Stephan Pyles latest concept, Stampede 66 (1717 McKinney), opened in early November as an ode to southwestern cuisine from the creator himself. Pyles also helped create much of the Dallas dining scene with an honor-roll of students that studied in his kitchens; like Tim Byers of Smoke, Jeana Johnson of Acme F&B, Matt McCallister of FT-33 and Dude, Sweet Chocolate's Katherine Clapner.
Stampede 66 began lunch service this week, which was my opening for a first look. Three days in, the place was packed with fancy lunchers. Then, there were a few of us stragglers at the bar staring at the inspiring booze collection and TV's set to a loop of cowboys riding horses out on the range. I wish I had brought my tattered copy of Lonesome Dove. Next time.
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The lunch menu includes tacos, sandwiches, salads, tamales and the bar back boasted of a great burger topped with bacon, sans vegetables. There are also some "farm bird" dishes, shrimp and grits and heavier meat plates.
I went with three tacos ($3 each); one each of fried oysters, fish and mushroom. The oysters were heavenly. I should have ordered just those. Three plump bi-valves were fried only enough to get the corn meal batter golden, then rolled into a corn tortilla and topped with thin slices of cabbage doused in a dressing (which, I guess would be 'slaw).
A six-pack of toppings was served alongside the tacos, including red and green salsas, cilantro, limes, onions and pineapple salsa. For dessert I tried the "Bama" chocolate bottom pecan pie, since all things from 'Bama have been doing really well this week.
With an ice tea and the tip, my bill was around $20. Normally I wouldn't get the pie (I did it for the blog, swears), so a normal lunch would be around $15, which for the setting and quality of food, I consider great. There's some metered parking across the street if you'd like to avoid the valet. Just be sure to bring your copy of Lonesome Dove. And the next time friends from out of state are in town, this should be atop the "Texas" experiences. Pyles will make you proud.