Lighting the Way since 1953  
Down-home cooking soothes the soul

By: Megan Wimberley/ Staff Writer

     The thing that stuck out to me on my first trip to the Rockin R Steak House was the larger than life paintings of famous country music singers covering the wall. It must have been what one of my friends noticed, too, because she was quick to have me take a picture of her beside Willie Nelson.
      Not only are the walls decorated to give you that down home country feeling, but the sweet smell of fresh baked cheese rolls and chicken fried steak could make anyone want to sit down and stay awhile.
      Ricky Powell says that he always knew he wanted to own a restaurant. He went through TEC’s RHIM program to get a degree in restaurant management. He also worked for Wendy’s for four years and County Line BBQ for eight years.
      So, it was no surprise when he opened the first Rockin R in his hometown of Abernathy. He eventually decided to open another restaurant in Plainview. The two restaurants were up and running for several years, but Powell decided to keep his focus on the Plainview Rockin R after the Abernathy restaurant caught fire.
Altogether, Powell has been in business for 11 years. Even after all that time, he remains very hands-on in the kitchen.
     “I like to cook because I like to eat,” he said.
      Powell explains that it doesn’t matter if he is cooking for himself or a customer; he always likes to put that special touch into all of his food.
      The Rockin R’s menu has remained mostly the same. Powell designed it to have a wide variety so that people could come as often as they liked without getting bored. He also took care to make things that people can’t get anywhere else … like those homemade cheese rolls, which by the way, is one of their most popular items.
      I asked Powell what advice he would give people going into his line of work and he said to plan on working a lot of hours. He also said not to “borrow up to your eyeballs” and make sure you have enough in capital to lessen the risk.
      Powell said that one of the best ways to keep people happy is to “keep their glass full and give them plenty of cheese rolls.”
      So if you are craving that down-home cooking with great customer service you should stop by. If you don’t know what to try, I would suggest the chicken fried steak; it’s one of the things that keeps me coming back.
      The Rockin R is open 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday; and 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sunday. The Rockin R also offers 10 percent off with a Wayland ID.