May 082015

May 2015

Mrs. Wilkes Fried Chicken

Mrs. Wilkes Fried Chicken

Food in Savannah is Southern and then some.  As a California girl, I will admit that I am not the absolute fondest of fried food and the lack of fresh vegetables, but the South is growing up and I found lots to crow about.

I want to start, however, with one of the restaurants people come specifically to Savannah for,  Mrs. Wilkes.  The restaurant is open for lunch only from 11:00 to 2:00 Monday thru Friday.  The line starts forming at around 10:00 and those at the end are often disappointed in the lack of ability to get in after a long wait.

This long wait does one thing I had difficulty with, you feel rushed and tend to wolf down your meal.  That being said I will agree with my cab driver Gator Bob, this is the best fried chicken I have ever tasted.

The sides at Mrs. Wilkes

The sides at Mrs. Wilkes

The meal is family style, with ten people per table, and yes, in typical southern style, you make friends with these folks both standing in line and dining with them.

The sides, and sweet tea, are already set upon the table before you sit down.  There are so many, that before the chicken arrives your plate is full, along with your belly if you aren’t careful – be forewarned.

The meal is $20 cash and a tip in the basket at the front door as you leave, and you bus your own dishes.  I was left wondering what happens to all the left over food, the photo above was taken after we finished.

I was in Savannah for a conference, so by the time dinner rolled around, I was usually only in the mood for a light meal and a good southern cocktail.

Mother’s Day, with no reservations I ended up at Alligator Soul.

Aligator Soul

Aligator Soul

That was no problem, they serve the full menu at the bar, where, as the evening progressed, several tourists joined me for dinner.  I had their shrimp and grits and will say it was moist and sumptuous.  Having ordered the appetizer size, I walked away stuffed!  The bartender was adorable, and the service excellent.

The Public Bar and Kitchen

The Public Bar and Kitchen

Despite the fact that I was in town for a Victorian Conference, I fell in love with the mid-century modern Public Kitchen and Bar.  Their “contemporary Fresh American” fare was perfect.  A great place for snacks and a drink or a full dinner, and they mean it when they say fresh, great greens, and salads.

The Irish in Savannah

The Six-Pence Pub

I have discussed the Six Pence Pub already, but I want to repeat, it was a great place for bangers and mash, or a very, very comfortable spot to just sit and drink a beer and catch a game. It, like Mrs. Wilkes, is on the tourist route, but it deserves better praise than that moniker.

Leopold's Ice Cream

Leopold’s Ice Cream

I will admit, I had never heard of Leopold’s Ice Cream, and yet I was told over and over that it was rated some of the best in the country.  So, on a very hot, typical day I stopped in.  I had the lemon custard, as it promised they had not changed the recipe since 1919.  It was delicious and refreshing.  Leopold’s is an on-again off-again Savannah institution. It is an old fashioned soda fountain, with a little Hollywood history thrown in.

This is not a restaurant or food blog, so sorry, not many food choices or photos.  As a San Franciscan and world traveler, I am a real foodie, and it is not easy to impress me.  So I hope the notes above give you some help in weeding through the many great restaurants of Savannah when your time was as limited as mine.