Special to Atmore News
Gather, a restaurant in Atmore, has been named the winner of the 2020 Bama’s Best Beef contest with its dish, the Train Wreck. The contest is sponsored by the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association (ACA) and funded by the Alabama Beef Checkoff Program.
Twin filets of beef paired with Nueske’s bacon, fried green tomatoes, pimento grits, Conecuh crab sauce and a fried egg, this plate is one that one a contest judge said would be “hard to beat.” The dish is the brainchild of chef and owner Chris McElhaney.
The Bama’s Best Beef contest began July 31 on the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association Facebook page with a nominations round that earned over 5,000 nominations from restaurants across Alabama. The most-nominated dish from each of the contest’s eight regions moved on to compete in Facebook poll challenges that put competing regions head-to-head as more than 4,000 fans voted for their favorite restaurant’s plated meal.
Contest finalists were Bama Bucks (Sardis City) Trophy Mount Ribeye; Jeff’s Place (Roanoke) Ribeye Steak Sandwich; Diamond Jim’s & Mrs. Donna’s Family Steakhouse (Livingston) Famous Ribeye and Gather (Atmore) Train Wreck.
Finalist restaurants were then visited anonymously by a panel of industry judges who secretly taste tested the dishes throughout the month of September. Meanwhile, a People’s Choice contest went live on the ACA Facebook page.
While Gather took home the prize of judge’s pick, Bama Bucks in Sardis City, Ala claimed the “People’s Choice” title. Gather fell closely behind in the fan popularity contest with more than 1,600 votes.
Gather’s owners, Chris and Beth McElhaney, will receive a plaque presentation and media conference from the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association, and bragging rights for one year. The announcement of the winning dish comes as part of the celebration of October Beef Month in Alabama.