We just received the May issue of Food and Wine magazine. Our fair city of Savannah was featured on the cover. Bobby Flay was in town
with his bride Stephanie March whom you may recognize from the TV show ‘Conviction.’ They were here to sample the local cuisine looking for inspiration for a new restaurant of his and also to get in some shopping.
This is where the feature got a little puzzling and it teaches you not to believe everything you read in print. Flay was walking around Savannah and saw a long line of people waiting to get into a restaurant at 2:00 pm in the afternoon. Unbeknownst to him it was “Lady and Sons” which happens to be owned by Paula Deen – a fellow Food Network star. Now how long do you think that he really waited in line? Also, did he magically just stumble on it? Usually it takes over an hour and a half for people to get in. His comment was, “Any place with a 45 minute wait at 2 o’clock on a Monday is a place I want to eat at.”
Flay’s description of the buffet seemed like fiction to The General and TLW because this is a place that most locals do not patronize.
But Ms. Deen does not need the local business, as people come from all over the country (and probably the world) to eat there as their top priority for their visit.
Ok…so we don’t agree with Mr. Flay’s review of the restaurant…but we don’t want to take anything away from Paula Deen personally. We admire her rags to riches story and we know that she is a very nice person. Around the holiday season of 2004, we visited Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House, a restaurant that she was helping her brother get started. She was about to pull her hair out with all the logistics, but still had time to sit and talk with us and even serve us a sampling of chargrilled oysters. I guess where I am going with this is fame doesn’t always match up with food. We have tried Uncle Bubba’s several times since and have been less than happy with our selections. For now, it is not on our list of eating establishments.
The General does have all of Ms. Deen’s cookbooks, and most of the recipes are very good. So, if you really want to get a sampling of her food, buy her cookbooks!
We did take exception with F&W’s listing of Savannah’s “Best Food.” Of course, it listed Lady and Sons and Uncle Bubba’s. It also listed 700 Drayton which is part of the Mansion on Forsyth. We have never eaten there, but have heard some ‘interesting’ comments from friends. Gottlieb’s Restaurant and Dessert Bar IS a local favorite. Now the last two entries were BBQ places…very interesting for T he General. Wall’s BBQ probably began with Oglethorpe’s arrival in Savannah…it’s been around a very long time. I am curious if the F&W people actually ate the BBQ? Muther’s Old Timey Bar-B-Que is located probably a good 10 miles from downtown Savannah, and, frankly, The General says,”They have good sweet tea, but save your gas!”
Almost every town in America is the same way. You have the famous places that all the tourists and out of towners gravitate to that serve mediocre food, and then you have the places that don’t have the notoriety…just darn good food.