- Big Texan Restaurant & Motel
- 7701 Interstate 40 East Access Rd. - Amarillo
- Texas 79118 - United States
The Big Texan Steak Ranch is a well-known restaurant and tourist attraction located in Amarillo, Texas. It has become a legendary establishment, primarily due to its famous 72-ounce steak challenge and its distinctive cowboy-themed ambiance. Here are some key details about the Big Texan:
History: The Big Texan Steak Ranch was founded in 1960 by R. J. "Bob" Lee. It was initially situated along Route 66 and later relocated to its current location along Interstate 40 in Amarillo. The restaurant was designed to cater to travelers along this popular route, offering a unique Texas dining experience.
72-Ounce Steak Challenge: The most famous feature of the Big Texan is its 72-ounce steak challenge, often referred to as the "Texas King." If a guest can consume a 72-ounce (4.5-pound) steak, along with all the accompanying sides (such as a salad, baked potato, and shrimp cocktail) within one hour, the meal is free. Otherwise, the challenge can be quite expensive.
Ambiance: The Big Texan is designed with a Wild West theme, complete with rustic decor, cowboy memorabilia, and a lively atmosphere. Visitors can enjoy live country music performances while dining.
Menu: While the 72-ounce steak is the most famous offering, the Big Texan Steak Ranch serves a variety of other dishes, including different cuts of steak, burgers, seafood, and traditional Texas fare like barbecue ribs and chicken-fried steak. The menu caters to a wide range of tastes and appetites.
Gift Shop: The restaurant also features a gift shop where visitors can purchase souvenirs and cowboy-themed merchandise, making it a popular stop for tourists passing through Amarillo.
Entertainment: Beyond the food, the Big Texan offers various forms of entertainment, such as an outdoor patio, a shooting gallery, and a Texas-sized rocking chair for photo opportunities.
Expansion: Over the years, the Big Texan Steak Ranch has expanded to include not only the restaurant but also a hotel and a brewery, providing guests with a comprehensive experience.
The Big Texan Steak Ranch is a beloved and iconic landmark in Amarillo, Texas, and it continues to draw travelers from all over the country who want to take on the famous steak challenge or simply enjoy a hearty Texan meal in a fun and lively atmosphere.
- Founding by Bob Lee: The Big Texan Steak Ranch was founded by R. J. "Bob" Lee, who had a vision of creating a unique and memorable dining experience for travelers along Route 66.
- Route 66 Location: Initially, the restaurant was located on historic Route 66, a famous highway that was a popular route for cross-country travelers. Its location along this iconic road helped establish its reputation and attract visitors.
- Relocation to Interstate 40: In 1970, the restaurant relocated to its current location along Interstate 40, which had become the new main route for travelers after Route 66's decline. This strategic move ensured the Big Texan's continued success.
- 72-Ounce Steak Challenge: The Big Texan's most famous feature, the 72-ounce steak challenge, was introduced in the early 1960s as a marketing stunt. It quickly gained fame and has become synonymous with the restaurant. Over the years, thousands of brave diners have attempted the challenge.
- Live Music and Entertainment: The Big Texan has always been known for its lively atmosphere. It features live country music performances, creating an enjoyable and vibrant dining experience for guests.
- Expansions: Over the years, the Big Texan Steak Ranch expanded its offerings. In addition to the restaurant, it added a motel-style hotel and a brewery. These additions allowed visitors to enjoy a full Texas experience, from dining to lodging and even sampling local brews.
- Celebrity Visits: The Big Texan has attracted numerous celebrities and notable figures over the years. These visits have contributed to its status as an iconic American dining destination.
- Preservation of Texas Culture: The restaurant's decor and ambiance celebrate Texas and cowboy culture. The walls are adorned with Western-themed artwork and memorabilia, creating an authentic Texas atmosphere.
- Gift Shop: The Big Texan features a gift shop where visitors can purchase souvenirs and merchandise, allowing them to take a piece of the Texas experience home with them.
- Continued Popularity: Despite its long history, the Big Texan Steak Ranch remains a popular tourist attraction and dining destination, drawing people from across the United States and around the world who want to take on the 72-ounce steak challenge or simply enjoy a memorable Texas meal.
The Big Texan Steak Ranch has not only played a significant role in the culinary landscape of Amarillo but has also become a symbol of American roadside dining and a cherished part of Texas culture. Its rich history and unique traditions continue to captivate visitors to this day.
It's situated along Interstate 40, which is a major east-west highway passing through Amarillo. This location is easily accessible for travelers passing through the area, and it has become a prominent landmark and dining destination in Amarillo.