If you want to eat good beef east of Atlanta, come to Covington and put yourself in a booth at Jim Stalvey’s. You know this place is serious about red meat when you enter and see that the primary decorative element in the vestibule is red meat: large packs of it piled up in a glass-walled refrigerator case just below the cash register.
Have it your way: T-bone, rib-eye, strip, or filet, in sizes that range from a filets mignon of six or eight ounces to a massive sirloin for two that arrives on a sizzling platter. Our personal favorite is the filet mignon. It is prime beef that is firm and juicy and endlessly flavorful. On the side you can have a baked potato with butter and sour cream, French fries, or what the menu lists as The World’s Best Fried Onion Rings. They ARE superb: crunchy battered hoops that virtually melt on the tongue with a light ribbon of sweet onion inside.
There is a choice of three places to go when you enter this fine steak house: a family dining room to the right, where you sit in comfy booths at bare laminate tables; a smoking room to the left, which offers a picture window with an entertaining view of the kitchen; and a bar room at the far left where customers knock back highballs and beer and watch the overhead TV.
Lunch at Jim Stalvey’s is less beef-focused than supper. It’s a meat-and-three affair, with such entrees as turkey and dressing or chicken livers accompanied by your choice from a long list of side dishes that include turnip greens, rutabagas, crowder peas, fried green tomatoes, and four different styles of potato.
"A half-pound filet mignon with Stalvey's famous onion rings"
"Because this was our first visit, the locals sitting near us made plenty of suggestions as to which vegetables we needed to select. We ended up with dressing (with mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce), pink lady peas, rutabagas, and Porterdale sweet potatoes."
"Jim Stalvey's steaks are on display in a glass case that's visible as soon as you walk in the front door."
"Jim Stalvey's has been a meat-eater's destination east of Atlanta for more than 20 years."
"Located on busy Highway 278, this is one restaurant that provides a comfortable respite from commercial sprawl. "