Smothered porkchops. Candied yams. Fried chicken. Baked ribs. Cheese meatloaf. Green beans. Corn. Mashed potatoes. Homemade pecan pie, buttermilk pie, chocolate pecan cake.
There's really no need to say more, except that for US$8 per person, you get all you can eat with free drink refills, and attentive service. Ms. Vickie and her staff are excellent hostesses, and they cook the day's meal every morning.
At night, the restaurant converts into a night club, with some blues nights.
Favorite Dish: The cheese meatloaf and all the desserts!
Address: corner of W. 6th Avenue and S. Adams Street
Directions: From Interstate 40, take the Washington Street exit and turn north (left if heading east, right if heading west). Follow Washington, which becomes Adams Street after several blocks. Ms. Vickie's is a white building at the W 6th Street intersection.Add to your Trip Planner
You will see signs for it as you approach on I-40. The food is very good, especially the steak and the very large portion of strawberry shortcake.
Of course, the big claim to fame is the 72 ounce steak that is free if you can eat the whole meal in an hour or less. Here is how it works: you pay the 50$ (as of last visit) in advance and they sit you at a table right in front of the grill. This table is elevated so that everyone can see you. Above you is a very large steer skull with glowing red eyes. You tell them how you want it cooked, and they bring it out. When you take the first bite, a timer is started. Not only do you have to eat this huge piece of steak, you also have to eat the salad, baked potato, shrimp cocktail, and the roll that comes along with it. No one can help you with your task, they cannot even cut the meat for you. Of course, they can cheer you on. Believe it or not, people of all sizes and walks of life have actually succeeded in finishing this feast and getting it for free. I am content to just eat the 16 ounce size and try the shortcake for dessert. Needless to say, this place has an interesting atmosphere and it is fun to watch someone try to eat the big one.
There is also a motel where you can stay here as well as a large gift shop which has some Route 66 memorabia (among other things) for those who are interested.
Favorite Dish: Prime Rib, need I say more?
Address: Just east of town off of I-40
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"Restaurants don't more American that this"
"Why are we going to McDonalds?"
"No, next stop is the Big Texan Steakhouse"
"Yes it will be all leathers, bloody awful country music, 10 gallon hats, ridiculous accents. Being Texas they probably have live criminal execution as well"
"So why are we going ?"
"Because it is the done thing. And they serve a 72oz steack. If you eat it all you get it for free. I could of course manage it, but thinking we will be in the car all day tomorrow, I might well quiche"
"I think that would be A GOOD IDEA"
"Your not going to get on the hall of fame, then?"
"I have no need in life to prove what a pig I can be and join some nearly 5,000 other sad souls"
"You'r just chicken"
"Hey, where's the beef ?"
Favorite Dish: Taken from the bigtexan website, these are rules of the 72oz steak challenge :
"Rule # 1 is to have fun. We really want you to win! The $50 dinner consist of a baked potato, salad, shrimp cocktail, roll, and a 72-ounce top sirloin steak. You must sit at the designated table in our dining room. You may not leave the table for any reason once the contest starts. No one may assist you in any way (such as cutting up your meal). You must complete the dinner in 1 hour (if you can't do the meal in an hour, you ain't going get it done in 2 hours anyway). You may not share your meal even if you don't complete the dinner (like take it back to your table to be shared by any folks you may have invited to cheer you on). If you get sick (its been know to happen) the contest is over, period. You can order the steak cooked anyway you want. We will allow you a sample bite (small) prior to the start of the timer to make sure it is cooked to your satisfaction and the taste meets with your approval. Then we start the timer for one hour. You do not have to eat the fat or gristle (if you can find any), but we must judge this. Again, we want you to win but we do know our meats and will judge accordingly. "
Directions: Used to by on Route 66, but now near the exit to I-44
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What ever else you do...do NOT miss the Big Texan Steak Ranch when visiting Amarillo. It's an institution and should be honoured as such.
Known, the world over, as the home of the 72oz Steak (that's 4 1/2 lbs to you and me) and it's FREE
Naturally, there's a catch involved. You have to eat the Steak AND the trimmings (and there's a lot of trimmings) in an hour. If you don't make it you have to pay $50 for it.
If you don't want to take the challenge (and although I'm a big eater, I know my limits) there is an extensive range of lesser sized steaks & other alternatives.
To drink they offer the usual PLUS :
The Big Boot Beer
(30oz and you keep the plastic Boot) OR
The Big Glass of Cheer (23oz and you keep the glass).
As you enjoy your food, your are treated to old time country music from a trio of strolling singers and they do take requests.
All in all, a rollicking good time.
More details & pictures in the Travelogue
Steak prices range from $15 to $27 but it's very good steak.
So, pricewise, I'd have to say that a good meal will be over $40 (including drinks) but you could easily spend less and still eat well.
Address: 7700 I-40 E, Exit 75, Amarillo, Texas
Directions: Conveniently located on I-40 on the east side of Amarillo
My favorite restaurant is Calico County. This is a 'home-cookin'' type restaurant. They serve wonderful smothered steak, chicken fried steak, and roast beef. The fish is also pretty good. The veggies, especially the squash casserole are very good. Before your meal you are served hot rolls and cinnamon rolls that will almost melt in your mouth. The atmosphere is from very casual to dressy...whatever makes you comfortable.
Favorite Dish: My personal favorite is probably the smothered steak with squash casserole, dinner salad, and several of the cinnamon rolls.
Directions: Calico County is located just south of Interstate 40 on Paramount Street. Very easy to find.Add to your Trip Planner
The Big Texan Steak Ranch is for tourists but some times I like to be a tourist. The food is good and you will definitely get more than enough to eat.
They have a shooting gallery inside. The place is decorated with wild game trophy heads and cowboy stuff.
Favorite Dish: If you go there you have to have a steak.
Directions: If you come in to Amarillo from the Oklahoma City side you won't miss the colorful building or the sign for the Big Texan located at 7701 I - 40 East. Phone: (806) 372-6000 or 800-657-7177
i love Bar-b-que and Cattle Call has some of the best ribs
i've ever tasted. But if you're into Italian, the Olive Garden is quite good and fairly inexpensive
Cattle Call offers a variety of items for sale to take home or give as gifts; such as sauce, seasonings, etc. They have a lot of memoribilla of western lore, photographs, paintings, which adds to the atmosphere.
Favorite Dish: Cattle Call offers a variety of dishes besides the ribs.
but the ribs (6) come with potatoe salad, beans, coleslaw and onion rings. Bring a hearty appetite, i usually have to get a doggie bag to take part of it home.
Directions: The cattle call is located in the West Gate Mall on the westAdd to your Trip Planner
side of Amarillo right off of I-40.
The best time to go is 4pm to 6pm Monday thru Friday because all appetizers (including quesadillas and the two items I listed as my favorites) are half- price! Can't beat that!
Favorite Dish: Anything on the menu is fabulous! But my personal fav is the tortilla soup and the campfire queso
Address: Located on I-40 West and Soncy Road by the mall.Add to your Trip Planner
$9 as of June 2014. You pretty much know what to expect at a Denny's and this one was fairly typical. The food was good and my waiter, Quintin, was very good. Open 24 hours a day.
Favorite Dish: Tilapia Ranchero.
Address: 1710 I-40 East, Amarillo, TX 79104
Directions: I-40 Exit 72
Phone: (806) 376-4087
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Think Amarillo and you think steak. No place sums up Texas, Amarillo and steak better than the Big Texan Steak Ranch & Opry, home of the 72oz steak.