Greetings from Amarillo, TX!

vraiblonde

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Man, it's good to be back in Texas! Not that I didn't love AZ and NM, because you know I did, but I have a special fondness for the Lone Star state.

Amarillo is a decent size city, around 200,000 people, and there's pretty much everything you'd want here. The first night in we had dinner at Whataburger because I have missed it so very very much. I know people like to crow about their local burger chains, but Whataburger is the best and that's that.

Today we did some chores. Monello did some RV fixees and I made pasta salad and chili for quick dinners. Then we went to see the Cadillac Ranch:

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Yes, it's a bunch of Caddys buried head first in the dirt, and people spray paint on them. And people come from - I'm not making this up - all over the world to see it.

America! :patriot:

Then we went downtown to see what's what. Their historic area is on Route 66 (of course), otherwise known as 6th Street. TONS!! of antique shops, which we don't care about, but also restaurants and bars (which we do care about).

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We ended up at Smokey Joes, which was recommended by the guy at the convenience store.

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With a second stop at Goldenlight, which had a historic building plaque that we couldn't pass up.

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We didn't eat because I was still full from breakfast but I had to show off the burgers with the fried onions and jalapenos going on.

While we're here we'll go to Palo Duro Canyon, which is the second largest canyon in America.

Our RV park is great! Terrific amenities, big sites, nice and clean, and the people here are super friendly. New Mexicans aren't terribly personable, and Arizonans are marginally better, but Texans are all your new best friend. The owner also owns Big Texan Steak Ranch, and they have a limo (with bull horns on the front, of course - I'll get a pic of it tomorrow) that will take you to the restaurant for free. So we plan on doing that while we're here.

Big Texan has a thing where if you eat a 72 oz steak with sides within an hour, you'll get it for free and they'll put you in the Hall of Fame. Monello is thinking of doing this. He's not a big eater or anything like that, but if you can't finish it they charge you the regular price of $72. We agreed that that's a deal and I support his endeavor wholeheartedly. Will let you know if he makes it. :lol:
 
Big Texan has a thing where if you eat a 72 oz steak with sides within an hour, you'll get it for free and they'll put you in the Hall of Fame. Monello is thinking of doing this. He's not a big eater or anything like that, but if you can't finish it they charge you the regular price of $72. We agreed that that's a deal and I support his endeavor wholeheartedly. Will let you know if he makes it.
Many a joke has been made about that place, and the big joke is the number of people dropping dead from heart failure halfway thru the steak... Good Luck to Monello!!
 

vraiblonde

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Many a joke has been made about that place, and the big joke is the number of people dropping dead from heart failure halfway thru the steak... Good Luck to Monello!!
If he makes it through that steak AND the sides, I will drop dead from heart failure. :lol:
 

Monello

Awww, jeez
PREMO Member
Many a joke has been made about that place, and the big joke is the number of people dropping dead from heart failure halfway thru the steak... Good Luck to Monello!!
Some woman ate the entire meal in less than 5 minutes. I can't imagine what that looked like as she swallowed 1/4 pound hunks of meat.
 

vraiblonde

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Today we were going to geeze, and then we met our neighbors who suggested we hit up the T Anchor flea market.

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They also suggested we eat at Pinche's Tacos while here. Fun fact: "pinche" is Mexican slang for "****ing", as in "this is a pinche good taco". And they were. On the soft corn tortillas that I normally don't care for, but they grilled them so they weren't mushy and served with a napalm hot red salsa.
 

lucky_bee

RBF expert
PREMO Member
I know people like to crow about their local burger chains, but Whataburger is the best and that's that.
Years ago we went to Texas for a big family reunion and we made sure to hit several Whataburgers along the way. That fall in school, my youngest brother, who had to have been maybe 8 or 9 at the time, had to write the typical "essay" about your summer - he wrote his whole essay about Whataburger :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao:

We went back when my younger brothers were in their late teens and ended up at some place with a GIANT Chicken Fried Steak contest - where it was free if you ate the whole thing (they have a lot of these in TX), which had to have been the size of 3 dinner plates I swear - they of course being brothers, challenged each other on this. One of them won, the other came pretty close, but both were in total agony for at least 12 hours afterwards :lmao:

We clearly enjoy food in our family :dance:
 

stgislander

Well-Known Member
I'm kinda surprised you didn't hang around in NM long enough to catch the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta going on now.
 

vraiblonde

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I'm kinda surprised you didn't hang around in NM long enough to catch the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta going on now.
It just didn't work out. By the time we were even aware of the Balloon Fiesta, we'd already planned our itinerary back to SPI. Plus we're not huge event people. We like the small festivals with easy parking and low/no entrance fees, without mobs of people. Our RV park in Santa Rosa did, however, jack up the rate the week before Fiesta so we got to pay the event price without going to the event. :mad:
 

luvmygdaughters

Well-Known Member
PREMO Member
View attachment 141386

Man, it's good to be back in Texas! Not that I didn't love AZ and NM, because you know I did, but I have a special fondness for the Lone Star state.

Amarillo is a decent size city, around 200,000 people, and there's pretty much everything you'd want here. The first night in we had dinner at Whataburger because I have missed it so very very much. I know people like to crow about their local burger chains, but Whataburger is the best and that's that.

Today we did some chores. Monello did some RV fixees and I made pasta salad and chili for quick dinners. Then we went to see the Cadillac Ranch:

View attachment 141387

Yes, it's a bunch of Caddys buried head first in the dirt, and people spray paint on them. And people come from - I'm not making this up - all over the world to see it.

America! :patriot:

Then we went downtown to see what's what. Their historic area is on Route 66 (of course), otherwise known as 6th Street. TONS!! of antique shops, which we don't care about, but also restaurants and bars (which we do care about).

View attachment 141388 View attachment 141389 View attachment 141390


We ended up at Smokey Joes, which was recommended by the guy at the convenience store.

View attachment 141391

With a second stop at Goldenlight, which had a historic building plaque that we couldn't pass up.

View attachment 141392 View attachment 141393

We didn't eat because I was still full from breakfast but I had to show off the burgers with the fried onions and jalapenos going on.

While we're here we'll go to Palo Duro Canyon, which is the second largest canyon in America.

Our RV park is great! Terrific amenities, big sites, nice and clean, and the people here are super friendly. New Mexicans aren't terribly personable, and Arizonans are marginally better, but Texans are all your new best friend. The owner also owns Big Texan Steak Ranch, and they have a limo (with bull horns on the front, of course - I'll get a pic of it tomorrow) that will take you to the restaurant for free. So we plan on doing that while we're here.

Big Texan has a thing where if you eat a 72 oz steak with sides within an hour, you'll get it for free and they'll put you in the Hall of Fame. Monello is thinking of doing this. He's not a big eater or anything like that, but if you can't finish it they charge you the regular price of $72. We agreed that that's a deal and I support his endeavor wholeheartedly. Will let you know if he makes it. :lol:
Is that the restaurant that was in the movie "Guilt Trip"? Good Luck to Monello and enjoy Amarillo!!!
 

vraiblonde

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Last night we went to the Big Texan Steak Ranch - in a limo! That had bull horns on the front!

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This is courtesy of our RV park. They come pick you up at your site and take you to the restaurant, then take you back when you're done.

The steak ranch is enormous, with two dining areas, a bar, an arcade area, a concert venue, and a big ass gift shop. There were 8 million people there on a Wednesday evening. After much consideration, Monello decided not to do the 72 oz steak challenge because you have to sit in the spotlight while you eat and then I'd have to make new friends or eat by myself. But we saw two guys doing it - they didn't even come close.

The food was really good and there was a lot of it. I had the 24 oz ribeye because I did some maffs and it was a better deal for breakfast leftovers. In reality I will get two large meals out of my leftovers because I didn't even unwrap my baked potato. They have strolling musicians who play country standards.

One of the things I dislike about staying a week instead of a month is that we're so busy seeing the sights that we don't take advantage of our RV park amenities. This one has a heated indoor pool with a hot tub AND a sauna that I haven't even gone near. Today is laundry day and tomorrow we bug out for Lubbock, but I'm hoping to get a little pool time in.
 

Monello

Awww, jeez
PREMO Member
There was a rather rotund man sitting close to us at the restaurant last night. He's a truck driver from NY. He tried twice in the past to eat the 72 ounce steak. He didn't get through to the end either time. He said he didn't eat for 2 days after and also mentioned that there was a good chance you were going to puke some of it up.

Then watching both guys try to eat that beast of a piece of meat, I can't imagine how over 9,000 diners have finished that meal. Last night even if you gave both diners an additional hour, they weren't going to finish all their food.

In the end I'm glad I didn't have any misery from overeating. Perhaps the 18 year old version of myself could have put a dent in that meal but my days of caloric gluttony are in my rear view mirror.
 

vraiblonde

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A short drive from Amarillo is Palo Duro Canyon State Park, which is the second largest canyon in the US (the largest, of course, is Big GC). You get on a 16 mile loop that takes you through the canyon, with pullouts and viewing areas. They have several campgrounds with hookups which looked nice but that trip down the canyon in an RV would really be something.

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A few miles in there's a Trading Post, with staple items for campers, a large gift shop, and a small restaurant where we had excellent burgers and fries for lunch.



We saw this monster running across the road:

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He was as big as the palm of my hand and quite uncooperative with getting his picture made. I think this is the first Texas Longhorn I've seen in person:

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Monello

Awww, jeez
PREMO Member
We have been in the SW for almost a year. Last October we left Maryland to head back to pick up the RV that we left in Texas when we went to house sit in Pennsylvania. What I find interesting is the difference in the 4 SW states we have been to. We only spent 2 weeks in Nevada and that was in Las Vegas, so I'm not sure that will count in my observation of the other 3 states.

Our first run out west we stopped in El Paso. It's a border town. We attempted to go shopping but were overcome by events as we missed the turn for the parking lots and ended up in the line to cross the border. Initially the town had promise but once we got to centro it became apparent that spending any amount of time there was taking a chance. El Paso itself is clearly a hispanic enclave. So that is reflected in the stores and the products for sale in them.

New Mexico had what I would call Spanish influence. Las Cruces had excellent international food options like biscochitos and flame kissed chicken and fixins. But it wasn't overly in your face like El Paso, even though they are only about 40 miles apart. Gallup is located near 2 Indian reservations, plus they have a very large Palestinian population for some reason.

Arizona had more Native American influence than hispanic. Even down towards the border in Tombstone and Bisbee the influence was cowboy and hippy, instead of Mexican. Over at Lake Havasu the influence is Californian. So you get pretentious people and shitty drivers.

Now in parts of Amarillo you get the sense that you are in a border town. The flea market we went to was clearly geared to a latino population. I saw Mexican flags for sale but didn't see any American flags for sale. The clothing was more for a latina's taste instead of Mary and Suzie. Black, oversized T shirts with gothic lettering are big sellers for the junior gang banger wannabes.

Another oddity, at least from my perspective, is the grocery store Amigos. From the outside it looks like any grocery store that you would find in St. Mary's county. Once you step inside be prepared for a slight culture shock. What stood out for me was the signs. Everything is predominantly in Spanish with the English version of the word in small letters below. The other difference is the meat counter. The cuts of meat are clearly tailored to a Mexican diet and Mexican recipes. They have a lot of marinated meat offerings. We frequent a Mexican market when we are in Bastrop, TX and it has a similar meat counter. There are 4 Amigos locations in Texas and I can see many more of these types of grocery stores opening up in the future. The demographics in the US are changing and no doubt the stores will adjust over time.

So when you travel not every place is going to be like the place that you are from. That to me is 1 of the benefits of rolling around. We get to see and experience different things. I get it that a lot of people are comfortable with the same thing day in and day out.

1 more day here then we are off to Lubbock, Tx home of Texas Tech University. The other big red.
 

Auntie Biache'

Well-Known Member
Last night we went to the Big Texan Steak Ranch - in a limo! That had bull horns on the front!

View attachment 141507

This is courtesy of our RV park. They come pick you up at your site and take you to the restaurant, then take you back when you're done.

The steak ranch is enormous, with two dining areas, a bar, an arcade area, a concert venue, and a big ass gift shop. There were 8 million people there on a Wednesday evening. After much consideration, Monello decided not to do the 72 oz steak challenge because you have to sit in the spotlight while you eat and then I'd have to make new friends or eat by myself. But we saw two guys doing it - they didn't even come close.

The food was really good and there was a lot of it. I had the 24 oz ribeye because I did some maffs and it was a better deal for breakfast leftovers. In reality I will get two large meals out of my leftovers because I didn't even unwrap my baked potato. They have strolling musicians who play country standards.

One of the things I dislike about staying a week instead of a month is that we're so busy seeing the sights that we don't take advantage of our RV park amenities. This one has a heated indoor pool with a hot tub AND a sauna that I haven't even gone near. Today is laundry day and tomorrow we bug out for Lubbock, but I'm hoping to get a little pool time in.
My Kingdom for a horse! Or, in this case, a good steak. I had given up on ever having a good steak again, until I started frying them in a cast iron skillet. Now, I just have to figure out how to get the same results on a fire, outside. Damn grease spatters everywhere! With the weather finally cooling off, this is something I can start working on.
 
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