A Birthday Toast to Savannah’s Food Scene
This is a guest post by Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser, a native Georgian, food blogger at Some Kinda Good, TV chef, and food columnist. She shares some of her favorite places to eat dinner and have post-dinner drinks when visiting Savannah. Combined with one of our 5-star rated food tours for lunch, Lingenfelser’s suggestions would make for an excellent getaway whether you come with friends, family, or your significant other to check out Savannah’s food scene and nightlife.
Birthdays have always been a big deal in my family, and this month was my turn to celebrate. I took the opportunity for a good time in two parts: First, there was a progressive mid-week lunch with Mom, at the one and only Belford’s Savannah Seafood and Steaks in City Market, followed by dessert at Lulu’s Chocolate Bar. Second came a Saturday night party with friends: 10 30-somethings descended on downtown Savannah.
As a bona fide food enthusiast and Georgia coast fiend, the city has everything I look for when it comes to the elements of a great party – beautiful surroundings, a lively night scene and captivating energy that permeates the sweet salt air. In this post, I’ll tell you about the mouthwatering meals we ate and refreshing cocktails we consumed at some of Savannah’s best and most historic hangouts. No matter your age or reason for visiting the coastal city, these stops are sure to whet your appetite.
Long before author Fannie Flagg wrote the famous book “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café,” which was later turned into a movie, Southern folks were frying up the unripened, garden fresh delicacies—oftentimes out of necessity more than taste. Yet it seems two Georgia girls like my mom and I, just can’t get enough of the crispy, tender-on-the-inside goodness. So, it was only natural when lunching at Belford’s that we begin our meal with them. Served with a spicy remoulade sauce, both creamy and bright, they were presented on a bed of greens—the light batter covering the tomato completely. Along with our favorite appetizer, we toasted to my year of 33 with bartender recommended cocktails: I had the Blueberry Lemonade sweetened with local Georgia honey and Mom chose the Sweet Georgia Peach Tea made with bourbon and peach schnapps.
For the main course, I ordered Jumbo Lump Crab Cake Sliders with peppery arugula, tomato jam and jalapeño aioli. The bite was soft and sweetly satisfying; the spice and smoke of the greens with the cool texture of jam and plump crab meat made a combination of flavors so complementary, they were tantalizing. Mom had a menu specialty: Shrimp, Greens & Grits. The components of the dish included crisp stone ground grit cakes, Applewood smoked bacon and collard greens, a chardonnay butter sauce, heirloom tomatoes and green onions, topped off with fresh shavings of parmesan cheese. Upon every bite, we reveled in great conversation to the bustling sounds of a happy crowd. What is life? I can’t think of too many things more satisfying than sharing an exquisite meal in great company.
Belford’s also is known for their smoked salmon and certified angus beef steaks. After a Pedicab ride down to River Street and back, we wrapped up our food exploration with dessert just a few doors down at Lulu’s Chocolate Bar. Lulu’s Signature Strawberry Suspension Cake has two layers of rum-brushed chocolate cake with a center of mascarpone cheese and strawberries suspended inside. A sleeve of chocolate holds the cake together on the outside. Nothing says party quite like chocolate!
The following Saturday, my friends and I met up at the notorious Vinnie Van Go Go’s Pizzeria where we ate customized slices of our favorite toppings, among mine were pepperoni and sundried tomatoes. Next to shakers of grated parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes, cheesy breadsticks and spinach salads crowded the round, metal tables. The satisfying, thin crust pizza left us with full stomachs for a pub crawl through the historic district on a “Boo’s Cruise” with Savannah Slow Ride.
We pedaled along the Spanish-moss covered oak tree-lined streets and around the squares singing AC DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long” at the top of our lungs while sipping cold lagers. The tour provided a great way to see a variety of hotspots around the city, such as Boomy’s Bar, The Rail Pub and 17Hundred90 Inn & Restaurant (one of the stop’s on Savannah Taste Experience‘s food tours). Savannah Slow Ride boasts a ton of fun and various cruises to check out and the tour guides offer up entertaining commentary. When the two-hour tour was over, we walked over to McDonough’s Savannah Restaurant and Lounge to sing our hearts out during nightly karaoke.
From the fine meal and signature cocktails we enjoyed at Belford’s to the casual pizza with friends at Vinnie’s and the decadent dessert shared at Lulu’s, gourmands will not be disappointed in all The Hostess City has to offer. For locals and visitors alike, Savannah’s food scene serves up tons of flavor and fun. I’ll drink to that.
About the Author
Southeast Georgia native Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser is a freelance writer, entertainer and food enthusiast who writes and speaks about her love of good food and the Coastal South. A Season 2 Contestant on ABC Televison’s “The Taste,” she is the former Statesboro Herald food columnist and past host of the television program “Statesboro Cooks.” She blogs at SomeKindaGood.org and will begin the Culinary Arts Program at Savannah Technical College this summer. To learn more, visit her website or connect with Some Kinda Good on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.