Tag Archives: Savannah GA

Tough times claims another independent

Everyone knows that the economy is in the toilet lately and we have all seen restaurants come and go.  One of my favorite restaurants have fallen victim to rough economic times just recently and I was very sad to see them serve their last entree the other night.  

The New South Cafe also operates as the in-house caterers for The Mighty 8th Air force Museum in Pooler and will be relocating to Matt Cohen’s New South Pub situated in the Museum.  It seems they are centralizing operations which is a smart business move on their part but still, I am sad to see the Skidaway road location closed as it remains close to my heart.

In the past month I have seen several independent restaurants closing for many different reasons, but I am certain that the economy has not helped matters in each situation.  In these desperate times we all need to be as supportive as we can to independent operators because I have always believed that those are where you find true passion for what they do.

I wish Matt and his wonderful crew the best of luck in their new adventures.  

And for those of you wondering where to eat out – skip the chain restaurant and visit a local, independent restaurant that truly puts their heart and soul on the menu!  Without independent restaurants where will we go to find good, fresh and amazing food!

See you at The Mighty 8th next week.  I will come check out Matt Cohen’s New South Pub!

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The “New” New South Cafe!! Yeah!

I just found out through the grapevine that one of my favorite restaurants, The New South Cafe is not only expanding their dining room to include a new “wine” room but they are also reopening after their remodeling with a new fall menu to include some wonderful dishes like Lobster Sliders, Crab Cake Wontons, The New South Chicken BLT Sandwich, Stuffed Pork Chops and a Lobster Roll!!!

The crew at The New South Cafe have been working hard for the past couple of weeks with construction of a new dining area, a new bar area, recovering furniture, hanging all new artwork from Jack Metcalf courtesy of DesotoRow Gallery in Savannah, creating and implementing a new fall menu, etc.  The will reopen for lunch and dinner on Tuesday September 9th!!

With summer almost over, what a perfect time to start the fall season off with a bang!!  I am looking forward to trying some of the new dishes and can’t wait to see the new Wine Bar!!!  I sure hope they still have Date Night on Wednesdays…what a great idea.

Anyway, check them out!

The New South Cafe – 912-233-7558 – www.thenewsouthcafe.com

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

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.

 

 

 

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