Right after I got back from NYC I headed down to Savannah, GA. I was really excited to go, because I was heading to my ancestral homeland. My maternal grandmother grew up outside of Savannah in Jesup. I have never been to this part of Georgia, so it was exciting to get an idea of my Grandma AJ’s background. One of the people I met said that they knew some Odum’s (my grandmother's maiden name) from Jesup and commented that they are some fun-loving drunks. I am glad I come from a line of people that know how to party.
The highlight of the trip was the night I spent in Savannah. There is a new Hampton Inn downtown that is really nice. It is located right in a lovely part of Savannah and is a good deal, although you do have to pay for parking. One benefit of staying a Hampton Inn is that they usually have a decent selection of cable channels. Sadly, I ended up spending way to much time in the hotel room as I felt the beginnings of a cold coming on.
Before I crashed for the night, I headed to Paula Dean’s restaurant, The Lady & Sons. I love to eat at local places and I was especially excited to eat the food of someone that appears on my beloved Food Network. Things actually went my way as I was able to find a free parking spot close to the restaurant and I got in without a reservation (because I was willing to eat at the bar).
There was a lot on the menu that looked very, very good. The only issue is that I have some weird preferences when it comes to food (my dad continuously mocks me, and rightfully so). I don’t like to eat meat on the bone. This means that I don’t really care for roasted chicken served on the bone or ribs. In fact, if it meant eating ribs or not eating at all, I wouldn’t eat. I don’t care to gnaw on bones and when you eat chicken on the bone, you don’t just get the meat, you end up eating gristle, tendons, and other nasty parts of the animal. Yuck. I also don’t care much for fish. I have never really enjoyed fish, aside from the fish stick or Filet-o-Fish variety. I also have issues with shellfish. I oftentimes have strange reactions to crab and lobster, so I just tend to avoid the whole group all together.
Now for the important part – Savannah is a southern coastal city - meaning that they are famous for their seafood and fried chicken (not necessarily together). So when I had to pick a meal, it was pretty much fish or fried chicken. Here is how I played it: The Lady & Sons has a meal called the “Southern Buffet.” It is all you can eat for $17.99 of pork loin, fried chicken, biscuits, corn bread, macaroni and cheese and a lot of other typical southern foods. The bartender recommended the Southern Buffet since I was only in town for the night and it was the best way to sample Paula Dean’s cooking.
The buffet was fantastic, aside from the pork loin which I found to be dry. I also didn’t love the peach cobbler – and I typically love peach cobbler. It just seemed a bit bland, as if there wasn’t enough cinnamon.
I may not eat much fried chicken on a regular basis, but it was the best fried chicken I have ever had. I even went back for seconds. The macaroni and cheese was totally decadent and the homemade corn bread was to die for – I had to force myself not to just eat carbs the entire time. Before you even head to the buffet, you are served garlic and cheddar biscuits – those biscuits prove that this is an inherently good world, as nothing that delicious could ever exist in a world of pure evil. I even tried some black eyed peas that were pretty tasty. But that fried chicken – oh man, that must be what fried chicken in heaven tastes like. Mom – you have to go.
Given the opportunity, I would happily go to Savannah again. Maybe this time I would be able to take a tour of the city, go to the Odum stomping grounds, and see that statue on the cover of the book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
10 months ago