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Savannah, GA (The Lady & Sons Restaurant)

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Is the food at The Lady & Son's Restaurant worth a 8 hour roundtrip to the restaurant and back home?
Are there any other good buffet restaurants in Savannah, GA?

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  1. The food alone is not necessarily worth an 8 hour round trip. You'll probably also be standing in line for awhile waiting to get in. Savannah itself is worth the 8 hour round trip, if you stay a short while and enjoy the city.

    The hoecakes alone, however, put TL&S on the very short list of places that *would* be worth an 8 hour round trip, if I felt food alone could do that.

    I will say this, TL&S is the only place I have ever eaten where I stuffed myself so full of tasty food I nearly got physically ill. It was the hoecakes that did me in. I just can't turn them away.

    1. Simply...no. Used to be great now it is just acceptable. I recommend Charleston.

      1. Not anymore. Mrs. Wilkes maybe. Hominy Grill in Charleston is even better.

        1. >> Is the food at The Lady & Son's Restaurant worth a 8 hour roundtrip to the restaurant and back home?

          The food was above average, and for me, I got my $$ worth from the Beaufort stew. The mac and cheese was good, and so were the other veggies, HOWEVER...

          .all things considered....

          I'd say "No".

          The buffet was, IMHO a bit limited. One of the things they had on it, besides the stew, was chicken style steak... a bit gooey and I'd like to have seen something a bit more upscale than that.

          The salad bar was nothing special.

          And the corn cakes that they served were so greasy they needed to be centrifuged. Almost as though they fried them in grease that wasn't hot enough.

          We go to Savannah every year. But I doubt we'll go the The Lady and Sons again.

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            Unknown Eater

            Resounding NO in my opinion. 6 of us were there for dinner about a year ago when we were in Savannah for a seminar. Perhaps we expected too much, but all were disappointed. The consensus was the menu was uninspired and the food was sub par and greasy.
            Wouldn't go again and definitely wouldn't drive 4 hrs just for a meal there.

            1. We drove 8 hours from Ky when I was pregnant to eat at The Lady and Sons...but it was the week they were moving from the old place to the new place.Back in the day ...it was worth it...not sure about now...but Savannah is worth it!

              4 Replies
              1. re: Laura

                I think it's also a matter of preferred city to visit. I lived near and worked in Charleston for five years, but any place I visited or experienced there wasn't worth a nickel to me relative to Savannah, where we would always vacation at Christmas, to get away from South Carolina.

                Each place has great spots to eat, but eateries are only a small part of the total experience.

                As 1 Wiener Hound, who frequents this section often would say, "Whatever floats yer boat"...

                1. re: Laura

                  We went to Savannah last weekend and ate at the Lady and Sons. Second time, last time was about 3 years ago.

                  Still very good southern food, but not taste bud-popping like it once was. I would compare it favorably with most really good Southern cooking, but not heads above like it once seemed to be. That said, if a fan of Paula or good Southern food, it is worth a try. But only if already going to Savannah, which is a great city to visit.

                  You must get in line to "reserve" a spot for lunch in the morning, at least by 9:30 or 10 am. We went on Friday, in line at around 10am and got a 1:45-2pm seating (lunch is 11-3). For dinner, which is more expensive and crowded, must be in line around 2-2:30 probably (start taking reservations around 3 pm for dinner (5pm until probably around 11pm). After reserving you wander around until your time, then they typically get you in pretty close to assigned time.

                  1. re: scott

                    I'm generally a single when visiting Savanah. Lady and Sons just isn't worth any wait much less what is the current standard. It WAS good but now is barely better than a basic standard Greek meat and two place. I love the lady's cooking but her restaurant has become a cash cow.

                    If you have people waiting in line for your food...can there be a problem? Bless the lady, but I won't darken your door.

                  2. re: Laura

                    My wife and I just made a 10 hour round trip to eat at TL&S and we loved it! The food, while not exotic, is good, old-fashioned southern cooking. The how cakes and biscuits are delicious and the fried chicken is glorious!!! I know a lot of people are not as fond of this restuarant, but we love it. We have been twice and we will go again.

                  3. We just made the trip from ATL to Savannah then home to South Florida, with a stop for lunch at TL&S and we absolutely loved it! Apparently their food is not consistent, b/c I've been reading a lot of bad reviews, but we did not have a poor experience. I actually found the food to be quite houndish - reasonably priced, authentic, home-style, delicious and (for us) exotic. We do not eat southern food, so for us it was a real treat.

                    Helpful hint - get the buffet as take-out. That way, you miss the lines, get a large selection of food and it keeps the price down. We tipped anyway, b/c of the great service we received.

                    I got the bbq chicken, mac-n-cheese, collard greens (so delicious), mashed potatoes, hoe cakes, cornbread, cheese rolls, I devoured it all. I couldn't eat until the next day at lunch, I was stuffed. Oh and peach cobbler and lemonade for desert was delicious!

                    The service was incredible - the manager waited hand and foot on us and we met several of the cooks and they were friendly, jovial and super super nice. We loved everyone there!

                    I don't know if this is worth the wait in a two hour line or whatever, but if you can get in and out in a reasonable time, I would definitely make this a part of your Savannah tour.

                    I think people are a little unfair to this restaurant - the food is nothing like what Paula Dean creates on her show - it is simple, Southern staples with lots of salt, friedness and grease. If you come in expecting that, then you'll walk away very pleased. I thought the food was excellent and I will return during my next visit to Savannah.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: ashmawz

                      The problem I have with TL&S is that it's not near the quality it was a few years back. Since the move, the food has gone down hill and they now treat the customers like cattle.

                      More power to Paula, but I'll spend my food dollar somewhere else. It's a shame, I use to look forward to my yearly trek to Savannah and a meal at her place before fame and fortune got in the way.

                      1. re: bkhuna

                        Very shortly after I moved to SC, son and I went to Lady and Sons, probably a good while before massive TV fame and loyal following developed. Had lunch, didn't wait, in the old location We didn't have the buffet, which was tired looking, truly. All we remember from an unremarkable meal (crab cakes maybe, something with chicken maybe?) were the hoe cakes. Great flavor, but way too greasy. In fact, every time I watch her show, I remember those laden hoe cakes (when the roof of your mouth gets a coating ... you know?)!

                        We weren't impressed then (7 years ago) and have never had the desire to try again, considering there are so many other great places to eat. It's not unusual to eat with your head rather than your taste buds -- there are restaurants that I WANT to love, and thus minor issues take a back seat to overall experience.

                        Living equidistant to Savannah and Charleston, loving both cities, it's a toss up which I prefer. I still think "holy cow" when I drive through the streets of Savannah, and "wow" when I cross the bridge to Charleston. All in all, I think it's easier to find a better meal in Charleston but that's a personal opinion. Your mileage may vary.

                        1. re: birgator

                          Made my first trip to Savannah last month and my local friend took me to Masada instead of TL&S. It's not a buffet, but they do serve homestyle southern cuisine that is fantastic. The red rice with oxtail gravy was so good. Can't wait to hit this spot again on my next trip to Savannah over Labor Day weekend. And no wait at all on a Sun. at about 1 PM.

                          1. re: offtheeatenpath

                            Thanks for the recommendation. We're heading up to Savannah in October and this place is on the top of the list. Even made it the NY Times: http://travel.nytimes.com/2007/07/01/...

                    2. i would say no. there are many other places to go and eat that are much better in taste and price. If you just 'have' to go, just stop in the gift shop. Mrs. Wilkes is much better and not as 'commerciallized' therfore, the true food shines.

                      1. It's always best to find out where the "locals" eat....and it's not Lady & Son's which speaks volumns. Has become just another tourist trap....unfortunately. While many still go just to say they've been, I would highly doubt there are many return customers.

                        1. Unfortunately, we still don't know. We drove 4 hours from Myrtle Beach to Savannah this evening (Thur, Sept 3), but were turned away. They were closing at 8:55pm because business was slow... they informed us after we had waited inside the restaurant for a couple of minutes. The hostess explained that people rarely get a seat unless they sign-up by 4:00pm, so we couldn't expect to be served since we showed up late. She apologized for not locking the door fast enough, and suggested we extend our stay in the city another day to eat at her restaurant. No thanks.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: dnldh

                            I am pretty sure that is common knowledge that to eat there now you have to sign up...I havent heard of ANYONE walking in and eating since they made it big.For lunch you have to get there before nine.