Sunday, May 14, 2017

Good Eats: Big Texan Steak Ranch

I've heard about the Big Texan Steak Ranch for years. I've passed by it a number of times. It has been featured on numerous food and travel shows. But I had never eaten there until this trip. So when Donna and I got to Amarillo yesterday, we moseyed on over to the ranch for a hunk of meat.

The Big Texan is famous for its 72 ounce steak challenge. The rules are clearly stated on the web site. For the record, it you lose, you have to pay for the steak (technically, you pay up front and are refunded if you win). At this writing, the price of the meal is $72.

Well, there is no way that I could eat a steak that large, even with Donna's help. So we found some other steaks on the menu that looked good to us.

Both of us ordered rib eyes, one of our favorite cuts. The steak came with a roll and 2 sides. The steak had a good flavor. I normally prefer to eat my steaks without sauce. I just like the flavor from a bit of basic seasoning and the grill. The Big Texan appears to only offer its own house version of a sauce, tasting somewhat like A-1. I didn't care for it, so I ate my steak without sauce, and I enjoyed it. It was a bit thinner than I expected, but it was cooked to my liking. The baked potato was good, and the  toppings for it were generous. I had a Caesar salad with my steak, and I was disappointed with it to some degree. The lettuce was very limp; it was as if there is a big batch of salad prepared ahead of time, with the dressing added. But the taste was good.

A steak challenge was starting as we arrived. Two gentlemen were on the stage, ready to destroy their 72 ounce steaks and all the sides. Well, they didn't make it. I would guess this is the normal outcome.

What many people don't realize is that the Big Texan is also a brewery. At the time we visited, the brewery offered 11 beers. Besides the meal and the brews, the Big Texan is just an interesting place to visit. Below are some pictures that show its unique nature.

Entrance to the Big Texan Steak Ranch
The Big Ranch is next to I-40
These 2 fellows were just starting the steak challenge when we were seated.
The grill. The steak challenge stage is just to the right.
Although the lighting is bad, this pic shows the dining area, which is family style for the most part. We were sitting at a small table upstairs.
A strolling cowboy troubadour entertained diners. Every song I heard included some reference to Texas. It is the Big Texan Steak Ranch, after all.

Some of the interior d├ęcor.
Near the back of the Big Texan, there is a wall of photos. As you walk by, the photos change appearance. This picture, for example, shows a nice lady. But as you walk past her, she changes to . . . .

. . . this scary image.

So, would I go back? Yeah, if I happened to be passing by. But I wouldn't drive across town to eat here. The food is good. But this is first and foremost a tourist stop, and everything about the place points to that, from the items inside and out, the steak challenge, the wait staff dressed out in cowboy garb, and so on. The food is good grub, but there are other steak places Donna and I prefer.

But if we are passing by on I-40 and want a steak, we'll certainly consider making a stop.

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