Fun Fact: The billboards that advertise the legendary Big Texan 72 Ounce Steak Challenge in Amarillo start popping up along I-40 as far away from the Texas panhandle as the Memphis Mississippi River bridge in Tennessee. It's a "food challenge" as famous as any other, but most travelers don't realize how many of these challenges they pass up as they make their way through Oklahoma.

I don't know who first came up with the idea to start a food-eating challenge, but it was likely back in the day when making headlines was easier and cheaper than paying for advertising.

For example... Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest is probably the most famous food challenge in the world. Not only is it broadcast worldwide, but the contestants are also international too. It has taken place on July 4th at its original Coney Island location every year since 1972 when it first made headlines across the country.

Americans were overwhelmed with pride and amazement watching others stuff their faces with the tasty weiners for what was once nothing more than bragging rights. It was an instant success probably due to it being a great distraction from the political unrest of the time, and it didn't hurt that it had one of the most patriotic origin stories life could write.

In a newspaper article that made the rounds across the wire back then, Nathan's hot dog contest originally started in 1916 as a way to settle an argument between several immigrants over which one of them was more patriotic and proud to become an American. Name one American that can't identify and exude pride over that story...

For nearly forty years, that was the story that grew Nathan's into an international wiener conglomerate until the original contest organizer and promoter admitted he made it up in the 70s as a publicity stunt to sell hot dogs. Still, the contest lives on having spurred on thousands across this land, including many heavy hitters here in the Sooner State.

Oklahoma's Most Legendary Food Challenges

While you can certainly accept social trends in eating at chain restaurants for the rest of your life, you'd at least get a show with your dinner while watching the iron stomachs of Oklahoma tackle the biggest and most legendary food challenges at the various mom & pop restaurants spread all across the Sooner State.

Gallery Credit: Kelso

Oklahoma Restaurants People Swear Are Worth The Drive

Eating out is entertainment. Sometimes it's you and your better half, other times you'll drag the family along with you. Either/or, if you've got time to kill and want to sample the best Oklahoma offers, here are the restaurants' everyone swears are worth every moment in the car to and from.

Gallery Credit: Kelso

More Restaurants Oklahomans Swear Are Worth The Drive

The Sooner State sure isn't short on good eats. From the best BBQ you'll find in America, to the worldly tastes of exotics with an Oklahoma spin... Here are more of the best restaurants Okies swear are worth the drive for.

Gallery Credit: Kelso


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