Sunday, December 16, 2012

My Review of The Big Texan Steak Ranch

I've always wanted to go to Amarillo and visit The Big Texan Steak Ranch ( for a meal. Finally I got the opportunity to stop in on my way through town.

For those of you who have lived under a rock, The Big Texan has been on numerous food and travel shows. They're famous for the Free 72-oz. Steak Challenge. If you can eat a 72-oz. steak,  baked potato, roll, and shrimp in under an hour it's free.

I'm not a competition eater so instead I ordered the "50th Anniversary Steak". It's like a smaller version of the challenge. It has an 18-oz. sirloin, 3 shrimp, baked potato, salad, and roll. Normally I would order a steak medium-rare but I chose medium this time. Something about this place didn't make me trust that they knew how to cook a steak.

My food came out and was was very underwhelming. I knew it was going to be rough when the waitress looked at my friend and said, "Umm. You may want to cut into your steak and let me know if you think it is cooked correctly." Ofcourse it was not so it went back to the kitchen to be cooked longer.

My salad, roll, shrimp, and baked potato were standard cafeteria fare. The steak was dry, tough, and tasted more like a cowboy boot than a steak. I was thoroughly disappointed.

However, this is not where the story ends. While the Big Texan is definitely not a food destination it is most certainly a tourist destination. It's stereotypical Texas on acid. Being a native Texan I was somewhere between amused and offended. I'm a little horrified that travelers might stop in and think this is what Texans are like.

The staff dresses up like a character from Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. There are even cowboys walking around playing the guitar and singing folk songs. The restaurant itself looks like a wild west saloon. The outside of the building looks like a cross-between a circus and a old west town. There really isn't anything else I've ever experienced quite like this place.

So if you're on I-40 cruising through Amarillo stop on by. It's definitely worth the experience., and afterwards make sure you stop by Cadillac Ranch right outside of town.