First of all, there is one thing you must remember above all others if you go to Stampede 66. Do not, repeat DO NOT, park in the parking garage next door. You must valet park. The reason for this is very simple. If you overstay the 2-hour limit, you will be making an unplanned visit to the armpit of Dallas (i.e. Northwest Highway within spitting distance of La Bare), and you will be paying approximately $165 for the privilege of driving your own car home. There is no food at Stampede 66, and there may in fact be no food in Dallas, that after this will make you feel your evening was well spent. (They did call me a cab to the armpit of Dallas, and paid for it, which I appreciated. But what I really would have appreciated was a warning not to park in the garage next door.)
On to the food ...
Okra pickles ... quite good. Some were over tender.
Deviled eggs ... also excellent. They come half pickled, half deviled. We were informed that people hate the pickled eggs and send them back, so I ordered all deviled.
Crab salad ... this was probably the best thing I had. 6 ounces of excellent crab, some spice I couldn't identify that I'm used to tasting in Indian food I believe, grapefruit that had been through some funky liquid nitrogen process that I could hardly taste, and fried avocado quarters on the side, also good.
Split the fried chicken and venison meatloaf with a dining companion. We each took one bite of the meatloaf, and then ate the chicken. My meatloaf is about 100x better (the danger of haute home cooking). The fried chicken ... not as good as Babe's IMO. The sous vide made the meat perhaps a bit too tender, and the injected honey made it not as sweet as I expected. The meatloaf was really dense. (My dining companion characterized it as dry.) The dogs, I'm certain, will have no issues with it and I brought it home for them. The mac & cheese was pretty good, and the mashed potato tots (really deep-fried mashed potatoes) were quite good. Deep-frying (or whatever method was used on these & the avocados, might be more complex than that) seemed to be a strong point.
For dessert I got the cobbler of the day--$10 for cake-topped, lemon-drenched berries. Again, unquestionably I can do better myself. (Actually I can make better chicken as well.)
This was my first Steven Pyles experience, and also the first time my car has ever been towed not at my own request, and I expect I'll remember it all for quite some time to come.
Good review of Stampede 66. I love Stephen Pyles. I thought Stampede 66 was very good but my expectations were unreasonably high after eating at his "Stephen Pyles" restaurant a number of times. I wanted the like Stampede 66 more and loved the atmosphere but given the choice, I am going back to the original.
Sorry about your car. That makes for a miserable end of the evening
Realized I forgot to mention a couple things ... the passionfruit + chile margarita is quite good (and definitely spicy). It doesn't taste like a typical margarita ... went over well with those who typically like them, and those who don't.
The biscuits were very pale, but good and moist. Good on their own, but also with the 'whipped buttermilk' (very buttery) and honey.
Wrt the evening's 'extra' experience, everyone who works in the 1717 building should have it--but I think it would be especially meaningful for the women. Long cab ride to an unknown and nearly unmarked and unlit location with a foreign cabbie you didn't choose & whose eyes you've never looked into, he can't find it, you can't find it, surrounded by heavily barred establishments, 'gentleman's clubs,' and the like late at night. He turned out to be a good guy, but it did occur to me to wonder, as we crawled up and down an unlit back alley and the whole scenario started to resemble a really, really bad movie. It is hard to imagine the purpose that could induce me to return to 1717 McKinney.