Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Famous Big Texan Steak Ranch on I-40 in Amarillo

Big Texan Exterior
My husband finally talked me into eating at the Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo. If you have ever traveled on Interstate 40 during the past 55 years across the Texas panhandle you must have seen the billboards for it. There have been numerous travel and food shows that have featured the Big Texan and their "eat a 72oz steak and sides and get it free" challenge. The place is so over the top Texas kitsch that you almost have to see it at least once if only for the gift shop and the opportunity to watch some carnivore take on that eating challenge.

Interior--clock and stage for those taking the challenge
The food is pretty average overall and overpriced. The interior is cavernous. A busload of teenagers were seated not long after our party of three. The service can be unpredictable. In other words, it caters to the tourist crowd.

I ordered the lunch special half-pound burger and fries ($9) and a Dr. Pepper ($3) served in a plastic souvenir cup. My husband ordered the 30oz Trail-boss T-bone with cowboy beans and mashed potatoes ($36.00). His cousin went with a Dallas cut 18oz rib-eye ($25) also with beans and mash. As an appetizer we got a full order of fried mushrooms ($12), which tasted great with their slightly spicy breading, and they were served with ranch dressing but something about them did not agree with me later. I ate more of those than anything else.
Fried Mushrooms

My hamburger was nothing special but I liked the steak fries. If they had been hot they would have been even better. The men loved their meals but I'm not sure if it was because the steaks were especially tasty or the guys were just really hungry. Either way they want to return and my husband thinks he could eat the 72oz steak. I think it is $72 if your don't finish it in the allotted time. Unfortunately, when we were there no one even tried.
30 ounce T-bone

Our server was good but we heard another couple say they were leaving because no one ever came to take their order. Most of the workers looked kind of "done" with the whole dress up like a cowboy and be Texas-friendly to folks.

We did enjoy the singing cowboy who was walking around with his guitar performing for tips. He sang Abilene and London Homesick Blues for us.

If you are passing through, at least go in to take a look around, snap some pictures and maybe have a beer (from their brewery) or even a steak if you so desire. It is the reason they are famous after all.


  1. hello! i'm writing an article for taste of home and wondered if i could use your image of the restaurant's facade for an article? we'll give you credit and link back! thanks!

    1. Sorry, just saw this today. Yes, you can use it if you still want it.

  2. please shoot me a reply if it's okay to use it!