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Great atmosphere at The Big Texan Steak Ranch!

Olivier Rey / Red Dirt Report
The Big Texan Steak Ranch located in Amarillo, Texas.
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AMARILLO, Texas -- There it is, The Big Texan Steak Ranch. It has a name as long as its reputation.

Renowned around the world, the restaurant is located in the Texas panhandle city of Amarillo, right along Interstate 40, following the old Route 66.

And did my family and I get our "kicks" at the Big Texan? Y'all better believe it!

Interestingly, my stepfather, who lives in France, was the first one to tell me about The Big Texan, this after watching a documentary about the Lone Star State.

For one who still doesn't know, the restaurant is famous for its 72 oz. steak challenge. Anyone who orders the steak will have to sit on the stage in the middle of the restaurant, with one hour to eat it all, plus side dishes. The reward? You don’t have to pay the $72.

And fortunately for us, while we were eating our steaks (not the 72 oz.), one courageous carnivore decided to take up the challenge.

A bell rang and the countdown began. Everyone in the restaurant applauded with many coming up to watch the challenger tackling his steak, all while snapping souvenir photos. 

A brave patron attempting to eat a 72 oz. steak at The Big Texan. (Olivier Rey / Red Dirt Report) 

I don’t know if it was the first time he tried but after 30 minutes our challenger of the day had still more than half of his steak and side dishes to finish. As we didn’t stay until the end, checking online to the 72 oz. Hall of Fame of the restaurant, I couldn’t find anyone who won the challenge the date we came. Shame.

For our part the size of our steak was more reasonable. One 12 oz. Fort Worth cut for me. A 16 oz. Bone in the Duck’s cut for my stepfather. And two 8 oz. Big Texan filets for my wife and mom, plus side dishes. All that accompanied by beers for a total of over $130. Not cheap at all! Our stomachs were full and our pockets were empty.

But even if the meat was not extraordinary, the kitschy atmosphere with the country music and the decorations of wild animal stuffed heads and guns were great.

The waiters, dressed in cowboy duds, was a nice touch. It was like eating a slice of that mythical Texas pie we have all been dished up in books and film.

I especially recommend for people who don’t have a lot of time to spend around, the restaurant has even a well-stocked souvenir shop. The Big Texan also makes its own beer and fudge. And for those who prefer to arrive on a horse (who knows it is Texas after all), there is a horse hotel just beside the restaurant. For you lazy bones out there, there is even a free limo pick up from local Amarillo hotels that take you to the restaurant.

Open every day from 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., The Big Texan Steak Ranch that opened in 1960 by R. J. “Bob” Lee has since become a true cash-machine that is still taking care of its many happy customers.

The Big Texan Steak Ranch
7701 Interstate 40 Access Rd
Amarillo, TX 79118
Phone: Phone: (806) 372-6000

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About the Author

Olivier Rey

Olivier has traveled in 20 countries on six continents before landing in Norman. Native French...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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