Sunday, March 9, 2014
The Olde Pink House is one of Savannah’s historic restaurants, it is Savannah’s only 18th century mansion, some president read the declaration of independence there, blah, blah, blah…..
Although I appreciate the historic aspects, I was really there for the food.
Earlier that day we were visiting a relative in Savannah and asked her to recommend a nice place to go for dinner. She asked if we liked Seafood, and although I do not, my friend does.
She told us that her favorite meal was from Garibaldi’s and it was a Crispy Scored Flounder. She spoke of the sauce that it was served with and described exactly how it was prepared and made my friend’s mouth water.
She also told us that the food quality at The Old Pink House had been going downhill, but that the people who owned Garibaldi’s had taken it over and “saved” it, bringing it back up to the standards that they once had. (Her words, not mine)
She said that both restaurants had a few of the same dishes including this Crispy Scored Flounder, and that we might want to try going The Old Pink House for the dish as well as the history and ambiance.
We decided to take her advice.
Yes the ambiance was nice. We also had an excellent server. The Maitre De also came over and she was very personable and courteous.
The lighting was extremely dim which is why my photos are not up to par.
Now on to the food….
Our server started us off by bringing a Bread Basket that was filled with Biscuits and Corn Muffins. Having been to Mrs. Wilkes earlier that day I had low expectations, however I actually preferred these. The Corn Muffins were sweet and the Biscuits were similar to the ones my grandmother use to make, so good! We even asked for a second Basket.
For our appetizer we had the Tavern Platter (Fried Green Tomato, Portobello Mushroom, Artichoke Fritters $26.95).
The Fried Green Tomato (my favorite of the three) was served over Sweet Creamed Corn and topped with Pickled Beets and Bacon. The Beets were unexpected and unnecessary but over all I liked the dish.
The Mushroom was topped with Blue Cheese and Truffle Oil. It was also pretty decent if you like Portobello Mushrooms.
The Goat Cheese stuffed Artichoke Fritters were crispy and decadent. They would have actually been my favorite had they not been covered in a Honey Mustard Sauce (just my personal taste).
As for our entrees he obviously ordered the Crispy Scored Flounder, which was served with a side of Grits and Collards ($28.95). He loved both the Fish and the Sides and so the recommendation was definitely a success! He was quite happy.
I knew that there was going to be a lot with the bread and the appetizers so I decided to just have a Salad for my main dish.
I had the Mixed Greens with Caramelized Apples, Pecan, Goat Cheese Fritter with champagne Citrus Vinaigrette ($9.50) and a side of Cheddar Grits ($4.75). The combination of both the Salad and the Grits were just enough and I didn’t feel like I needed anything from the entrée section of the menu…. That would have been too much.
Our bill (with a couple of cocktails) was just over $100 before tip. It was a very good meal with nice ambiance and outstanding service. Being such a landmark in Savannah I’m glad that I finally got the chance to dine at The Olde Pink House.
Posted by d at 1:54 AM
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Part of the main reason we went to Savannah was to go to Mrs. Wilkes for lunch. My friend had been before and gave it rave reviews, and although I had lived in Savannah years before (living only a couple blocks away) I had never actually dined there. We did our research and knew that the doors open at 11am, but also knew there was always a line of people waiting to get in and you had to get there pretty early if you wanted make the first seating. We arrived around 9:45 on a Wednesday morning and were surprised to find that there was only one other couple ahead of us. Score! We made friends with them and found that they were actually from our area in Florida so we had plenty to talk about while we waited (and smelled the biscuits baking).
Just as expected the line began to form and much to our surprise they actually let us in and seated us about 10 minutes before 11am.
They show you to your 10-seat table, which is already covered in bowls and bowls of different Southern-Style dishes and plenty of Sweet Tea.
Once the table is seated they say a quick blessing over the food and then everyone at the table takes a dish, serves themselves, and then passes it. Although some people might not like to be seated with strangers or eat “family style”, this is a big part of the charm of eating at Mrs. Wilkes and it has worked for them all of these years (I believe they have been open for like a million years or something). On a side note… even their Bathroom has a certain charm to it!
Now as for the Food… My Goodness, where do I begin? Fried Chicken, Biscuits, Green Beans, Black Eyed Peas, Okra Gumbo, Meatloaf, Corn Muffins, Lima Beans, Mac N Cheese, Beef Stew, Sweet Potatoes, Collard Greens, Baked Beans, Squash Casserole, Cabbage, Rice, and Rutabaga! (I didn’t even know that people knew what a Rutabaga was! LOL) The menu changes a little each day depending on what is in season… but trust me, as long as you like Southern Style Cooking then you will find tons of dishes that you like and you will leave stuffed (or like me, Miserably Stuffed).
I will say that everyone at my table was more then happy to pass the dish around again and also comment on what their personal favorites were.
My basic game plan was to take a tiny portion of everything and then go back for what I really liked.
Although everything was basically pretty good, I had three stand-out dishes that were my favorite… The Sweet Potatoes (They are not kidding with the SWEET… they were like candy, or better yet… Pie Filling), the Creamed Corn (Creamy and delicious, and truly from the South) and my favorite of all The Black Eyed Peas (Salty goodness and I loved the Green Beans mixed in).
The Dessert options of the day were Banana Pudding and Blueberry Cobbler. I must say that they were both a little underwhelming, however they were included in the price ($18 per person) so why not?
We also had to buy a Mrs. Wilkes Cookbook on our way out, and then we meandered through the Savannah Squares for a while to “Walk Off” our food. I will say that a trip to Mrs. Wilkes was something that I checked off of my Bucket List, and I think that everyone should go there at least once before they die.
Posted by d at 11:19 PM
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
I lived in Savannah in the ‘90s when I was in college. Being a student and on a budget I would always go to Vinnie Van Go-Go’s. Although I was not yet the Foodie that I am today, I do recall them having really good tasting slices of Pizza (that were huge) at an affordable price.
Twenty years later I returned to Savannah for a visit, and much to my surprise and delight it was as if time had stood still… Vinnie Van go-Go’s was exactly as I remembered and the Pizza was just as good, and still at an extremely affordable price.
Located on the edge of City Market, Vinnie Van Go-Go’s must be doing something right if they are still going strong after all of these years. They have a cash only policy and have a bicycle delivery area at no additional charge so locals can stay in and eat out.
Their menu is simple - Pizza by the Pie or the Slice, Spinach Salads and Calzones. Toppings are extra and you pretty much build your own.
We arrived around 10pm on a Tuesday night and the place was packed. We did manage to get a table outside on the heated patio. They still had the plastic awnings that they can bring down when it is really cold out. (Can you tell that I was thrilled to be back and feeling extremely nostalgic about this place?) The place was filled with art students and locals that were out for a Beer. I ordered a Slice with Feta and Broccoli, and my friend ordered his Slice with Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Spinach and Artichokes.
Our friendly waitress brought out our food in record time and that very first bite took me back to my late teens/early twenties. It was so good. Their Pizza has the perfect crust and I love not only how big each slice is but also how generous they are with their toppings.
On our last day in Savannah we were hoping to get another Slice or a Calzone from Vinnie’s before we drove back to Florida, but were saddened by the fact that when we arrived it was about 1:30 and they didn’t open until 4pm. I guess this just means that we will have to make a trip back at some point.
It is quite possible that I am a little biased because of my history with this place, but I feel as though Vinnie Van Go-Go’s has the best Pizza in the world.
Posted by d at 10:20 PM
Monday, January 27, 2014
Located on Orange Ave. just south of Downtown (near Michigan Ave.), Numero Uno Cuban Restaurant is a quaint “Mom and Pop” style eatery that has been a staple for over 30 years.
Over the past twenty or so years I have been there a couple of times with friends who wanted to go but I was never really impressed, however I am much more of a Foodie now and have a much greater appreciation for different types of Cuisine. Now that I have become a fan of Cuban cuisine I decided to return to Numero Uno to see how it holds up to other places.
We were there mid-week for a late lunch and there was only one other table that was occupied. Our friendly waitress took our drink orders and brought us some toasted Cuban Bread. I probably could have eaten the whole Bread Basket I was so hungry.
I first started with an order of Fried Yucca. This is my typical appetizer that I order at Cuban or Puerto Rican restaurants and I must say that this did not disappoint. The Yucca was fried crisp yet soft in the middle and the dipping sauce was garlicky and flavorful.
Then for my entrée I decided on the Pernil de Cerdo Asado (Roasted Pork, hand-carved thin with Grilled Onions and Mojo, served with Plantains (Maduros), Black Beans and White Rice).
Now I really enjoyed the Rice, Beans, Plantains and the flavors of the Pork and Onions. I would have liked the Pork to be a little more on the tender side, and I think if it were shredded instead of sliced it also would have made it more appealing. This being said I would still say that overall I enjoyed my meal (the sides alone were so good I didn’t really even need the meat).
I don’t think I would order this dish again, however their menu is extensive and there are plenty of other things to try if I should go there again!For a place to exist for that many years in this economy they must be doing something right.
Posted by d at 10:21 PM
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Knowing that I had an event to attend in Jacksonville I checked out Urbanspoon to see what the latest restaurant craze was, and all I kept reading was review after review that were all raving about Maple Street Biscuit Company!
Although there is now a second location in Jax Beach, I was staying near the original location in the very charming San Marco area.
They are open 7am until 2pm Monday through Saturday (as well as Dinner on Fridays and Saturdays).
The Menu is simple and consists of a variety of Biscuit Sandwiches (all freshly made-to-order) and a few Side Items.
When you place your order they ask you a random question (the day I was there it was “What do you want for Christmas?”) and whatever you answer is what they use to call you when your order is ready. It is little more interesting then simply asking your name, as well as being a good conversation starter.
As for my meal I ordered The Loaded Goat (Flaky Biscuit, all natural Fried Chicken Breast, and Fried Goat Cheese Medallion $6)
This restaurant gets back to simple things done well. The Biscuit was flaky and buttery, the Chicken Breast was crispy and juicy, and the Goat Cheese was tart and creamy. It was perfect blend of flavors and extremely satisfying.
I also got a side of Smokey Mountain Mac-N-Cheese (Five Cheese Baked Macaroni with Cheese Cracker Crust $4).
Although I would have been fine with just the sandwich, far be it from me to not order at least one extra item, especially on my first visit.
The Mac-N-Cheese was creamy and comforting, and the “Cheese Cracker” topping gave it a little crunch and a whole lot of pizzazz.
I see why this place gets such high reviews and the next time I pass through Jacksonville I hope that it is between 7am and 2pm so that I can stop back in for another delicious Biscuit!
Posted by d at 12:45 AM
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
I recently had the pleasure of going to Greek City Café in Tampa with some friends who had been there before. I love Greek Food and was hoping for the best, but by no means did I think I would love it so much.
Greek City is currently a chain of 3 different stores, but I expect they will be expanding to more stores soon.
Counter service to place your order, then they will bring your food out when it is ready. The environment is clean and there are both indoor and outdoor seating options.
I asked the girl behind the counter to assist with my order and she was super-friendly and helpful.
We decided on a “Two items for $7.29 special” with a California Greek Salad and a Falafel Pita. Then when I saw that the Soup of the day was Tomato Florentine I decided to have a bowl of that as well.
First off the soup was delicious – rich and robust, with a deep tomato flavor that was out of this world. I enjoyed it so much that when I got home I looked up Tomato Florentine Soup recipes on line (I wonder if I will be able to make something this tasty though).
Falafel Pita (Homemade Falafel, Feta Cheese, diced Tomato and Onion, with fresh Romaine and served with Greek Dressing)
The Crispy Falafel, Tangy Feta and Sweet Greek Dressing exploded with flavor, and all of the ingredients were super-fresh!
And lastly the California Greek Salad (Fresh Spinach and Mixed Greens served with Avocado, Tomatoes, Carrots, Pecans, Feta Cheese topped with Balsamic Vinaigrette),
All of my favorite flavors together!
And they did not “Skimp” on the Pecans or Avocado (which a lot of restaurants seem to do)
This salad also came with a couple of Pita wedges (I took the liberty to dip in my friend’s Tzatziki, which was also very good)
Any of my three dishes would have stood alone, but I’m glad I tried them all.
I left with such a great taste in my mouth and so excited to have a new place to visit when I am in the area.
Go Greek City…. I love you!
Posted by d at 6:42 PM
Monday, January 6, 2014
Gonna make this a quick review!
I have enjoyed Agave Azul (located at the corner of Kirkman and Conway by Universal Studios) for several years now.
They have a nice atmosphere and I have always had quick, friendly service.
They also have some of the best Chips and Salsa around (complimentary).
On my last visit I had the “Create you own” Two-item Lunch Combo ($6.99) with a Taco and a Quesadilla (both filled with their delicious Carnitas).
Even their Refried Beans and Rice are full of flavor (so many restaurants have beans that are so bland).
Some of the tastiest Mexican Food around town!
and at a great price!
Posted by d at 11:06 PM