When you go to Diamond Jim's and Mrs. Donna's restaurant you are supporting a mom and pop that have been married for 40 years and who have worked for the past eight years to bring their good, charcoal-charbroiled steaks to the Alabama Gulf Coast.
Here's what's to know: steaks are aged, corn-fed, hand-cut and charbroiled on a charcoal-fired grill by owner Diamond Jim. Sides are family recipes of Diamond Jim's mother and his wife, Mrs. Donna.
Steaks taste as though they are marinated in Dales steak seasoning --- and can be quite salty if you are not accustomed to salt. Steaks range in size from 10 oz Filet Mignon to 16 oz of Ribeye with prices ranging from $22 to $31 for "Big Mike's King Cut Ribeye."
If you can appreciate steaks done "Pittsburgh-style," they are done the best anywhere --- with a charred, crisp, exterior and perfectly rare interior.
The atmosphere is rustic/casual with dark wood paneling. Silver tin lines walls and ceilings. There is a giant bar that is the focal point of the restaurant and patrons are led to the bar when there is a wait.
Expect to find families with infants and children of all ages in all manner of dress from just-from-work tees, shorts and flip-flops to dressier "Island wear." Tables are set with plastic tablecloths and paper napkins are rolled around silverware. Glasses are plastic, rolls arrive in plastic baskets, but meals come out on earthenware, diner-style plates.
Sides like coleslaw and twice-baked potatoes are made from homemade, unique recipes. Stay away from mixed vegetables unless you prefer a thawed-from-frozen medley, Make room for the cake of the day --- preferably Mrs. Donna's famous "Caramel Cake" --- a yellow cake with a crunchy, sugary,buttery, caramel-flavored topping.
Several servers came from the original Livingston, AL location and are personable and conscientious. Mrs. Donna, owner, oversees every part of the restaurant and takes a personal interest in knowing you like your meal.
For all the above reasons, we will choose to eat at this restaurant over a chain steak house. Every time.
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