Big Texan Steak Ranch
Address: 7701 E I-40, Amarillo, TX 79118
Phone: (806) 372-6000
Known For: 72 oz. Steak Dinner Challenge
What I had: 8 oz. Center Cut Top Sirloin, Mac & Cheese, Steak Fries & Dinner Rolls
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Everything really is bigger in Texas. Aside from layovers in Dallas/Fortworth this is my first time actually in the Lone Star State. I figured I might as well go to an icon and The Big Texan screams Texas and screams huge. If you’re not familiar with their “Free 72oz Steak Dinner” it’s essentially that; a steak, a baked potato, dinner roll, side salad and shrimp cocktail…and it’s all free if an individual can polish it off in under an hour. Apparently they have people attempting it pretty much every day and it’s somewhere around 50,000 such attempts to date with about 9000 successful (the youngest being an 11 year old!) I was hoping to see an attempt while I was there but sadly I did not. There is a slightly elevated table near the kitchen with four seats facing the dining room where gluttons show off their eating prowess (or lack there of). They have a sample in the lobby that gives you an idea of how big the meal is, let’s just say it’s huge.
I actually opted for the smallest steak on the menu, the 8oz Center Cut Top Sirloin, it comes with you choice of two sides and I went with the mac & cheese and the steak fries. I also tried the chili and the stew (just a sample), the stew was okay but the chili was actually pretty good, it was nice and hearty. The mac & cheese was surprisingly tasty (added a bit of pepper), it was thick and cheesy. The steak fries were downright scrumptious, freshly cut and fried to the point that the outside is crisp but still soft in the middle. The dinner rolls were fantastic, light, fluffy and buttery.I got the impression that they make everything fresh daily and there’s not much sitting around in pots. It’s a very big restaurant and they have a lot of diners constantly so I’m sure they’re whipping up batches of grub all day long.
The steak was good, not anywhere near the best I’ve ever had but certainly a good steak. It was grilled just how I liked and it was nice and juicy. I asked for some of their house steak sauce but honestly, this steak was better all alone sans sauces and for me that’s a rarity. Because of their reputation I was expecting to be knocked on my butt by it but it didn’t do anything special for me. You can find a comparable steak in any city but I may be a little harsh only because of my expectations.
The staff here is extremely friendly and quick. They really enjoy their job and you can tell. They refilled water often, brought rolls immediately and handled all my weird requests (“Have any honey?”). They’re all dressed in cowboy/cowgirl garb and are running around having a blast. The place is a treat unto itself. They’ve got a fun little gift shop and weird things all about (a huge rocking chair for example). They also have some amazing homemade fudge, I suggest you give it a try. I certainly recommend making a stop here. All said this is a rather large tourist stop but I bet some of their other steaks are top notch. If nothing else you’ll have a good meal, a good time and your belly will be full.
As seen on Man v Food
Sep 3, 2009 @ 17:45