Randy and Debby Cash have been working together in the Homestead Steak House for nearly 25 years — and have somehow managed to stay happily married. “He’s in the front [of the restaurant], and I’m in the back, and we don’t cross that middle line,” Debby says, shooting her eyes at Randy before smiling. Randy returns the smile and adds that he tends to hang out in the general store. “I like to greet people as soon as they walk in the door. Expect to see me there,” he says. How many owners of chain steak houses can remember the names of their customers’ children, he wonders. “Debby and I definitely personalize the restaurant.” In fact, you can’t get any more personal than a phone call from Debby: “We’ll call people up and tell them when something they love is on the buffet,” she says. Brian Holeman, for instance, gets a call whenever they serve chicken and dumplings. Jackie Brown’s phone rings when there’s macaroni and cheese.
Surrounded by green, rolling pasture and stately white fences, the Homestead looks more like a collection of bright red horse barns than a restaurant. The interior is as cozy as your grandmother’s kitchen with exposed beams, knotty-pine walls, Dale Tiffany lamps galore, and a huge collection of salt-glaze stoneware — all handpicked by Debby, whose family is from the area. And, yes, the town of Timberlake has a connection with renowned artist Bob Timberlake — the Homestead once belonged to his father’s second cousins. To make sure you don’t miss that connection, the Cashes have 400 Bob Timberlake prints hanging in the restaurant.
“We’re catering to people who want to come in and have a nice dinner without spending a fortune,” Debby says. “Some of them are middle-class, and some of them are upper-middle-class who want to save a buck.” Think of the Homestead as a down-home steak house where you can get an 18-ounce, aged USDA Choice T-bone, served with a simple baked sweet tater and cobbler for dessert. “We’re not catering to the person who wants to tuck a white napkin into their collar,” Debby says.
Additional stories on Great Steaks that appeared originally with this one:
Great Steaks in North Carolina
Great Steaks: George Fine’s Beef & Bottle
Great Steaks: House of Ribeyes
Great Steaks: JK’s Restaurant
Great Steaks: The Peddler
Great Steaks: Yadkin Valley Steakhouse
David Bailey is an award-winning restaurant critic and food writer who lives in Greensboro.