May 302012

We left the Valley View RV Park in Fort Sumner and drove about 60 miles east on U.S Highway 60, much of it a rather narrow two lane road that ranged from decent to rough, with the rough patches outnumbering the decent by a factor of about four to one.

Clovis, New Mexico is home to Cannon Air Force Base, and I’m sure that when most of the people assigned there leave, they never have a reason or desire to go back. Clovis was just another sad town with a general air of depression about it.

We crossed into Texas and both Terry and I remarked that within a couple of miles, things just seemed nicer. The houses and businesses were better looking and more cared for. The road even improved for a while, then it got rough again.

Eventually we made it to Amarillo, and pulled into the Amarillo Ranch RV Park, a nice place right off Interstate 40. We got a friendly welcome and a nice pull through 50 amp site. As we were leaving the office, a couple said hello to us, and as it turns out, they were students when we were teaching at Life on Wheels. We had covered 168 miles, and when I crunched the numbers we got just under eight miles per gallon.

It was 95 degrees, and I had not felt well all day, so once we had everything hooked up, I checked my e-mail, and then took a 45 minute nap. When Terry woke me up, I was feeling better and ready to cross something off my bucket list – having a steak at the Big Texan Steak Ranch.


If you’re not familiar with this roadside icon, the Big Texan is a famous steakhouse that has been serving travelers and locals alike since 1960. The restaurant is famous for their 72 ounce steak, which is free if you can eat it and all of the trimmings; a baked potato, salad, dinner roll and shrimp cocktail. That’s a lot of steak! A lot of people have taken the challenge over the years and succeeded, the record being just over nine minutes! And in 1966 Bill Soloweyko, a professional wrestler who went by the name Klondike Bill, actually ate two of the behemoth steaks in the allotted one hour!

The restaurant has free limo service that picked us up at the campground. And what’s a Texas limo without steer horns on the hood, right?


The parking lot was busy, including a Rolls Royce from the Gumball 3000 coast to coast road rally. There is also free RV parking in the rear of the complex, and we’ve known several RVers who have boondocked there overnight. And who can blame them? When you eat that much steak, who has the energy to move very far?



The restaurant is decorated with stuffed animals and a western theme, and has a gift shop, micro brewery, and of course, steaks. Lots and lots of steaks! And don’t worry, you don’t have to take the 72 ounce challenge, they have a good selection of smaller cuts as well as other options if you’re not into beef.


There was no way I was going to attempt the monster 72 ounce steak, so I opted for the 18 ounce rib eye, which was delicious, but more than I could finish. Terry had an 8 ounce filet that she couldn’t finish either. Both were very good, but to be honest, I really don’t think our meal was any better than what we could get at Texas Roadhouse, for less money.



But unlike Texas Roadhouse, where the music is always so loud that it’s hard to have a conversation, at the Big Texan they had a trio of cowboy singers who came to the tables to play requests. And Texas Roadhouse doesn’t give you limo service to and from home! 🙂


Today we’ll explore a couple of local attractions, and no, we’re not going back to the Big Texan for dinner again. At least, not this trip.

Thought For The Day – Just because you can doesn’t mean you should!

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Nick Russell

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  4 Responses to “A Steak As Big As Texas”

  1. Your thought for the day was very appropriate given the opportunity to succumb to their promo and choosing your own challenge, especially if you weren’t feeling well.

  2. Having eaten there several times, I can agree on both the meal and that the atmosphere is what you really go for. The history of the establishment is varied and interesting – as this is not the original location. While you are there, the Quarter Horse Museum is very interesting. For a great burger the Coyote Bluff Cafe (don’t judge it by the exterior) or the Stockyard Cafe will fix you right up. Of course for a great view, go to the Amarillo Club, (a private dinner club, but they generally always allow tourists in to see the sites) on top of the Amarillo National Bank Building on SW 6th and S Tyler. Once billed as the tallest building between Dallas and Denver. A large portion of Route 66 goes through Amarillo also and is an interesting step back in time.
    Michael – about 110 miles south in Lubbock

  3. While in Amarillo, you owe to yourself to try the chicken fried steak at the Stockyard Cafe – truly the best ever! Google it and you’ll see

  4. Thanks for the information on this steak house. Our area here just got a Texas Roadhouse and our friends are to take us there soon…oh I hope it is not too loud!! I HATE that kind of thing…maybe they do it, so you won’t be comfortable enough to stay long!! But I hear the food is well worth going so that is something to look forward to at least.

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