Arriving back in Amarillo, the weather was a bit crazy – heavily overcast for a few minutes and then clear skies for a while and back to overcast. It certainly added truth to the old statement, “If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes.” After a bit of extra driving, we found a Chick-fil-a for Youngest-daughter to get her fix. In her opinion, it was one of the best meals we had on the whole trip!
Of course, we couldn’t go through Amarillo without stopping to see the Big Texan Steak Ranch restaurant, home of the free 72-oz steak dinner – free that is if you can eat it all within 1 hour! Back when the Big Texan was first opened by Bob Lee, cowboys still worked the area ranches and came into town for good food and fun. One day, one of those cowboys came through the door saying he was so hungry he could eat the whole darned cow. Bob cooked up a 1-pound slab of meat and the cowboy finished it off saying that was just a start. Bob kept bringing out steaks until the cowboy finally called “uncle.” When all was said and done, he had eaten 4 1/2 pounds of meat plus a baked potato, a salad, a dinner roll and a shrimp cocktail. From that day on, Bob declared that if anyone could eat the same amount of grub in 1 hour, the meal would be free. Since then, thousands of people from all around the world have tried and most have failed. A few though, have made history.
|The Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo, Texas|
|Really big bull outside the |
Big Texan Steak Ranch.
The oldest person to eat the whole meal within the 1-hour limit was a 69-year old grandmother. The youngest was an 11-year old boy. Klondike Bill, a very large, famous professional wrestler ate 2 meals in one hour! Frank Pastore, a professional pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, ate the dinner in 9 and 1/2 minutes on May 3, 1987. His record fastest time lasted for almost 21 years until Joey Chestnut, a competitive eating world champion arrived to try his luck the evening of March 24, 2008. He finished the entire meal in a mere 8 minutes and 52 seconds, a record which still stands.
One time, Ripley’s Believe It or Not brought in 6 pre-qualified competitive eaters. Only 1 finished within the time limit, but a 120-pound female reporter from the Wall Street Journal who was along covering the event managed to successfully complete the challenge. The unofficial fastest time was by a Bengal tiger in a cage in front of the restaurant. His meal was limited to the steak only and his technique was simple – sniff, lick, gulp! He finished in less than 90 seconds!
|Really big boot outside the Big Texan Steak |
Ranch. It's true - everything is bigger in Texas!
If you want to try, you should know the price of the meal is now $72.00 and you have to pay before you are served. If you are successful, they will refund your money plus give you a t-shirt, a souvenir mug and a certificate and your name goes on the wall of fame in the lobby. If you fail, you waddle away after a good meal, but lighter in your wallet.