Cowboy Cafe, Arlington

(See the May 10, 2011, Review here.)

I was on my way to Arrowine, and the allure of Cowboy Cafe’s sign called out to me: “Hot food, cold beer,” it said. There was an open parking spot right there, I flipped into the parking lot, and was inside within thirty seconds, seated at the bar. On the way in, I noticed a folding sign sitting on the sidewalk, with an arrow pointing out towards Lee Highway, accompanied by the word, “Cold,” and an arrow pointing the opposite direction, in towards Cowboy Cafe, accompanied by the word, ‘Warm.”

Cowboy Cafe has Abita Mardi Gras Bock ($5) on tap right now.

Often, in bars or pubs that don’t pump big money into chefs, there is strong Latino kitchen help (hell, there’s often strong Latino kitchen help even if they *do* pump big money into chefs). So one of my ordering strategies is to “go Latino,” and in this case it paid off. Green Chili Pork ($12.95) was a big boneless shank (I think it was a shank), coated with piping hot green chili sauce, and accompanied by mounds of black beans and white rice. My bartender gave me a bottle of Tabasco which I shook liberally onto the entire dish.

It was a quick, 45-minute in-and-out, and a well-cooked blue-plate-special sort-of dinner. I keep waiting for Cowboy Cafe to falter (it changed ownership awhile back), and maybe it’s because I order well, but I seem to have pretty good luck here. Maintained in Italic, mainly for its character and neighborhood feel – the food is just good enough not to knock it down.

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