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A Few Great Savannah Restaurants

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Eating well in Savannah isn’t a problem. There are any number of excellent restaurants to discover, from classic barbecue joints to more modern cuisine. Upon returning after five years, we compiled a list of some of our favorites. If you’re looking for good eats, you might want to give one of these restaurants a try.

Crystal Beer Parlor
Chrystal Beer Parlor

One of Savannah’s most historic restaurants, the Crystal Beer Parlor on West Jones Street opened in the early 1900s as a grocery store. It soon morphed into a restaurant and was one of the first in the country to serve alcohol after the repeal of Prohibition. That alone was enough to win it a place in the heart of Savannah, and the Crystal hasn’t become any less popular over the course of the decades.

We’ve been a number of times, and always enjoy ourselves immensely. The food is excellent… although I’ve never ordered anything other than burgers. And the sheer number of craft brews on-tap is a glorious sight to behold. Whether you eat at a booth or the bar, and even if there’s a line waiting for tables (there probably will be), we can almost guarantee you’ll have a great time at the Crystal. [Location | Website]

The Grey
They Grey Raustaurant

Set inside Savannah’s former Greyhound station, on MLK Boulevard, the Grey uses its location to excellent effect. The old ticket stands are now the restaurant’s bar, and the waiting room has become the main dining hall. But as impressive as the remodeling is, the Grey’s food is even better. I ordered up the daily special: locally-sourced oysters served on the half-shell and bathed in a delicious herb sauce. It’s not known as the cheapest spot to eat in Savannah, but the price of the lunch menu was reasonable, and the food was worth every penny. [Location | Website]

Sandfly BBQ
Sandfly BBQ Savannah

Housed in a classic old Streamliner diner on Barnard Street, Sandfly BBQ has been serving up Memphis-style barbecue to hungry Savannahians for a few years, now. It’s a small joint, so you might have to wait for a booth, but don’t let that stop you. This is wonderfully-flavored BBQ, rich and smoky, and it tastes great whether you order a platter, a sandwich or a salad. That’s right: salad. I ordered the Pulled Pork Sandfly Salad… and I think there might have actually been some lettuce leafs underneath all that meat. Just enough to make me feel “healthy.” [Location | Website]

Treylor Park
Treylor Park Savannah

It doesn’t often happen that you can dislike your meal at a restaurant, and still wholeheartedly recommend the place. But that is exactly what happened to me at Treylor Park, a restaurant found downtown on Bay Street. It wasn’t their fault that I didn’t like my meal: they had accurately titled their “Fried Chicken Pancake Tacos With Strawberry Salsa,” and it was well-made. I’m not sure why I ordered them, but it turns out that fried chicken pancake tacos smothered in strawberry sauce taste exactly how you would expect.

But I love the audacity of even having such a thing on your menu. And everything else we had at Treylor Park was delicious. Not only that, but there was a great buzz at this bar/restaurant; the place was packed when we entered, and we grabbed the last stools available. There’s a reason Treylor Park has become so well-loved. But it might not be the fried chicken pancake tacos… [Location | Website]

Screamin’ Mimi’s

Screamin’ Mimi’s has long been serving Jersey-style pizzas to the people of Savannah, but it also serves up a cool, slightly-hipsterish atmosphere in its small, family-run restaurant on Oglethorpe Avenue. Mimi and Big Lou are the proprietors, and although I’ve never heard Mimi scream, I’m pretty sure that I did after seeing the size of the supreme pizza we ordered. If a giant, delicious pizza, dripping with cheese and toppings sounds good to you, head on down. [Location | Website]

The Green Truck
Green Truck Savannah

If you’re in the mood for a great burger, go south on Habersham and don’t stop until you see a restaurant with a pale green truck sitting out front. Despite its location outside of the city center, this is one of the most popular lunch spots in Savannah. The restaurant looks a little shabby from the outside, but don’t let that prevent you from going in; the service is friendly, the menu is fun and unpretentious, and the burgers are incredible. [Location | Website]

The Collins Quarter
Collins Corner Restaurant

This stylish restaurant does justice to one of the best locations in the city, at the intersection of Bull and Oglethorpe. It was founded by an Australian and its interior is based on the popular Collins Street of Melbourne. But we sat outside on the sidewalk, to better enjoy another of Savannah’s unseasonably warm February afternoons.

During our visit, the place was packed and it took a long time for our food to arrive. We hadn’t complained, but the waiter brought us a couple beers on the house, by way of apology; this is a courtesy most popular restaurants wouldn’t extend, and we really appreciated it. The Collins Quarter has a lot of things going for it: excellent food, friendly service, a great location and reasonable prices. [Location | Website]

Huc-a-Poos

Screamin’ Mimi’s is great, but our favorite Savannah pizza joint isn’t actually in Savannah, but Tybee Island. Huc-a-Poos is a Tybee institution, beloved among locals for its giant pizzas, rock-bottom prices, and rowdy atmosphere. The deal on pizzas simply can’t be beat: you can order as many toppings as you want, and the price doesn’t change. Throw in an outdoor eating patio, hilarious bartenders, and drunken locals trying to pick up any newcomers who wander in (it’s happened to us), and you have the recipe for an entertaining night out. [Location | Website]

Savannah Cookbook

More Pics from the Crystal Beer Parlor
Chrystal Beer Parlor
Chrystal Beer Parlor
Chrystal Beer Parlor
Chrystal Beer Parlor
Chrystal Beer Parlor
More Pics from The Grey
They Grey Raustaurant
They Grey Raustaurant
They Grey Raustaurant
They Grey Raustaurant
They Grey Raustaurant
They Grey Raustaurant
They Grey Raustaurant
They Grey Raustaurant
They Grey Raustaurant
More Pics from Sandfly BBQ
Sandfly BBQ Savannah
Sandfly BBQ Savannah
Sandfly BBQ Savannah
Sandfly BBQ Savannah
More Pics from Treylor Park
Treylor Park Savannah
Treylor Park Savannah
More Pics from Screamin’ Mimi’s
More Pics from The Green Truck
Green Truck Savannah
Green Truck Savannah
Green Truck Savannah
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Collins Corner Restaurant
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April 10, 2016 at 10:28 am Comments (2)

The Rowdy Fun of River Street

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Say you’ve got a lady companion on your arm. She’s a fine lady, dainty and demure, and you wish to take a romantic stroll along the river, and perhaps even muster the courage to steal a furtive kiss on the cheek. Good sir, stay away from River Street! Now, on the other hand, if your lady is a party animal, partial to the occasional belch, and already a drunken mess at 3pm, then head on down. You guys are going to have a blast. And I bet you get more than a kiss on the cheek.

Savannah River Street

River Street is Savannah’s party central. When the sun goes down and the lights go on, this is where the action is, drawing locals and tourists alike to its riverside bars and restaurants. But it’s also a party during the day, especially on weekends, as people encouraged by Savannah’s liberal open container laws, stumble up and down the cobblestone street.

But you don’t have to be intoxicated to enjoy River Street’s charms. When the sun is out, this is a fun place for anyone to spend the afternoon. There are some decent shops, historic sights, and the restaurants aren’t all tourist traps: Vic’s on the River is legitimately good, and we had a great time shucking oysters at Bernie’s, where the price per bucket was a bargain.

Savannah River Street

If all that’s not enough, you also have the view of the Savannah River, upon which you’ll probably see some big container ships making their way upstream to the port. Should you feel like getting out on the water yourself, you can take a river cruise on a steamship. Big tourist boats leave frequently from the street-side dock.

But the best thing to do on River Street, is to grab a couple to-go cups, sit down on a wall somewhere, preferably with a view of the Talmadge Bridge, and watch the people come and go. You’ll see all sorts of characters on River Street, getting into all sorts of drunken situations. It’s great fun and maybe, if the sun is going down and the mood is right, you’ll be able to steal that kiss, after all.

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List Of Savannah Hotels

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March 26, 2016 at 12:57 pm Comments (0)

Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room

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Mashed potatoes, fried chicken, collard greens, mac and cheese, blackeyed peas, green beans, stuffing… and could I get more of that sweet tea? Uncle Chuck, could you pass the noodle salad and cabbage? Boy-oh-boy, Grandma, you really outdid yourself this Thanksgiving!

Hold on a second. You’re not my grandma, these aren’t my relatives… and this isn’t Thanksgiving! Oh well. Hey stranger, pass the rutabaga!

Mrs Wilkes

Sorry, Paula Deen, but Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room is Savannah’s most famous dining establishment, with a history that stretches back to 1943. That’s when young Sema Wilkes bought a boarding house at 107 West Jones Street and began serving family-style meals to her clients. Her reputation grew quickly, and soon enough, people were lining up outside the door to get a taste of her famous home cooking.

Throughout the decades, the lines have never died down, even after Mrs. Wilkes’ passing in 1995 (today, her granddaughter runs the show). The restaurant accepts no reservations, so be prepared to wait. The line starts forming around 11am, and the doors open a half hour later. Groups of ten are seated around the table, so you’ll almost definitely be eating with a few strangers. But that’s the idea — you get to meet some people, hear some stories and share some of your own.

Mrs Wilkes

It really is like Thanksgiving, but without the drama usually inherent in family gatherings. Maybe this woman sitting next to you is feuding with her daughter-in-law. Maybe she’s homophobic. But you wouldn’t know, because here in Mrs. Wilkes, such topics don’t come up. You can exchange niceties with her, and inquire politely about where she’s from. And then you eat, eat, and eat some more. There were at least two dozen bowls on our table and everything is delicious. Chow down as much as you want, and don’t worry about things running out: at the end of the meal, our ten-person table had barely put a dent in all the food that had been served.

Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room is a quintessential Savannah experience, and even though the line may seem daunting, believe me that it’s worth the wait. This is an experience you’ll be remembering for a long time… even in November, when your real grandma serves up a decidedly inferior Thanksgiving meal. It’s unfair to compare, though, because nobody does this style of home-cooked feast better than Mrs. Wilkes.

Location on our Map
Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room – Website

Savannah Cookbooks

Mrs Wilkes
Mrs Wilkes
Mrs Wilkes
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March 13, 2016 at 6:18 pm Comments (0)

The Schnitzel Shack of Rincon (via Darmstadt)

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One of the first things Jürgen did when we got to Savannah was type “German Restaurant” into Google. The nearest place bore the tongue-twisty name of Schnitzel Shack, and was a half-hour away in a town called Rincon (rhymes with Lincoln).

Savannah Weizen Beer

That was a little too far away, and we eventually forgot about it. But on a rainy Wednesday afternoon, I returned home to find Jürgen dressed in his lederhosen, playing the accordion and wailing “Deustchland, deutschland über alles” with tears rolling down his cheeks. The homesickness was terminal. Nurse, I’m going to need an injection of sauerkraut, STAT! Let’s roll: destination Schnitzel Schnack. I mean Shack!

Minutes later we were seated at our table in the tiny restaurant. Color flushed back into Jürgen’s face as he read the menu with growing delight. “Jägerschnitzel? Goulash? Spätzle? Ja ja ja, wunderbar!” The Shack offers a selection of both German and Thai dishes, an odd combination which owes itself to the founders’ homelands. Pao is from Thailand, and Joe is from Germany.

Savannah Schnitzel

We quickly discovered that Joe isn’t merely from Germany, but actually from Jürgen’s home town of Darmstadt: a small city south of Frankfurt. Once that factoid was unearthed, the night really got going. Joe and Jürgen swapped stories from the Heimatland. Unbelievably, he even worked at the same company as Jürgen’s mom! We stayed late after eating, talking with him and Pao and drinking beer. They’re a great couple; Joe still works a day job, and comes into the restaurant at night. The Shack’s strange culinary mash-up has proven to be popular, and the table are almost always full.

The food is great. Joe told us that male customers typically order hearty German dishes while women generally stick with the Thai section of the menu. Well, Jürgen and I are both guys, so we went with Jägerschnitzel, Cordon Bleu, Spätzle and Sauerkraut. Gott im Himmel, was it delicious. The Shack also offers fusion dishes, such as Sweet and Sour Schnitzel.

So, yeah. Somehow, there’s this great German-Thai cuisine in Rincon, Georgia, served by a cool guy from Jürgen’s home town. It’s amazing how many treasures are hidden right in plain sight. If we hadn’t researched the Schnitzel Shack in advance, we’d have driven right by without ever noticing it. But now you know, and so there’s no excuse to miss this great little spot in Rincon. Make sure to say hi to Joe and Pao from us.

Location on our map
Schnitzel Shack – Facebook

Flights To Savannah

Schnitzle Shack
Thai German Cuisine
Thai Cuisine
USA Jaegerschnitzel
Wilder Hirsch
German Joe and Pao
German To Go Cup
Gluehwein America
Darmstadt in Savannah
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January 26, 2011 at 6:18 pm Comments (11)

Chef Jerome and The Old School Diner

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Southern Cooking

One of the area’s best-kept secrets is found a half hour south of Savannah, in the small village of Townsend: The Old School Diner, owned and operated by Chef Jerome. A couple friends invited us to the restaurant, where we enjoyed some deliciously unhealthy food, and had a rollicking good time that won’t be forgotten.

The Chef

When we pulled into the Old School’s driveway to find it covered in carpets, I suspected we were in for a treat. Who carpets a driveway? The wooden building was painted in bright red, with farm tools hung on the outside walls, and we entered with our guards up. Nothing inside suggested that this was in fact a restaurant. It felt more like we were invading someone’s home. Photos hung on the walls, comfortable furniture was strewn about, and I was about to accuse our friends of trying to fool us. But soon, a girl came around a corner to greet us, and lead us into the main dining hall.

We ordered beer and took a look at the menu, but there wasn’t much debate. When the menu features a special called The Wheelchair Platter, the choice has already been made: you’re going to order The Wheelchair Platter. We suspect that the name comes from the mode of transportation you’re likely to need after eating. When the platter was brought to our table, my veins seized up in fear while my stomach shuddered in ecstasy. This was a mountain range of fried food, including oysters, shrimp, chicken, clam bakes and ribs. We were five people, including four hungry guys, and couldn’t even finish it.

The evening really got going when Chef Jerome came out of the kitchen to greet us. He does all the cooking, and clearly enjoys meeting the people who’ve discovered his place. The first thing he did was give us all big bear hugs. “I want y’all to know, that you’re family here”. And he meant it! He took us around the restaurant, telling us about his life and work. He showed off pictures of the famous people who’ve eaten there, including Ben Affleck, and brought out the love letters he had written to his wife over the years, before her passing. He brought us into his kitchen, which was decorated with deep fryers from wall to wall.

Chef Jerome seemed genuinely upset when it was time for us to leave, and he even walked out onto the carpeted driveway to say goodbye. “Don’t forget now! This is your home!” The Old School Diner is one of those special, slightly surreal places that are most at home in the backwoods of the Deep South.

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Location on our Georgia map

Savannah Cookbook

Diner Sign
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Cher Jeromes Ride
Townsend Diner
Do Not Ask Neither Tell
Moving in With Jerome
Old School Sofa
Old School Sofa
Early Facebook Wall
Deen Hell
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Fried Balls
On Diet
Fried Feast
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Jerome Love Letter
Retta I love You
Esmeralda Georgia
Scarface Diner
Chef Jerome
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Jerome Cooking Tool
Frying Station
Cute
Old School Diner
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Wolf Creek Georgia Ride
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January 5, 2011 at 12:05 pm Comments (12)

Arrrr, Matey! Dinner at the Pirate’s House

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The Pirate’s House, on the northeastern corner of Savannah, is thought to be Georgia’s oldest building, and is certainly one of its most famous. Captain Flint, from Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, is said to have died here after drinking too much rum.

Pirate House Savannah

Now, this is a touristy place, so you shouldn’t go expecting fine cuisine. But much like Paula Deen’s restaurant, the Pirate House a Savannah institution and we felt compelled to check it out. Our food was decent, if a little overpriced. But that’s to be expected; at the Pirate House, you’re paying as much for the experience as the dinner. We started with fried pickle slices, and I had a kind of seafood lasagna bake. “Arrr, delicious! Fry me pickles and bake me fish!”

I kept up the pirate voice, having a big time, until Jürgen begged me to knock it off. “Arrrr, I be annoying to me matey!”

Legends abound in the Pirate’s House, including one that concerns the underground tunnels leading from the basement of the house into the sea. These tunnels were used to shanghai drunken sailors: villains would wait until they had passed out, then steal them away onto ships bound for unknown destinations. The “Pirate’s House” was a rough, dangerous place, and normal 18th-century Savannahians knew to stay well away from it.

After our meal, our waitress led us on a tour of the house. She explained its history, and showed us into the haunted Herb House, the oldest structure in Savannah. It’s also the the restaurant’s fanciest dining room, available for parties.

We had a good time at the Pirate’s House. It’s fun to simply be inside a building with so much history. And should you wear an eye-patch, and insist on talking in pirate-voice to your dinner companions, you’ll enjoy yourself even more. But they might not.

The Pirate’s House – Website
Location on our Savannah Map

A List Of Hotels In Savannah

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Oldest House in Savannah
Pirate Ghost House
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Scary Pirates
Pirate Stove House
Pirate Shrimps
Fried Pickles
Fried Shrimps
Fried Something
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Pirate House Tunnel
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December 19, 2010 at 7:09 pm Comments (4)

Clary’s for Breakfast!

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Clary’s on Abercorn is the quintessential American greasy spoon, serving breakfast all day long. Omelettes, sausage links, pancakes, grits, and coffee that never stops coming. Ah, American breakfast, how I missed thee!

Bacon

When I moved to Germany in 2001, I was surprised by how little I missed from the States. Baseball, Reese’s Cups, Thanksgiving… not much else. But the big one was breakfast. Of course they eat breakfast in Europe, but not like we do! Six-egg omelettes stuffed with a farm. The Leaning Tower of Pancake. Cheap filter coffee served by scraggly women who call you honey. “Don’t they got the Waffle House in Europe?” No, they do not! They don’t got the Waffle House.

So when we returned to America and discovered Clary’s, I swooned. Just like any great diner, they’ve got all the old favorites, as well as some creative items on their menu. I’ve had both a classic ham-and-cheese omelette, as well as one filled with apples and cinnamon. The waitresses are just as you’d imagine, matronly and quick on coffee refills. And the prices are cheap. On Sunday mornings, Clary’s is always full, but since there are so many tables that you never have to wait long for a spot.

Lunch is great there, too. Or at least, the reubens are. The first one I had at Clary’s was so good, I never tried anything else.

Location on our Savannah Map

Cheap Flights To Savannah

American Diner
Hopple Popple
Beef Breakfast
Clary's Savannah
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December 10, 2010 at 2:56 pm Comments (4)

Championship BBQ at Wiley’s

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A tiny restaurant in a teensy shopping strip, just before Victory Drive merges with the Islands Expressway, Wiley’s Championship BBQ is a real find. It’s been voted the best barbecue in Savannah multiple times in its short life, and for good reason.

Better Than Sex BBQ

We’ve been twice, and have had the chance to meet the owners, Wiley and Janet. They’re relative newcomers to Savannah, but have been perfecting their barbecue sauce for years on the competition circuit. Their sauce’s name is “Better than Sex,” and while I might not go that far, it’s awfully close. And “Practically Comparable with Sex” is high praise, indeed!

Janet sat down at our table while we gorged ourselves on Redneck Nachos, their most popular appetizer, and a sampler basket full of meat. Wiley’s is small, with room for about 30 people, and always crowded. I asked if they planned on moving somewhere larger, given their obvious popularity, but she and Wiley are happy right where they are. They get a lot of regulars, and many tourists stop in as well. Often, there’s a line out the door.

If you’re looking for quality barbecue made by awesome people, head over to Wiley’s. The ten-minute drive from downtown is definitely worth it. And make sure to order the beef brisket!

Location on our Map
Wiley’s Championship Barbecue – Website

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December 6, 2010 at 7:35 pm Comments (6)

Paula Deen’s The Lady and Sons

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While we were living in Spain, eating incredible, organic dishes fresh off the fields, the Paula Deen Phenomenon was sweeping America. And by the time we moved to Savannah, she had become a bona fide celebrity… especially in this city. No matter where you turn, there she is, her smiling visage peering out of every storefront window, dominating the cover of every magazine, sneaking into every conversation. “You look skinny,” she seems to be saying. “Come here and let Mrs. Deen rectify that.”

Paula Deen Lady Son Savannah

Everyone we’ve met here has had two pieces of advice for us. 1) At all costs, avoid eating at Paula Deen’s restaurant, Our Lady and Sons. 2) And since eating there is unavoidable, stock up on cholesterol medication.

I didn’t understand how eating at a restaurant could be “unavoidable”, but that was before I talked to my friends and family. “You’re moving to Savannah? Now, where have I heard of that city before? Oh, that’s right: Paula Deen!”

My mom: “Of course I’ll come to visit, sweetie. As long as you promise that we eat at The Lady and Sons”.

My aunt: “So tell me all about Paula’s restaurant, I’m on pins and needles! Excuse me, what? You haven’t have eaten there yet? What’s wrong with you, Michael?! Are you into drugs?”

And so, we went to The Lady and Sons. It was everything everyone said it would be, both good and bad. I’ve never eaten greasier food. Even my beer was greasy. Even my napkin. It freaked me out, but The Lady and Sons seemed to be a sort of deep-fried Mecca for most of our fellow diners. People were moaning with pleasure as they bit into their deep-fried whatever. We were transfixed by a woman at the neighboring table who, with every bite of her biscuit, was sent into a spasm of gratified rapture. So delicious! She was literally shaking with delight… or now that I’m reflecting on it, that might have been a heart attack.

If you’re not a Paula Deen fan, I’d say you can comfortably skip The Lady and Sons, and not feel the slightest bit guilty; Savannah has plenty of other restaurants that are more worth your money. And if you are a fan of the flamboyant Ms. Deen… well, I shouldn’t waste any more breath. You’re going regardless of what I say, and you’re going to love it. (But seriously, consider adding some cardiovascular exercise to your daily routine.)

The Lady & Sons – Website
Location on our Savannah Map

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November 20, 2010 at 1:55 pm Comments (11)

Fine Dining at The Olde Pink House

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The Olde Pink House, on the western side of Reynolds Square, was built in 1771 and is the oldest surviving mansion in all of Savannah. Today, it’s one of the city’s most beloved restaurants, and is also home to a popular bar on its bottom floor.

Pink House Savannah

The mansion was originally built for James Habersham, who was one of the colonial city’s most important merchants. Habersham committed suicide in the basement of this house after discovering that his wife was having an affair with the architect. Because this is Savannah, Habersham’s ghost is rumored to still wander the halls. Much of the restaurant’s staff claims to have encountered him at least once.

We didn’t see any apparitions during our dinner at the Pink House, but it’s certainly a suitable place for them. Each of the low-lit rooms in this multi-floor restaurant is decked out with original artwork and furniture, and the effect is haunting, especially at night. I felt transported back to the 18th century as we were led to our table. After ordering, I embarked on a little tour of the restaurant, to admire the individual rooms.

As fascinating as the history is, and as impressive the decor, the best thing about the Pink House is the food. Good lord! On a recommendation from a friend, I tried the flounder, which was perfectly cooked and covered in a rich apricot sauce. It’s one of their specialties, and for good reason. Jürgen had pecan crusted chicken breast, and we both were given Southern-specialty sides like collard greens. Everything was delicious.

The Planters Tavern is a bar on the bottom floor of the Pink House, where you’ll often find a jazz singer and pianist. It’s a cool spot to spend a late, relaxed evening. If you see Habersham’s spirit in the seat next to you, do him a favor and act scared. It’s not easy being the ghost of an old, pink house.

Location on our Savannah Restaurant Map

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Stuffed Artichokes
Flounder Pink House
Pecan Crusted
Savannah Pink House
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November 15, 2010 at 7:00 pm Comments (4)
A Few Great Savannah Restaurants Eating well in Savannah isn't a problem. There are any number of excellent restaurants to discover, from classic barbecue joints to more modern cuisine. Upon returning after five years, we compiled a list of some of our favorites. If you're looking for good eats, you might want to give one of these restaurants a try.
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