The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

Posts Tagged ‘Amarillo’

Big Texan

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on April 30, 2010

On our long drive from Oklahoma City to Albuquerque, we noted that Amarillo, Texas was pretty much right in the middle of our drive.  Our friend Bec recommended that we check out the Big Texan, located right on I-40.  This restaurant is quintessential Texan (at least silly, cheesy Texas) and is famous for its “free” 72 ounce steak.  Neither the Husband nor I were interested in trying to win it, but we definitely wanted to check this place out on our drive.  We planned the drive so that we would arrive right around lunch time.  It was not hard to find at all!

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IMG_2814 See what I mean?!?!

Inside the restaurant, everything appeared to be made out of cows (or wood in areas that couldn’t be cow-made such as the chairs).  The place was huge, with I believe two levels of restaurant, all looking out over the stage that those trying the 72oz steak (and sides!) contest get to eat on (and are timed from – one hour to eat it all or it’s $72).

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IMG_2817 We were seated at a booth along the center back wall and were able to enjoy a good view of the entire restaurant portion.  The beer menu served as your placemat.

IMG_2818 The food menu could be saved as a souvenir 🙂 We looked through the regular menu and found the lunch specials on one side of it. IMG_2821 Each lunch special came with two sides, of which there were many to choose from.

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The Husband ordered the only Texan beer on the menu, the Ziegenbock.  It was dark in color but light in flavor and refreshing.

IMG_2826 From the lunch specials, the Husband chose to go with the Chicken Fried Steak – he claims it’s the best one he ever had.  His side items were Beef Steak Tomatoes and Red Onions and the Mac N Cheese.  Both the main dish and tomatoes came with a jalapeno on the side.  The Husband ate his and his mouth was quite on fire for a bit 🙂

IMG_2825 IMG_2830 The lunch special I chose was the Smoke Spare Ribs and BBQ Brisket.  On the side I chose the fried okra and mac n cheese.  The meat was tender (especially the ribs), but too much for me for lunch.  I enjoyed the mac n cheese and the fried okra was fine.  Nothing to write home about. IMG_2832

The lunch special also came with soft, warm rolls.  Yum!

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Our waitress was sweet and attentive.  We asked her how often customers try to tackle the 72 ounce steak and her answer surprised us.  Apparently it happens at least once a day, some times up to 25 people a day.  If she had to estimate, she thought that one in eight actually finish it!!! That surprised us as well.  If we understood correctly, to finish it, you have to eat the whole steak and some sides, which didn’t look small themselves, all in less than an hour.  As you walk into the restaurant, the food is on display on your right.  Look how big it is!!! IMG_2834

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Definitely not something we’d like to try, but it might be fun to watch someone else do it.

The overall Big Texan building itself is huge.  Aside from the very large restaurant, there’s a pretty big bar area, complete with a carnival type shooting gallery 🙂  There’s also a gift shop if I remember correctly.

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The Big Texan was a fun stopover on our way to New Mexico.  If you find yourself in Amarillo, either overnight or driving by, stop by and at least see what it looks like (even if you don’t have time to eat).  You won’t regret it!

As a side note, I see that, at the time of this posting, this restaurant gets a 49% on Urbanspoon.  I just want to be clear that this place is FUN and definitely a touristy spot.  We enjoyed our food, but we had it as a lunch special so we can’t speak to the value of dinner.  There are nice steakhouses everywhere truthfully, but when can you go to one that looks like this? We recommend it as a fun place to check out 🙂





The Big Texan Steak Ranch on Urbanspoon

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The long drive from Oklahoma City to Albuquerque

Posted by gingerbreadpirate on April 29, 2010

Sorry for no posts on Thursday, folks.  Wednesday evening turned out to be… exciting.  You’ll hear all about it in our Albuquerque to Flagstaff post in the next day or so.  For now, though, we’ll backtrack to Oklahoma City and our trek across North Texas.

As we departed Oklahoma City, we had plans to see a couple sights during the trip to Albuquerque.  Bec, in our “where should we go,”-post had commented that we should go see the Cadillac Ranch, so it made the list.  We also wanted to see the restaurant with the “free” 72 oz. steak dinner.  So found them on the map, and headed out.  As it turned out, both were in Amarillo, TX. 

The drive to Amarillo was long and boring.  As we departed Arkansas, the land becomes increasingly flat and generally unremarkable.   This trend continued into Texas.

IMG_2776Once in Texas, we saw a couple things we did NOT intend on seeing on our journey.  The first was a crooked water tower.  It kinda reminded me of the leaning tower of Pisa, for obvious reasons.

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And just past this, was the second largest [free-standing] cross in the Western Hemisphere, and the largest in Texas.  Standing 19 stories tall, we could see it from miles and miles away.

IMG_2810 We continued down the interstate until we reached Amarillo and the Big Texan Steakhouse.  This was no misnomer.  It was big.  It was Texan.  It was a Steakhouse.  I’ll let the Wife tell you about the restaurant, but we had a nice “little” lunch special there, before pushing on toward the Cadillac Ranch.

The Big Texan is on the east side of Amarillo, while the Cadillac Ranch is on the west side.  It took us longer to find than we expected, too, as it’s really not marked.  It’s just… there… waiting for you to come and discover it.

So we did.

IMG_8789 I had heard of the Cadillac Ranch, but had never really known what it was.  It’s ten Cadillacs buried in the ground, tail up and hood down.  Yup.  It’s just weird.  You can read the whole story here.

IMG_8768So we popped in and started taking pictures.  There were spraypaint cans around for one to make new markings on them.  We didn’t feel comfortable, though, so we just took pictures and left only footprints.

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It’s really only a 15 minute excursion, but it’s well worth it.  It’s right off the interstate about 3 minutes, and you can see it from the interstate.  If you’re ever passing through, it’s almost obligatory to make a stop, now that you’ve been informed, I’d say.  =)

IMG_8786 And we snapped our last pictures, and we were off.

IMG_8788From there, we jumped in the car and headed out toward Albuquerque.  Amarillo is almost exactly halfway between OKC and Albuquerque, so it made a convenient waypoint for us.  Another 275 miles and we would be there. 

Before we knew it we were entering New Mexico. 

IMG_2862 For as far as it was, it really was an easy drive.  It was also our longest day on the road, so it was nice to be pleasantly surprised by the smooth rolling. 

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