My Guide to Savannah, Georgia Part I

This is the article I was trying to finish last week and couldn’t do it. There was just too much to talk about. Well, I think I got it all in. It got a little long, so I’m cutting the article in two. Part I is today.

Hope you enjoy!

Bird GirlThe weekend before last, the wife and I made our third visit to Savannah, GA. It was for her birthday. It is one of our favorite places to go because there is so much history in this little city and there’s so much to do. Lots of great restaurants, cool site-seeing tours and many places of interest can keep one busy for hours. History buffs can appreciate all of the early American history and buildings and Hollywood buffs can appreciate all of the Hollywood movies and tv shows that have been filmed here. When we lived in Birmingham, AL, we were a whopping 6 hours away, but now that we live in Jacksonville, FL we are only 2.5 hours away. And we love it.

One of the things my wife and I love about the city is the atmosphere. It’s quintessential Old South. Spanish moss in the trees, old Victorian style mansions, small streets, old architecture and many historical places of interest all lend a wonderful all-around aesthetic that causes one to get lost in history. It really is great to just walk around the neighborhoods and look at the old style homes and buildings. Steph and I could do just that, walk around for hours looking at old buildings. It really is amazing.

Wet Willie'sWhen we first get to Savannah, we love to walk Riverstreet. It runs right along the river (obviously) and has many shops and restaurants in which we love to go and browse. Our favorite place to stop on Riverstreet? That would be Wet Willie’s. It’s a daiquiri bar that serves up like 10 tasty alcoholic daiquiris that Steph and I love. They have one daiquiri called Call-A-Cab that is really good and the strongest one they serve, as well as a banana one called Monkey Shine. When Steph is in “vacation mode”, however, she reaches for the White Russian daiquiri. With ice cream, coffee flavoring and grain alcohol it tastes like an Irish coffee latte (gross, in my opinion, but who am I to judge?). Me? I summon to my outstretched hand, Shock Treatment. It’s very similar to one of my favorite mixed drinks of all time, the Blue Hawaiian. It’s 150 proof grain alcohol, Blue Curacao and lemonade (FYI…a Blue Hawaiian adds coconut and is “on the rocks”). It’s tart enough to contort your grill into a cartoon-like pucker and strong enough alcohol-wise to put you on the floor if you aren’t careful. My kind of drink. Funny, this is usually Steph and my first stop when we get to Savannah. Even before eating (which is surprising). After Willie’s, we wind up stumbling out into the light of day like newborn babes as we make our way to our other destinations.

Belford'sOur other destinations, more often than not, are going to be restaurants. I don’t want you to get the idea that all Steph and I do there is drink and eat, but, literally, that’s all we do. We plan the trip around what restaurants and bars we are going to visit. At breakfast we plan lunch, at lunch we plan dinner. It’s truly us, in “vacation mode”, at our most gluttonous. And I love it. It’s easy to find good places to eat. You can check the internets or you can ask the locals. We tend to ask the locals and we haven’t been disappointed yet. In the City Market section of Savannah, you will find one of the oldest eateries, Belford’s. You can get some of the best crab cakes your tastebuds have ever had the pleasure of dissolving into your stomach at this place. They have a great Banana’s Foster cheesecake too. Looking for something a little fancier? Walk down Bay Street to the East Bay Inn and eat and Skylar’s. It’s in the basement and they have a great menu of really nice, gourmet dishes. This past trip we had a local winery suggest Garibaldi’s Cafe. It’s on Congress right behind the back entrance to Belford’s. This might actually have become our favorite place. Moon River The food here is so good it’s ridiculous. It’s almost addicting. Steph and I were like moths to a flame. I had a steak that melted in my mouth like butter, I tell you, BUTTER. Also, their she-crab soup is good enough to sell your kids for. We will be going back, you can write that down and quote it back to me later. Looking for a good brewery with good suds and your more typical american pub food? Look no further than Moon River Brewing Company. It’s more mainstream than some of the other places but if you don’t feel like being adventurous it’s a good “fall back” option.

Clary'sThat was just lunch/dinner options. What about breakfast, you ask? Well, my friend, you are in luck. Savannah has one of the greatest breakfast cafes EVER. I know I like to use hyperbole and put the word EVER in capital letters all over my blog articles when I talk about different things, but this time, I mean it. SERIOUSLY. Best. Breakfast. Cafe. EVER. It’s called Clary’s and it’s on the other side of Savannah from the river. It’s close to the famous Forsythe Park and fountain. You have to get there early if you plan on going for breakfast, but if there’s just two of you, you can usually sneak in quickly and get a spot at the counter. If you need a table, then you are going to wait a bit. Clary’s has lots of egg dishes. And they usually try to work in some of the local fresh fish into their meals. The best thing I’ve ever had there was the Seafood Omelet. Seriously, while eating this thing, I looked like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally when she was screaming in the diner. It was very embarrassing for Steph as I’m carrying on and smacking the counter screaming like a pig in heat. It will be very hard for Steph to go back, but she will because it’s THAT good (Remember, I used EVER earlier).

Here, take a peek at the menu. If you click the picture, you can go to a bigger version on my Flickr page.

Clary's menu

Seafood Omelet. Learn it. Order it. Fall in love with it. Ask it on a date. Whisper sweet nothings to it. Marry it. Have kids with it. Cheat on it, but then regret it. It’s all there, the whole life experience. All in the Seafood Omelete. When Steph ordered, she went pedestrian on me and ordered oatmeal. Yeah, oatmeal. Very adventurous, Steph, why don’t we order Corn Flakes next time? I hear the raisins in the Raisin Bran are in season (I kid, I kid).

Well, since this article was getting a bit long, I’ll have to finish it next week. Coming in Part II I discuss the famous locations of Savannah including locations for Forrest Gump and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

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6 Responses to “My Guide to Savannah, Georgia Part I”

  1. Try Il Pasticcio next time in Savannah. (I have lived in Tuscany) and this is the closest I have seen in US for Italian food. Super chic bar and nice wine list. Great place to people watch as they have floor to ceiling windows. I am a native Floridian but my ancestors arrived in Savannah in 1742 and now we live here. Hope this will inspire you to visit Savannah again. Must say Garibaldi’s pales in comparison…

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