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British Honeymoon Couple, 7 May 2013 Amarillo, TX

We are travelling from Oklahoma to Amarillo for one night on May 7th. We would like recommendations of somewhere good to eat (and drink) and any advice you might offer us.

Are there any local events on that we should consider visiting? We are adventurous diners looking for some local recommendations.

Any help would be much appreciated! Many Thanks Tanya and Tom

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  1. Let me get this straight - you're Brits and for your Honeymoon you're going from Oklahoma to Amarillo? Really? Ibiza too beautiful for you?

    Or perhaps are you doing the Rt 66 thang?

    If you're looking for something upscale and wonderful in Amarillo, I got nuthin'.

    But if you're looking for typical Route 66 Texas kitsch, and something famous, and a photo op, and something to write home about, and an experience you can't replicate elsewhere on this entire planet, you simply cannot beat "The Big Texan."

    In fact, you shouldn't even try.


    2 Replies
    1. re: Jaymes

      Wow, that looks epic, exactly the sort of recommendations we are after! We are indeed doing route 66; starting to get very exciting.

      Thank you.

      1. re: Thebirniewedding

        I've driven through Amarillo many, many times and, in fact, used to live just west of there in New Mexico. The food at The Big Texan is actually pretty good and I've stopped in there with some regularity. Interesting (to me, anyway) is that the first time I had escargot, it was some thirty-five years ago at The Big Texan. I don't think it's on the menu anymore, and that's not the reason you'd go to Texas at any rate, so no big loss. It's just amusing to me that, when they opened, they actually made a stab at "fine dining."

        As you may have noted from the website, their famous "schtick" is that if you can eat the 72-oz steak in one hour, it's free. They have a live webcam on that table.

        You might even be able to work out a deal where you coordinate times with your folks back home (I'm sure there's some sort of time delay for the signal to get to a satellite or something), and go stick your head in front of that camera and wave.

        Assuming you don't want to try to actually eat the steak, that is.

    2. I know nothing of that part of Texas either. However, if you're doing a Route 66 thing, the site to check is Roadfood.com, which specializes in iconic roadside eateries and will have a lot along 66.

      Under Oklahoma, for instance, check out the famous grilled oinion burger and hot dog places in El Reno.

      I see they also have several listings for Amarillo itself.

      My experience has been some of the places they recommend have little going for them but history!, but, hey, if it's a Route 66 thang you're doing, you should check 'em out.

      We're talking diners and cafes, not find dining.


      1 Reply
      1. re: brucesw

        We definitely want to experience some of the Route 66 so will check out the site thank you.

      2. I haven't been to Amarillo in years, but I've seen this place on the Travel Channel, and the chicken fried steak looks the real deal at the Stockyards Café, and the place itself seems to be a local hangout. I know chicken fried steak, living in Houston, and cooking a pretty good one myself. A piece of advice and a bit of conjecture down here, I like the gravy on the side to preserve the crispiness of the meat. It's something I would hit if I were Tanya and Tom. By the way, is it pronounced Tanyer?


        1 Reply
        1. re: James Cristinian

          I just noticed they have a link to the video where they cook the chicken fried steak.

        2. We were in Amarillo for our 31st anniversary last summer, driving through. We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn and ate at a nearby steakhouse, Saltgrass Steakhouse. We had a lovely time. It may not be adventurous, but it was darn good.
          Make sure you visit the Cadillac Ranch.
          There are some (even) more kitchy western places on the eastern edge of town, but we continued west, the hotel and the steak house are on the western edge of Amarillo.
          Here is the steakhouse, (the steak was one of the best we've had, and we are from beef country, Wyoming), and a view looking west from the hotel parking lot, literally on the edge of town. There were some pretty spectacular storms that night, bringing much needed rain.

          3 Replies
          1. re: wyogal

            I just want to put in one more plug for The Big Texan.

            Yes, the Saltgrass can be good, and we go to the one located right by us here in Houston, from time to time.

            But it's a big chain. I suspect the Brit Honeymooners might even drive by several Saltgrass locations on their road trip.

            The Big Texan, on the other hand, is unique to Amarillo. In fact, it's just plain unique.

            I can't stress enough that, in my view anyway, it's not to be missed.

            1. re: Jaymes

              We wanted someplace close, without the traffic of going back across town. And we loved the hotel. Although it's a chain, it served a darned good steak. We didn't see any other Saltgrass while we were on our trip (drove I-40 from NC until Holbrook, AZ. (There is one in OK City, and one in Norman, OK.)

              1. re: wyogal

                Hey, not maligning your choice in any way. We like the Saltgrass steakhouses, too. In fact, we were just at the one located close to us two weeks ago and had a very nice meal.

                It's just that these folks are coming from England and "doing" Route 66 for their honeymoon. So they're looking for that sort of Route 66 unique "Americana."

                And nobody does that better than The Big Texan.

          2. T&T - are you going to be blogging this anywhere?

            I'd love to follow along vicariously with your adventure.

            Having lived in many towns along your route, it was always fun chatting with the folks "doing 66" that came through.

            The annual Norwegian motorcycle group was particular fun.

            1. For the best BBQ in the Texas Panhandle, be sure to visit Tyler's on Paramount street.

              1. And so, the Birnies are wed! http://thebirniewedding.co.uk/Home.html

                I, for one, sure hope they show back up here to "Chowhound" their trip and let us all know where they wind up going and how they like it.

                And, congratulations, Tanya and Tom.

                13 Replies
                1. re: Jaymes

                  I'm sorry I missed this thread originally, you guys were on fire! Ha! Sounds like a great honeymoon. Road trippin! I watched the Daytripper host Chet Garner on that web cam from The Big Texan. He ended up laying under the table for quite a while. I don't think the episode has aired yet. When I think of Amarillo, I still think of the cattle slander case filed against Oprah and tried in Amarillo. It was during that trial that Oprah and Dr. Phil met and a new king of daytime TV was launched.

                  1. re: Jaymes

                    You can see their entire trip report by going back to day 1 of this blog, but since this is the Texas board I'll just link their one day/night in Amarillo here: http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog...

                    1. re: Servorg

                      Hash browns in England must really, really suck.

                      1. re: KrumTx

                        I think they are all about bangers and mash so hash browns are a very rare species to the Brit's...so just take this rave review about IHOP and its hash browns with a grain of Atlantic sea salt.

                        1. re: Servorg

                          Yeah, I will. It's kinda sweet, actually.

                          1. re: KrumTx

                            I only came to this whole post because of watching a repeat of Bill Geist's story on the CBS Sunday morning show about The Texan in Amarillo and it's 72 ounce steak challenge.

                            After Bill's piece was done I decided to see what I could find out about the restaurant here on CH, and from there I came to this thread and was left feeling down because the honeymoon couple didn't come back and let the hounds (who kindly replied to their request for help) and let them know where they ended up.

                            Then I started looking around online and came up with their trip report. And here we are. What a long strange trip its been! lol

                            1. re: Servorg

                              If they loved IHop hashbrowns, they should try Ore-Ida frozen brand. My good buddy Jaymes suggested Big Texan, by the way they have free prime rib on your birthday. I'm still doing the math to see if it's economical to get the freebie factoring in a 1200 mile round trip from Houston. I wish they would come back and 'splain how things went. Love the "scenery in Texas" bit, they drove across the freakin' Panhandle, but missed the rest of Texas. Scenery, please.

                              1. re: James Cristinian

                                If you look the link I supplied above they do describe their night at the Big Texan.

                                1. re: Servorg

                                  Yes I read it, I guess I was looking for how the steak was, other than a twenty ouncer. Details, I need details.

                                2. re: James Cristinian

                                  I was surprised to read in their blog that The Big Texan will send a limo for you.

                                  Although, James, perhaps Houston might be a bit far....

                                  As for Mr. & Mrs. Birnie, perhaps when they get time, they'll return to Chowhound with a few parting words for us.

                                  Could be a while, though. Since they got back to the UK, it seems they've been pretty busy:


                                  (Speaking of the UK, on the blog, they had quite a laugh about one of the waitresses in Chicago [I believe it was] asking if "the UK" was in Russia. I think that waitress must have thought they said they were from "the Ukraine." I mean surely the Chicago schools aren't so bad that folks think the UK is in Russia. Although you never know!)

                                  1. re: Jaymes

                                    Maybe the Atlanta schools are worse. During the Olympics someone from New Mexico called for tickets and was informed one must live in the USA to qualify for tickets, AND the supervisor confirmed it.