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Savannah chowhounds--send me to your faves

I'm coming through in August, and looking for good chow. I've been to Savannah several times, eating my way through a few of the usual touristy places (Lady & Sons, Mrs. Wilkes, etc.--a miss and hit in that order) as well as some other chow recs (Johnnie Harris and Sweet Potatoes---another miss and hit, in that order). This time I'm coming through with a friend who's never been to your town, and want to return to a few favorites (Mrs. Wilke's, for sure) and also try a few others. Could you local hounds help me out? Tomatokid, are you out there? You seem to have the real chow vibe I'm looking for.

For this trip, I'm thinking of either Elizabeth's or the Pink House (never been to either, and would consider other suggestions for this type of experience) for a "fancy" meal.

Also--B.Matthew's? I haven't seen much on CH about this place, but the menu looks interesting. 2 Bubbas?

Others? I love BBQ, but we'll look for that in other places along our route. I'm looking for southern, low country, down home and delicious places. My friend's not as adventurous as I am (I love the dives!) but will go where I take her. I know she'll prefer places with some atmosphere or a funky vibe.

So, come on townies, point the way!

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  1. You can find excellent ice cream @ Leopold's. It's near SCAD. The owner of Leopold's is a movie producer for Paramount Pictures. www.choppedonion.com

    1. If you liked Sweet Potatoes go with the fine dining version around the corner Toucan Cafe same owner very good southern/Caribbean menu. Elizabeth's sadly has seen better days and the Pink House is more ambiance than good food, but the ambiance is outstanding.

      Can't say enough good things about 2 Bubbas, Vinnie's in City Market for good pizza and great crowd watching. George's of Tybee re-opened last year and is as always excellent if a bit snooty. For a funky vibe don't forget to stop in at Pinky Masters for a PBR and give Rancho Alegre a shot for some fine and fairly authentic cuban.

      8 Replies
      1. re: philthewebguy

        We are heading there in a few weeks, too.
        New South Cafe has been recommended- anyone have a review?

        1. re: philthewebguy

          Another vote here for Toucan Cafe. Great for lunch or dinner. Great service, too. It's even worth a detour when we're on our way to Florida.

          1. re: philthewebguy

            I take it that 2 Bubbas is different from "Uncle Bubba's"? As I mentioned, I'm looking for bbq along the road (we're on our way back to Boston), but want something different in Savannah. Is Toucan Cafe in the same category,, ambiance-wise as Elizabeth's or Pink House? I loved Sweet Potatoes, but my friend will want something more upscale. I still haven't heard anyone report about B. Matthews.

            TOMATOKID! ARE YOU OUT THERE?

            1. re: philthewebguy

              We were unimpressed by Pink House.

              What's that cafe that is also an art gallery? Huge, warehouse-type space. We had an AMAZING lunch there a few years ago, meatloaf sandwiches and banana pudding, that sort of thing, but lord that was good food.

              1. re: uptown jimmy

                I think New South Cafe is the one you're referring to...warehouse-type space with art on walls.

                1. re: uptown jimmy

                  I'm pretty sure that the place that you're asking about is the Soho South Cafe on Liberty Street. They have really good fresh food - wonderful salads and a really good Sunday brunch. It's in a large old warehouse just east of Whitaker. By the way, Whitaker Street is kind of the "design center" of Savannah and is full of interesting and funky stores. I would recommend it for a walk and a browse.

                  1. re: divamon

                    That's downtown, right? Looks like New South is not downtown, and the place we ate at was definitely downtown. Must be Soho South. Whatever the name, the food was absolutely great.

                    Funky, big, warehouse space that doubled as an art gallery space, and I remember a razed lot nearby, the remains of the foundation visible on the ground.

                2. re: philthewebguy

                  Sorry to hear about Elizabeth's. Have been several times when in town. Have not been in a few years. What happened?

                3. It seems to me that B. Matthews has taken a header. I've eaten several times there in the past and enjoyed it but when I ate there in March, I had a meal that was truly awful.

                  Jazz'd has a funky vibe and many great "tapas" and makes a great place to have drinks.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: bkhuna

                    I second Soho South. Killer brunch, funky-hip vibe.

                  2. If 1790 is still open, I can vouch for the prosciutto-wrapped sea bass there.
                    I second the Toucan recommendation. And if Georges is too snooty, head to the North Beach Grill for more laid back, beach atmosphere.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Culinary Adventurer

                      The Pink House is my pick above.all.The food can not be beat, if you are looking for low-country. It is a bit pricie, but I do not mind that much if I enjoy it. We ate at Sweet Potatoes two years ago and it was discussing. I am suprised that it is still open. I would have thought the health department would have closed it. We could not eat the food. The place looked like a shack. It was dirty and nasty looking. We just paid our bill and left. The Lady and Sons is a big tourist trap. We did not care for the food. It was just the run of the mill with people trying to get a glimice of Paula Dean. Way over priced.

                      1. re: Mollybud

                        We just returned from a long weekend in Savannah. Ditto to the Olde Pink House. We had a fabulous meal there - I had the crispy scored flounder with apricot glaze and my partner had seared yellowfin tuna (perfectly prepared rare).

                        On Saturday morning we walked over to the City Market area to find a breakfast place. As we passed at 9:30 we saw that the line was over 4 blocks long just to get on the list for lunch at Lady and Sons. I assume the line was just as bad when you actually returned for lunch.

                        We did eat at Uncle Bubba's Oyster House, which is her seafood place on the way over to Tybee. The food there was excellent. Try the charcoal grilled oysters - served on the half-shell with butter and parmesan.

                        1. re: Mollybud

                          I'm not sure what Sweet Potatoes you ate at, but when I went last December the inside was immaculately clean with colorful walls/Caribbean decor, large comfy chairs at oversized tables and a friendly wait staff.

                      2. We just got back from a long weekend there.
                        Had dinner at New South Cafe- which gets my vote for the best meal we had while in Savannah. The Fried green tomatoes and the Grilled (yes I said grilled...) Caesar salad were delicious. Entrees were all good- pecan trout, peanut crusted chicken, brisket and filet mignon. The wine list was not great- but managed to find a nice Pinot Gris. The peach cobbler was fresh out of the oven and absolutely wonderful. The location is about 10 minutes out of the historic district and we did get very lost on the way back- so make sure you get directions back to wherever you are going when you leave. Staff was friendly and helpful.
                        Also had an ok lunch at Hueys on the waterfront. Great location and the food was alright. We had some salads and Po boys.
                        The worst of our meals was at the British Pub in the Historic district. I don't recall the name, but there is a British phone booth outside. This place was recommended by locals and the food was really dissapointing. Scrawny sandwich with chips on lousy bread- for approx. $9. Pass this place up unless you are just going for drinks at the bar.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: sfeatz

                          As an aside to the topic - has anyone been to Love's Seafood? It's a bit out of town on Hwy 17, but I was wondering if it lives up the what I've heard about it. Thanks!

                          1. re: divamon

                            Love's is a Savannah institution. While not technically in Savannah, it is right on the Ogeechee and is where portions of Forest Gump were filmed. The food has seen better days, but if you are looking for fresh fried seafood and local Savannah Red Rice, it's a nice place to eat. Leave the kids at home and sit down by the water.

                            1. re: divamon

                              Our family went to Love's and were very disappointed on every count. That was three years ago however.

                          2. Lgalen, Go to Savannahoffthebeatenpath.com for a lot of good information.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Lewes17266

                              I've used the site frequently over the past few years of my travels through Savannah. Thanks!

                              1. re: Lgalen

                                I really wish I had all that information a few years ago when we lived in Savannah! I just discovered the website recently.

                            2. So I've read through all of this, and this is what I'm thinking for my girls weekend in Savannah this month...
                              Sweet Potatoes – for our “down-home southern fix” dinner one night
                              B.Matthew's – nice dinner another night
                              Soho South Café – for brunch on Sunday
                              Jazz'd – for drinks

                              Suggestions for where to go out after dinner? Any changes I should make to this plan? THANKS!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: nutella

                                Good choices! B. Matthew's is one of my favorite spots and has a nice atmosphere. If you want another brunch/lunch option try Firefly Cafe on Habersham St. or Express Cafe and Bakery on Barnard St. Lulu's Chocolate Martini Bar on MLK is also a great place for drinks, especially if you like desserts and martinis. Vic's on the River is my favorite restaurant/bar. If you want a great view of the Savannah River and downtown, it's the place to be at night and has delicious food.

                              2. The Olde Pink House (the real name of the place - no one has mentioned that yet) is a nice restaurant. Nothing out of this world, but not bad either. I would forget about eating upstairs though. If you want a truly memorable experience ask to be seated downstairs in the tavern area known as Planter's Tavern. It is a completely different vibe and you order all the same food.