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3 old broads on a roadtrip

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1 3 old broads on a roadtrip on Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:46 am

bethk

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My good friend Lyn is very generous and shared one of her timeshare weeks in Hilton Head with our friend, Barb, and me. We stayed in a lovely 3 bed / 3 bath condo (with a full kitchen...) and had a ball driving around the area to explore and have fun. One day we drove around Beaufort, SC and took in the sights ~ had lunch at a lovely little place down by the river walk. Two days we spent in Savannah, GA. We got to the city early one day intent on eating brunch at what was (according to internet reviews) 'the best breakfast spot in the city'. I don't know if it's the best, but it was a fabulous meal for me! For years I've heard of the dish Shrimp & Grits w/Tasso Gravy and I've always wanted to try it. But everytime I would order and inquire, the grits would be cheese grits and I know I don't like the grits prepared that way, so I would pass. Well, THIS time I could order the dish without the cheese and I got to check another item off my 'bucket list' of foods to try.

We were at J. Christopher's ~ a restaurant in the historic section of Savannah. We knew the prices were in line with what we wanted to spend because the place was packed with tourists and college students, all enjoying their meals. Here's a pic of my meal ~



Friend Barb had a Belgium waffle with an egg & homemade sausage (you can see it across the table) and Lyn had a 'skillet breakfast' of meat, vegetables and potatoes topped with eggs ~





2 Re: 3 old broads on a roadtrip on Tue Nov 17, 2015 10:26 am

bethk

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When I go on a vacation to a historic city I usually try to do some research ahead of time so I know what to expect and try to visit some of the places I've read about.  Years ago I read an article about a former boardinghouse that still serves 'family style' meals to tourists and locals on a daily basis.  It's called Mrs. Wilkes' Boardinghouse and it's on Jones Street in the historic section of old Savannah.  Mr. & Mrs. Wilkes opened the boarding house to suppliment their income when times were tough.  Mr. Wilkes worked on the railroad and Mrs. Wilkes took care of the boardinghouse with her children.  She found she could make more by serving meals to people and was able to close their home to boarders.  And to this day the dining room is open and continues the tradition of serving good food to locals and tourists, now headed by the grandson of the Wilkes'.

The entrance to the dining room is on the lower level of the beautiful, traditional Savannah home, complete with the double stairway leading to the double front doors.  We got to the restaurant about 10 a.m. and there were about 12 other people already waiting for the 11:30 a.m. meal service.  It was easy to stand and chat with people for the hour and a half we waited.  By the time it was time for us to gain entry the line of people meandered down the block and around the corner.  We were glad we got in on the 'first seating'.

We entered the dining room and were seated at the second table of 10 ~ family style.  The table was set with the place settings and a glass of traditional sweet tea (although you could change to unsweetened tea or water if you preferred) and the table was covered with bowl after bowl of side dishes.  There must have been 20 or more choices.  I should have written them all down but there wasn't much time.  Once seated the owner thanked everyone for coming and said a short prayer.  At that point the 'passing' started.  It must have taken 10 minutes for everyone to fill their plates with about a tablespoon full of all the choices.  The staff continued to bring new offerings throughout so it was difficult to keep track of all that was there.

But let me see if I can list what I remember.....

Fried Chicken (golden & crisp on the outside, succulent on the inside), Meatloaf, Beef Stew, Sweet Potato Casserole (spiced with nutmeg, brown sugar & raisins), Ruttabaga, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Mashed Potatoes w/Cheese, Plain White Rice, Macaroni & Cheese, Red Beans & Rice, Steamed Cabbage, Collards, Creamed Corn, Black Eyed Peas, Butter Beans, Snap Beans, Okra & Tomatoes, Potato Salad (with Pimento Cheese), Macaroni Salad, Angel Biscuits & Corn Bread,,,,,,,,oh, dear, I know there was more but that's all I can remember right now.  Dessert was Peach Cobbler or Banana Pudding (Lyn & I shared so we got some of each!).



When done eating you are asked to continue the boardinghouse tradition of taking your plate, silverware & glass to the kitchen (where you are met with staff about half-way there to take your dirty dishes) and then you exit the way you came in ~ stopping only to pay ($20 cash or check, no credit cards accepted), maybe purchase one of the family cookbooks and drop a tip in the provided container.

I was concerned Lyn & Barb might not share my curiosity about the historic boardinghouse dining room but they both said it was a highlight of the trip for them.  It's so easy to imagine all the people who have passed through the door since the 1940's.  And even though I've sworn to not buy any more cookbooks, I just couldn't resist because the book is filled with the history of the boardinghouse and the area.  It's a joy to read.  Most of the recipes are very simple and very simply seasoned.  It's just good food and lots of it.

If you ever have a chance to visit Savannah, please plan to visit the dining room on Jones Street.  It's well worth the trip ~ and go hungry!

3 Re: 3 old broads on a roadtrip on Tue Nov 17, 2015 12:18 pm

Barbara101

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lol that is my all time fav place in all of SAV.. You should see my cookbook HA full of grease and the pages are even brown from age not white anymore..

Glad you enjoyed your trip..

4 Re: 3 old broads on a roadtrip on Tue Nov 17, 2015 1:18 pm

bethk

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Yeah, Barb, it is definately a "foodie" dream visit! I was certainly glad I was able to look it up on the internet to find the name & location because I had read about it so long ago and had no idea what it was called. The cookbook is up to $29.95 now, bet yours was cheaper than that!

5 Re: 3 old broads on a roadtrip on Tue Nov 17, 2015 1:38 pm

Barbara101

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affraid affraid yikes..

Oh yeah might have been a couple dollars.

Gosh I just treated myself to Jacgues P new cookbook.$21. a bargain for sure....

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