As Cheryl Hall of the Dallas News reported recently, Stampede 66 in Dallas was born from the memories of the Big Spring-Phillips 66 Truck Stop Cafe owned by chef Stephan Pyles' parents in West Texas.
"This is going to be all things Texan," he tells the paper. "It's really simple: I'm coming home."
The restaurant is scheduled to open in early October. Some of the dishes will include Texas red chili, cheese fritters, huevos rancheros and honey-fried chicken.
"The cuisine will be rooted in Texas classics but done in a refined way that we haven't seen before," Pyles said.
Pyles writes in his blog that "The number 66 comes from my family's restaurant that I grew up in, The Big Spring-Phillips 66 Truck Stop Cafe. It was on the old Highway 80 that ran through every little town in West Texas before Interstate 20 bypassed them all, drying up much of the local economies. I can still hear Tammy Wynette and Faron Young wailing from the jukebox, and envision the sweet, southern-accented waitresses with beehive hair-dos who called me 'Mr. Stevie.'"
The "Stampede" part of the restaurant's name, he says, was inspired by The Stampede, a famous West Texas dance hall in Big Spring that was opened in 1954 by the legendary country western musician, Hoyle Nix, and is still going strong some 58 years later.
Pyles has come a long way since he rolled tamales at his family's truckstop. The chef has created 14 restaurants and garnered numerous accolades for his Southwestern cuisine. Might be nice if just for nostalgia's sake, he would return to his roots and partner up with a truckstop chain to develop some chef-inspired dishes.