Restoreview: Stampede 66 (Dallas TX)

Dear Friends & Readers,

I have been traveling for work and play in the past few weeks so please excuse the radio silence. But you know me, even when I am away I think of all of you: so this week I am bringing you with me to Dallas Texas to a great tex mex restaurant called Stampede 66. It was my first time in Texas ever… Yeah I know I should be ashamed as the Pirate went to Texas A&M and is a big Aggies fan (go Johnny Football, by the way).

It was a business trip so I didn’t get the chance to tour and even visit other cities. But you eat to live, and eat I did. Based on a coworker’s suggestion. I visited Stampede 66 with another attorney participating to the meeting. My dinner companion (a fun and surprisingly non jet lagged attorney from the UK) is a foodie herself and interested in tasting Tex Mex cuisine so an ideal partner in crime for this expedition.

Stampede 66 is located in downtown Dallas. The decor is modern rustic with wood accents and a large bar that reminds of the glossy and polished version of a saloon from spaghetti western. Screens in the dining room and at the bar feature a rotation of funny quotes from Dolly Parton to Barbara Bush and pictures of real cowboy life. The menu consists of tex-mex tapas and some large dishes. My dinner companion and I settled at a table next to the window and immediately ordered a passion fruit and japeno margarita. The drinks didn’t disappoint and I confess that after a frustrating day at work away from home the tangy spicy concoction definitely hit the spot.

We ordered the tex-mex tapas: a serving of corn bread, a “faux” gras terrine of chicken liver pate with jalapeno jelly and huitlacoche mushroom tamales. The corn bread was amazing, the best I have ever had! Usually corn bread is very similar to a corn muffin, cloyingly sweet and with little to no texture. Stampede 66′s version of the southern staple salty and spicy because of the cheddar cheese and jalapeno and has plenty of texture because it contains actual corn kernel  The “faux” gras terrine would put all the ducks in the world to shame. The silky smooth and salty mousse came with a jalapeno jelly to cut through the fat with a subtle spice. The mushroom and huitlacoche tamales were fragrant and salty but not too dense (as opposed to some NY Mexican restaurants featuring talames that are either made of stone or glue). We also shared some tacos: fried oysters, carnitas and shrimp. NY offers great tacos so I am quite spoiled. These tacos were definitely more traditional than I am used to but had great flavor and texture. Finally we ordered shrimps and grits. If you read my twitter feed and facebook updates in the past 3 months you’ll know I have been on a shrimp and grits bender not being able to nail a healthy yet delicious recipe that I could present to you. Stampede 66′s shrimp and grits are not what I would suggest if you are on a low carb low fat diet but boy are they tasty! Taking a page from carbonara, this recipe features a raw egg yolk to give additional creaminess and richness. Not for the faint of heart or people on a diet but so worth the extra calories (and cholesterol).

We were so stuffed that we couldn’t even think of ordering dessert. I loved the food and decor at Stampede 66 and will be back should I ever travel to Dallas again. Maybe next time I won’t be locked in a conference room and will be enjoying more sightseeing and fun!