By Loretta Gillespie
The Cullman Times
When people think of Cullman, one of the South’s most picturesque little cities, they frequently think of its historic Germanic heritage, or maybe the magnolias and azaleas that line it’s streets in the spring. It could also bring to mind Oktoberfest and music festivals, the Festehall Market Platz, and the famous Ave Maria Grotto. Or it could be the Orange Rolls.
Cullman’s famous All Steak’s Restaurant is honored to continue a long tradition with its World Famous Orange Rolls, which have become their signature after-dinner treat.
A simple, yet delicious pastry, these little delights are well-known locally, regionally, and from across the nation. They have been described as being, “A little tangy, a little sweet, a little buttery, and a lot delicious.” Now Cullman’s All Steak Restaurant, long noted for it’s fine dining experience, as well as it’s trademark Orange Rolls, is being featured in a book based on the Alabama Department of Tourism’s brochure, “100 Foods To Eat Before You Die.” The new photo book called “Alabama Food” goes on sale Dec. 3, 2012.
One of over 225 restaurants across the state, the All Steak is proud to be among those listed in the book.
“We look for restaurants and dishes that are what you would recommend to a visitor from out of town,” explained Regional Director of Alabama Tourism, Brian S. Jones. “This is what you tell your friends that they don’t want to miss, it's where the locals eat.”
Jones describes the book as the quintessential ‘Love story of Alabama food’.
When narrowing down the entries for the book, the group looked for restaurants and dishes that are uniquely ‘Alabama’. “We started in North Alabama and went region by region all the way to the Gulf Coast,” said Jones. “We also included chef profiles and information about each restaurant.”
The book, which is a pictorial culinary guide to Alabama’s culturally rich cuisine is a must have for people who love Southern cooking, also gives readers a feel for the atmosphere of the restaurants – from barbecue to decadent desserts – like the Orange Rolls at the All Steak.
“Those orange rolls are wonderfully, ridiculously, good,” laughed Jones, who grew up in Decatur and often ate at the All Steak.
According to a press release from the Alabama Tourism Department, “The colorful 128-page book was produced in cooperation with the Alabama Tourism Department. It places special emphasis on unique and original Alabama restaurants, the growth of the farm-to- table movement, and native Alabama foods.”
“A section profiles food products manufactured in the state. More than two dozen Alabama photographers contributed images for the book. Karim Shamsi-Basha’s photo of Hot and Hot Fish Club’s iconic Tomato Salad is on the book’s cover.”
“Alabama native Patricia “Sister” Schubert of homemade rolls fame, who wrote the foreword, will sign copies at the Governor’s Mansion on Dec. 3 during the Christmas open house. Contributors Brian S. Jones and Marilyn Jones Stamps will sign copies during tours on Dec. 10 and 17. The mansion will be open for three Mondays from 5 to 7 p.m. to showcase holiday ornaments donated by Alabama school children.”
Book signings will be inside the gift shop across the street from the mansion.
“The hardcover book also has sections devoted to farmers markets, u-pick it farms, food festivals, and Alabama wines and craft beers. The book profiles 11 of the state’s award-winning chefs including Chris Hastings, Frank Stitt, James Boyce, Chris Lilly, Wesley True, Bob Baumhower, Lucy Buffett, Chris Dupont, James Lewis, Nick Pihakis, and Patricia “Sister” Schubert,” said Jones.
The All Steak’s current owner and chef, Matt Heim, took over the All Steak in 2006, with a dedication to preserving the quality and consistency, and of course, the Orange Rolls people have come to love from All Steak.
A Decatur native, Matt and his family often visited the All Steak, so he welcomed the opportunity to take over one of his favorite restaurants. Matt is committed to keeping up the restaurant’s reputation as being the place where 'half of Cullman' comes to talk about politics and football" as described by the Birmingham News.
Located at the top of Cullman Savings Bank, in the heart of historic downtown Cullman, the restaurant offers a scenic view of the city, as well as a cozy, elegant dining experience, a top-notch wait staff, and plenty of convenient, free parking.
Alabama Food is the official book for the state tourism department’s The Year of Alabama Food promotion. It was created by the Birmingham News for Alabama Media Group and is available at Books-A-Million stores across the state and online at www.bhamstore.com and Amazon.com. Alabama Food can also be purchased at the Governor’s Mansion Gift Shop and at The Goathill Museum Store inside the Alabama State Capital in Montgomery. The retail price of the book is $20.