The restaurant that began humbly in 1938 is now under new owners and a new chef who are all committed to raising the level of excellence to fresh heights.
During this time of social distancing and isolation, we still have to eat. And we still want to patronize local restaurants that we love, helping to keep them in business. We urge you to check the websites of the restaurants we’ve reviewed and to consider eating local as a way to help our communities.
Location: All Steak Restaurant, 323 3rd Avenue SE, Cullman, Alabama
Menu: Steaks, as the name implies, get top billing at All Steak, and all of the steaks served are Prime Certified Angus Beef, considered to be in the top 1.5% of beef quality. In addition to steaks, diners will find a surprising selection of seafood choices straight from the Gulf of Mexico. Both the red snapper and the shrimp and grits are served on top of McEwen Grits, arguably the best in the South.
Appetizers are a notable part of the menu and feature such options as cantaloupe and prosciutto, fried green tomatoes, blue crab claws, a Southern Charcuterie board or my personal favorite, the fried okra basket with remoulade dipping sauce. All of the salads can be topped with steak, chicken, shrimp, oysters or salmon, and the sides include the usual possibilities PLUS squash casserole, sauteed green beans or grilled asparagus.
Dessert temptations include a white chocolate bread pudding and a strawberry cobbler among the choices, but the restaurant may be best known for its homemade orange rolls. Every guest gets to sample at least one, and many customers take home a dozen more when they leave. The recipe is a closely-guarded secret, and the orange rolls are included in the official list of “100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die.”
All Steak has a separate lounge area with an extensive wine and cocktail list.
Thoughts: I have dined at All Steak in each of its locations through the years, and the orange rolls and the restaurant’s reputation for quality have carried through all of them. From 1938 to 1998, the restaurant was located in the center of town on Bee Line Highway, officially known as U.S. HIghway 31. I remember circling the block several times looking for parking and being willing to wait in a long line for a seat in the packed restaurant. In 1998, it moved to the top floor of the new Cullman Savings Bank building with the added advantage of plenty of dedicated parking and a more elegant setting. In 2013, it moved to its present location where the former Fuller Brothers Ford Motor Company had been before the April 27, 2011 tornadoes tore through Cullman and destroyed all but one wall of the business. Salvaged bricks and pressed tin have been artfully incorporated into the new structure.
Ownership has changed hands several times through the years, but now, with owners Dyron Powell and Zac Wood and Chef Anthony Barnes, it is reintroducing itself and impressing first-time guests with its excellent service and wonderful food. All Steak has reopened for dine-in service. On a recent visit, my husband and I noticed that everything was extremely clean, tables and booths were socially-distant, and no shared condiments (salt, pepper, sweeteners, catsup, etc.) were on the tables. Our server, as well as all the servers, wore masks. It felt very safe and was an enjoyable dining experience.
Powell also owns Dyron’s Low Country, an upscale restaurant in the Mountain Brook section of Birmingham, Alabama. Wood brings a depth of knowledge of Cullman and its people to the mix, and Barnes was the chef at Low Country before coming to the All Steak. They make a great team. Their restaurant is an exceptional place to enjoy a fabulous dinner.
Price range: Appetizers are $8-16, and salads are $8-12. Entrees are $12-48, and desserts are $6-8.