Tag Archives: restaurant reviews

Caraway Cafe – Fresh & Healthy – Perfect for the New Year!

I have finally found a healthy, tasty lunch spot with a friendly atmosphere where you are treated like family!! 

Caraway Cafe prides itself on healthy, fresh ingredients with sandwiches and specials made daily.  What is even better…..the menu is full of many of my favorite things…goat cheese, roasted peppers, portabella shrooms, artichokes, feta…and more!!  And their freshly made soups are wonderful – they change daily, but everyday is a good soup day at Caraway!

Some of my favorites are …

The Chopped Turkey Salad with onions, tomato, sunflower seeds, avocado, bacon, goat cheese dressed with a whole grain vinaigrette – light, tasty, plenty of texture (which to me is very important in a good salad, and a dressing that brings all the wonderful flavors out and ties the salad together like a gift from the gods!!

The Baja Fish Taco which is pan seared tilapia, horseradish slaw, pico de gallo, spinach drizzled with a chipotle cream.  I am always up for a fish taco and this one is done right!!! Tasty!!

Caraway has daily specials each day such as their famous Black Bean Cakes with sauteed spinach, tomatilo salsa and chipotle cream and the Spiced Butternut Salad over mixed greens, pepitas, lentils, goat cheese and a pomegranate vin.

Caraway Cafe has market items available for take home…Great wines selected from local Wine Guru Tim Rutherford and local cheeses from Sweet Grass Dairy A must stop on the way home!!!

Stop by and check them out, afterall, it is a new year…time to enjoy some fresh & healthy options for lunch!!

Caraway Cafe & Market

Located on the corner of Paulsen and 66th. 912-691-1266

Monday – Friday 7am – 2:30pm, Catering is Available anytime as well!!

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The Driftaway Cafe – Casual Coastal Cuisine

I recently have actually had the time to go out to eat so of course I wanted to go somewhere that I have never been.  Accompanied by my son, who is a fabulous dining partner and a very honest reviewer as well, we chose The Driftaway Cafe, located in tiny Sandfly, which is a tiny residential nook in Savannah.

Casual Coastal Cuisine

Casual Coastal Cuisine

We started with the Driftaway Blue Chips and the Spinach and Artichoke Dip.  The Driftaway Blue Chips are made with their own housemade potato chips topped with melted blue cheese crumbles sprinkled with green onions, diced red peppers then drizzled with sour cream.  This sounded very interesting and did not disappoint me when I got it.  I did wish there was a bit more of the blue cheese on this ‘nacho’y bites, but to be honest with you it might have been a little too rich as the blue cheese is rather potent.  The Spinach and Artichoke dip is what it is.  There really is not much you can do with this dish to ‘make it your own’ other than screwing it up, so Driftaway did what is best with this one – served it as it should be – creamy, cheesey, goey and yummy!!

For our lunches we tried the Autobahn Buffalo Chicken Wrap and a Blackened Mahi Sandwich.  After ordering and receiving our lunches I really wish I would have tried something else.  Not that it was bad, because it was pretty good – I just think there were other options with a little more adventure to it. 

The atmosphere is exactly what they say it is – Casual Coastal Cuisine.  It feels as if you are on the water with maybe a Key West vibe to the place.  I do wish the servers were dressed a little more neatly instead of the very, very casual shorts and company t-shirts – Save that for Spanky’s!

For the price of the food, they could at least bump up the ‘first impression’ things like server appearance, tablecloths instead of vinyl table covers, etc.

Would I go back – yeah, if I were with company that specifically wanted to go here, then sure.  But on my own, not so sure – it didn’t “wow” me and the items were not “so” tasty that I can’t go to Applebees and get the same quality.

 

The Driftaway Cafe – 7400 D. Skidaway Road, Savannah, GA 31406 – 912.303.0999

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

 

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

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!

Gravy – New Savannah Restaurant

Yesterday we visited “Gravy”, the newly opened restaurant downtown on Whitaker Street that was formerly occupied by Sawyers.  I had never been to Sawyers, so I am not sure what the inside of the restaurant used to look like, but now the space is quite lovely.  The colors are very neutral, the décor is simple (in a good way!) and the large chalk boards displaying the dinner menu is a great idea – so props to the decorator – job well done.  

 

The idea of “Gravy” is that you get your choice of ‘gravy’ with each entrée.  Personally, I don’t care for the name “Gravy” – call me what you wish.  To me, the name Gravy is a turnoff – I imagine hot, heavy, thick, country gravy or something similar.  It is summer time in hot, humid Savannah and I am trying to do my best to fit into a bathing suit – the last thing I want is some Gravy, right!  But actually the types of “Gravy” offered at Gravy are more suited for the name of “Sauce” or “Condiment” for me – but let’s face it, Condiment would not make a good restaurant name either.   

 

The lunch menu consists of 2 appetizers (3 if you consider fries an appetizer), 3 salads, 5 sandwiches and 1 sandwich tasting plate where you get 3 of the 5 sandwiches on one plate.  Now the fun starts….You get to pick your choice of ‘gravy’ to accompany your entrée – Ta Da!!! (oh yeah, you can order extra gravy, if you can not decide on just one, for $2 each – quite steep in price considering the tiny ramekin it comes in).  There are 6 gravies to choose from – chicken gravy, roasted garlic cream, andouille sausage gravy, sweet corn cream, spicy remoulade and worchestershire catsup.   

 

For my lunch I had the Sliders, which are 2 mini hamburgers, one with bacon & Roquefort and the other with lettuce and tomato.  The presentation was nice and the burgers had a good flavor to them.  My gravies of choice (I had two) was the roasted garlic cream and the worchestershire catsup.  Both were ok, but they didn’t knock my socks off.  Another sandwich that we tried was the Grouper Sandwich, which was pretty good, with the spicy remoulade gravy (I personally did not like this gravy).  What I did not understand though is why would they put mayo on a burger or tarter sauce on a sandwich when gravies are offered, I thought that is what the gravies were for??  We also had the Chicken Bites with chicken gravy on little mini biscuits – nothing really exciting about this, actually kind of on the bland side for me. 

My Overall Impression:

Visually, the place is great!  I am not too sure about the lack of service (meaning, they don’t have table service) for lunch.  In other words, it just doesn’t look like a restaurant that would have you order at a counter – I think table service for lunch would be a welcomed change.   I was not too impressed with the whole “Gravy” concept at all.  I would think that the idea would be to have several sauces/gravies that accentuate the dishes in different ways with this noted on the menu (kind of like suggested parings of food with wine).  This could also aid in extending your very small menu due to the fact that the different gravies could have the ability to change the flavor of the entire dish.  But having limited gravy choices without a clue as to which one will taste good with your choice of entrée is kind of defeating the purpose of the concept in my eyes.  

Gravy – 109 Whitaker Street – Savannah, GA 31401

912-236-1557

Belford’s – Savannah Seafood & Steak

Crab Cakes

 

The location of Belford’s Savannah Seafood & Steaks is one of its main draw, but it doesn’t hurt to have excellent food, a great staff, outside dining patio and a wonderful atmosphere – oh yeah, did I say excellent food… 

 

Savannah’s City Market area is, in my opinion, the heartland of Savannah’s best dining.  With upscale neighbors such as Garibaldi’s and Savannah Bistro, eclectic fun neighbors such as Vinnie Van Go Go’s and Tapas and the casual comfort of City Market Café and the all-so-popular chain of Wild Wing’s – there is something for everyone in City Market!   

 

Belford’s has remained consistent for quite sometime now offering local dishes such as Shrimp, Greens & Grits with apple smoked bacon, green onions and a Chardonnay butter sauce served over buttery grit cakes and wilted collard greens and Grouper Provencal – a fresh filet of black grouper layered with sliced tomatoes, tapenade & topped with seasoned bread crumbs drizzled with olive oil, baked and served with steamed asparagus. 

But for me, and many, many others, their specialty remains to be their Crab Cake.   

Like I said in another review, a crab cake in Savannah is sometimes a measure of a restaurant.  For me….Belford’s has the best crab cake in town.  Others are good, some are fantastic – but they are not a “Belford’s” crab cake.   

Belford’s Crab Cake is a premium JUMBO lump crab cake with a lemon aioli and spicy tomato jam – sounds simple enough, right.  Well, it’s not.  The key here is “Premium Jumbo Lump Crab” – big chunks of juicy fresh crab meat, not broken down and very, very little filler.  Most restaurants do not use Jumbo lump crab due to the market price.  It can be a risky inventory if you are not selling them for the high price you must offer to get your money back, but at Belford’s – this is not a problem.  And trust me, it is worth the price you pay! 

So, if you go, and I would recommend that you try the Crab Cake, and afterwards this will be your measure of a crab cake for all other restaurants to achieve.  They are also open for breakfast and brunch – one of the few restaurants downtown that offers this!  Enjoy!  Belford’s Savannah Seafood & Steaks


315 West Saint Julian Street


Savannah, Georgia 31401912-233-2626