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Mrs Wilkes, Savannah?

Opinions about Mrs Wilkes? I have heard so much about it for so many years, and a current book says it is the best down-home food in Savannah. But they don't take reservations and serve lunch only and the thought of standing in line for up to an hour in the noonday sun and August heat is a turn-off. I want the Southern home-cooking my grandma made, nothing elegant.

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      1. re: Insidious Rex

        Yes to the first question. Don't know about payment methods, best to assume cash only, or call them to ask.

    1. Mrs. Wilkes is great. The line is a good place to meet people from all walks of life. The street is tree lined, so it is shady and not sweltering. The line moves fast and before you know it, you are inside. The fried chicken is great, probably 2nd best I had in Savannah. The sides are plentiful and good. It is family style, so you will be full when you leave. I strongly recommend the experience.

      4 Replies
      1. re: wadejay26

        What was the first best chicken?

        1. re: LaLa

          Almost embarrassed to say, but it was at Paula Deen's. The rest of the meal was very mediocre, but the fried chicken was awesome.

          1. re: wadejay26

            I have had her fried chicken..it was pretty damn good.

            I am not ashamed to admit that I had a meal at her old place before the fame and the meal was excellent.

            1. re: LaLa

              So did I. I didn't even know who Paula Deen was at the time. A friend had heard that the restaurant served the "best fried chicken around." It was pretty fabulous.

      2. I love it. It reminds me of Sunday dinner at my grandmas in Macon (on a larger scale of course). The fried chicken is amazing but, since I now live in MN and can't get some of it, I devour the vegetables. Butter beans, green beans, black eyed peas, squash, rice and gravy, okra and tomatoes, everything that I loved growing up- all at once. Last time I was there they had cucumbers in vinegar that I just hogged. The one thing I don't have an opinion on is dessert because I'm always too full, but my husband loves the banana pudding.
        We usually get there more towards the end of seating, around 1:00. I think the wait is generally shorter by then. Just know that you'll watch person after person come out raving about how delicious it is while the smell of fried chicken wafts by. It's definitely worth it, esp if you grew up on that type of cooking.

        1 Reply
        1. re: meljohns

          Yes, I hear you about the good ol' vegetables, no nonsense about serving green beans crisp and half-raw. Just like Grandma cooked. Traveling in the South used to mean, to me, eating at Morrison's Cafeterias and, never mind the meat, I would get a big tray of vegetables. Many thanks to all for responses. I will persevere with Mrs Wilkes and look for the shady trees, make a reservation at Paula Deen's, and (please don't laugh) take the bus out to Oglethorpe Mall for the purpose of eating at the Piccadilly Cafe---I expect they, too, will have the Southern-cooked vegetables. We have nothing like them in the North. And I wouldn't say no to a fruit cobbler, either. PS, while we're talking, I am reading good things about breakfast at both Henry's and Clary's. Any strong opinions?

        2. We had a great experience. We got there a bit before it opened, and didn't have to wait long at all. We sat with two very nice elderly ladies who were born in Savannah and had many tales to tell about the area. Food was great. Load up on the vegetables.

          1. I ate at Mrs. Wilkes once a few years ago and loved every minute of it. The line outside moved quickly after the doors opened for service and the community seating made for fun and interesting conversations. The food was really good, just like the southern cooking my grandparents used to make. When I'm around good food like that, and its served family style, I have a hard time controlling myself. On this occasion, I ate so much I had to stroll around Savannah for a looooooong time in order too "walk it off". I'd go back to Mrs. Wilkes in a heartbeat.

            1. The experience at Mrs Wilkes is unforgettable....we had a terrific time meeting people as we met in line waiting to get in ..which I would do no later than 10am. Once in and seated....silence is golden because everyone is devouring the best fried chicken I've ever had...we kept asking for more wings and they kindly and happily brought us more. The side dishes are as authentic as one can get. We loved it and are trying to find something just as good in Charleston when we visit....otherwise, we may have to drive down to Savannah...lol.

              1. I have eaten here several times over the years since my very first visit to Savannah, and it has always served really good Southern fare (excellent fried chicken, pot roast, squash casserole, all kinds of vegetables). I don't mind the wait nearly as much as my husband does, but for this type of "boarding house" experience--communal seating/sharing, heavy lunch of expertly prepared southern-style dishes (many of them!)--I've found nothing comparable. I've eaten in a fair number of restaurants in this beautiful Southern city, but I'll ever associate Savannah with Mrs. Wilkes's.

                Did you go?

                1. Every year I go with a bunch of girlfriends on a long weekend somewhere. This year it will be 3 nights in Savannah. A few years ago we had the best fried chicken ever at Gus' in Memphis, and would love to find fried chicken we would like as much. If you think it's really worth waiting at Mrs. Wilkes, we would do it. Talking to others in line would be perfect for us, as we are known as the "yentas".
                  Suggestions for other restaurants would also be great. We will be arriving on October 30th, leaving on Nov 2nd. Our day for fried chicken might be Halloween, so that is either better or worse, who knows.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: robinsilver

                    Mrs Wilkes is totally worth the wait! Her fried chicken is very very good! Plus the fun of sitting at a communal table with people from all over is fun!....except no one is talking and everyone is eating. We also tried Sisters of the South...if I remember right ..that's what its called. A very small place where its really down home cooking...great chicken. We loved the Pink House for dinner...very good and loved the rolls!

                    1. re: Pinkwasabi

                      I read something recently about LJ's Soulfood, anyone been there? We will have a car, so if it is not walkable, we will drive.
                      Also, if anyone has ever done any of the trolley or ghost tours, any thoughts on a company?

                      1. re: robinsilver

                        Try Trip Advisor for trolley/tour recs.