The Big Texan Motel, Amarillo
To discuss the Big Texan Motel without mentioning the adjoining restaurant would be to miss the big picture - the two go hand in hand as an all-round experience known as The Big Texan Steak Ranch. The motel itself is designed to look like a main street in a Wild West town, complete with shuttered windows and an actual area for the horses! The rooms are not huge but are clean and comfortable.
However: you don't visit The Big Texan to spend a lot of time in the rooms. Which brings us nicely onto the restaurant... where else can you get a free 72oz steak?
There is, of course, a catch: it's only free if you can eat it within an hour! This pretty much sums up the entire attitude of the Ranch - big, extravagant and over the top! From the brightly painted exterior to the boot-shaped beer glasses, the Big Texan revels in it's Texan heritage whilst embracing a tongue-in-cheek playfulness that certainly pleases the tourists!
I stayed here on a Friday night and the place was buzzing with excitement: there were games and exhibits while you waited for your table, live music while you ate, and of course the occasional announcement that someone with eyes bigger than their belly was going to attempt the 72oz challenge.
The food was great including the "mountain oysters", a dish not often served outside of the American West - look it up! Unless you're expecting an intimate, low-key evening, a night at the Big Texan is a must for all Route 66 road trips.