Fine family steakhouse
Fine family steakhouse made from scratch
Published: Thursday, March 06, 2008, 8:50 AM Updated: Thursday, March 06, 2008, 8:59 AM
By Matt Cuthbert, al.com
Michael Mercier / Huntsville TimesAmong the choices at JW Steakhouse is the blackened catfish with two sides.
PRICEVILLE - What a surprise. Many travelers along I-65 already know about it. Residents of rural Morgan County likely are keeping it secret.
JW Steakhouse is a great discovery. The Texas-style, family restaurant off the northeast corner of I-65 and Alabama 67 is well worth the drive from Huntsville. It has the look of a major chain, but the atmosphere of a mom-and-pop restaurant. And the food is delightful.
Loaded mashed potatoes and sweet potato casserole are selections you usually can't find at the big-city steakhouses. These are two of a dozen side dishes that come with the chicken, seafood, pork and, of course, beef platters served here.
For starters, though, even tried-and-true appetizers on the menu have a special JW Steakhouse twist. Fried cheese is breaded in house with a special batter. Chicken strips have that same distinctive crust. The menu promises that the restaurant uses no-transfat clear canola oil. A combo platter of cheese, chicken and mushrooms is enough for a whole table to share for $8.99. Even potato skins for $4.99 have a special flavor - maybe from the smoked bacon.
That same bacon highlights the loaded mashed potato side dish, which comes with sour cream on the side to blend in for just the right texture and taste.
Steaks are the drawing card for JW Steakhouse, and they range in price from an $8.99 hamburger steak to $22.99 porterhouse. A Colorado ribeye for $9.99 or cowgirl center cut sirloin for $10.99 provide fine beef cuts for budget-minded customers.
The restaurant ages its own beef and makes everything from scratch - sauces, rubs and salad dressings - even cuts all of its produce. The special breading is not corn meal but Japanese panko bread crumbs. The restaurant uses real butter - not margarine - and avoids preservatives.
Ribs are pork baby back slabs with a Texas-style rub. They're moist and tender and cost $11.99 for half and $18.99 for a full slab. Chicken dishes range from a tenders meal for $6.99 to smothered chicken or a chicken kabob for $9.99. Seafood selections include catfish, shrimp, salmon and a fish of the day for $7.99 to $13.99.
Owner Jody Witt of Decatur surveyed restaurants across Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado to come up with a concept of his own. He chose Priceville because of the traffic and its location in bustling North Alabama. He said some of the "snowbirds" from up north wintering in Florida stop here every season as they pass. Maybe those Yankees are smarter than Southerners think.
What would you order if you came back to this restaurant?
Rhonda Steen - "The presentation of the blackened fish appealed to me. Should I return, I would choose that dish. Though it was blackened, the spices with it were very tasty according to one guest that ordered it."
Sandra Morson - "I would order the shrimp kabob with rice and steamed veggies and chocolate cheesecake. The Italian dressing was very good, and great rolls."
Melissa Journey - "I rarely order the same thing twice when revisiting a restaurant, but I wouldn't hesitate to order the fish I had again. It was well cooked and seasoned."
Debbie Kulmer - "The blackened catfish was excellent. I am anxious to come back to JW Steakhouse and bring my family."
IN 1 BITE:
45 Marco Drive in Priceville
Hours: 4 to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday
Typical entre price: $8 to $14
Ambience: Rustic family steakhouse