what I ordered: Nick’s in the Sticks

This Valentine’s Day was certainly one to remember.

James and I talked about where we’d like to go, and I suggested Nick’s in the Sticks, because after six-and-a-half years of living in Alabama, I still had never been. He thought it was a wonderful idea.

It being Valentine’s Day, we were slightly afraid that it might be a bit packed, and it was, but we only waited about 20 minutes at the most for a table, and let me tell you—it would have been well worth an hour-long wait.

This place is awesome. There’s no sign out front (rumor says it was blown away during Hurricane Ivan), but steak cravers driving down a dark road know they’ve found their oasis when they see a dimly lit cinderblock building surrounded by parked cars. When you walk in, the dollar bills tacked to the ceiling and the wood-panel walls covered with Alabama memorabilia make it quite obvious that this little spot is rich with history.


We ordered steaks of course. My ($9.95!) small filet was wrapped in bacon and came with a house salad and a side (baked potato). The salad was just your average little salad, but the blue cheese dressing was creamy with just the right amount of blue cheese crumbles.
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And my steak—oh heavens—was it good. I ordered it medium, and it came probably closer to medium rare (yay!). It was perfectly tender, easy to cut, juicy and rich. Oh, I just love a good steak. The only thing I’d say about it is (and now, I don’t eat a whole lot of bacon-wrapped filets, so take this with that grain of salt), but the bacon was a bit flabby. I would have liked to see a bit more crispness to it, but it was still fabulous.

Tada! Hello, beautiful steak.
Oh—and I almost forgot another great part of this experience: The Nickademus.

This house concoction is like a grown-up shirley temple. No… more like hunch punch you’d find at a house party. It’s strong, and it’s fruity. It is definitely a must-order.

While we had a wonderful time, there were a few things I’d mention. It was Valentine’s Day, so we understand it was a busy, busy night, but we waited a very long time once we sat down to get service. And even once we ordered, our food took forever, though I wasn’t really all that sad about that after I finished because it was well worth the wait. Also, this place is tiny! So if you’re going with a large group, it might be forever and a day until you get a table. I’d say the max I saw accommodations for was about 4 or 5. Also, when you go in, walk up to the counter to put your name on the list. And don’t wait for the check once you’re finished. You need to walk back up to the counter to pay. We were such newbies. This all had to be explained to us.

I absolutely want to go back, and try this place on a not-so-busy night, but we were so happy with our experience.

And before I wrap this up, here’s an interesting read on Nick’s in the Sticks’ history and its tie to prohibition. Nick’s originally opened in Greene County when Tuscaloosa County was dry to service those looking for a little extra fun on their Friday nights, but once Tuscaloosa allowed alcohol sales, it moved over to be closer to its clientele.

Thank you, James! I love Valentine’s Day. And uh, next time we want a $10 filet, we’ll be coming here, thank you very much.
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