Savannah - I-95 (exit 94)
I'm heading to FL in Jan., 2012 and will be stopping at the Marriott Springhill Suites overnight. Looking for a decent meal and would prefer not to go to a chain. Any locals have a good restaurant or maybe a bar/tavern with good bar food to recommend that's close by. If not, how far (time-wise) is it to downtown Savannah and what's good there? I'm not a big steak eater and will eat just about anything except Indian food.
I'll take a stab at this. I don't have anything out at I-95 and State Route 204 that's not fast food or a chain restaurant or mediocre. The closest local good restaurant is going to be Tangerine, 11215 Abercorn Street (912-920-5504). Abercorn Street is what SR 204 turns into once you hit Savannah's south side. Tangerine is an intimate (i.e., small) fusion restaurant owned by Sean and Ele Tran and they serve up first rate food. We go there or to their sister restaurant Ele probably half a dozen times a year (we eat at home the vast majority of the time, so we really like these places). They serve a great duck w/ vegetables with a Thai curry sauce. They always have fresh fish specials. Simple items like pad thai they do well. Their sushi is excellent. http://tangerinefusion.com/menus.htm for their menus, if you wanna look around.
There are lots of good restaurants downtown. The best way to get downtown from where you'll be staying is to come north on I-95 and take the first exit, I-16 east, into Savannah. You should be there in fifteen minutes. There are lots of recos for restaurants on the site. Try a search and narrow down what sounds good, maybe?
Thanks Buddha49! Pad Thai is one of my favorites when traveling - usually can find a good recommendation from locals and it's a nice relaxing meal that satisfies without filling me up to the uncomfortable stage. I'll take a look at downtown now that I know it's just a short ride.