Shanghai Cowgirl


On a very cold and somewhat dim Tuesday evening we found ourselves with an urge to find a warm and filling place to eat. We visited Shanghai Cowgirl before on our way to some event at Drake and one more time for takeout recently. The meal was a very enjoyable experience both times. It is probably the closest place to where we live and definitely deserves some recognition for their efforts in burger making.

dark, ruby red (color is a bit too saturated)
Not very well lit from the outside, but with a huge glass window and metal frames occupying the whole wall, the place is relatively easy to pass by without noticing. This facade could be more memorable. Another thing to mention is the overall lack of color in the outside appearance.

cherry, high in alcohol, heavy, hints of smoke 
Walking in, the place hits you with art covered walls. We noticed that this art was different every time we came. It also appeared to be from the local artists which was very appealing to us. The inside of Cowgirl breathed hipness, it was relaxing and dim with simple fixtures and matching crowd.

long legs, high viscosity, more tannin aromas coming through
We glanced over the simple one page menu. Few burger choices (maybe a bit too few for a place specializing in this) and several traditional options. Our waitress came by to offer some beers. Maybe we were still not warm enough or just a bit slower in the evening, but it took us few minutes to figure out that “Blonde” was a brand of beer from Amsterdam brewery and "Export" was simply Molson Export, rather than potential list of options to choose from. We found it difficult to figure out without mentioning of brands. At the end, we ended up going for Burger of the Day (peameal, cheddar onion) and a Shanghai Cobb salad. Both chosen mainly for their names. Sounded like something the place would be particularly proud of.

as expected a smoky and leathery taste;
could use more subtle notes and undertones – taste is a bit too blunt, masking the details
It did not take long for both items to arrive. We ended up sharing the Blond, its citrusy taste seemed like a great match for both dishes. The burger was huge with its 8oz patty and a load of stuff inside. Somehow, even though the patty was a bit pink on the inside, it still was somewhat dry and bland. This remained a mystery to us. It was tasty overall, but could use a bit more edge to it. Few strips of bacon could be a great addition. With regard to the Cob Salad, it was simply too loaded. There was an egg, meats, vinaigrette, tomatoes – lots of taste to say the least. It was definitely filling, but I would have preferred it to be a bit simpler.

a truly great experience with a filling aftertaste
Enjoy responsibly!
We definitely enjoyed our visit. Maybe a few finishing touches here and there could make it perfect. We also asked our server why Shanghai was in the name. No real reason apparently (no Asian roots) – simply the name that sounded good for the founders.

Overall, a well rounded Rioja.
Shanghai Cowgirl on Urbanspoon


  1. Hi Iliana, thank-you for the positive review.
    We will definitively take your thoughts to heart, as we are always tuning the menu.

    Thanks again, and come back anytime!

    Jason G.
    Shanghai Cowgirl

    1. Thanks for reading. You have got a lovely spot!
      Keep us posted when new items make their way to your menu. Would love to check them out!