After a long weekend most likely spent outdoors by the pool cooking out (that’s what I did at least), what better way to start the new week than to keep the party going and head to happy hour? I had the opportunity to dine at Stephan Pyles modern Texas restaurant, Stampede 66, for happy hour about a month ago (yes, this post is long overdue) and to say I was blown away would be an understatement. I had been to Stampede 66 for a lunch in the past (it was incredible), but never even thought about seeing if they had a happy hour menu. Honestly, the high quality of food and thought that goes into each dish and cocktail made me assume they would have no reason to offer a happy hour. The price point of their main dishes are in the $22-$38 range so you can imagine my astonishment when I found out that not only they have a happy hour, but there are $2 TACOS during happy hour! Just wait, it gets better…
When you step into Stampede 66, you instantly forget you are in the hustle and bustle of Dallas. The attention to detail in this West Texas-inspired restaurant had me feeling very nostalgic since I graduated from West Texas A&M. The typical “Texas-style” restaurant can seem a bit cliche in Dallas but not if you do it like Stephan Pyles. This fifth generation Texan created an environment that is warm, welcoming and oozing Texas in the best way. The yellow roses on each table, the screens on the wall made to look like window views into a pasture, the names of famous Texans covering the bathroom doors as indication of the “men’s” and “women’s” bathroom (this proved to be a bit of a puzzle for my Israel-born husband at first glance). You’ll even get a little surprise when you walk into the restroom (I’ll leave you in suspense on that one).
Every piece of art in this restaurant has a story. The longhorns suspended over the bar are over 100 years old and a gift from a close family friend of Stephan’s. The raised ceiling in the middle of the restaurant features a gorgeous “West Texas sky” that will slowly change from day to night. There is even a mesh metal rattlesnake that extends the length of a few tables that changes colors. With every visit, you are sure to uncover another thoughtful detail.
Stampede 66 offers happy hour Monday-Friday from 4pm-7pm at the bar. Happy hour drinks include $3 drafts, $4 well cocktails, $5 select red and white wines, $5 select sparkling wine, $6 aqua frescas, and a $6 cocktail of the day where the bartenders are given the opportunity to get creative and make up a cocktail of their own! As far as the food goes, you are given complimentary pork chicharrones (there is even a pig made out of the chicharrones in a glass casing on display in the restaurant), $2 beef brisket tacos, $2 chicken adobo tacos, $2 mushroom tacos, and $4 adobo tamales (my favorite!). Basically, you can eat a full meal and have a drink for $10 if you wanted to… practically unheard of when you’re having this quality of food and drink.
When my husband and I went for happy hour, the cocktail of the day was the “Malibu Blush”, a concoction of malibu, banana liqueur, cream de coconut (if I remember correctly) topped with sprite. Banana liqueur is not the first ingredient that jumps out at me when I want to try a new cocktail but wow I was impressed with how good this drink was! I love that this restaurant encourages their staff to be creative and have fun with ingredients. The beverage director and manager, Molly Hagler, introduced us to a few cocktails that I will definitely be coming back for. The “Summer Nights” (her favorite) is made up of Cana Brava Rum, lime, chile infused simple syrup and club soda. The subtle heat from the infused simple syrup is balanced with fresh mint and sure to be your new favorite cocktail. If you want a real treat (and theatrical experience), order the Modern Star Canyon Margarita. This prickly pear margarita is prepared tableside with liquid nitrogen! As much as I’d love to stick to the happy hour menu, it is worth every penny of its $18 price tag. Made with Hornitos Plata Tequila, prickly pear fruit, Patron Citronage, lime, candied jalapeno and topped with fresh whipped cream, this frozen margarita is a must. I found out they also use liquid nitrogen to make their own ice cream! It’s safe to say there isn’t a single item you’ll find on this menu that hasn’t been made with thoughtfulness and passion.
Be sure to let me know what you think of Stampede 66 when you go try it out and feel free to tag me if you post about it to social media!
Thank you for reading!
Thank you to Stampede 66 for having me in to try their happy hour menu.