Tuesday

A Legendary Food Stop in Texas


On Interstate 40 near Amarillo, Texas
Like millions of Americans who’ve never been anywhere near Amarillo, you might already know about the Big Texan Steak Ranch.  All the way over here at Hidden Valley RV Park near San Antonio, I often get questions like, “Is that restaurant where you get your steak free if you can eat the whole thing…near here?” The questions piqued my interest, so here's my findings.  At the Big Texan, it’s the Free 72-Ounce Steak Challenge that has everyone looking for this establishment.  Eat a 4.5 pound top sirloin steak, baked potato, shrimp cocktail, salad and dinner roll in one hour and it’s all on the house.  Fail to finish in the allotted time and pay $72.00. 
They claim that about one in every seven persons win the challenge which, to date, is over 8600.  They even keep record of the winners: oldest, a 70 year old man and youngest, an 11 year old boy who asked for dessert afterward.  The quickest eater was a 24 year old Californian who cleared his plate in under 9 minutes.  A Nevada couple has met the challenge more than 10 times. 
The contest began in 1962 in the original Big Texan on Route 66.  The price then was $9.95. Their website has a web cam video of diners chowing down on their big 72 ounce on the contestant stage as well as an entire catalog of challenge winners.   The founder, R.J. “Bob” Lee has been accompanied by his son Dan Lee and together they have moved the establishment to its current location on Interstate 40 East.  Dan has been purported to say that the Big Texan now provides a lot more than immortality for gluttons.  There’s also a 54 room hotel as well as a horse hotel. Another addition is the Free Prime Rib on your Birthday Promo.
The restaurants most popular entrees are rib eye steak, prime rib, fillet Mignon and grilled salmon.  Mountain oysters are often added to the venue when in season.  Think about that item before you order it.  I’ve heard that the Big Texan likes to have fun with its food.  Hmmmm, mountain oysters?
You bet I'll be stopping by when I get near Amarillo!
7701 Interstate 40 east, 806-372-6000
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