Savannah Foody Tours Review

Last Saturday I had the pleasure to go on the Savannah Foodie Tour hosted by Ron Higgins in Savannah.   The tour starts around 11 am from the Savannah Visitors Center but Ron suggests all “Foodies” show up by 10:45am.  We had a full bus with 25 like-minded foodies that went on the tour.

 

Our first stop was Mom & Nikki’s Soul food located at 714 Martin Luther King Blvd 912-233-7636.  Mom & Nikki’s is a very popular soul food restaurant that is growing each day.  Our “treat” for the day was Southern Shrimp served over creamy grits – a southern tradition that is eaten at all times of the day from breakfast to dinner. 

Second stop was Back in the Day Bakery located at 2403 Bull Street 912-495-9292 www.backinthedaybakery.com  which was voted by Savannah Connect as “Best Bakery” for 2008!!  We had the joy of tasting the mini-cupcakes with butter cream icing! Yummy! (and as cute as could be!).  Actually, the Back in the Day bakery was probably the “cutest” little place I have ever seen – very lovely shabby chic decor that served the food to match – I will be visiting this bakery in the future!

Third stop was The New South Cafe located at 2601 Skidaway Road 912-233-7558 www.thenewsouthcafe.com .  As you all know, one of my favs.  Just recently The New South Cafe was named 2008 New and Emerging Business of the Year and Chef Matt was name 2008 Best Chef by Savannah Connect!! Congratulations Matt and Staff!  We had the Fried Green Tomatoes which were wonderful of course and an excellent showing of Southern Cuisine for the Tour!!

Fourth stop was Angel’s Barbecue located at 21 West Oglethorpe Lane 912-495-0902 www.angels-bbq.com .  Serving up some Memphis Style Barbecue in a truly unique setting.  This little hole in the wall (that is a good comment, I promise!) is kind of like the Vinnie Van Go Go’s of Barbecue in Savannah.  The food is excellent and the walls are decorated with so much tacky and fun stuff and lights it makes this place really stand out as a ‘one of a kind’ joint!!

Fifth stop was Savannah’s Candy Kitchen located in City Market at 318 W. St. Julian Street www.savannahcandy.com .  We stopped off and had some samples of the taffy, ice cream and left with a gift bag that included a praline.  Tourist love this place – being from Savannah, kind of boring, but still yummy! I thought this stop left something to be desired personally.  There was no personal touch like most other stops, but what do I know.

Sixth Stop was at The Paris Market located at 36 W. Broughton Street www.theparismarket.com .  I kind of thought this was an odd stop being that it is not a restaurant, but we had some lovely frozen hot chocolate that was cute and tasty, plus we got to do some shopping if we chose to.  Personally, this is another of my favorite places in Savannah – not for the food, but in general, this place is beautiful and everything in it is beautiful – I fell in love with The Paris Market when it arrived in Savannah and still love it today!  Now I know they have some lovely beverages and tea cakes, I will have one while I shop! Cool.

Last stop…can you guess….

Of course it was Paula Deen’s The Lady and Sons located at 102 West Congress Street www.theladyandsons.com .  Suprisingly we didn’t have to wait in line!! We were handed a little styro bowl as we walked in and our treat was to fill our little mini bowl from her Southern Buffet!  Kind of cheesey I thought, but still, I loaded my bowl with veggie casserole, sweet potatoes and mac & cheese.  Ok, Ok – it was tasty, but I kind of felt like cows being led through the feeding line, just to be whisked out the door to eat my greasy treats on the sidewalk!!  There is nothing that I would rather do in 100 degree heat but eat some hot – fattening Thanksgiving style side dishes!  Not what I expected at all.

Tour is done…

Now, my thoughts on the Tour in General.  I think it is a fabulous idea.  I would like to see more “foodie” type of information leading to and from each stop and I would have loved to have more interaction from each of the stops – there was only a couple that I noticed that gave that personal interaction.  Ron is great and I believe that it is his personality that carries the tour.  He is a wealth of information with the Movie business so I would love to go on that tour as well.  

I would recommend this tour to any foodies or non-foodies coming to Savannah.  This is a great way to see the city, taste some good food and to be exposed to several neighborhoods and restaurants in one tour!!  Ron, keep up the great work!!

The website for the tours www.savannahmovietours.net – All of them can be booked from this site.

Gourmet Girl on a Roll…and a Kao Thai Cuisine Update

I really wish I could post more each week or month, but to be honest with you, who has the time – Unless my job was a full time critic (which I would LOVE ) I do work and have somewhat of a life to lead, so in my spare time I write.

Nevertheless, I do find time each day to read my stats and to see what people are searching for to get to my blog, which is very interesting to say the least.  My stats show me what people want to read about and are looking for – which I guess that is what anyone does that maintains a blog right, I am new at this.  

Lately, alot of searches to get to my blog has been from people searching for Kao Thai Cuisine in Savannah GA which I did a review on, check it out!  I have been back for dinner not too long ago and it is not the same I am sorry to say, so I thought this update would be in order.  

 

I am under the understanding that the chef/owner has hired his brother to do all of the cooking and creating.  Personally the food is not up to the par I remember it to be, is capable of being, nor do I believe it should be.  

 

On my last visit I got the Num Tok, which is my favorite appetizer, a Spring Roll and Beef Pad Thai and Chicken Kao Pad (another of my favs). It seemed to me all of the dishes were missing that Va-Va-Va-Voom that these dishes used to have.  Which is very upsetting to me.  The Num Tok was not bursting with flavor that it usually is, the Spring Roll was boring and the Chicken Kao Pad lacked very much chicken and flavor to be honest. 

My conclusion to this Kao Update…

What I have learned over the years is when the owner/chef takes his eye off of the ball, meaning his restaurant business, all can be lost in the blink of an eye.  I hope this is just a transition and not a permanent change in the menu.  

 

I also hope all of the searchers for Kao will be satisfied with a wonderful dinner or lunch at a great restaurant that I remember.  

If there is a restaurant in Savannah you would like me to review, let me know!! I will make the time!!!

Enjoy!

Gourmet Girl

I will check back soon.

 

 

 

My New Favorite – Coffee Crusted Beef Tenderloin!! Who would have thought!

~~Gourmet Girl News Flash~~

For some reason in the past 10 years I have turned into one of those people that just don’t eat alot of red meat.  It was never a consious or health decision, I just always choose seafood or chicken – I like it better.  Not that I don’t appreciate a good cut of meat and trust me, a good hamburger every now and then is tasty!! But that is about the extent of it… or it used to be.

 

Not long ago I would proudly say to myself, “I don’t remember the last time… or anytime for that matter, that I ordered a steak at a restaurant”.  Just hearing me say that sounded odd – even to me!  

That now has changed…. Brace yourself, this is a good one!

At one of my favorite restaurants a while back while I was glancing over the seafood entrees, an interesting Beef dish caught my eye.  This was a Coffee Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Creamy Mashed Potatoes and Oyster Mushrooms with an Espresso Cream Sauce!!  I DO love Coffee so it automatically sounded yummy and extremely interesting – I had to try it.

 

The dish was wonderfully presented on a triangle-shaped plate that was visually exciting and refreshing to see someting other than a round plate!  The Tenderloin was crusted with coffee and cooked to perfection, the mushrooms were silky and sexy and the potatoes were rich, creamy and delicious.  But the sauce…oh! the sauce.  Oh My the Sauce!  This was the best tasting sauce that I have ever tasted.  Sounds kind of strange – coffee and steak – but it is actually the perfect marriage!  Rich and earthy, fantastically delicious, lip-smacking goodness.  This would be good over anything (seriously!), but it was the PERFECT compliment to an outstanding dish!!

Bravo – Bravo – Goes to The New South Cafe for creating an interesting, memorable, fantastic entree that is out of this world !!  Check it out for yourself if you are in Savannah!!

Coffee Crusted Beef Tenderloin – What to order!!

The New South Cafe – 2601 Skidaway Road, Savannah, GA 31404 – 912-233-7558

www.thenewsouthcafe.com

 

Southern Food in Savannah – Served in Many Places

Each week I check my stats on this website to see what the most viewed post is and every week it is the same…My review of The Lady and Son’s (Paula Deen’s restaurant) in Savannah.  I suppose I can understand this being that Paula Deen is everywhere you look now days, but it concerns me slightly to think that people visit Savannah for some good southern food thinking that The Lady and Son’s is the ONLY place in town that serves traditional “Southern” food –

 NEWSFLASH

Savannah is located in the South, therefore there are many great restaurants to get your fill of Collard Greens, Fried Chicken, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, etc.  

No one, I repeat, no one should have to stand on the sidewalk in the sweltering heat of Savannah in the summer hoping to get a seat at The Lady and Sons.  I have received several comments from my earlier post of The Lady and Sons and this is the number one complaint.  If you find your vacation taking you to Savannah for some southern food, here are some other options for you that are really good – and you won’t have to break a sweat waiting in line like cattle… 

The New South Cafe – obviously one of my favorites! Well, well worth every penny! It is on the “Foody Tour” stop for Southern Food!! 

Mrs. Wilkes – Savannah tradition (if it is still open).  You can always get takeout through the backdoor in the lane behind the restaurant! Good value! 

The Holland House – I have heard through the grapevine this one is as good and less crowded than Mrs. Wilkes – check it out.   

Sweet Potatoes – fun, quirky little place – with great food I must add!   

Keep an open mind while dining, don’t follow the crowd EVERYWHERE!  Meaning, Savannah is a beautiful city with some wonderful restaurants and excellent Chefs that can cook some fantastic dishes  – check them out! 

I will add the addresses and phone numbers of the restaurants that I have listed soon.Enjoy! 

Gourmet Girly in Atlantic City…

Yes, that is correct, I just got back from Atlantic City.  I had reservations to Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant but did not make it due to the horriffic travel conditions!!Yikes!!  So, for the food, this is what I had the pleasure of dining on while in the “Las Vegas of the East” (or at least that is what they say, right!)…

I had to have a cheesesteak while this close to Philly, so the only thing open at the time was Tony Luke’s Cheesesteaks  – sounded good, I mean, is it possible to mess up a regional favorite on home territory… I think it must be.  The flavor was alright, but it was not moist at all – even with the cheese that they said was on it – I think it melted into the dry bread, at least that is what I am guessing.  So, my hopes were up, but it did not pan out – the cheesesteak was not all that great – sorry Tony!

 For dinner the next night we had reservations at Bobby Flay Steak located in the Borgata Resort and Casino (which is where we were staying…that is a whole different blog!!).  Let me just say first – ALL of the restaurants located in the Borgata are beautiful, absolutly perfect atmosphere.  I loved the look and feel of all of the restaurants – fantastic!! For my dinner I had the Lobster-Crab Cake with Tomatilla Sauce and  and  Saffron Aioli.  Now I wanted this to be ‘mind blowing’, I really did, but the Lobster-Crab Cake was just pretty good – not outstanding, not mind blowing, but still very good.  I also had the Tuna TarTare with Classic Garnishes which was good, but again, not mind blowing.    We were quite suprised that there was nothing in the appetizers category that was not a seafood dish – my dining companion has alergies to seafood, so he was out of luck for the apps!!  Chef Flay – you, of all people, should know to have some diversity when it comes to your menu, especially when you have a restaurant called Bobby Flay STEAK – and all you do is offer seafood appetizers – what is up with that!

 Now, do I think that Bobby Flay was actually preparing the food – of course not, that would be absurd!! He is much to busy to be slaving over a hot grill (well, except on TV!).  But did I still expect something outstanding – yes, yes I did.  What I do know is that I was excited to go, pleased to dine on some great dishes and almost in heaven with the decor – so, I guess in some way it did live up to my expectations, just in different ways.

Great job Bobby!  You have succeded in providing me with a memorable dining experience, which, face it – that’s what anyone in the restaurant business strives to do with every customer.  Check out the website of the restaurant www.bobbyflaysteak.com located in the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 – 866-692-6742 www.theborgata.com

My Best Meal in Savannah so far…

I like all types of food, but I must say I am partial to seafood – in fact, I can not remember the last time I have ordered a steak at a restaurant – I have tasted, just not ordered. 

The other night I was in the mood for a good piece of fish – not a flimsly, thin slice of fish, a nice thick chunk that is substantial that melts in your mouth.  As we all know, this is easier dreamt of than found. 

Well, I got lucky!

I was at The New South Cafe the other night and ordered the Blackened Redfish from the menu.  This dish, for some reason, I have never had.  The Blackened Redfish is presented over a nice bed of Coconut-Leek Risotto with a Blood Orange GastriqueOH MY GOD!!  How on earth did this dish never make it to my pallet I have no idea.  This was the best dish I have ever eaten in Savannah.  The fish was perfectly seasoned – not too spicy, just right.  The coconut-leek risotto was to die for – the flavors blended so perfectly with every bite.  And if it could not get any better than that – the Blood Orange Gastrique was the perfect accompanyment that accented all of the flavors and married the entire dish to be a wonderfully created dinner that was so satisfying I did not want it to end!!!  The flavor that was left in my mouth was beautiful – spicy, sweet, sour, tart – all combined to make this a sensory explosion experience!

Now, I don’t usually write about individual dishes that I eat, but in this case – it is well deserved!

My hat goes of to the wonderful chefs at The New South Cafe for once again, creating an experience that all others will have to live up to in my book.

I won’t even say IF you go….this is a MUST GO…

The New South Cafe, 2601 Skidaway Road, Savannah, GA 31404

912-233-7558

www.thenewsouthcafe.com

The New South Cafe Express – Welcomed Addition

Just recently, The New South Cafe – which is one of my favorite ‘finds’ in Savannah, has added on to their wonderful restaurant with an ‘express’ cafe to the right side of the restaurant.  Meaning, in less than 30 minutes, you can get a wonderful, full plate of home cooked southern food, fresh and hot for $10 – including tax, and tea!! There are daily specials that will be the same each week (to allow you to plan your week around smothered pork chops and fried chicken – yummy!). 

I think the addition is a great concept and a fantastic idea for people working with time constraints for lunch, but still looking for a plate of yummy food.  Also, with fall and winter fast approaching, what a better way to stay warm throughout the day!

Some of the dishes that will remain constants each week are…Fried chicken, smothered pork chops, catfish fingers, salisbury steak and pecan crusted trout – with such side dishes such as collard greens, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash casserole and the best….let me say this one more time…THE BEST creamed corn I have ever had in my entire life!!!

So, for your $10, you get one meat, 2 sides and a corn muffin as well as your tea and tax!! In and out – good deal!

Check it out if you are on the eastside of town!  Oh yeah, they also will keep the Express side open until around 7 pm to allow you to pick up dinner sized portions to take home (that way you don’t have to cook – shhhh…you don’t have to tell anyone YOU didn’t cook it, right!! :))

The New South Cafe Express (located on the side of The New South Cafe), 2601 Skidaway Road, 912-233-7558

www.thenewsouthcafe.com

Watch out Paula Deen! The Big Guy is on your heels!