AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — For plenty of families here on the High Plains, Thanksgiving is about getting together, eating, and giving thanks, although not everyone wants to spend hours cooking at home.
That is where the Big Texan Steak Ranch comes in. Hundreds of visitors eat at the Big Texan each year for Thanksgiving Day.
“This is our annual Thanksgiving Day buffet,” said Bobby Lee, co-owner of the Big Texan, when we visited on Thursday. “We’ve been doing it for about 60 years now and it’s still great and still a lot of fun.”
Lee said it is about tradition.
“You know, we’re seeing grandparents come in with their kids saying they came here on Thanksgiving with their grandparents. So it’s kind of a nice compliment to the Big Texan and to the Texas Panhandle for the support we get and the wonderful staff we have that works with us on Thanksgiving,” Lee added.
With a Thanksgiving buffet until 4 o’clock, they welcome locals and travelers to celebrate the holiday with them.
“We have a responsibility,” Lee said. “There’s lots and lots of travelers, in fact at seven o’clock this morning, we had a group of 12 from Sweden that were here for breakfast that wanted to eat at the Big Texan.”
We also caught up with Nena Mankin who visited for lunch after her family’s Thanksgiving Day tradition did not quite pan out.
“We’ve always heard about the Big Texan Thanksgiving lunch and so we decided to come out this year because we didn’t have any family come in,” Mankin said. “I did not want to cook and this is so easy because you get everything you want and you don’t clean up the mess,”
The Big Texan is open 365 days a year but they say Thanksgiving is special.
“I’m thankful to live in Amarillo texas and for the hospitality and the warmth and the family atmosphere,” Mankin added.
Lee said they plan to continue the tradition.
“We’ve been doing it for 60 years, so this is all I know,” Lee said. “Thanksgiving, lots and lots of people, lots of fun.”
If turkey and dressing are not your favorites, Lee said visitors can eat whatever they want from the menu on Thanksgiving, including the 72-ounce steak challenge.