Top of the Town: Delectable Dining
Tip Of The Hat to Top of the Town
You see the sign on the road in front of Cullman Savings Bank. It vaguely intrigues you as you glide past it every week on Highway 31.
Why have I not been there?
Why has this place eluded me?
Every Sunday comes and goes and I have to know what goes on up there that makes this place worth going to.
I finally gave in to my curiosity and found myself in a delightful world of choices.
Sunday is now not a day of mourning for my beloved Chick-Fil-A (come on …Moms with minivans know that feeling of loss that is a day without nuggets) but we can rejoice and be glad in the bountiful spread at Top of the Town.
I was first taken aback by the salad bar, which is more like a food architectural structure. Towering platters of various vegetables, salads, fruits, and dressings rise over the children’s section which has a variety of kid friendly items such as crustless peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fresh fruits, animal crackers, and crispy cheese puffs.
The broccoli salad is one of my favorites, because I’m a lover of the sweet and tangy dressing with onions and raisins. It’s a really great start to accompany the southern menu items on the buffet.
There are two carving stations at each end, one with roast beef and one with turkey or pork depending on the week. The roast beef is sliced thin and I always get it dipped in au jus with horseradish sauce on the side.
The vegetables are numerous but the squash casserole is on the must have list. It’s yellow squash is buttery, soft, and cooked in a creamy sauce that makes you want to tell the server that you’ll just have ten scoops of that and call it a day.
If you want to have Thanksgiving every Sunday, you actually could here. Besides the dressing, which alone would be worth making the trip out, I unashamedly think (and will be without a doubt shunned for even thinking; let alone writing this) that their sweet potato casserole even rivals my sister’s. Now my sister makes hers with marshmallows, so it’s technically a different category, BUT this one has a sugary nut topping … and it qualifies as a dessert. It has so many flavors going on I swear I tasted pineapple and raisins, but I don’t know; at that point in the meal it was hard to keep track.
This past trip they had something called spoon bread, which was like a corn cake, cream corn, corn bread, and corn pudding all combined. It was soft with whole kernels of corn throughout, not dense at all, very light in texture and extremely moist.
They also have the usually assortment of greens, green beans, mashed potatoes, and gravy. But occasionally they throw in these little treasures like Beef Tips; cooked until the meat is sublimely tender in a dark brown gravy that coats each piece. The amount of savory goodness in those bites were fantastic.
They also had one of my favorites- Poppyseed Chicken. It tastes like Sunday, like for real. It’s like your grandma is back there cooking for everybody. Each of their chicken dishes kept me coming back for more, their Parmesan fried chicken, grilled chicken, rolled chicken with Italian style seasoning with cheese; all of these will make you happy inside.
I’m full just writing about, it let alone going there. Why is it Wednesday? Why can’t I be there now?
After I absolutely stuffed myself on the buffet, I realized to my shock that I get to choose a dessert which usually is either Strawberry Cake, Turtle Pie, Lemon Meringue, Coconut Cream Pie, or Peach Cobbler; all with or without ice cream. We tried them all, being the family we are.
I think the Lemon Meringue came in number one for the adults. I love a good meringue with the toasty bits on top and the spongy layer on the bottom, cutting through the tart acidity of the lemon curd in each bite.
But the kids are sugar fiends, and sweet on sweet on sweet is what you’ll get with the Carmel, chocolate, and cream concoction that is the turtle pie. It’s rich and silky – sometimes you just need that type of pie in your life.
The service here always comes with a smile from the servers, reception, and waitstaff; I’ve always been greeted warmly. Speaking of warmth, I almost forgot one of the added bonuses of eating here: Each table gets a fresh batch of cheese and herb biscuits which are so unique; I’ve never had a biscuit with so much going on inside it.
If you decide to go, which I hope you do, I highly recommend sneaking out of the early service and getting there by 10:30 am when they open to beat the lines. Otherwise you’ll have to wait a little longer, but it’s worth it and I’ll see you there.
Fine Food & Lifestyle Columnist
Top of the Town: Delectable Dining
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