Everything Big at the Big Texan
If you live in Texas, you’ve heard of the Big Texan, a ballroom sized, balconied testament to all things Texas, where the heads of deer, elk, and other hunted forest creatures stare at you as you sit at long dining tables consuming what might be the best steak you’ve ever eaten.
This is the place that offers the free 72 oz. steak—that’s 4 ½ pound of meat—to anyone that can eat it (along with a baked potato, shrimp, salad, and roll) in under 60 minutes. Think of a five pound barbell, or a small baby, or a bag of sugar in your belly. Contestants have to sit under a glowing bull skull on a raised platform at the front of the auditorium, a red timing clock ticking down over their heads, and, so I hear, are charged for any portion they are unable to finish. The talk of the restaurant was Molly Schuyler’s April 19 visit, when she devoured three 72 oz. steaks and accompaniments in under twenty minutes. Unfortunately for us, no one took the challenge on our evening, despite the fact that the ample space was packed with patrons.
The Big Texan opened in 1960 by R.J. “Bob” Lee along historic route 66. The menu is simple: they offer ribeyes, sirloins, Texas strips, and prime rib in various sizes. For beer aficionados, the beer in brewed on site at the Big Texan Brewery. “Whoop your Donkey” and “Whiskey Barrel Stout” are just two of the eleven beers offered.
We were serenaded by a trio of excellent musicians on guitar, violin, and bass, who happily performed Johnny Cash’s “Burning Ring of Fire.”
The Big Texan is a fun place for kids too, who can go home with boot cups and cowboy hats.
If you visit, plan to wait a bit for your table, or call them and they’ll pick you up in a limousine. You can check out their menu and other interesting things at bigtexan.com.