Georgia On My Mind

Rolling on the RiverHi, friends! Yes, it has been a long time since my last post, and no, I did not fail to survive the 10K I was about to run when last I posted. :-)  Thanks to those of you who were kind enough to check up on me. You are too sweet!! The race went pretty well, by the way, considering the fact that I don’t run very often, and I beat my previous 10K time by just enough that I feel a sense of overall fitness progress. Since the race, I’ve been running another 10K of sorts. Work has been busy, and my weekends have been quite busy as well. 

My friend, Adrienne, her brothers and I spent the long Columbus Day weekend in Savannah, GA, and I couldn’t possibly let all of the foodie photos I took go to waste! I can’t believe it has been so long. Hopefully, I can get back into some sort of regular blogging schedule. I’ve really started to miss it, and I’m going to do some serious thinking about the kind of posting schedule that might work the best for me. I will keep you “posted”! ;-)

I’ve wanted to visit Savannah for as long as I can remember, and it is, hands down, one of my favorite places– ever. I decided that I’d give you a little picture tour/travel idea post, in case you are looking for a good option for a long weekend trip. I’m primarily going to post highlights about what we ate, but rest assured, we saw many historic sites, kept the sidewalks hot while walking from square to square, and did plenty of shopping too. Without further adieu…

When we arrived in Savannah on Saturday, lunch was the first order of the day. Thanks to an article that was forwarded to me by a friend, we found a barbecue place that was literally down a little dirt path. Thank goodness for this sign! 

This Way Down the Dirt PathMac and Cheese, greens and pulled pork… YUM! Greens are one of my favorite things!! Wall’s Barbecue is not the kind of barbecue I’m accustomed to, being from the Memphis area, but I have to say that this unique Savannah version of barbecue was quite good. The sauce involves cayenne and worcestershire sauce, so it was definitely something different for me. There was also some unpictured cornbread. I had to have it to go with the greens, of course!

Wall'sAfter lunch, we checked out the Colonial Park Cemetery, and then it was late enough that we could go and check into our room at the very hip Thunderbird Inn. It’s a retro motel. It’s funky. It’s cool. It’s also, cheap, clean and within easy walking distance of just about everything. Here’s the sign against the night sky:

Thunderbird InnI would definitely stay there again!

Once we were situated, we set out for a stroll around the city. The sky was still clearing from a big rain storm, and we were treated to this beautiful sight:

RainbowThere are many beautiful old churches in Savannah, and I was so happy to have the opportunity to snap this photo. Here’s another:

Stained GlassWe saw another beautiful sight, of a different sort, while strolling from square to square… We decided to stop at a very cool looking coffee place, Gallery Espresso, where I could not resist getting this luscious looking slice of red velvet cake:

Red Velvet at Gallery EspressoSorry about the lipstick on my mug. I started without you. :-) I love having a friend around to split tasty desserts like this one. Hooray for the two fork approach!! The cake was probably the best red velvet cake I’ve ever had, and the coffee was quite good as well. We made the most of our little sugar high and walked some more. Savannah is probably one of the most walkable places I’ve ever visited, and I loved that about it. Among other things, we saw Flannery O’Connor’s childhood home. Very cool! After a good amount of wandering and a bit of shopping, we made our way to our dinner restaurant, 700 Drayton

Located in the Mansion on Forsyth Park, 700 Drayton was funky, artsy and vibrant, and the food was excellent! I started off with an organic baby spinach and berry salad topped with roasted petite vidalia onions, peach roasted pecans, a big crispy brie crouton and a lovely blueberry viniagrette. The big cube is the brie crouton, and it was essentially a big hunk of fried brie. Um… Yum!

Brie CroutonThe next thing on my plate was 700 Drayton’s Morroccan spiced rack of lamb with Israeli cous cous, rum soaked rasins, artichoke hearts, olives, vidalia onions, organic baby carrots, and cardamom honey drizzle.

Lovely LambThere was a lot going on in this dish and all of it was GOOD! I followed that up with Leopold’s “Oh Savannah” ice cream which was chock full of rum, caramel, pralines, shortbread, and nougatine.

Ice Cream!!It is a very good thing that we had made the conscious decision to do as much walking as possible during our little weekend jaunt. It certainly helped to balance at least some of our tasty vacation eats!

On Sunday, we visited a TV Food Network institution– The Lady and Son’s. By the way, if you expected lots of healthy eats in this post, this should settle that matter once and for all!

The sign:

Bring on the Butter!My plate at Paula Deen’s (already in progress…). Hoecakes and biscuits not pictured. 

Home Cookin'This is the kind of food I grew up eating, and it really took me back. I think the fried chicken and creamed corn alone made the wait in line worthwhile. Oh, and there was quite a wait. We got in line around 9:30 a.m. in order to get on the list to come back for lunch around noon. It is a tourist hot spot, which isn’t always my scene, but I would have been sad to have missed out on this meal. As a bonus, there was sweet tea and Almond Ooey Gooey Butter Cake!

Sweet Tea!

Buttery Goodness!After our massive lunch, we hopped in the car and headed to Tybee Island. I would like to think that my climb to the top of the lighthouse burned off at least a few bites of that Mac and Cheese! :-)

Tybee Island LighthouseIt was such a gorgeous day! After climbing the lighthouse, we hit the beach for awhile. It was so warm, and the water was perfect!

Monday was a day of grazing as we walked along the riverfront and nibbled on this and that (can you say “pralines?”). In addition to checking out the stores along the riverfront, we toured the historic Owens-Thomas House. It was a beautiful home, and the history was fascinating!

A visit to the Savannah Bee Company  was high on my list of things to do, so we headed that way in the afternoon. Is it bad to have biscuits and honey for lunch? :-)

Savannah Bee Company

The store was glowing with all of the beautiful honey, and it was a sweet visit– quite literally. We were treated to a honey tasting, and it was so much fun to sample all of the different varieties side by side. It’s amazing how different each honey really tastes when compared with the others. The variety of colors is a good indicator. 

Honey Honey

Just to sweeten the deal, we couldn’t resist trying honey lattes. I had mine made with the Sourwood honey. It is sort of maple syrup like, and soooo delicious! I had the same on my biscuit. ;-)

On the Menu

Biscuits!

Sigh. So good. After that, we walked through Savannah’s City Market, and checked out some of the local artwork. We also grabbed dinner at a place at the market that was recommended by a friend of mine who spent several years living in Savannah– Vinnie Van GoGo’s. The presence of the Savannah College of Art and Design lends a delightful artistic flavor to many parts of the city. I love the vibe, and I loved the artist inspired name of this pizza place!

Vinnie Van GoGo'sWe split a salad and each had a slice.

SaladI opted for a slice with sausage and mushrooms. 

My SliceI loved the casual “college town” atmosphere at Vinnie Van GoGo’s, and I’m so glad my friend recommended it! This really hit the spot. We followed our dinner with a walking ghost tour. It was a lot of fun and it fit in well with our plan to walk as much as possible. 

We had a Tuesday afternoon flight back to D.C., but we made the most of our Tuesday morning. I’m still amazed at how many things we did in such a short time. Because it is so easy to walk from one place to the next, it’s easy to do a lot of things in just a few hours. First, we decided to have breakfast at the Gryphon Tea Room. We had spotted it earlier, and I’m glad we decided to check it out. 

The GryphonLocated in a turn of the century pharmacy, the tea room features cozy dark wood cabinetry and vibrant stained glass panels in the walls and the ceiling.

Look Up!

Lovely!Most importantly, I had an awesome pot of cinnamon orange tea and some mouthwatering fruit and apricot scones!

Pot of GoodnessY’all know how much I love tea… and baked goods! 

SconesI wish this tea room was in my neighborhood. I’d be a regular!!

After our breakfast, we set out to tour the Green Meldrin House. Sherman stayed in that house during his time in Savannah during the final months of the Civil War. We also visited E. Shaver Booksellers, where I bought, what else– a book about the civil war! 

We started to get hungry again while at the bookstore, and we decided to go and find that last “must eat” place on our list: Harris Baking Company. We had looked for it earlier, but it had eluded us. Armed with the assurance that it really was where it was supposed to be, we went back. Luckily, it eluded us no more.

Harris Baking CompanyHave I mentioned that I love baked goods? :-) Harris Baking Company did not disappoint. They had me with the samples at the register! I ordered a salad and this awesome sandwich with turkey and peppered bacon.

Bacon!

The bread was amazing, and the freshly made pickles were a nice touch too. I also needed a couple of cookies, including a pecan praline cookie, for the flight back.

C is for Cookie

Of course, we managed to squeeze in a visit to one of the Telfair museums before we headed to the airport, and I got to see a few paintings by one of my favorite American artists, Frederick Frieseke. Did I mention that we did a lot in a short time? I’m not a traveller who likes having a very tight schedule or a detailed agenda, and even I have to say that I never felt rushed or stressed about getting from one place to the next. It’s just so much easier when you (and your feet) are in charge of the travel. 

So that’s it! I do hope you enjoyed my little recap. Savannah is full of gorgeous sights and amazing food. Thanks to the seriously copious amounts of walking, I didn’t come back with extra vacation weight either– much to my surprise. I now see the real value of active vacations, and I will definitely seek out those sorts of trips in the future. I know it isn’t fully reflected in this food focused post, but believe me when I tell you that the beautiful historic homes, weathered monuments, verdant squares and southern hospitality made this a memorable trip too. How nice that it was rather close to home. I’d love to go back sometime, and I’m just sorry I waited so long to go. 

Where is your favorite place to travel that’s close to home??

Now I need to go and pack a lunch for tomorrow. I haven’t been cooking much, so it could be a challenge. Luckily, yesterday was Merry Produce Wednesday, and I had a nice fresh box of produce waiting for me when I got home from work. I see a salad in my future… Ciao for now, and I’ll try not to be such a stranger!

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13 Comments

Filed under Food, Travel, Uncategorized, Weight Loss Success Story

13 responses to “Georgia On My Mind

  1. Thanks for taking us on a foodie tour of Savannah! It’s one of the cities I hope to visit some day. Looks delicious.

    My favorite places to go that are close to me are Half Moon Bay, Carmel, San Francisco, and Napa.

    Glad to read a new blog post, and looking forward to reading more soon.

  2. great post :)
    all the food photos look tasty but my favourite is the ice cream hehe :P

    also like to see church photos to notice how different they get from the ones i’m used to see.

  3. Yay! I was wondering where you were! :)

    I love love love Savannah! I seriously considered moving there as an option when I moved out of my parents house. It’s really a beautiful city w/ an amazing variety of everything. Thanks for taking us on the tour – you really did do a ton! I think my favorite part was the sweet tea! ;) hehe

    My favorite place to travel close to home here is a small town called Utica, IL about an hour west of us. It’s just a small town feel w/ nice local ppl and untainted by the hustle and bustle of malls and chains. We head out there when we need a breath of fresh air, there’s 2 state parks nearby that we like to hike at and tours of old houses and horse rides.

  4. Wow, looks like a wonderful trip! Savannah is on my to do list for sure, I have heard so many awesome things about it!!

  5. OH MY GOODNESS no wonder Paula Dean loves her hometown!!! Everything looks SO SO good, particularly the scones! :) You have just been so adventurous with your food, it’s so fun to see so many different types of goods in one post. The red velvet cake looks over the top! I don’t actually know what authentic, yummy red velvet cake tastes like, but maybe one day i’ll go to savannah and get me some. hehe

  6. Maria

    Hi there! It’s so nice to read your blog again! :)
    You have been a busy girlie. I loved all your photos of your fantastic trip. It almost made me drool! LOL

    One of my favorite cities to visit is Key West!

  7. I never dreamed Savannah has so much to offer.

    Since we don’t tour much any more I don’t have any close to home places.

    Some of your desserts look enticing.

    Did the honey store have any date honey? When we lived in Morocco I bought some out in the desert. It was to die for.

    I schedule posts, regardless of when I write them. usually MWF but will vary.

  8. I’m definitely putting these on my to-visit list the next time we’re in Savannah!

    If you liked Lady and Sons, next time try Uncle Bubba’s. It’s owned by Paula’s brother!

    Glad you had such a great trip, it’s good to see you again!

  9. debby

    Glad you’re back! I miss you when you are away, but I can imagine how busy your job keeps you. Yumm yumm on the walking tour of Savannah. I would love to visit there some day.

    Ha ha on the ‘have I mentioned that I love baked goods?’ They are my downfall as well. I am trying a new carb cycling thing, and the low days are hard, but boy are the high carb days fun!

  10. Brandi

    what a fun trip! everything looks delicious, and NO there is nothing wrong with biscuits and honey for lunch :)

  11. First and foremost… WELCOME BACK. You’ve been missed!

    I like to visit the ocean communities in the Bay Area…But lets talk about the food you photographed. Oh my! And that sign with the “yummmmy” is too funny. I’ve not visited that part of the South and would love to vacation there someday. Hope all is well and I look forward to your future posts.

  12. Aw, shucks. Y’all are so sweet. I’m trying hard to get back into the groove! I admire those of you who post every day (or every other day… or even more than once a week…). I’m hoping to pick up some speed again and get back into the swing of posting AND READING! I miss you all! :-) Thanks for the sweet comments and the great vacation suggestions!

  13. Thank you SO much for this post! I have always wanted to visit Savannah but have heard mixed reviews. Now I know we’ll be planning a trip!

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