Historic Rawls

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Ghosts, steak and more served up in Enterprise

Published: January 7, 2009
The Dothan Eagle

By Regina Rose

I have regularly frequented the Rawls Hotel Restaurant in Enterprise more times than I can count since 1997.

Some of my fondest memories of the Rawls Restaurant include sitting at those antique tables at lunch time with my old boss, a co-worker and my ex-husband.

We ate there almost every day for about two years. Seriously, lunch there was THAT good. It just never got old to us. We all ordered the same thing every day. We were “regulars” to say the least.

Now, 10 years later, things have changed. Lunch isn’t served any longer — much to my dismay. The atmosphere hasn’t changed — much to my delight, considering this is a historic landmark and thankfully it should never change. The chef is not the one from my “lunch” days, but he’s very talented and knowledgeable.

The dinner fare is delightful. The appetizer was wonderful. It was beef roulade, a thinly sliced sirloin stuffed with wild mushrooms, onion, garlic and herbs rolled up, pan seared, served in a pool of merlot demi glaze. It was very delicious. The filet I ordered, much to my surprise, had not been marinated in some kind of over-salty marinade. I could actually taste the beef! It was juicy, cooked to order and an extremely tender cut of Angus beef. Delicious! The sides consisted of a salad as well as herbed, stir-fried green beans and garlic mashed potatoes.

I suppose the only complaint I have concerned the potatoes. They tasted as if they were right out of a box, with a little garlic added. After popping a forkful in my mouth, visions of a woman wearing a ball gown, and in place of high heels, a pair of athletic shoes entered my mind. Those potatoes just didn’t match the rest of the dinner — maybe the chef was out of “real” potatoes at that moment. I didn’t bother to ask.

My dining guest had a pasta dish named portabella and spinach, which consisted of penne pasta with portabella mushrooms, onion, olive oil, tomato, Parmesan cheese, garlic and spinach. The portion was huge and a to go box had to be requested. For dessert we had cheesecake with fresh strawberry sauce on top. Again, it was very good.

I hear there are a few ghosts that inhabit the Rawls. I’ve never encountered one in all my visits there, but I’ve heard that people have reported hearing children playing when no kids are in sight and seeing people wandering the hallways when no one is around. Also, one of the rooms in the bed and breakfast part of the building is reported to be the site of a murder long ago.

Who knows? If you happen by and don’t have time for dinner, visit the Rawls bar. Sit down, have a drink or two and see if something appears.

Regina Rose can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Rating: Three and three-fourths out of four stars