Our fearless EIC is back in Savannah, so we thought it’s the perfect #TBT to revisit some of the southern city’s most charming spots! If you’re looking for some Southern heritage, locally produced food and the scene of a murder, look no further than Savannah, Ga.!
We had a day to spend in the fair Georgia city, in which we checked out River Street (pictured above) and City Market; visited The Mercer Williams House; and ate at 22 Square inside the Andaz Savannah. In this case, we’re not waiting to share the best last; we’re starting with dinner first!
Entering 22 Square’s open air dining room right off the hotel’s entrance, the bartender mixed us up a round of Mary Pickfords — white rum, Curacao, grenadine and pineapple. Our waitress Lexi, resplendent in a vintage sundress from local store Gypsy Girl Vintage, explained that the menu is a reflection of locally produced goods, from the fruits and the meats to the three homemade breads of the day lovingly made by Chef Lauren (tomato herb parmesan, oatmeal maple with sriracha-roasted seeds and French, mmmm!). Andaz doesn’t have traditional courses; instead, we could mix and match small plates with our entrees and apps. And boy did we.
Our snap bean salad with cucumber, peaches and dill vinaigrette crackled with every bite, while my dining guest loved her duck confit with summer fruit, stating it was “perfectly gamey.”
It was onto the gumbo, filled with chunks of chicken, andouille sausage and the freshest okra I’ve ever tasted; a spicy, creamy concoction that shouldn’t be missed.
We split the entre special: grouper with red rice and chorizo atop field pea and corn succotash. Our only complaint? That we didn’t have more room in our bellies to get it down in one sitting (but then again, leftover lunch the next day was delicious!).
To finish off the night, Lexi brought us a dessert made special for Square 22: raspberry ice cream with lemon and cookie crumble. After the meal, my dining guest pointed out though we had eaten practically everything on the menu, her stomach didn’t feel heavy, a compliment to Chef Lauren and her team’s healthy and creative combinations (we took home some homemade bread for a late-night snack!).
During the day we walked through City Market and made a pit stop at Byrd’s Cookie Co. where you can test their multitude of cookie flavors. I was personally drawn to the Georgia Peach, which has actual peaches in it. Sweet and tart, it was hard not to devour the whole bag in one sitting once I got home.
We visited First African Baptist Church, which offers a tour of the facilities. But it’s really more of a lecture, with a church member sharing the history of the building’s construction and its furnishings, some dating back to the 1800s; and its pastors and its historical contributions, including being a stop on the Underground Railroad (there are air holes in the basement floor!). Be forewarned, there is a charge for the 35-40 minute lecture ($7 dollars per person). It’s not steep, but I do believe it may keep the tour guide from getting tips.
We also took a tour of The Mercer Williams House, featured in the book-turned-movie Midnight In the Garden of Good And Evil. This award-winning, non-fiction read, written by journalist John Berendt after he was assigned to cover one of famed arts dealer Jim Williams‘ Christmas parties, details Jim’s four murder trials after he shot and killed Danny Hansford, presumably in a lover’s quarrel. I only got this information from my sister, as our tour guide conveniently skipped over this detail as we stood in the grand hall where the shooting took place. When asked about the crime, he replied, “How can it be a murder if Mr. Williams was acting in self-defense!” Very interesting indeed! There is also a charge for this tour of $12.50 per person plus tax (but Baby Chase got in for free!).
No trip south is complete without a stop at Waffle House. The eggs, the bacon, the waffles! We visited the one near Savannah airport, and the staff was beyond friendly. I ordered the egg and bacon sandwich and the waitress asked, “Do you want it on a biscuit?” I hesitated, she replied, “Get it on the biscuit, you’re on vacation.” And it was delicious.
Plan your trip to Savannah for a day or longer. You won’t be disappointed!