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Cowboy Ciao.....meal suggestions

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My BF and I are planning on dining at Cowboy Ciao for my bday this Tuesday. This is our first visit. Although we certainly understand the concept of "quality vs quantity", he is a big eater and we need some suggestions on what to order.

We are excited to try both the Stetson Chopped Salad and their signature dish, the Mushroom Pan Fry. I am considering the Stuffed Pork Chop as my entree.

So, my question is.......should we order a smaller portion Mushroom Pan Fry as an appetizer and split the chopped salad (followed by our entree) ???? or would we better off to split the shrooms and each have our own salad??

Any other suggestions would be appreciated :) Oh, BTW.....how is the pork belly??

Thanks in advance!

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  1. CC usually has pretty large portion sizes, so you're in luck there. Personally, I would split the small pan fry, either share a salad or each get your own (depending on appetites), and each get your own entree. Unless you're really big on mushrooms, I'd be afraid that the pan fry would just be too rich and get too monotonous if you eat too much of it. The smaller portion is perfect for sharing and you would each probably have plenty. The pork chop is great, and a menu staple, so you probably won't be disappointed. They changed the pork belly preparation a little while ago, so I can only tell you that their old dish was excellent (very helpful, I know), so maybe that means Bernie has a way with the pork belly. Ask what the quesadilla of the day is and, if it includes any sort of slow-cooked pork, I'd seriously consider adding that to your order (it sounds really boring, but every quesadilla I've had there has been unbelievably delicious, and like no other quesadilla I've ever tried). The soup and, of course, stetson salad are always awesome, too. Also, if you're a chocolate fan, you would be seriously remiss to pass up a cuppa' red hot cholocate.

    2 Replies
    1. re: crsin

      With one visit to my credit--we're from Tucson--I agree on all counts. A few bites of the mushrooms were plenty for me. The salad is fabulous, my wife loved the pork chop and we shared the cuppa. Also, don't miss the bacon chocolate chip cookies. Not as odd as I expected them to be, and proof that bacon goes with everything!

      1. re: crsin

        with the pork chop getting some opposition, I feel like I should be me emphatic about how much I like it--it is definitely my favorite entree that they offer. However, I love all of the the ingredients of that dish and love them together, so it just works really well for me. If you're not big on the cheese, or prefer less bold flavors paired with something like pork, it's probably not for you. It's interesting becuase last time I ordered it, I thought the cheese was too mild and was curious if they had to substitute a different variety...I guess it must depend on who's preparing it. I personally (and those who I've dined there with, one of which orders the pork almost exclusively) really enjoy the dish.

      2. We love Cowboy Ciao -- but can't recommend the bacon choc chip cookies (sadly). The bacon is very hickory/smoked tasting. Overwhelmed the sweet in a bad way, and I would have normally loved the idea of bacon and chocolate!

        If you love a good salad, order the chopped salad, it's great. Last time we went they gave us the recipe. SO good.

        Smaller portion of mushrooms with that salad, and you'll have room for most of your entree.

        On the specials list 11/08 was an absolutely delicious 5 spice duck.

        Their wine menu is INSANE.

        1. I also enjoy CC but, like welchmj above, feel compelled to post a caveat emptor ...

          I did not care for the Shropshire Stuffed Pork Chop at all -- and I love pork. *LOVE* pork. I thought the Shropshire was way too overpowering for the dish. I was really excited to try this dish and it was a disappointment. Just my .02.

          On the other hand ... I think it would be a travesty to dine there without trying the Seared Scallops & Beet Risotto app. That, literally, is one of the very best things I've ever eaten. Highly recommended.

          I also echo the sentiments of the mushroom pan fry. Way too much/rich for one person. Get the smaller portion and share - you will still be able to try one of their signature plates without getting "dish burnout".

          1 Reply
          1. re: azbirdiemaker

            Thank you to all that posted , I will report back after our meal tonight.

            I do find it a little frustrating that with all of the 'hounds that have been to CC, only 3 replied. Hhhhmmmm.........

          2. I usually graze when I dine out, so my recs are mostly appetizers/small plates.

            We were there a couple of weeks ago. I had the scallops with dill cream and beet risotto that AZBirdieMaker recommends. Loved it. I also would recommend the pork belly appetizer, and of course the classics like the Stetson chopped salad and the mini-mushroom pan-fry (I agree - the smaller portion). Friends had the Dungeness crab and avocado stack and raved about it. I also tried the buffalo carpaccio and would order that again. My husband is a filet guy so he always gets the espresso-rubbed filet mignon, and I really like the tortilla-potato mash that comes with it. I also always order the bacon-chocolate chip cookies. Last time we ordered enough to take home, and our visiting CH friends made sure they took a couple for the plane ride back to Boston.

            Happy Birthday and have a great time tonight!

            -----
            Cowboy Ciao
            7133 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

            1. The pork chopped is the only thing we've never really enjoyed at CC. It's been nearly a year since we were last there so not sure what's on the current menu. Concur that the mushrooms are best ordered to split...we usually split the app order between 4 and find it's plenty. We often split the Stetson as well(ordered this as a veggie version when there with one of my veggie friends and enjoyed this as well). I typically order fish and have had excellent salmon, halibut and scallops. I don't think it's one the menu anymore but there was a vegetarian entree - stuffed eggplant with israeli couscous - that was delicious.

              This is one of the few places where we always make a point to have dessert. The Mexican chocolate pot de creme(it's got a wittier name on the menu that escapes me a tthe moment) is not to be missed.

              Husband always brings a bag of bacon brittle home wtih him when we're there.

              Enjoy and happy birthday!