Stephan Pyles goes Max Texas
With a name that fondly references his hometown Phillips 66 station, Big Springs native Stephan Pyles' latest pays fairly sexy homage to his West Texas heritage, starting in the facilities long-haul 66 customers are most thankful for, which reward men with urgent needs with a picture of a hot chick in assless chaps (the ladies get a shirtless cowboy -- have fun ladies!)
The restaurant proper showcases metal horses, a pig sculpture actually made out of cracklings, TVs flashing W TX scenes, and leather bands hand-tooled with the names of famous Texans (LBJ to Ann Richards, Tom Landry to Janis Joplin, and the heavenly Anna Nicole to the probably-in-the-other-place David Koresh). Meanwhile, the 30ft bar will skew heavily TX in booze and beer, a mandate reinforced by an overhead herd of real longhorns that fittingly doesn't include Garrett Gilbert
Instead of a raw bar, there's a separate taco bar where house-ground tortillas wrap fried oysters, crispy sweetbread "faux" gras mousse, and pork cheeks. Further pre-entree action includes Manchego-aided chicharrones, and a bowl of red they make fresh, then actually can, then crank back out of the can tableside (note: with this place, the word "actually" cannot be overused). Main events count honey-injected sous-vide fried chicken, venison meatloaf, and a coffee-cured hangar steak served with an espresso-coco sauce -- a long, thankful way from Styrofoam joe and Pemmican.