Frito Pie at Cowgirl NYC: Yippee-o-ka-yay!

I have done you WRONG! 
No, I haven’t stolen a car, or hurt a small child.
And I haven’t become a vegan, heaven forbid!
But I have shortchanged you on an incredibly awesome treat.
I blogged quickly about this Frito Pie, but neglected to really go into the delicious detail it demanded.
So here it is…Frito Pie, the redux.
Cowgirl was the spot. A kitschy, Texan-themed restaurant that was equally perfect for kids or the two businessmen nursing jack and cokes when I walked in at 6 pm.
And you can order a ginger ale this big. Because everything’s bigger in Texas.
That’s what she said.
We started with the black eyed pea salsa. 
Have you ever had black eyed peas? If you are lucky enough to be southern or Texan, you probably have, but I hadn’t

These beans were totally FAB! Tender but not mushy, with a bit of a bite, creamy and earthy tasting, they paired perfectly with the onion and cilantro dominated salsa. Sweet tomatoes punctuated the deep and fresh flavors of the salsa, and the jalapeno was zesty but not necessarily hot. I had to doctor mine up with Cholula (THE BEST Mexican condiment on planet Earth), to make my brow start to sweat, the way I like it. Served with piping hot, freshly salted tortilla chips, this was a substantial and delicious way to start the meal.

Not to sound like every other girl in her mid 20’s, but…hello, lover.

This was my first time eating a Frito Pie as it should be eaten – fresh, seconds after it was assembled, not  after it took a 20 minutes trip downtown on the subway. It was like seeing things in color for the first time.

Those crunchy chips! That piping hot chili! The cheese that was not molten but just gently stringy! And those vibrant onions! This, unlike revenge, is a dish best served HOT! The Texan-inspired chili was made with thick chunks of beef that were tender but still toothsome, tasting of umami-licious steak. I say that the chili was Texas inspired because there were beans in this – a big no-no in traditional Texas chili. These kidney beans, the one food I generally hate, were perfectly cooked- creamy but not mushy, and an excellent sponge to sop up the smoky, savory, gently spicy flavors of the chili. Once again, not that spicy, but tangy pickled jalapenos added enough spice to the chili to move it from zesty to hot. In fact, the ample jalapenos made the dish so hot that the thick, smooth sour cream was a total necessity to temper the heat to allow other flavors to shine through. Other flavors like the tangy, vibrant cheddar cheese, the zippy diced onions and those salty, crunchy, corn-infused pieces of love called Fritos. This is not a dish you get if you are on a diet. Or if you have to run a marathon.
But then, this isn’t the type of blog you read if you are on a diet. Or if you have to run a marathon.

A trip to Cowgirl makes for an awesome time! It has great service, fair prices, and WONDERFUL food. Not the place I would come for a romantic date or a serious discussion, but then…how serious can you be over Frito Pie?

I take it back…because I have discovered that I take Frito Pie VERY seriously.
Cowgirl Hall of Fame on Urbanspoon

PS. Bake Sale for Japan…Saturday, April 2, from 10 am to 5 pm at the Brooklyn Flea. The tireless and incredibly kind ladies of Sweets by Sillianah and Cookbook Archaeology have pulled together some amazing treats from delicious spots all over the city. You show up and pay what you wish, with all proceeds going to help the disaster victims of Japan. Click here for more info! See you THERE!!


  1. I loved this so much. I wish it was super healthy, so I could eat it weekly and lose weight 😉

  2. I am flexible on quite a few things, but chili should not have beans in it. I went to the lunch counter in Santa Fe that is one of the rumored places to have invented the Frito Pie, and they had beans in it! I was crushed. Okay, maybe not crushed, but disappointed. I wouldn't even eat it.

    • This looks really good! I love ciarntlo also. I hear you either love it or hate it. I’ve really enjoyed the flavor of taco meat lately so much that I’ve been putting it in my omelettes!It is SO good mixing it with refried beans…also when you add cream cheese. Mmmm…..can’t wait to try this or a variation soon. Oh yeah…totally agree about the Frito Scoops. I buy very little processed food, but a couple of my recipes just scream “scoops.” Especially my bacon tomato dip. They’re addicting! 🙂

  3. Fritos and Foie Gras says:

    @Sarah-it is healthy! Fritos is a health food…duh.
    @Justin-I am not a bean fan either. These were awesome, but I can't fault you for having high morals – I feel the same way about clam chowder with red peppers in it.

  4. ah I LOVE Fritos pie! They have all these funky recipes on their site too!

    I wonder if a potato chip or Doritos pie would taste good?

  5. Fritos and Foie Gras says:

    @A-Tooch-UM LOVE that site!!! I wouldn't at all be against trying a potato chip pie, but let's be honest…can anything every REALLY match up to a frito pie? ;)It would be fun to try out recipes and see, anyway!!!