Travel 393 miles today
The Blue Whale has become one of the most recognizable attractions on old Route 66 in Oklahoma. Hugh Davis built it in the early 1970s as an anniversary gift to his wife Zelta. The Blue Whale and its pond became a favorite stop and swimming hole for both locals and travelers alike. Hugh was an entrepreneur in the grand old tradition of those roadside attraction proprietors of old. Over the years his park became a destination in itself.
In the spring of 1898 William Harrison Odor, members of his family and his neighbors starting building a unique structure in the green countryside of Oklahoma. Little did they know at the time that the barn they were building would become a landmark on one of the most celebrated highways in America. This was the beginning of what would become know as Arcadia’s Round Barn. The circular form of the barn presented special problems, Odor figured that each rafter would have to be green lumber and soaked in water. The rafter was then shaped in a special jig to form the exact curve of the roof. Odor’s critics said the barn couldn’t be built, but he persevered to create the architectural wonder seen today. When the barn was new the lower level was used to shelter cattle, mules and hay. The upper level or loft was used for barn dances and other social gatherings.
Stop at Pops on Route 66 for gas and drink!!
Location: Arcadia, Oklahoma
Nostalgic for the road trips he used to take with his father, Aubrey K. McClendon, CEO of the natural-gas giant Chesapeake Energy Corp., planted Pops on some land he owns along Route 66 in 2007, naming it in honor of his dad and the fizzy beverages he remembers from those days. Conscious that “you have to have a clever gimmick to make it on Route 66,” McClendon hired
Oklahoma City Memorial
Monday through Saturday9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.Sunday12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Senior (62+) $8
Big Texan for Supper:
FREE 72oz. STEAK DINNER
Our World-Famous FREE 72oz. STEAK DINNER (if
eaten in 1 hour) is
only for the very hungry.
Many have tried. Many have failed.
How the FREE 72oz STEAK DINNER legend was BORN...
The FREE 72-oz. steak came to life not long after Bob Lee opened the doors to the Big Texan Steak Ranch. In those days, cowboys still worked the area ranches and came into town on their days off to get a good meal and have some fun. Both of those needs could be fulfilled at the Big Texan. One day a cowboy came through the front door bragging that he was so hungry he could “eat the whole, darned cow.”
|R.J. "Bob" Lee Founder|
Bob grinned as he put the first one-pound steak on the grill and the contest was on. When the cowboy finally yelled, “calf-rope” he had consumed 4½ pounds of tasty Texas beef. Bob vowed from that day forward the dinner would be served “free” to anyone who could complete it in one hour.
Since then, 10's of thousands people from around the world have traveled to Amarillo and attempted to eat the specially cut 72-oz. top sirloin steak, a baked potato, salad, dinner roll and shrimp cocktail. Some have succeeded in completing the feat and joining the ranks of BigTexan champions. Many have failed.
72oz. STEAK FACTS & STATS
Klondike Bill, a professional wrestler, consumed two of the dinners in the one hour time limit back in the 1960s.
Richard LeFavre, from Nevada, ate two of the steaks on the Donny and Marie Show in the 1990s.
The oldest person to eat the steak was a 69 year-old
The youngest person to eat the steak was an 11 year-old boy.
Carlene and Richard Lefevre, a couple from Henderson, NV, have eaten the steak dinner at least 10 times since their first attempt 1995. Both of them usually complete the meal in less than 30 minutes.
Frank Pastore, who was a professional pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, ate the complete steak dinner in 9 and 1/2 minutes (May 3, 1987). Pastore actually has eaten the steak dinner seven times. On his first effort, in February 1976, he finished the steak in 21 minutes. He held that record for 21 years.
The record was broken by Joey Chestnut on March 24, 2008. He ate the entire meal in 8 minutes and 52 seconds.
It was an ordinary spring evening, March 24, 2008. The sky was overcast and the wind was blowing gusts of 20 miles per hour. Just another day in the Panhandle.
Joey Chestnut pulled up in the parking lot of The Big Texan on his new motorcycle.
Inside, he announced, “I’m here to try the big steak!” Sean Hamm
from Drexel Hill, PA, gives his account. “My brother and I were on our way to
California. We decided to have dinner at The Big Texan. I heard this guy say he
was going to try to eat the big steak. When I saw the steak meal I thought,
‘This guy is not going to be able to finish this!’” “Then, it wasn’t long until
the staff starting realizing this was something different. A lot of the
customers stood up and crowded around the table, so it was difficult to see.
After about four minutes, I realized that this was something to witness! I stood
up on a chair.”
“At about seven minutes, that guy finished the steak and started in on the salad, shrimp, potato and roll. It was pure pandemonium. He was grabbing the potato and salad with his hands. Then, he was done. All that food in 8:52 minutes! I’ve never seen anything like it! Everyone in the restaurant was on their feet applauding. My friends and I came for a good meal and got to witness history!”
Joey “Jaws” Chestnut is currently ranked number One by the International Federation of Competitive Eating. He holds gobs of records, is just 24 years old and is simply the best competitive eater in the world, who will likely go on to break every record there is.
The unofficial record for the fastest time belongs to a 500-pound Bengal Tiger owned by Benjamin Heiple of Florida. His meal was limited to the steak only and he dined in the front of the building. The technique was the simplest we've ever seen: sniff, lick, gulp! It took him less than 90 seconds.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not brought six pre-qualified contestants from across the United States. Only one of them finished, yet a 120 pound lady reporter from The Wall Street Journal earned her T-shirt, certificate and no leftovers.
As the famous steak's reputation grew, so did the price. The meal was originally priced at $9.95. By the mid 1990s the price had climbed to $39.50. The popularity of the Texas beef drove the price of the meal to $50.00 just before the millennium. Last year higher market prices for cattle pushed the price to $72.00. If you come in to test your gastronomic skills, don't be offended if they ask for a payment on the meal before you begin eating. It's been our experience that – win or lose – everybody who tackles the FREE 72-oz. Steak dinner has trouble reaching in their hip pocket for a wallet after they push back from the table. We happily refund the money to the winners. We also give them a T-shirt, a souvenir boot mug and a certificate. They can add their comments to the winners on the "Wall of Fame" next to the lobby display, and then we'll add their photo to the gallery of recent winners. Their names go into the permanent list of Champions.
FREE 72OZ STEAK DINNER RULES
Meal consists of: Shrimp Cocktail, Baked Potato, Salad, with Roll, Butter, and of course the 72 oz. Steak