Savannah is one of my favorite cities, and since we live less than three hours away, my husband and I travel there quite often. That also means that whenever we have company we take them down there. This week my family—mom, dad, and grandma—is visiting Georgia for Thanksgiving, so a drive down to Savannah was definitely in order.
Not only is Savannah absolutely gorgeous, but there is great history around every corner. And the food...oh, the food. It's so lip-smacking delicious that you almost wish your stomach never got full. Fresh fish, an open container policy where you can drink on the streets of Savannah, and yummy desserts await your taste buds.
When I asked my family if they wanted to visit Savannah I could practically hear them jump up and down as they shouted, "YES!" over the phone. Then, the second thing they asked was if we could dine at Paula Deen's famous restaurant, Lady and Sons.
This summer I ate at Lady and Sons with my best friend, but we kind of cheated the system. The "rules" for eating there consist of this: There are no reservations. Instead, you have to stand in a line with other food lovers at 9:30 am and get your name on a list with a time to come back later in the day. But here's an insider's tip: If there are just a couple of you, skip the line and head over to the hostess' station in the afternoon for a late lunch or an early dinner and ask to sit at the bar. Sometimes they have openings at the bar and will let you waltz right on up there. This trick doesn't work every time, but if it does, you'll be feasting your teeth on fried and buttered food in no time.
Anyway, back to our trip this weekend. My husband and I showed up around 8:30 am (an hour before they start taking reservations) and were 20th in line. Not too shabby for it being the "off season." We put our name on the list for 1:30 pm and were told to show up just a tad before then to check in. We had just enough time to take a wonderful trolley tour of Savannah. I highly recommend taking this tour if your a first-timer to the city.
When we came back for our allotted lunch time, they wouldn't seat us until the whole party was present (my husband and I were parking the car...), but once we were all there we had an incredibly friendly waitress who explained that we could either order off the menu or opt for the buffet. Four of us had the buffet and my grandma ordered the "Poet's Lunch," a sandwich and cup of soup.
Before we even had drinks on our table, we were presented with a hoe cake—very similar to a pancake, but made with cornmeal—and a cheesy, garlicky roll—think Red Lobster style, only 10 times better. The majority of our group ordered the Southern favorite, sweet tea, that came with a sprig of mint.
Then it was on to the buffet.
This is my second helping of food—hey, you only eat at Paula Deen's restaurant once, right? (Or twice in my case, but let's pretend it was just this once.) I should also mention that I did eat a plate of salad, but I forgot to take a picture of it. Their ranch dressing was pretty tasty, and their homemade croutons were crunchy and perfectly seasoned.
The fried chicken was moist, crunchy, not as greasy as I thought it'd be, and the baked chicken was less salty and more flavorful than I imagined, too. I heard someone at the next table over claim the fried chicken was, "the best fried chicken I've ever, ever had." I personally don't eat that much fried chicken, so it was good, but I don't know if I can claim that it was the best. It definitely tasted better than a fast-food fried chicken, though.
Next up was macaroni and cheese. This was just okay for me, but I've never been a huge mac and cheese fan. My favorite at Lady and Sons, though, is her collard greens. Oh my, they are phenomenal. I'm sure they're made with a pound of butter and enough salt to kill a man, but I don't really care. I would've had an entire plate full of them. YUM! Eating her collard greens has actually inspired me to attempt making my own.
Next on the plate above was rice, but I actually ended up scooting the rice away and replacing it with lima beans. Yes, lima beans that were also out of this world (and made with more butter and salt). I love how this place makes food that normally isn't a favorite vegetable into something I want to eat all the time.
Speaking of, there were BBQ short ribs on the buffet as well. I know this may sound crazy, but I'm not a huge fan of BBQ. However, this sauce was so tasty that we bought a jar of it in the store next door. I'm really excited use it.
After all this food you'd think I'd be unbuttoning my pants just so I could breathe a little better, but we still weren't finished. Up next was dessert. If you order the buffet, you have your choice of three desserts: Ooey, Gooey Butter Cake, Peach Cobbler, or Banana Puddin'. We, of coure, tried them all:
First up, the Gooey Butter Cake is definitely for chocolate lovers. Don't even attempt to eat this if you don't like chocolate. I did and regretted it, because it was so rich. The Peach Cobbler was very "eh" for me, but that could be because I like my husband's version a whole lot more. My favorite from the trip was the Banana Puddin'; it was just a perfect way to top off the meal, because it wasn't too sweet and actually felt a little lighter compared to everything else.
Paula Deen's definitely isn't for everyone. The food is fried, saturated in butter, and sometimes too heavily seasoned with salt, but you're really not going there for a five-star meal; if you're going to eat there you're going because you want to say that you've eaten there. If you do make your way to Savannah and dine with Paula, just remember one thing: leave enough time after your meal for a nap, because you're definitely going to fall into a food coma after devouring all of that food!