A touch of Texas has arrived on Adams Street. When we strode (good Texas word) into the Stewed Cow on a Thursday evening, it had been open only for about five weeks. It has a newly rustic décor with lots of stressed wood, high tables, people bellying up to the bar (of course) and—a bull. That is, a mechanical bull waiting in his makeshift ring for some urban cowboys to test their bronco chops.
It’s not as dark as you might expect. There is a row of windows along streetside that gives the room pleasant natural light.
In true Texas fashion, it is a very friendly place. Though waiters Tara and Sarah were our hosts, just about everybody on staff seemed interested in the two guests who had come in to shoot pictures and take notes. Turns out that both Tara and Terri grew up in Hoboken, so they reminisced about the “old days,” in the typical, chummy way of Hoboken lifers.
Tara and Sarah suggested drinks and menu items, and Tara helped Terri by using her smartphone to light the food that Terri was shooting.
They brought out two tiny beer mugs for me to taste some of their 20 draught and 25 bottled beers. I decided on a light robust Brooklyn Pilsner. Terri went for the Stewed Punch, a colorful concoction of moonshine, cinnamon whiskey, malt liquor, and pomegranate juice that comes with cherries on top and is served with ice in a Mason jar. In fact, Mason Jars play a strong role in creating the country aura of the place.
We gave up trying to pick things from the menu, because Doug, the chef, just started sending things out from the kitchen. We started with some items from the Stewed Cow’s selection of “Saloon Bites”—spinach and artichoke dip with a basket of fresh chips. This provided the green-and-good-for-you element. It was followed by an elegant twisting tower of tavern chips, lightly accented with bleu cheese. Don’t worry if you are not a bleu-cheese fan, the taste is not overpowering—just a hint, lightly crumbled.
Out came some Chipotle BBQ Ribs with thick French fries and a nice, fresh cole slaw, served in a bowl, not a little paper cup.
By this time we were really full but we just had to taste the desserts—both of which were served in Mason jars. Doug sent out two. The first was a Bacon Bourbon Ice Cream sundae. This unique mélange is not for the faint of heart. The ice cream is laced with bourbon, and there really are strips of bacon torquing through the mélange, which is shot through with whipped cream.
The carrot cake was delicious. It was more like a carrot-cake pudding sharing space with meringues of whipped cream.
Manager Rich Adams was game enough to ride the bull for this shoot. The bull is in full operation Thursdays through Sunday after 9 p.m.
Other menu selections include burgers, sandwiches, make-your-own salad, fish, pasta, pork chops, chicken, and just about anything that fits in with a Western saloon on the west side of Hoboken.—Kate Rounds
The Stewed Cow
400 Adams St.