FIrstly, I’m sorry for putting that song in your head. Although I only spent 48 hours in this state, I can assure you that I had the same problem the whole time I was there. Ear worms aside, I got to spend some time at the infamous Big Texan Steak Ranch, possibly one of Amarillo’s more ear friendly and less annoying exports.
Amarillo is on Route 66, and this hotel and restaurant combo is just off the freeway.
It shot to fame during the debut episode of Man V Food, in which Adam attempts their 72oz steak challenge.
I can assure you that stage is real and wasn’t set up for the tv show.
Whilst the focus in the episode is on food, they don’t really show you the attention to detail across the resort.
I’d recommend staying in one of their themed rooms, which from the front looks like a high street from a technicolour Clint Eastwood film. Inside the room Saloon Doors great you instead of a bathroom door (i hope you’re close to your travel companion!), and cow hides adorn the walls. Usual USA motel mod cons apply too, so wifi, fridge and HBO accompany.
Though as with all roadside motels, bring your own toiletries, this is not a posh hotel!
Sadly, the Texas shaped swimming pool was closed (only open May – September).
Arriving here in March we experienced what is known as ‘classic pan handle’ weather. In the space of a few hours, we experienced a snow storm upon arrival, brilliant sunshine (and our hottest yet on our trip), followed by a horrendous dust storm which closed the freeway (talk about timing). I also saw LOADS of tumbleweeds, and they look exactly as they do in the films.
The weather was bizarre and brilliant, but we were glad we were able to hop from hotel room to restaurant for dinner within a few seconds.
That restaurant is everything you would expect and unashamadly Texan. We weren’t crazy enough to attempt it (originially we were gonna order it between us, until we realised it was ‘per person’ and you had to sit on that stage. Instead I opted for a modest 24oz steak with a couple of sides, and my travel partner went for the posh fillet.
We were dining for over an hour, and lucky to not just suck in the atmosphere of the place but also able to witness a guy attempting the challenge!
We actually spent two nights in Amarillo, TX, but spent our second night in a Best Western, which was a welcome respite (as there really is only so much steak!).
A brilliant place to eat and stay, and I would urge you to stay if you’re on Route 66 and you definitely won’t forget it in a hurry! The staff are all really friendly, and the whole place is oddly charming.
Now I really want steak for dinner (again).