Bites Outside the Bubble: Cowgirl

Veronica Suchodolski

Are you missing the taste of the South as you work your way through the final remnants of the long and bitter New York City winter? Then take yourself (and your friends!) downtown to Cowgirl, a Texas BBQ joint that sells Southwestern-style food with a heaping side of kitsch.

Located at 519 Hudson Street in Greenwich Village, the big white windows outside Cowgirl are decorated with colorful string lights all year round. In the warmer months, you can dine outside with a fantastic view for NYC people-watching. Otherwise, the interior is warm and cozy, decorated from top to bottom with old portraits of cowgirls (spot the signed Hannah Montana glam shot!), red gingham tablecloths, and various memorabilia ranging from a red wagon to ukuleles. Not an inch of space is wasted, creating a fun kitschy atmosphere that transports diners out of the hustle and bustle of the city.

bites (1).jpg

Cowgirl is open from 10AM to 11PM, with seatings for breakfast, lunch, dinner, late-night, and weekend brunch. At all of these times, the restaurant offers a wide array of food, hitting all the bases you could want from a Texas BBQ joint. They serve chicken and pork just about any way you could image, from fried to whiskey-soaked to barbecued on a bun. They also offer quesadillas, enchiladas, chili, and burgers. I had the pulled pork sandwich, which had a vinegar kick and came with sides of coleslaw and the choice of fries or crispy tater tots. Overall, Cowgirl serves its food exactly how you think it should come, skipping on frills without skipping on flavor. If you’re in the mood for good old-fashioned Texas BBQ, Cowgirl won’t disappoint.

It’s also worth mentioning Cowgirl’s standout menu item, which is the Frito pie. This Texas tradition consists of beef brisket chili or veggie chili in (yes, in) a bag of Fritos, topped with cheddar, onions, sour cream, and jalapenos. This dish is perfect if you’re a Southerner looking for a taste of home, but also if you’re interested in seeing all the delights Texas has to offer. It’s crunchy, meaty, and cheesy—how bad could it be?

Alright, let’s talk drinks: if you’re over 21, Cowgirl doubles as a bar. Their stand-out menu item is their frozen margaritas. These come in a range of fruity flavors, and the slushy-like liquid is delightfully salty to cut the taste of tequila. My group got the classic lime flavor, which more than lived up to expectations. I’ve never been a big marg drinker, but this place made me a fan. Plus, the straws come decorated with a tiny plastic donkey figurine—what’s not to love? That said, if you are not a margarita fan, Cowgirl has plenty of other options to keep even the pickiest drinker satisfied.

Cowgirl also features an array of music acts each week in the back room of the restaurant. The acts include both local and touring country, bluegrass, and acoustic artists. One standout act in the last few months was Velveeta Underground, a cover band that performs the hits of The Velvet Underground. Music-lovers should keep an eye on the Cowgirl website for upcoming acts they would want to see.

Overall, from the Southern comfort menu to the fun drinks to the music scene, Cowgirl has something for everyone, making it well worth a stop on your next trip downtown.