Time for Lunch!
This is how the bright, yellow building looked when we pulled up on a Tuesday, in early June. I didn't have to fight any tourists to pose with "Big Moo"!
If we'd arrived on opening day 47 years ago, we would have parked in the unpaved lot. The flags in this old photo make me think there was probably lots of dust whipping around that lot.
Luckily, Don and I were both on the same page about this lunch stop. We were more than ready to take in the fun of this iconic place. This kind of dining adventure doesn't go over, if one is being dragged along.
Don is not usually one to put his face in the hole, for a photo. But we were open for a silly good time and he was happy to pose with his face above the cartoonish steak.
Game for a 72-Ounce Steak?
As soon as we stepped into the carnival style interior, we learned about the 4.5 pound steak challenge. Don and I were up for a good time, but neither of us had any desire to break records. Evidently the 1st place record went to a diner who ate the steak in 4 minutes. Yuck.
Festive, but Quiet
If it had been July or a weekend, I'm sure the place would have been swarming. I was pretty content, not dealing with crowds. If there had been more people, I might have missed some of the details... like those dandy saddles, lined up along the shooting gallery.
Off to the Dining Room
Don and I headed past the fudge counter and the stuffed grizzly, to get to the dining hall. Gals in cowboy hats and bolo ties, greeted us with Texas twangs. We were lead into the rustic, 2-story dining hall.
Cowboy Hats and Critters
The western-style dining room had lots to look at. I loved the rock-covered wall by the entrance. I wanted to climb that wall and check on the bears and moose, up there.
The staff was easily spotted in their cowboy attire. The tables were only about half full, so we got speedy service.
Fur Covered Tables
Don and I were seated at the end of a long community table, covered in cowhide. Well, it looked that way. It was really a plastic table cloth.
Don ordered the "Whoop Your Donkey" Double IPA, "triple dry, hopped with a malty backbone." Since the beer was actually brewed at Big Texan, I should have suggested they change the name. I happen to adore donkeys.
I can't remember what's behind that Mona Lisa smile.
Maybe Don took a picture when I was listening to David Waddle, the strolling cowboy singer.
Musician and More
We had a nice chat with David when he came to our table. Don requested a song by Bob Wills, since we had just traveled through Turkey, Texas... "Home of Bob Wills".
David was happy to. He'd just been to the Bob Wills Festival in Turkey. He'd played many roles at the festival... Pit Master, Musician and Dancer. We didn't get to see him dance or cook. He did a nice job singing, though.
Love Them Dishes!
Don and I don't do huge feasting when on the road. You don't want your driver (or navigator) sleepy.
Don just had a side of chili and a pulled pork sandwich. The plate was the exciting part to me. I would have bought one of those hefty china dishes, if I could have afforded it. They were $32. in the gift shop.
I had the 5-dollar potato, served in a sturdy little pan. That was a pretty lame choice for dining in a steakhouse, but that's pretty much all I wanted. It was tasty.
Before hitting the road, we wandered up to the second level to get a view of the tables.
It was a good place for people watching. I was a little jealous of the kiddos I spotted. It looked like they were given little cowboy hats with their kiddie meals. Or did they all just have parents who said "okay" in the gift shop?
When I said good-bye to Big Moo, I was reminded of my mom and how much she would have loved this dining adventure.
Mom's nickname with her own 4 kids, was Moo. She also was a big fan of curious cafes and roadside diners. Moo would have loved this place.
If only Moo had been with us, she would have been the one posing with Big Moo!
I love an oddball dining adventure, but I also love my curious motel/hotel adventures. I had no idea Big Texan had it's own motel options! This motel had a super corny western facade that I pretty much loved. And of course the Big Cowboy was towering above! Maybe on another road trip, we'll stop for the night AND devour a little steak!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.