The Bottom Line
- Unique food flavors
- Extensive wine selection
- Stark environment
- Cowboy Ciao is located west of Scottsdale Road, near 5th Avenue Shops.
- Salads range from $6 to $12, entrees from $9 to $32 for lunch. Sandwiches start at $8.
- An iced tea is $3, no refills on other soft drinks at Cowboy Ciao.
- If you like mushrooms, I can definitely recommend the Mushroom Pan Fry at Cowboy Ciao.
- Cowbot Ciao is a one-of-a-kind restaurant, not a chain.
Guide Review - Cowboy Ciao
Eclectic is the word of the day. There's not much standard fare on the menu at Cowboy Ciao. The lunch entrees we ordered were enjoyed by all--the burgers ($12 each) lived up to their claim of being different than your usual burger, the Testosterone Salad with beef tenderloin and chips was very good, and one of Cowboy Ciao's popular specialties, the Exotic Mushroom Pan Fry, was outstanding. The Venison Sandwich was piled high, but the meat was very chewy. Overdone? Typical for venison? Not sure.
Unusual food isn't enough for me. The environment, at least in daylight, was nothing like pictured on the Cowboy Ciao web site. There is no warmth here. Stark is more the word that comes to mind. There are tablecloths on the tables, but they are covered with paper. After our meal, I mentioned that I didn't see any crayons on the tables. I was told "you could've had them if you would've asked for them." My gut tells me that the paper is simply a way to not have to put out clean tablecloths until dinnertime. Our server was scruffy looking and acting.
Yes, the food was good but maybe Cowboy Ciao puts more effort into being "inventive" than matters to me. I'd like to not only enjoy the food, but the environment. I didn't. I try not to comment on restaurants until a day or two has gone by, because my feelings solidify after thinking about the experience. The more time passes, the more I believe that I have no desire to go back. At least not during the day. Maybe it's better at night.