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Cowboy Cafe

  • d

The Cowboy Cafe in North Arlington is under new management. There are new folks running the kitchen and they are trying to upgrade the menu and kitchen hardware. Last night we sampled a crab cake apetizer with chipotle aioli and the cajun shrimp with a spicy cajun butter sauce over long grain rice. Both dishes were quite good. They also have added a chicken fried tenderloin, which we did not try. One of the owners said they are going to sample new items every week or so and roll out a new menu sometime in early 2008. I understand Jamaican jerk chicken wings are in the offing. The price point for the new items is around $10 or less so they certainly are affordable. It is a nice add for this neighborhood bar and joins what I have always considered the best bargain burgers around.

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  1. Hmm... it's been a few years since I visited C.C. Perhaps it's worth another trip. Do you know if they still have half-price burger nights?

    1 Reply
    1. re: sweth

      Tuesday is still half-price burger night. I expect that will stay.

    2. did they upgrade the service too? slowest kitchen in NoVa.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Bob W

        did they upgrade the interior too? the fact is the bar smoke has really permeated the resto area. nothing that the new managment can't take care of.

        1. re: alkapal

          It looks like some clean-up has already taken place. I was told there will be a general refurbishment of the space, but did not get the details.

        2. re: Bob W

          i was there on tuesday for a half price burger. they have returned to their very rare servings so i have to remember to order my burger more cooked than i usually do. kitchen was fast - guess that's why it was so rare...

        3. went last night for first time in years. renovation: great. food: burger: great!, "specials" board green chili pork stew: very good and plentiful. will definitely go again -- maybe tomorrow night (tuesday) for a half-price burger! mr. alka declares the burger to be better than whitlow's. (still haven't gotten in to eat at ray's hellburgers...)

          they were sold out of the two other "specials," one a fried calamari po-boy, and the other i can't recall. was told that, "well, it is sunday night...." fries were skimpy. so, this means i need to go earlier! ;-)

          but parking is really tight and awkward. can't renovate that, unless spaces are eliminated!

          btw, anyone been to the nearby "ristorante alpine" lately? i went for a luncheon there a few years ago, and the crab crepe was out of this world delicious! i'd like to try their zuppa de pesce listed on their website's menu... anyone?

          2d btw, yorktown bistro is a very big disappointment. one dinner (cannelloni) had to be sent back (it was, well, a little gamey-rancid), and the other was okay (beef with mushrooms over potatoes?), but a little pricey. cooking needs to improve. the service seems amateurish, but friendly and caring. the owner/manager (?) took the crummy cannelloni off the bill. the "specials" of the day printout was wrinkly, like the "specials of the day" had been the "specials" of the month. just sayin'

          mr. alka tried again for the wednesday special, half-price pizza. think....underdone and pale, non-yeasty, flat-flavored chef boy-r-dee frozen pizza crust, with odd cheese, and skimpy toppings. i hear their bar business with live music is very popular. good for them. i wish them well.

          1 Reply
          1. re: alkapal

            Best burger in Arlington right now.

          2. Not sure if it's new managerment or ownership. Dinner specials are outstanding. They have great catfish tacos and the appetizers are outstanding. Not to mention they have Abita & Jomolager on tap.

            1. open for brunch on sat & sun at 9 am. i had good shrimp and grits (tho' grits were not held hot...), and mr. alka got andouille-potato hash with poached eggs. big dish. need to cut amt of taters and increase amount of sausage, imo. good coffee. service is good, too.

              6 Replies
              1. re: alkapal

                FYI, the upgraded dinner menu is still going strong, with the specials changing often. The St. Louis cut ribs may be among the best in Arlington, certainly better than anything at Rocklands, imho.

                  1. re: alkapal

                    Yes. In-house. They also cure their own meats and make their own sausages.

                    1. re: dcs

                      they make their own andouille? wow!

                      well, i've gotta get back down there for some ribs, fo' sho'!

                      query: which location do they do this at? i don't recall enough space at the lee hwy location to do any smoking, and even probably cure meats. nor do i recall any "smoke' smell as i often drive by.

                      1. re: alkapal

                        They have a smoker in the back at Lee Highway. They smoke brisket as well.

                        1. re: dcs

                          well how about that!!! good to know; i might stop in for dinner tonight.

                          i do know that the shrimp i've had there recently has been very fresh. AND it tasted like real gulf shrimp!!! YAY!

              2. i can't find a website for them, because i was going to check specials. didn't they used to have one?

                edit: finally came upon it in google, but you have to look for thecowboycafe. http://thecowboycafe.com/Menu/Appetiz...

                i wonder if they know how hard it is to find their site?

                2 Replies
                1. re: alkapal

                  We HAD been a fan of Cowboy cafe for some time. Happy with their burgers, thrilled with some of the specials (pork belly was of note). However, our last trip in was really bad. The burger meat had an off smell/taste. Pulled pork sandwich was dry, bland and cold. We have not written them off, but we'll probably skip a couple of cycles before we go back.

                  1. re: browncow

                    we had their fried fish special a couple weeks back and it was delicious, hot, crispy, with a spicy remoulade and a nice corn relish. it was a very generous portion, too,