YES to this. All of the hype that you’ve read about Stephan Pyles’ latest creation, Stampede 66, believe it.
Last week I ventured in to Stampede 66 with my little friend, Food Bitch for lunch. Sure, the amount of food we knew we were going to order doesn’t reflect what any normal person would order mid-day but we play fat kid for you, people.
When I walked in, I was transported back to Oak Lawn’s late love, Star Canyon – shout out to the blue corn muffins. Branded wood, lots of antlers and leather line the walls of the restaurant. The whole thing just screams “Texas, fuck ya” – and I like it.
Naturally, I had stalked the menu online and had a pretty good idea that I wanted to put everything on my face but with lunch service being new here I didn’t know what would be available on the modified midday menu which almost made me need a prescription for xanex. As if I don’t already have one.
Now, if you read my blog regularly then you know that I love me some deviled eggs. I like to think of myself somewhat as an expert in the devil version of an egg. Incase you’re wondering, my favorite in Dallas are at Neighborhood Services Grill because they are stuffed with smoked salmon and cucumber and they are exceptional. Back to Stampede 66, when I saw that they offered deviled eggs on the lunch menu I immediately ordered them. Not long after a peculiar looking plate was delivered to our table. Two “normal” looking deviled eggs sandwiched a poached egg looking situation. Unfortunately, the menu has no description for the deviled eggs here which means nobody has any warning that they are SPICY – yeowza. I love spicy food but hot damn, literally, these babies need a disclaimer. They are topped with a strip of bacon which is also unfortunate since both the bitch and I don’t mess with Babe. They were fine deviled eggs and I will probably enjoy them a lot more now that I know that I need to bring a fire extinguisher with me next time. The middle of the poached egg had a perfect custard like texture and was topped with what our boring ass waiter described as jalapeño pop rocks. Not quite. They seemed more like fish food mixed with a tiny bit of pepper. The egg itself was nestled in a bed of a sweet nectar which made it particularly sweet and almost dessert like. Maybe to offset the spice? I don’t know, BUT it was delicious and weird.
I had read great things about the tacos at Stampede 66 so, naturally, that was going to have to happen. I went with the fried oyster taco, whereas Food Bitch went with the by catch taco. Although our waiter seemed to have recently had a lobotomy and was about as helpful as the gum stuck to the bottom of my shoe, he explained the by catch as “you know, like a white fish…it’s like pretty good.” Thanks? The tacos came out and damn were they beautiful. Although I tried the by catch and it was fabulous and topped with ruby red grapefruit, I will let yall read the bitch’s post on Stampede 66. As for the fried oyster taco, I murdered it. Thank God, Food Bitch doesn’t eat shellfish because I wasn’t going to share that fucker.
Perfectly crispy oysters fill a fresh corn tortilla and then are topped with a slaw that tastes like it was just ripped out of the garden out back. This taco would be ideal for those of you who oysters scare the shit out of, as this isn’t too fishy or slimy and let’s face it – you can’t see the vagina-looking creature. The tacos are accompanied with 6 little cups of various toppings and sauces. The red sauce was a table favorite, with just the right amount of kick and I kind of want to spread it all over my body on a rainy day. It would be a wise decision for Stampede 66 to bottle that shit up and sell it. If nothing else, that would keep them in business.
Our attempt at being semi-healthy involved the fried green tomato and mozzarella salad. Ok, that isn’t remotely healthy but the word ‘salad’ is in it and that has to count for something, right? This was probably my least favorite dish of the entire meal. The whole thing was tasteless. I’ve been to Charleston, I know what fried green tomatoes are supposed to taste like and it’s not this. Under-seasoned and under-cooked, the tomatoes seemed like thick disks sandwiched between a mediocre batter. The mozzarella was just ok, it melted somewhat between the tomatoes which was nice but it didn’t have that strong taste that mozzarella should. There is so much potential for this dish and it just isn’t executed correctly.
Since the whole eating healthy thing blew up in our face, we decided to stick to the good shit, the freeto pie. House made “freetos” top a bed of hearty chili that holds just the right amount of spice. Dehydrated jalapeños are sprinkled on top with pickled..cucumber? I’m not sure exactly what is pickled but damn, its good. The whole pie is served in a faux-chip bag with the Stampede 66 logo. The homemade freeto chips are so delicious and the only downfall to this dish that there just weren’t enough of them. It’s more like a bag of chili with a few chips on top, so here’s a tip – be sure to ask for extra! This is one dish that will be at the top of my mind during the next freezing cold day.
All in all, Stampede 66 offers up classic homestyle favorites that are sure to keep even the pickiest eaters intrigued. Expect exciting twists on classic dishes and lots of “ohhhs” and “ahhhs” coming from the tables around you.