I am a native Texan and I have talked to many many people along the way who say “I have been to Texas before.” When this happens I respond with “Oh good! Where did you go?” Occasionally I will hear a story about a 4H trip to Dallas or an Americorps job in Beaumont, but the majority of the time I hear “I drove through Amarillo on my way to…” In case you don’t know Amarillo is in the Panhandle, a portion of Texas that juts out into the great plains and is the best place to stop for gas on I-40 between Oklahoma City and Albuquerque. In other words, if you slip up and indicate to a Texan that your big fill-up in Amarillo earned you of Loan Star cred then you need to do some damage control. This is where the Big Texan might save you. If the sentence concludes: ” I drove through Amarillo on my way to California and stopped at the Big Texan” you might escape one of my more ocular-nerve defying eye rolls.
Big Texan is Texas kitsch that everyone can love. The exterior and adjacent motel are fixed up to look like the set of an Old Western movie, the foyer has a shooting gallery game, and the establishment is decorated with enough taxidermied remains to fill a small zoo. However, its biggest claim to fame, until now, was being the home to the free 72 ounce stake. So why on earth are a couple of vegetarians excited to talk about the Big Texan? Well, on a recent trip to Amarillo to visit family I learned that Big Texan is now the home to the panhandles first and only microbrewery! In addition to loving good vegetarian food, James and I are also proud beer nerds and avid home brewers who never pass up the chance to try a new brew. We tried all of the different styles they had to offer and found them to be very palatable. My favorite was the Pecan Porter and James liked the Rattle Snake IPA. We supped on fried okra and a baked potato and grabbed some homemade fudge on our way out the door. So while I can’t recommend the 72 ounce stake, I can say that the Big Texan has something to offer a more vegetarian leaning crowd.