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Nov 29, 2004 08:44 AM

The Lady & Sons - Review - Ever Eaten So Much You Got Sick?

  • c

This weekend on our way back up from visiting relatives we spent the night in Savannah. We decided to eat at Paula Deen's restaurant, The Lady & Sons, for lunch.

We arrived at 1 and put our name on the list. There was a 1.5 hour wait and the line wrapped around the block. The host was a delightful fellow named John who handled everyone's pestering with incredible politeness and a smile.

We returned an hour after we made our reservations and continued the wait. By this time people were being turned away by John who explained that the wait time exceeded the restaurant's open hours (3PM is the end of lunch). But he still encouraged some of them to check back right near 3 just in case.

We got in at 2:30 and were taken to the 3rd floor by the bar. In my opinion it was the best room in the place. The main 3rd floor dining area is too big and noisy and while the 1st floor is cozy, the bar area is beautiful.

After sitting down a woman came by with some hoe cakes. I've never had a hoe cake before, but put syrup on it as she recommended. It was fantastic! She also brought by cheese biscuits.

Our waitress took our order for two sweet teas and we headed for the buffet. The $12.95 buffet is all you can eat and includes salad and dessert.

Our buffet items on Saturday included fried chicken, braised chicken, pork ribs, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, cream corn, green beans, lima beans and a few other items that I'm forgetting.

In retrospect, I think it was the sweet tea that did me in and filled me up so fast. Our waitress was very attentive and filled up my sweet tea repeatedly. I downed my plateful of chicken, ribs, and sides and went back for a second helping. This time I got a few of the items I had passed over the first time, including the green beans and mashed potatoes. I also got another hoe cake.

After a few bites of the second plate an unbelievable wave of fullnes hit me. I couldn't bear to not eat the hoe cake though, so I took a few bites of it. And suddenly I could barely look at food anymore. I had literally eaten (and drank) so much that I felt sick. That's a first for me.

The waitress came by with desserts. Another first in my life, I turned mine down. My husband got the banana pudding and raved over it. I just sat there feeling full up to my neck and unable to move. We left around 3:30 as the restaurant was beginning to clear out. A few stragglers were still being let in, though.

After walking a LOT I began to feel more normal and started kicking myself for filling up so much on the iced tea that I couldn't even eat dessert. Note: BE SURE TO PACE YOURSELF AT THIS PLACE!

It was fantastic. I can't wait to go back. The best southern food I've had in Savannah and if well planned (i.e. you're not in a hurry or absolutely starving when you go to put your name on the list) it's well worth the wait.


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  1. I, too, went to the Lady and Sons this past Monday, September 25, 2006. So 2 years after this post. All I can say is, I won't go back nor will I ever encourage anyone to go there.

    I worked in Jacksonville, Florida and rented a car just to drive to Savannah to go to Paula's restaurant that I'd been wanting to get to for years. In hindsight, I wished I have been able to get there in years past, as then maybe, it would have been worthwhile. As to me, the quality control [all around] was poor.

    The food on the buffet was minimal compared to what I've seen it looks like on television. I had thought I'd get the whole of Paula's cuisine on that buffet and clearly that the vacant. Maybe I was wrong in assuming that, again, from seeing it on television. I was seated in the bar also. I didn't fit sitting at the bar as there was a lip and I didn't fit so the food couldn't reach me.

    The staff lacked in personality and help. Bland people was my opinion.

    I have written Paula a letter. It's quite long and detailed as I wanted her to understand why I was feeling as I was after that experience. I am not sure she's there too much. With the other projects going on for her, maybe she's got other irons in the fire. Will I make the effort to ever try it again? Unfortunately, no. There are many restaurants around the country that I do often suggest or recommend.

    Sorry for this report, but it's true.

    1. Seems to be the consensus, lately. No one is there running the restaurent they are all off doing tv. & $13 for a lunch buffet is a sin.

      2 Replies
      1. re: beteez

        yea, especially for 'that' buffet

        1. re: beteez

          if the buffet was worthwhile it'd make a difference but this one is small, nothing special AT ALL, and well, enough is enough

        2. Well, when Paula's there, it makes a difference. When I was there last year, Bobby was there and the food was fine. I also ate at the third floor bar room and had my first hoe cake there!


          1 Reply
          1. re: TexasToast

            Has anyone seen Paula there in the past few years? I hear most of the staff hasn't even seen her. I think the sons are there all the time, but not Paula - too disruptive.

          2. as a local, i can say Savanniahians do not go to TL&S - we used to until it became "too" succesful

            for years, touristas visited Mrs Wilkes Boarding House. however, Mrs Wilkes still catered to her local clientele (we entered thru a side door to avoid the line)

            then along came TL&S and locals began going there rather than Mrs Wilkes - as she became more famous and the lines grew longer - locals stopped going there

            now, locals are going back to Mrs Wilkes

            2 Replies
            1. re: osprey

              I will say If I waited in line to eat somewhere and local were rushed in via another entrance I would be livid.

              1. re: osprey

                Well, as a Savannah resident for many years, I can tell you that THIS local -- and many others I know -- definitely DOES go to The Lady and Sons. And, WOW, is it fantastic! The food has been absolutely fabulous every time I have gone (countless times), the service is always wonderful, and the price is well-worth it. My husband and I always bring our out-of-town guests to The Lady and Sons, and every person who has tried the food has raved about it. Also, shame on anyone who disses the restaurant or Paula Deen. Paula Deen has done so much for the city of Savannah. She does a lot to fuel the tourism around here and she and her family are some of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet. (Yes, I've met her. She's a doll.) She worked very hard and built her "empire" from the bottom up. She deserves every bit of the success she now enjoys.
                Bottom line: The Lady and Sons is fabulous and delicious. The prices are reasonable and Paula Deen is a great person who certainly hasn't lost touch with her Savannah roots. She's still a local!

              2. I'm still going there if/when I get to Savanah. I'm a believer in the food/tourist places. Not solely but sometimes you have to see for yourself. I may hate the place I may not. But I can at least say I've been there.
                Then I'll ask locals where to go.


                1 Reply
                1. re: Davwud

                  You would serve yourself well to just go to Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House.