserole (cheesy macaroni filled with black beans and pico de gallo topped with a crispy texas toast crust) $10~ My sister ordered this since we wanted to get a variety of dishes to try. It sounded SOOO good on the menu, and LOOKED delicious in the skillet. First bite was great, I really liked it. But the more you eat, the worse it gets. First of all, the combo with the beans and pico didn't work with the macaroni. Second, the crust was too much...my sister said she felt like she was eating a bowl of croutons... And I tasted NO bacon! That was a big fail!
Chicken Fried Steak (hand breaded with roasted jalapeno gravy and our roasted corn/cheddar mash taters) $13~ My bf ordered this and didn't care for it too much. The steak was severely overcooked and the gravy had no jalapeno flavor. It's pretty sad when you pride yourself in 'cowboy fare' and fail on chicken fried anything...
Ranch Cigars (pulled chicken and cheddar rolled in a flour tortilla, flash fried and served with a 3 cheese ranch and mashed taters) $8~ One of my friends got this. I didn't get to try it, but she said it was pretty good. The dish was pretty heavy though, so she wasn't able to finish it.
We also got a couple sides:
Fried Okra $3~ I love fried okra but not theirs... It was fried really nicely but had no flavor. You really needed to depend on the ranch dip which was also just ok...
Mac and Cheese $3~ It looked really good, and was so cute in that little cast iron bowl. But it was just ok. Lacked flavor as well...
We also asked for tabasco during our meal because everything was just a bit lacking in spices. They came over with a large bottle of their "homemade hot sauce". Tabasco would've been much better. Their hot sauce wasn't hot, and didn't have that much distinctive flavor either. Sigh~
I still decided to order dessert because they sounded so good on the menu.
Fresh Baked Chocolate Chip Cookie (with vanilla ice cream; enough for 2) $6~ Need to preorder with the entrees. This was pretty good since the cookie was nice and warm. But it wasn't nearly as big as I imagined. BJ's Restaurant has a wayyyy better Pizookie dessert.
Homemade Marshmallow & Brownie S'more (with graham cracker fried ice cream and warm fudge) $7~ This was also one of the best dishes of the night. Too bad it was teeny. I could've killed this thing on my own! It was super tasty. The brownie was nice and hot on the skillet and the melted marshmallow with a nice crust was great. The fried ice cream wasn't covered with graham cracker but watever. It was a great dessert. But a little expensive for the size...
One of the things that enticed me about this place when my sister was telling me about it was that you can bet your appetizer. Basically the waiter brings a deck of cards and whoever has the highest card wins. If I win, I get one app for free. If the waiter wins, then we have to pay double on the app. We decided to give it a try. I asked if I could shuffle them first. You never know if they have it in some certain order! He drew a 3 and I drew a 5. HAHA! What a lucky win! So he took one app off the check. Also, we noticed that they forgot to take the other app off the check and had to point it out to him. He took the bread and the nachos off.
The bill was more expensive than we imagined. Split among 6 people we still paid almost $30 a person. For the food and service we just received...this was too expensive. I will never go back and will not be recommending it to anyone. The service is lacking, the food/flavors/quality were lacking as well. And doing a half assed job of carrying through the theme of the restaurant.... Nice concept...bad execution... And we left feeling unsatisfied and heavy.
Quality of Food:
~~ CHOMP CHOMP ~~