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Oct 6, 2010 01:35 PM

Savannah lunch ideas - please confirm or offer new suggestions

My husband and I will be in Savannah for 3 days next weekend for a wedding. We get in too late on Thurs. night and already have plans Fri. and Sat. for dinner (one of which is Garibaldi's), but we're looking for ideas for lunch on Fri. and Sat. and brunch or lunch on Sun.

Based on what I've seen here, I'm debating between Firely, J. Christopher's, Soho South, Crystal Beer Parlor, Mrs. Wilkes or The Olde Pink House (they're now open on Sundays for lunch according to Yelp?). Would you recommend one of these over the other? Are there other places we should consider that I don't have listed here?

We're both in our early 30s and love to eat good, local food. Neither of us are very picky and are willing to try just about anything, and we aren't particularly price-conscious. We won't have a car and we'll be staying at the Courtyard Marriott at 415 West Liberty St. on Thurs. and Fri., and at the Mansion on Forsyth Park on Sat.

We can only choose three places. What would your picks be?

The Olde Pink House
Savannah, GA, Savannah, GA

Soho South Cafe
12 W Liberty St, Savannah, GA 31401

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  1. You will find Mrs. Wilke's to be very touristy. I suggest Sweet Potatoes. Crystal, Firefly and Pink House are outstanding. J Christopher's and So Ho South are nice also. You have chosen well. Garibaldi's is also excellent.

    Sweet Potatoes Kitchen @ 6825 Waters Ave., Savannah, GA. 912 - 352 - 3434.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Littleman

      Please note that boston1215 has specified that she won't have a car, so Sweet Potatoes is out of the question. While I agree with you that Sweet Potatoes is a worthy locals' place for all things Southern, I think given their motility restraints, going to Mrs. Wilkes is a slam dunk to be able to experience that genre of cuisine and such a high quality of execution and variety.

      Sweet Potatoes
      529 N Trade St, Winston Salem, NC 27101

      1. re: mikeh

        Thanks for pointing out the OP has no car. Do they have cabs in Savannah? I have never used one. I have two cousin's that I visit quite often in Savannah but I always had a car. I agree with you about Mrs. Wilke's except being a slam dunk. If you like to stand in line an hour for meat and 3 vegetables that's fine. I would go somewhere that's more accessible. What is your suggestion for a great place serving "southern comfort" food near the OP's hotel that takes reservations.

        1. re: Littleman

          More like 3 meats and 15 vegetables, but point taken. It's personal preference whether it's worth the time and effort. Although I'm not sure there's a southern comfort place that takes reservations. I'd think the best bet if you don't want to wait is to go to that Masada Cafe at the United House of Prayer for All People, which is not too far from downtown. Cafeteria style and VERY local.

          1. re: mikeh

            Thanks. I have heard of Mosada but never went there. I'm sure my cousin's have. They live near Liberty Street in one of those ancient two or three stories homes that are beautiful. I hated to walk down the stairs at night to get a glass of water for the floors creaking.

            I see you posted below about a book with Mrs. Wilkes. Have you written a book about dining. I might be interested. I like to read about food. Thanks.

    2. The weather right now is perfect for al fresco lunching. I suggest on Friday strolling up Barnard St to Broughton and getting a couple of items to go from Papillote. Go back across to Telfair Square and have a picnic. Adult beverages are okay as long as they're in a plastic cup. Stop in The Distillery on your way back to the hotel for a look around.

      On Saturday the traffic on Liberty will be lighter and an outdoor table at Soho South would be pleasant. Another option is an outdoor table at Vinnie Van Go Go's at City Market. Pizza by the slice, salads and people watching. Cash only.

      The Pink House may have garden dining available for brunch.

      1. The Savannah City Market is a place you should not miss. The shopping and dining is outstanding. Belford's is in a historic brick building serving fine dining for lunch and dinner. Cafe at City Market offers casual bistro fare for lunch or dinner with outdoor dining as well. They also offer Sunday brunch. There are 7 restaurants at Savannah City Market.

        But Crystal Beer Parlor and Pink House are both outstanding and places you should not miss.

        City Market is about 15 "short blocks" N of Courtyard. Take a leisurely walk and take your time. Enjoy Savannah.

        Belford's Restaurant Seafood and Steaks @ 315 W Street Julian St., Savannah, GA. 912 - 233 - 2626.

        Cafe @ City Market @ 224 W. St. Julian St., Savannah, GA. 912 - 236 - 7133.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Littleman

          I like Belford's for lunch (shecrab soup is very good) on the outside patio. But my favorite is B Matthews for its eclectic menu and resonable prices.

        2. All excellent suggestions... going to have a difficult time choosing! Possibly a stupid question, but I don't need to worry about reservations at any of these places at lunchtime, do I?

          1 Reply
          1. re: boston1215

            Would be a good idea just to be sure.

          2. Please bear in mind that Mrs. Wilkes is only open for lunch on weekdays, so you'll want to make that your Friday lunch if at all possible. It's a "stand in line" thing and cash only - so get there early enough and be prepared to wait.

            I lived in the South for 20 years and it's about the best casual Southern country cooking I've had in a restaurant, and since it's family-style, you get to try it all. I know people say there are some rural places out in the country that are just as good, but I have yet to find such a place that is so consistently on the mark across such a variety of dishes. I had the recent opportunity to compare a few rural greats in my book with Mrs. Wilkes in very short order - Jones Kitchen in Jesup, GA, Bum's in Ayden, NC, and the Market Diner in Thomasville, GA, and Mrs. Wilkes was the clear winner. I'm convinced.

            5 Replies
            1. re: mikeh

              Mikeh........did you write a book with Mrs. Wilkes. I would like a copy of it. What's the name. Thanks.

              1. re: mikeh

                I'd like to clarify that I did not write a book with Mrs. Wilkes. The above restaurants are at the top of my list (i.e "in my book") of southern meat-and-threes, and I dined at all of them and Mrs. Wilkes within days of one another. Sometimes it's difficult to compare experiences when too much time has elapsed between dining at each. For example, I had thought that Jones Kitchen was as good as Mrs. Wilkes until I tried both between a day of one another.

                Jones Kitchen
                526 W Cherry St, Jesup, GA 31545

                1. re: mikeh

                  Thanks Mikeh. Have you been to Geneva's Homeplate in S Savannah on Bee Road. It's good country food in a different atmosphere. All the furniture is different like they picked it up at junk stores. It's country food but not what you call a meat and three but the fried chicken is outstanding.

                  Geneva's Home Plate @ 2812 Bee Rd., Savannah, GA. 912 - 356 - 9976.

                  If you get to Mississippi try The Dinner Bell in McComb, MS. It's meat and about 15 vegetables also served on a revolving table. Not many of those left.

                  The Dinner Bell @ 229 5th Ave., McComb, MS. 601 - 684 - 4883.

                  Geneva's Homeplate
                  2812 Bee Rd, Savannah, GA 31404

                  1. re: Littleman

                    Geneva's is on my list for next time. I intended to go there a couple months ago, but my flight into Savannah was delayed and they were closed by the time I was out of the airport.

                    Mississippi is generally uncharted territory for me, but Dinner Bell is definitely a place I want to try, along with some others from the list you put together in the Jackson, MS thread not too long ago.

                    1. re: mikeh

                      Fly to Memphis and drive S down 55 to Oxford, MS the home of the University of Mississippi. Spend the night and dine at City Grocery owned by John Currance of James Beard Foundation fame. Go see the Grove and a lot of pretty girls at Ole Miss. Then drive through Clarksdale, MS for lunch at Ground Zero owned by Morgan Freeman. Drive to Greenwood, MS and spend the night at the Alluvian Hotel owned by Viking Range. Have dinner there one night at Lusco's and another night go to Doe's in Greenville, MS. Drive S to Vicksburg, Natchez and then to NOLA. Walnut Hills in Vicksburg is a meat and fifteen place with revolving table tops like Dinner Bell. Let me know if you ever need some advice this way. Email me at terrene (at) cableone (dot) net. Take care and good luck.