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One of the best things about driving along Route 66 is stopping at all the quirky, historic stops along the way, and Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo, Texas, fits this description perfectly. Who can resist the challenge of the place–finishing a 72-ounce steak and all the fixings in one hour and getting the meal for free?
Turns out, we could resist, but that didn’t stop our family from stopping for lunch on a road trip out west. And let me tell you, the smaller steaks are delicious. Even if you’re not hungry, this place is worth a stop to check out the decor and roadside fun.
The Big Texan Steak Ranch and Route 66
The original location of The Big Texan Steak Ranch opened in 1960 along Route 66. When I-40 opened, the location was moved, though it’s worth noting that I-40 mostly runs along Route 66, often parallel to the Mother Road. After a fire, a new, larger restaurant was opened in 1978.
In 1983, a motel was added to the property. The Big Texan Steak Ranch can be the perfect stop as you travel Route 66. Nowadays, you can also take a swim in the Texas-shaped pool or stay in one of their Airbnb rooms. This motel looks like the perfect place for quirky family fun that later becomes the cherished memories of an American road trip.
We weren’t at a place in our journey to stop for the night. Instead, we stopped for lunch on a rainy day in June, ready to sample some steak and get in on the fun.
Our Experience at The Big Texan
We arrived a tad before noon, ready to try some Texas steak. Luckily, it wasn’t very busy yet.
We headed inside, eager to get out of the dampness.
Once you’re inside, you know you’re someplace truly unique.
We noticed a gift shop, a dessert counter, and other possible things to explore right away, We decided to grab a table and save the exploring for after lunch.
We also saw information on the 72 oz. steak challenge.
I’m sure it’s great fun for the right person, but we were not those people.
After checking with the hostess, we were shown to our table right away.
There are booths around the perimeter of the room, but our table was a long table in the middle. We were seated at the same table as another party, but we had some space between us. It was fine.
We ordered drinks and grabbed our menus. We took our cups with us; they came in handy on our trip, and we still use them at home.
Before long, the rolls came out. Yum!
They do have a lunch menu, so we ended up ordering off of that. The portions are perfect for lunch.
I went with the sirloin sandwich and a loaded baked potato. I ate the steak without the bun, though.
Jeff had the chicken-fried steak sandwich with waffle fries.
Kristin had her staple–chicken strips, waffle fries, and mashed potatoes and gravy.
Everything was a “thumbs up” from us!
While we dines, strolling musicians serenaded us, and every once in a while, someone would take the steak challenge. Those people got to sit beneath a timer on a stage in the middle of the dining room for all to see,
After Our Big Texan Lunch
After we ate our fill, we needed to walk off a bit of lunch before hopping in the car and continuing west. We walked past the dessert counter, but we were too stuffed.
There is also a bar next to the dessert counter if you aren’t interested in going into the restaurant.
If you continue walking past the bar, you’ll find the restrooms. And across from the bar is an old-fashioned shooting gallery.
Across from the dining room, you’ll find the gift shop. It was the perfect place to find our requisite magnet.
And, if you make your way to the back of the gift shop, you’ll find the resident rattlesnake.
We had a great time at our lunch stop. It was our first lunch on the road during this road trip, and the fun-filled restaurant helped us kick off our trip right. The food isn’t gourmet, of course, but it was tasty and kept us full until we stopped for the evening in Albuquerque. Give The Big Texan Steak Ranch a stop on your Route 66 adventure!