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The Big Texan Steak Ranch: Champion Eating


As we get ready to celebrate Valentines’ day, it made me start thinking about some of our Valentine's celebrations in the past. Since Gene was working nights for quite a few years we tried to take a 3-day weekend somewhere to just get away and enjoy some time together. Happily in February of 2015, we spent three days in Amarillo and had a blast. Dinner on Valentine's evening found us at the famous Big Texan Steak Ranch.  

Big Texan - MotelWe had heard about the Big Texan, and it wasn’t easily missed. They are on Historic Route 66 and have signs all over the town. After seeing so many of these signs, we were eager to check them out. We made it there for dinner and I was pleasantly surprised at the place for several reasons. This first thing was the HUGE cow out front of the restaurant. It draws quite a crowd. Its head was so high that Gene could barely touch the top of it. We also couldn’t help but notice the building which is painted a bright yellow, with blue trim. It is definitely an eye-catcher.

Big Texan - SteakYou also couldn’t help but notice the sign for its 72 ounce (4.5 pounds) steak, nicknamed "The Texas King." The steak is free to anyone who, in one hour or less, can eat the entire meal, consisting of the steak itself, a bread roll with butter, a baked potato, a shrimp cocktail, and a salad; otherwise, the meal costs $72. Those who have successfully consumed the Texas King meal have their names recorded and posted at the restaurant. Of course, most people aren’t successful. Gene joked about trying it, but he didn’t  

Here are the rules for the steak challenge:

  1. 1. Entire meal must be completed in one hour. If any of the meal is not consumed (swallowed)…YOU LOSE!
  2. 2. Before the time starts, you will be allowed to cut into the steak, and take one bite. If the steak tastes good and is cooked to your satisfaction, we will start the time upon your acceptable approval. The time will not stop, and the contest is on, so make SURE before you say “yes.”
  3. 3. Once you have started you are not allowed to stand up, leave your table, or have anyone else TOUCH the meal.
  4. 4. You will be disqualified if anyone assists you in cutting, preparing or eating of your meal. This is YOUR contest.
  5. 5. You don’t have to eat the fat, but we will judge this.
  6. 6. Should you become ill, the contest is over… YOU LOSE! (Please use the container provided as necessary.)
  7. 7. You are required to pay the full amount upfront; if you win we will refund 100%.
  8. 8. You must sit at a table that we assign.
  9. 9. If you do not win the steak challenge, you are welcome to take the leftovers with you.
  10. 10. No consumption or sharing of the leftovers is allowed in the restaurant once the contest is over.
  11. 11. If you fail to complete the challenge, you must pay the full $72 dollars.

Big Texan - CowFor a bit of history, at the date of this post, the current champ is Molly Schuyler who completed the challenge on May 26, 2014. She didn't even need the whole hour. She finished her meal in less than 5 minutes. That is insane to me, lol. I don't know where she put it as they state that she only weighs 120 pounds. Again, crazy, but good for her.

A year later, she beat her record by eating the meal in 4 minutes 18 seconds while on her way to eating THREE of the giant meals in under 20 minutes!

Big Texan - UsAs far as the restaurant itself, it was bigger inside than I expected and has two levels. The other thing I didn’t expect was how thick the steaks were. I had them butterfly mine and it was still thick. I usually like my steak thin, but it was ok, I will have to try something else next time we are there.

However, I do have to say that the BBQ was delicious, the rolls were great, and the waiter was very helpful. I would love to go back again if we are in Amarillo. We both enjoyed the live musicians strolling around playing music. I am not sure if this is a normal occurrence, or if it was only because it was Valentines’ day. Either way, it was very enjoyable.

Big Texan - StoreLike I said earlier, the Big Texan is a really cool restaurant, but it is so much more than that. They also have a motel, a horse motel, a gift shop, and a brewery.  The motel is designed to resemble a main street in an old west town. It even has a blacksmith shop attached to it. A horse motel is a place where you can unload your horses for the evening where they can stretch their legs in a safe and secured area.

If that isn't enough, right in between the hotel and the restaurant is a caged-in area for dogs, including a fake fire hydrant, lol. Our dogs had a great time running around. It was nice to have a place where they could run and be safe. Kudos to the Big Texan. We took a lot of good pictures as well as some silly ones. Would definitely enjoy another visit the next time we are in Amarillo. Here is a link to their website with more information that I am listing below. Happy trails, lol

Big Texan BeersBTW, here is a list of their current beer selections:

  • Pecan 4.5 ABV 28 IBU
  • Texan Red Amber Ale 4.5 ABV 15 IBU
  • Raspberry Wheat 5.1 ABV 22 IBU
  • Honey Blonde Lager 5.75 ABV 23 IBU
  • El Hefeweizen  5.5 ABV 13 IBU
  • Rattlesnake IPA 7.2 ABV 66 IBU
  • Whoop Your Donkey 9.1 ABV 80 IBU
  • Tres Hombres 4.0 ABV 12 IBU
  • Palo Duro Pale Ale 4.75 ABV 13 IBU
  • Whiskey Barrel Stout 9.22 ABV 26 IBU
  • Bomb City Rock 5.5 ABV 13 IBU

The Big Texan
7701 Interstate 40 East Access Road Amarillo, Tx 79118
Tel: 806-372-6000
Open 10:00 am to 10:30 pm

Here is a link to their menu if you want to check it out before you visit.


Images (7)
  • Big Texan - Cow
  • Big Texan - Front
  • Big Texan - Motel
  • Big Texan - Steak
  • Big Texan - Store
  • Big Texan - Us
  • Big Texan Beers

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