Steak House # 3
By Brenda S. Brown

The following remembrance is the third part of a continuing chronicle, and the final chapter, of memories about the Steak House Restaurant in Richland, furthermore it is dedicate to those of us who remember the establishment with great affection.

During the summer months, fresh vegetables were menu offerings at our hometown cafe, and when the kitchen staff experienced a temporary respite, they processed peas, butterbeans, squash, corn and okra.   Area farmers ensured that vine ripened tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers were available, but if the local supply was depleted, Uncle Oliver traveled as far as the Farmer's Market in Columbus to make purchases.

As a young teenager, Otto's first paying assignment was transporting the kitchen staff; the breakfast cooks reported at five in the morning and departed after the noon meal was served and the kitchen brought back to order; in the country that meal is known as dinner.  The second shift reported in the early afternoon and remained until the evening meal known as supper was prepared and served.  Country folks rarely use the expression lunch and never heard-tell of a meal named brunch.

The first pea and bean sheller in the community was purchased and operated at the Steak House; although it tended to pulverize some of the more tender vegetables, it was considered a luxury item, but well worth the substantial price they paid for the contraption.    Once the manual model became dilapidated, a new and improved electrified model was selected and utilized for years.

The Steak House Restaurant was an official gathering place for personnel in the area; Seaboard Coastline Railroad maintained a depot and a mighty workforce in Richland, and many times they dropped by for a meal, a snack, or a bottom-less cup of coffee.  Personnel from Redman Industries, community shop-owners and personnel in the Stewart and Webster counties were frequent guests.  Our area was surrounded by family owned farms and there always seemed to be a contingency of farmers in attendance.

After our graduation from high school, and the tradition all-night partying, we met at the restaurant at sunrise, for a traditional breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, grits and toast.  When local college students visited home, one of their first stops was at the restaurant where they were greeted like family and encouraged to sit down to catch up with the neighborhood happenings. 

The owners, management, staff and cooks were courteous and considerate, it is to those thoughtful individuals that this last segment is dedicated; thank you for taking care of us Richland-ites; your kindness will be remembered forever. 


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