Each August we take to the road, with our 80+ pound Weimaraner Chief Rooney and 3+ pound chihuahua Coco in tow, exploring towns, hotels and restaurants across our land, visiting friends and family along the way. This summer we left St. Pete the morning of my birthday, headed to Savannah for the weekend, and round one of our 18 day adventure. We chose The Brice, a Kimpton Hotel at 601 East Bay Street, across from Emmet Park and just a block from the river. The Kimpton properties are one of our favorite groups of dog friendly hotels. We were told that The Brice was at one time a stable, and then a Coca-Cola bottling company, but today it is a chic, welcoming hotel with a well-trained staff offering true southern hospitality, large, plush rooms (we were upgraded to a suite because of earned points), and a surprisingly delicious restaurant, Pacci Italian Kitchen + Bar. As you can see, Rooney and Coco felt right at home.
After settling in, walking the dogs, and exploring the river front, we prepared for dinner. We strolled along the back streets, admiring the mix of architectural styles; Federal, Georgian, Gothic, Romanesque and Greek Revival, to my birthday dinner destination, The Olde Pink House, nicknamed for the color of the stucco that covers the old brick. This famous 18th Century Georgian Mansion was built in 1771 for James Habersham Jr., one of Savannah’s most important early cotton factors and founding-family members. You’ll find new southern cuisine in an elegant atmosphere, with tables set up throughout the house in the original rooms. I had been waiting to come here for years, and since I’ve pledged to only share positive experiences on Out of the Weeds, I will tell you that the atmosphere was lovely and the food was good, but we had one of the most horrific service experiences I have had in decades, if not ever. We left disappointed, but hopeful that it was an isolated undergo.
Saturday was full, beginning with a long walk along the river with the dogs. The buildings, brick, stone walkways and stairs are captivating. The trees shading your path full of Spanish moss, which in fact is not moss at all, but rather a flowering plant in the bromeliads family that grows hanging from tree branches. We then joined The Riding Foody Tour by Savannah Movie Tours & More, meeting at the Savannah Information Center at 11 am, and went on to visit Paula Deen’s Restaurant The Lady and Sons, The Pirates’ House, Johnny Harris’ Restaurant, Sisters, Tubby’s Tank House and River Street Sweets.
The Lady and Sons is located at 102 West Congress Street, right in the heart of Savannah. We arrived at lunchtime and were able to taste one thing from the buffet. I chose the fried chicken, and explored Paula’s extensive gift shop. The dining room was cozy, however, we were directed to a waiting area to eat our buffet item sitting at chairs with no tables. Not ideal, but the chicken was delicious. Besides a cut-out for photo ops, no sign of Paula, however, there was a rumor that she was hosting an event later that evening in the restaurant.
Out next stop was at The Pirates’ House, which we returned to later on our Ghost Tour. Opened in 1753, The Pirates’ House has been providing food, drink and ‘rousing good times’ to Savannah visitors for more than 250 years. We were served She Crab Soup at the bar, and added a spicy Bloody Mary. You’ll also find Old Bay Shrimp Salad, Chicken Gumbo, The 1776 Burger, Po’ Boys and a Fried Pork Chop sandwich on the menu.
Johnny Harris Restaurant, established in 1924, famous for bar-B-que and fried chicken, was stop three. They started bottling their popular sauces in 1950, and added a warehouse on the property in 1962, shipping out more than 400 cases each week. Perhaps it’s time to add a warehouse to Three Birds Tavern for Out of the Weeds Artisan Dressings. We were served a rib with slaw, samples of the six sauces, and purchased two to bring along to Ohio with us.
Soul Food was up next at Sisters of the New South: mac & cheese, green beans, sweet potatoes and ox tail, washed down with a sweet blend of lemonade and pineapple juice. The ox tail was fall-off-the-bone tender and tasty. The service was friendly and they seemed grateful that we had stopped in. This would definitely be on my list to return to when we are back in Savannah.
We drove just outside of Savannah to Thunderbolt and Tubby’s Tank House for key lime pie, which was good, but the welcoming atmosphere and unique seating enticed me such that this is a spot I would visit again to experience more of the menu. We were told that we must try the Tybee Island Tacos, Fried Asparagus and Crab Stew. Much of the sprawling property reminded me of Three Birds Tavern, with indoor seating, porch seating, patio seating, but they also had a “tree house” and rocking chairs throughout. Perhaps a nice addition to our St. Pete restaurant. We are always looking for new ideas while on the road.
Our final stop was for pralines at River Street Sweets, home of the ‘World Famous Praline’. I couldn’t eat another bite, but Jack enjoyed his praline, and saved mine for later. Six stops and nearly four hours later, we were stuffed and ready for a break before our late night ghost tour. A restaurant, or “Foody Tour” is a great way to experience a city when you have limited time. But for now it is back to The Brice for a dog walk, and rest. I’ll share our Savannah Ghost Tour adventure with you later.