The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

Posts Tagged ‘steak’

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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Cattlemen’s Steakhouse

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

After leaving Bricktown, we headed back south, closer to our hotel, to Stockyards City to find Cattlemen’s Steakhouse which was recommended to us by Michelle and Kylie (thanks ladies!).  According to the Stockyards City website, this area of town honors Oklahoma City’s pioneer history and caters to the every day cowboy and cowgirl.  This was quite evident in the shops and restaurants we passed.

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Cattlemen’s Steakhouse was easy to find on the main street and we were looking forward to what was in store for us.  We had called in advance to find out if it was a place that needed reservations or had a dress code – the answer was no to both 🙂 When we arrived, we didn’t have to wait which we appreciated (we were hungry!).IMG_2738 Cattlemen’s is the oldest, longest-open restaurant in Oklahoma City – it opened in 1910.  The building has grown over time and started as a cafe at one end of the building.  We were seated in the dining room which was dark, leathery, and covered in photos of cattle and cowboys (real and hollywood versions).

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It’s not very clear, but the wall behind the Husband is a photo of tons of cattle.  It spans that entire wall (there’s a better version of it on the Cattlemen’s website).

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The menu itself is quite simple, as a good steakhouse should be.

IMG_2739The front page told us a brief history as well as their intention for the restaurant. IMG_2741 The inside consisted of two pages.  One page for the steak cuts and a second page for those of you non-red meat eaters accompanying your red-meat eaters out for dinner 🙂 Being a steakhouse, we stuck to the left side of the menu.

IMG_2742If you haven’t picked up on it, the Husband and I like to try local beers whenever possible.  Each restaurant we’ve been to on this trip, the Husband asks if they have any beers from _____ (fill in state we’re in).  In Cattlemen’s case, not only did they have Texas beer, they had a specific beer brewed for Cattlemen’s – the Double Deuce (named for its size – 22oz).  The Husband thought it was a fine beer – one he would order again there for the novelty, but probably not anywhere else.

IMG_2747 To start, we knew we had to try the Lamb Fries, as recommended by reader Kylie and our friend Rhonda.  When our waiter brought us the dish, he told us not to ask what they were and just to enjoy them 🙂 It came with cocktail sauce and lemon, as if it were seafood, and I guess it did taste slightly like fried oysters (as others proclaim it does).  I won’t tell you what it actually is – you can check it out on wikipedia here if you’d like.   We thought they were fine and we enjoyed the experience, but I don’t imagine we’d get them again.IMG_2753 Each steak dinner comes with steak, salad, and potato (I think your choice of potato).  For our salad, it’s a reasonably sized side salad with your choice of dressing.  The Husband and I each went with the house dressing on our waiter’s recommendation.  It’s quite mild and creamy, not too much flavor to it, but I enjoyed it.IMG_2756 With that salad, we received a basket of bread, though more like croutons? I didn’t have any, but the Husband enjoyed a slice with the salad.

IMG_2757 In preparation of our potatoes, we were brought a plate of butter, sour cream, bacon, and chives.

IMG_2759 Then, what we were waiting for – our steaks 🙂 We each got the filet, which was wrapped in bacon.  However, the Husband got the regular size (on the left) and I had the petite (on the right).  It may be hard to tell, but the petite was about half the size perhaps).  We each got ours medium rare and they were delicious.  Melt in your mouth good, without any extras like butter like a lot of chain restaurants use.  We each went with the baked potato as well and I was glad to see reasonably sized potatoes.

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Along with these, we also received two warm rolls that were soft and pillowy.  They tasted particularly good dipped in the steak juice.  Yum!

IMG_2764 Overall, we were happy with our meal and glad we got to experience this quintessential Oklahoma City restaurant.  We loved the history and enjoyed the steak.  Our server was very friendly and spent a bit of time chatting with us between courses.  While we had originally planned on visiting Nonna’s for dinner in Bricktown, we were glad we had the chance to check out Cattlemen’s Steakhouse.

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Cattlemen's Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

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Huskisson, Jervis Bay, and Dolphin Sands

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on March 31, 2010

After our enjoyable evening in Gipsy Point and our breakfast basket, we got back in the car and continued our roadtrip east through Victoria toward New South Wales and our second to last night in Australia.  Less than 10 minutes from leaving our hotel, we believe we saw an Emu! (another check off of the Husband’s Australian to do list – see a wild Emu)

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As we drove toward Huskisson, our next destination near Jervis Bay, we tried to plan our trip around the 3-5pm check in time.  Along the way, we found ourselves in Bega which is a town famous for its cheese.  We saw signs for the cheese factory and assuming they would have tastings, we took a slight detour.

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The Husband took a quick pit stop before we headed in for the tastings 🙂IMG_7631

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IMG_7633 Once we found our way into the Tasting Room & Store, we found that it was a serve-yourself tasting area.  A number of cheeses in Australian have the label “tasty” on them and we were glad to finally get a chance to see what this flavor was about without buying a block of cheese.  “Tasty” can best be described as flavorful… similar to a Colby perhaps? I originally assumed it would be more like a Sharp cheese, but there was one called “Strong & Bitey” that better fit that description.

IMG_7635 Although I would have liked to buy some cheese, we didn’t know what our refrigeration situation would be and didn’t want it to spoil.  Too bad Bega wasn’t closer to one of our other stops over the previous nights!

IMG_7636 On our way out, we admired the cafe area which appeared to have lots of history of the town and the cheese.

IMG_7639 And I couldn’t help but get a quick snap of the cow 🙂

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We hopped back in the car toward our destination, driving with no plan in mind except to stop when we got hungry for lunch.  A short while later, we found ourselves in the town of Moruya. It was one of the biggest towns we’d seen in a while and knew it would be a good place to stop.

We found a side street and parked.  As I opened my door, I looked down at the curb and inhaled sharply.  I looked up at the Husband, while I was still in the car and said “Um, I think I see a snake.”  Now, this far into the trip, we’ve heard left and right about how dangerous the snakes are but we hadn’t seen any yet.  What I saw, looked like a snake, with his head poking out of a drain pipe.  I didn’t want to move! The Husband got back in the car and backed up so that we at a safe enough distance away.  We snapped a picture from the middle of the street and then saw a local walk by.

IMG_7644 We caught his attention and asked him if it was a snake.  Relieving us, we learned it was actually a blue tongued lizard and not dangerous at all! Phew!  We left him to hang out in the drain pipe (which they apparently do when it rains), and meandered into town.

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The Husband wanted to find a bakery and asked a local where to find one.  Once there, we asked the staff what they recommended.  I ordered a Cheese & Bacon Meat Pie while the Husband had a Cheese & Bacon roll (essentially a long roll with cheese and bacon baked on top).  It was good 🙂

We headed back toward the car, snapped a few photos of the local church, and continued on trip to Huskisson.

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About 5 hours after our start, we arrived in Huskisson, another small beach town on Jervis Bay.  We were scheduled to check in at the Dolphin Sands Bed & Breakfast between 3 and 5pm and arrived right at 4pm.  We parked the car and followed the sign to Reception.  As we walked up onto the front porch, the Husband was surprised by (and in turn he was surprised by the Husband) Wayne, one of the owners of the B&B who was enjoying the beautiful weather and reading at one of the tables.  We introduced ourselves and completed the check-in process.  Wayne showed us to our room and gave us lots of great suggestions of things to do in the afternoon and where to potentially eat dinner.

IMG_7659 IMG_7663 The grounds of the b&b were lovely.   IMG_2316

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This was the view of the house looking at our room.IMG_2318 And the view of the porch and dining room.

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Using one of Wayne’s suggestions, we decided to head out to Hyams Beach, where we were told they have the whitest sand in the world.

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We parked the car and headed down the steps to the beach. IMG_7665

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At first, the sand didn’t seem particularly white but as we walked further on the beach we found it to be so fine and quite white.  It reminded me almost of powdered sugar.IMG_7670

The Husband played with the camera for a while.  The view of the water was just beautiful so I let him do his thing 🙂    IMG_7675 We were jealous of the beach side homes.IMG_7702

After a good hour or so, we decided to head back toward Huskisson.  On that walk, we noticed fishermen and took a quick photo.  As we did that, a couple asked us to take their photo and we discovered that they were from Atlanta! We stopped to chat with them for a while before they decided to go for a swim and our hunger began to increase. IMG_7792

We headed back to the B&B to get cleaned up and walk into town to find some dinner.  We walked past the handful of restaurants suggested and decided to go to Stonegrill, remembering our enjoyable meal at the Raging Bull in Hervey Bay two weeks ago.  We were especially enticed by a chalkboard noting a 3-course meal for $29!

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After a quick look through the menu, we each decided to go with the 3-course set menu option.  For the appetizer course, we had an option of 5 or so choices.  The Husband went with Turkish Bread with a Balsamic Vinaigrette.

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I had Mixed Seafood sauteed over rocket.  Both appetizers were off to a good start! IMG_7798

For our main course, we had an option of steak, chicken, or seafood and an option of salad, vegetables, or pasta salad.  We also had a selection of sauces to choose from.  Just like our awesome meal at the Raging Bull,  the meat was brought out on extremely hot stones for us to cook to our liking.

The Husband’s main course consisted of a mixed salad, steak, and a pepper sauce.  As expected, he loved it!IMG_7800

My main course was the steak as well plus the Diane sauce and a pasta salad (penne, rocket, onion, and olive oil). IMG_7801

For dessert, we got to choose from three or four small cakes (perfect size of dessert in my opinion!).  The Husband had the Caramel Mud Cake and I had a Berry Cheesecake. IMG_7802

As we hoped, this dinner was great! And at only $29 per person, we couldn’t ask for it to be better.  Once dinner was over, we walked the one block back to our B&B, enjoyed some Aussie tv, and slept well 🙂

The next morning, we awoke to possibly our favorite breakfast throughout our entire visit to Australia.  When we checked in the day before, Wayne asked if 8:30 or so would be a good time for breakfast and we planned to be there on the dot.  We walked out of our room, unsure whether breakfast would be on the front porch or in the house.  The weather was amazing that morning and we found our place settings at a quiet corner on the porch.

IMG_2306 Wayne double checked if we both ate meat and headed back into the kitchen to prepare a hot breakfast for us.  We then met Beatrice, his wife, who invited us to check out the buffet and offered us drinks.  The buffet alone was wonderful!  It included fresh, homemade breads, fruits, and cereals.

IMG_2307 I personally tried almost some of every type of fruit! We were promised toast with our hot meal so we didn’t touch the bread on the buffet, but it sure did make our mouth water! Quality bread has certainly been lacking during our vacation… our options have mostly been “white” or “raisin.”  On my fruit plate, I had (clockwise from the top) cantaloupe, pear, a baked yogurt & berry pudding, rhubarb, and dried fruit poached in orange juice.  This breakfast was off to an amazing start!

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For beverages, the Husband went with his usual Long Black while I had English Breakfast tea (which came in a french press that I loved) and an apple juice.

IMG_2310 To make our perfect Australian breakfast complete, Wayne brought us out a fresh ham and cheese omelet, roasted tomatoes, and homemade whole grain toast.  We learned that the eggs were from chickens they raise at their house, the tomatoes are from a neighbor’s garden, and as we already knew bread was homemade.  It was all as good as it looked too!

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As our readers already know, the Husband and I have definitely come to really enjoy Vegemite so we asked for some of that as well 🙂  Of that spoonful, I had a very light layer while the Husband had most of the rest.

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After our incredible breakfast, we packed up our stuff, wished farewell to Wayne and Beatrice who were in the back patio, and headed on our way back to Sydney via the Kangaroo Valley per Wayne’s recommendation.

If you find yourself near Jervis Bay and you’re looking for a good Bed & Breakfast, look no further than Dolphin Sands!

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Uncle Buck’s Brewery & Steakhouse

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on December 28, 2009

Where did December go? And for that matter, where did 2009 go? Now that I’m back to blogging (thank you to the Husband for keeping this going these last few weeks all by himself!) you’ll get all sorts of fun posts – from Dallas, Las Vegas, Orlando/Disney, and even all the way back to finishing my posts about our Christmas vacation to Europe in December 2008!

So back to Dallas, which the Husband briefly covered a few weeks ago with the awesome architecture (which I actually didn’t see in person) and El Chico, the delicious Tex Mex we had the first night we arrived (oh, and our hotel!).

Saturday morning the Husband and I visited with our dear friends we met just a year earlier on our river cruise down the Danube.  We had a wonderful time catching up on the past year and enjoying a delicious home cooked brunch.  The Husband then dropped me off for my meetings while he headed into the city to see what Dallas had to offer.  Once my meetings were done for the day, the Husband, some of my colleagues and I headed over to the Grapevine Mills shopping center, just north of the airport, in search of dinner.  Using my handy iPhone, I came across Uncle Buck’s Brewery & Steakhouse and knew that was the one.

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The restaurant was quite large with incredibly high ceilings (as seen above).  We were seated in a nice large booth for our good size group.  On the way in, we noted the brewery equipment and looked forward to checking out the beer menu.

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The Husband and I both decided to get the samplers!

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That’s a lot of beer! We ended up being there a couple of hours chatting and eating so it worked out well 🙂 If I recall correctly, I really liked both the Brown and Blonde Ales.

While enjoying our beers, the table decided to order calamari to share amongst the group.  It had parmesan on it which was a bit odd, but overall it tasted fresh and there were no fillers.

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Being a brewery and steakhouse, there were a number of steaks to choose from on the menu.

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Most, if not all, of the group decided to go with Buffalo per the menu’s recommendation (in red).  I went with the Buffalo Filet (I love filets – they’re my favorite cut).  It was 8oz of steak with a red wine sauce on the side.  I ordered mushrooms to top it with and a side of asparagus.  The cup of mushrooms was insanely large! This meal was quite enjoyable.

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The Husband went with the Sirloin (I think!).  He added grilled shrimp and had a loaded baked potato on the side.

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One of my colleagues noticed that another table had Dirt Cake/Pie (pudding, crushed oreos, and gummy worms) on their table so he and I were excited to order that for dessert.  Unfortunately, that was not an option for adults 😦 Although dessert was not big on our list, some how there were a handful ordered!  The one that showed up in front of the Husband and me was some sort of oreo cream pie.  It wasn’t particularly good and I wouldn’t order it again.  I wish we could have had the Dirt Pie!

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All in all, the steaks and beers were good and the open air made for a casual experience.  We were looking for a Dallas experience (which the Husband and I experienced more the next day) but the group was happy with the choice for dinner after a number of hours of meetings.

Big Buck Brewery & Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

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