Old Barn earns title for steaks

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Now all of Alabama knows what the people of Pike County have long known – that the Old Barn Restaurant in Goshen has the best steaks in the state.

The Alabama Cattlemen’s Association announced Monday that the Old Barn Restaurant has been named the winner of the Alabama’s Best Steak contest.

“It is an honor, a huge honor, to be named Alabama’s Best Steak,” said Amy Chandler, owner of the Old Barn Restaurant. “I’ve had a lot of restless nights thinking about this. Maybe tonight I’ll sleep good.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Chandler said being among the top contenders in the statewide contest has been exciting and intimidating.

“This was such a big deal for us, and we were trying our best to maintain the standards that we have set. But when you’re serving up to 300 people a night, it gets hard to manage sometimes and that’s intimidating,” she said. “It’s always our goal to have the best food and the best service that we can possibly have.”

Chandler said her husband, Scottie, her parents, Johnny and Beverly Taylor, and the entire Old Barn staff share in this prestigious recognition.

“Winning this contest means that all of our hard work and dedication have paid off,” she said. “We take what we do seriously. We are dedicated. We love what we do and are passionate about it. We are not perfect, but our hearts are in it and we are dedicated to maintaining this level of success. But, right now, I’m going to brag and enjoy it.”

The contest began on July 1 with a nomination round of compiling more than 12,000 nominations representing 140 Alabama restaurants. The Top 16 vote getters were chosen to move forward into a bracket challenge that narrowed the field from the “Sizzling 16” to the “Fiery 4.”

The bracket challenge generated more than 50,000 votes in two weeks. The four finalists were OH! Bryan’s Family Steakhouse, Tuscumbia; Bull Pen Steakhouse, Oakman; Elmer’s Restaurant, Notasulga; and The Old Barn Restaurant, Goshen.

The final four restaurants were then visited anonymously by a panel of industry judges during the month of September. Each finalist’s ribeye steak was judged on overall taste, tenderness and juiciness.

B.B. Palmer, Pike County Cattlemen’s Association, president, said he doesn’t know who the judges were but they know their business.

“I’m just as tickled as I can be for Amy and Scottie,” Palmer said. “They’ve got the best steaks in Alabama and I can vouch for that. I don’t know what gives their steaks such a great flavor. I don’t know if they marinate the steaks or dry rub them but they are tender and juicy and have the best flavor you can find in a steak.”

Palmer said it doesn’t matter whether the steaks are ordered one night after another or a year apart, the steaks the same – “real good.”

“When you go to the Old Barn, you know you are going to get a good steak,” he said. “And, it’s going to be cooked exactly the way you ordered it. You’re not going to go there and take a chance on getting a steak that’s as tough as leather.”

Palmer said entire dining experience at the Old Barn is exceptional.

“The Old Barn’s got great atmosphere, all the food is good, the waitresses are attentive and you leave planning to go back,” he said. “All the Pike County Cattlemen congratulate the Old Barn Restaurant. They’ve earned the braggin’ rights and we’ll brag right along with them.”

The Old Barn Restaurant and its owners will receive a plaque presentation and media conference from the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association, a feature story in the “Alabama Cattleman” magazine, bragging rights for one year and an influx of customers looking to try Alabama’s best ribeye.

The Alabama’s Best Steak contest is sponsored by the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association and the Alabama Beef Checkoff.