There are plenty of places around the Wiregrass where you can order a steak, but when it comes to finding the most flavorful filet or rib-eye, a couple of local restaurants are taking a bite out of the competition.
"I'd be very proud," says Conestoga co-owner Ted Toole of the potential acclaim awaiting his restaurant.
Conestoga, in Dothan, and McLlin's Steakhouse and Seafood in Daleville both competed for customers' Facebook and text votes last year.
They made the top five, but neither won the contest. Owners hope the new attention their restaurants earned after last year will catapult them to a new level of success.
McLin's Matthew McLin's says much of the appeal at his family's steakhouse is its authenticity. "What you see is what you get," says McLin. "We put a lot of love into what we do."
Both restaurants have a loyal- and growing- base of regulars.
"Everybody talks about how great it is. It keeps you coming back again and again," says Conestoga patron Tyler Ulrich.
Conestoga and McLin's put their own individual spins on rib-eyes, strip steaks and filets, and people are noticing. At Conestoga, it's the sauce that's got everyone talking.
Evan Ring says, "I get the eight ounce filet every time, medium well. My favorite part is the sauce and I always get extra because I like to dip my steak in it."
Over at McLin's, it's a special rub seasoning that goes into the beef. Customers say they don't need to know the special recipe from the kitchen just as long as they keep the steaks coming.
"I'm not sure of the cooking process whatever it is I'm glad they're doing it cause it's really quite good," says Steve Fata.
Now that the bracket challenge has started, It's up to customers to move the restaurants into the next brackets.
On Facebook or by texting BEEF to 20566
Once the vote is down to the final, "fiery four" restaurants, a team of secret judges will visit each finalist steakhouse in September.
They'll give their scores and will name a winner for Alabama's Best Steak Contest.