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The Big Texan Steak Ranch

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Big Texan Steak Ranch (72 oz steaks!)

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The Dream: Eat A Whole Cow

R.J. “Bob” Lee opened the Big Texan in 1960. It stood along Route 66 near the Amarillo stockyards. One day in 1962 a cowboy came in so hungry that he said he could “eat a whole cow.” Bob decided to see if that was true. The cowboy quit after 72 ounces of meat, but Bob was still impressed and announced that anyone who could match it would get their meal for free.

The Big Texan moved in 1970 to a spot along Interstate 40 . With exposure to farther-flung diners, unfamiliar with cowboy lore, the “Free 72 Ounce Steak” challenge adopted the rules that it still follows today .

The Big Texan Steak Ranch

The Big Texan Steak Ranch
Front view of the Big Texan Steak Ranch
Restaurant information
1960 62 years ago
Food type
7701 Interstate 40 Access Rd

The Big Texan Steak Ranch is a steakhouserestaurant and motel located in Amarillo, Texas, United States, which opened on the previous U.S. Route 66 in the 4500 block of East Amarillo Boulevard in 1960. It relocated to its present location on Interstate 40 in 1970. Fire gutted the west wing of the restaurant in 1976 and destroyed $100,000 in antiques. The restaurant reopened as a larger facility in 1977. The building is painted a bright yellow, with blue trim. A large bull statue advertises their “free” 72 oz. steak . The now-closed Texas Tornado Museum resided off in a far corner of the parking lot on the property.

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A Steak House Like No Other

The Big Texan feeds almost half a million people each year from all over the world. It has been featured in countless TV shows, movies, magazines, and newspapers throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. Countless movies and sit-coms have featured or parodied the World Famous FREE 72-oz. steak dinner .

Big Texan Steak Ranch

Big Texan Steak house  Kathleen Maca

The Big Texan feeds almost half a million people each year from all over the world. It has been featured in countless TV shows, movies, magazines, and newspapers throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. Countless movies and sit-coms have featured or parodied the World Famous FREE 72-oz. steak dinner .

The Big Texan Steak Ranch has received many honors such as being named to MAXIM Magazines list of Top 10 Steak Houses in America! Our steaks are carefully aged for maximum flavor, and the aroma from the grill will have your mouth watering as soon as you enter our huge dining room.

A Texas Legend Begins:R. J. Bob Lee, a Midwesterner, whose family roots went back to the four-star Savoy Grill in Kansas City, grew up on stories and movies about cowboys, Indians, horses and Texas cattle ranches. The Texas mystique drew him like a lodestone. When he made his way to the Texas Panhandle and to Amarillo with his wife Mary Ann and their growing family, it didnt take long for him to embrace the Lone Star State and to claim its persona as his own. His only disappointment was that he couldnt find a first-class Texas-style steakhouse in an area of the country best known for cowboys and cattle.

In true Texas spirit, Bob decided to create a place that would satisfy the worlds hunger for good steaks and the ambiance of the Old West. He had no idea in those early days that he was destined to become a part of the Texas legends and lore that he loved.

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Medical Centers And Hospitals

Amarillo is home to medical facilities including Baptist St. Anthony’s and Northwest Texas Hospitals, the Don & Sybil Harrington Cancer Center, Bivins Memorial Nursing Home, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Texas Tech School of Pharmacy, and Texas Panhandle Mental Health and Mental Retardation. All are located in the Harrington Regional Medical Center, the first specifically designated city hospital district in Texas.

Baptist St. Anthony’s, known locally as BSA, had some of its services listed on the ‘s “Top 50 Hospitals” from 2002 to 2005. BSA was a result of a merger between the Texas Panhandle’s first hospital, St Anthony’s, with High Plains Baptist Hospital in 1996. The BSA Hospice & Life Enrichment Center provides important services to the Amarillo area. The BSA facility, opened in 1985, was the first free-standing hospice west of the that was built and opened without debt.

Northwest Texas Hospital is home to the area’s only Level III designated trauma center.

Civil War To Late 19th Century

Texas was at war again after the . At this time, blacks comprised 30 percent of the state’s population, and they were overwhelmingly enslaved. When was elected, South Carolina seceded from the Union. Five other quickly followed. A state convention considering secession opened in Austin on January 28, 1861. On February 1, by a vote of 1668, the convention adopted an from the United States. Texas voters approved this Ordinance on February 23, 1861. Texas joined the newly created Confederate States of America on March 4, 1861 ratifying the permanent on March 23.

Not all Texans favored secession initially, although many of the same would later support the Southern cause. Texas’s most notable was the state Governor, . Not wanting to aggravate the situation, Houston refused two offers from President Lincoln for Union troops to keep him in office. After refusing to swear an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy, Houston was deposed as governor. Around 2,000 Texans served in the , with a large contingent of recent immigrants in being a Unionist stronghold.

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Big Texan In Amarillo Marks Its 10000th 72

The Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo earlier this month celebrated its 10,000th contestant attempting to consume its famous 72-ounce steak dinner.

The 10,000th dinner was eaten on Sept. 1 by John Lamons, who accomplished the feat just seconds short of the 60-minute deadline to get it for free. The challenge requires one to eat the 72-ounce steak, salad, roll, shrimp cocktail and baked potato in an hour. If one doesnt finish it in that time frame, it costs $72. More the challenges rules may be found here.

Not only does each contest attempt the feat in the middle of the Big Texans huge dining room, but its streamed live on the restaurants YouTube channel. A little over 10% of contestants successfully finish the meal in an hour.

According to the Amarillo Globe-News, R.J. Lee began the restaurants 72-ounce dinner challenge began in November 1960, not long after the establishment opened on Route 66.

Bobby Lee, who is the late R.J.s son, said the restaurant adopted a western theme partly because of its clientele:

The Big Texans record-holder is Nebraskas Molly Schuyler, a 128-pound housewife who wolfed down three of the 72-ounce steak meals in 20 minutes. Her first dinner during that sitting was consumed in 4 minutes, 18 seconds, which also is a record.

Lee told the newspaper that Schuyler wanted to eat a fourth dinner, but he refused her request.

Lee also said a Bengal tiger on a leash once consumed the steak in about 90 seconds.

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The Big Texan Steak Ranch

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Museums And Art Collections

The is an international organization dedicated to the preservation, improvement and record-keeping of the breed. The organization is headquartered in Amarillo and has a museum. There is also an exhibited in the museum. In addition, the AQHA and Center City of Amarillo co-sponsors the project, “Hoof Prints of the American Quarter Horse” which consist of horse statues located in front of several Amarillo businesses, such as the downtown Amarillo National building, Nationwide Insurance, and Edward Jones. An area business would purchase a horse statue and a local artist paints on it.

Two of the Amarillo area’s higher education institutions have at least one museum in their campuses. The Amarillo Art Center , opened in 1972, is a building complex with the and concert hall located on the Washington Street Campus of Amarillo College. Located on the campus of West Texas A& M University, the claims to be the largest historical museum in Texas.

, located in the city’s hospital district, is an interactive science center and space theater with over 60 hands-on exhibits. Outside of the building is a steel structure called the Helium Monument which has time capsules and designates Amarillo the “Helium Capital of the World.” Near the proximity of the Discovery Center, the Amarillo Botanical Gardens has gardens, indoor exhibits, and a library for visitation throughout the year.

County State And Federal Representation

As the seat of Potter County, the city is the location of the county’s trial, civil, and criminal courts. The Randall County Amarillo Annex building is located within the city limits and houses its Sheriff’s Office and Justice of the Peace Court, Precinct 4.

The operates the Amarillo District Parole Office in the city. It also operates the and in , east of Amarillo.

The operates the Amarillo Main Post Office. Other post offices in the city include Downtown Amarillo, Jordan, Lone Star, North Amarillo, and San Jacinto.

In the , Amarillo is located in , and is represented by Representative . In the , the city is in the 31st District in the Texas Senate, represented by , a former Amarillo mayor. It is in the 87th District in the Texas House of Representatives, having been represented by Republican since 1991. Swinford retired in January 2011 and was succeeded by fellow Republican , who is the current representative. That part of Amarillo within Randall County is represented by Swinford’s Republican colleague, , who has served in the 86th District since 1985.

, a 1930s in Amarillo, served in the Texas Senate from 1941 to 1971. He authored the first state school loan programs for returning World War II veterans and college students. He is the father of the program in Texas.

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Young Man We Fed Your Grandfather

Since opening on Route 66, the Big Texan has remained owned and operated by the Lee family. After his death, founder R.J. Lee passed the business down to his two sons, Bobby & Danny Lee. Taking what they learned from their father, the pair ran and grew the family business into the iconic restaurant that it is today. The pair also have two sons each who also run and grow the business this very day.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Big Texan Steak Ranch

Photos for The Big Texan Steak Ranch

Does The Big Texan Steak Ranch take reservations?

Yes, you can make a reservation by picking a date, time, and party size.

Is The Big Texan Steak Ranch currently offering delivery or takeout?

Yes, The Big Texan Steak Ranch offers both delivery and takeout.

What forms of payment are accepted?

The Big Texan Steak Ranch accepts credit cards.

How is The Big Texan Steak Ranch rated?

The Big Texan Steak Ranch has 3.5 stars.

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Famous For Great Steak

The Big Texan Steak Ranch has received many honors such as being named to MAXIM Magazines list of Top 10 Steak Houses in America! Our steaks are carefully aged for maximum flavor, and the aroma from the grill will have your mouth watering as soon as you enter our huge dining room.featured or parodied the World Famous FREE 72-oz. steak dinner .

Big Time Country Concerts

Since 1960, The Big Texan Steak Ranch has been serving up Texas culture to millions of guests from all over the world. Were known as a world famous Route 66 Landmark and home of the legendary 72oz Steak Challenge. Now, were excited to take entertainment and family fun to a whole new level with The Big Texan Starlight Ranch.

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The Big Texan Steak Ranch Amarillo

The Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo, Texas, comprises of a Western-inspired motel and steakhouse restaurant, and is a must-stop along Route 66. The motel itself is designed to look like a main street in a Wild West town, complete with shuttered windows and an actual area for the horses! However: you don’t visit The Big Texan to spend a lot of time in the rooms…

Which brings us nicely onto the restaurant. Where else can you get a free 72oz steak? There is, of course, a catch: it’s only free if you can eat it within an hour! Don’t forget to finish the shrimp Cocktail, baked potato, salad, and bread roll too – that’s all part of the deal!

This pretty much sums up the entire attitude of the Ranch – big, extravagant and over the top! I stayed here on a Friday night and the place was buzzing with excitement: there were games and exhibits while you waited for your table, live music while you ate, and of course the occasional announcement that someone with eyes bigger than their belly was going to attempt the 72oz challenge.

The Big Texan opened in 1960 before relocating to it’s current position on I40 in 1970. The style is typically “Texan” with white stretch limos featuring huge longhorn hood ornaments parked outside, massive portions and even a shooting range!

It’s a great family-friendly venue, and a top night out for all.

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