Friday, May 01, 2009

The Lady and Sons, Savannah, Georgia

Paula Deen's The Lady and Sons
102 West Congress Street
Savannah, Georgia, 31401
Phone: 912-233-2600
Fax: 912-233-8283

"...Every day of the week, our hostess begins to take names at 9:30 am for lunch and dinner on a first come first served basis. Our hostess is located at the podium on Congress Street in front of the restaurant. You must appear in person to receive a priority seating time..."

Be prepared to show up way before 9:30 AM. The line was already long when our group arrived at 8:30 AM. After making a reservation, you will be told to return at 10:45 AM for seating.

At 10:45 AM, the hostess will direct people to stand across the street from The Lady and Sons. (This is to avoid a line blocking the sidewalk.) One employee will come into the street, ring a dinner bell, give brief directions / small talk and go back into The Lady and Sons. Then the hostess will yell across the road "Mary R., party of 3! Josh Z., party of 2!" Each party called then receives a ticket and is directed into the restaurant.This process will be periodically interrupted by tour buses driving by.

Second and third floor seating is reached by elevator. There are buffets on every floor (same food in each one).

Beautiful old wooden floors, floor to ceiling mirrors, various pictures of Paula Deen and her sons

If you dislike crowds and noise, the Lady and Sons is not your best bet. Also, the tight space on each floor is not suitable for small, running children. They could get hurt knocking into elevator crowds and the staff carrying trays.

If you want to meet Paula Deen
A waitress said Paula and her sons show up about twice a week. Your best chance bet is on a weekday, in her gift shop next to The Lady and Sons.

Booths, tables with wooden chairs, bar counter and three tops. The table with wooden chairs are closet to the buffet. The buffet lines snake behind your chairs in that seating area. Do not get a three top if you actually have three people. Those are tiny bistro tables not meant to hold three entree plates, three salad plates, three drinks and three bread plates.

The Lady's Southern Buffet

Southern fried chicken
The fried chicken was even better than my homemade version. It crispy and mouthwatering.

Baked chicken
I didn't try it. My tablemates said it was juicy and had second helpings.

Had a sweet, smokey sauce but were tough

Pot roast, carrots, potatoes and gravy
Super moist and fall off the bone tender. Definitely worth trying

Collard greens
Slightly sweet and had lots of pork, the way I love them. Thumbs up!

Mashed potatoes
Smooth and buttery. Not bad!

One vote for "They're average" and two votes for "Better than other restaurants serve"

Lima Beans
I don't eat lima beans. The others had two helpings, so I guess the beans were fine.

Black eyed peas
Didn't see any

Mac and cheese
Creamy, but could have used breadcrumb topping

Green beans
Thick and well seasoned

Yellow rice
You either like rice or you don't *shrugs* Everyone in our group enjoyed the yellow rice.

Creamed corn
I don't eat creamed corn. The other two said it was outstanding. Gonna take their word on that.

Salad bar
Variety of dressings (ginger poppyseed, blue cheese, etc), pumpernickel croutons, cheese, lettuce, pre-dressed salad, raisins, tomatoes

A waiter goes from table to table offering a platter of cheese biscuits and hoe cakes. The cheese biscuits were fluffy but did not have much cheese. The hoe cakes were so-so. Only a small bite of either is recommended, as the other menu items are quite filling.

A waiter brings a tray of small desserts to choose at the end of the meal.

Banana puddin'
This dessert had a crunchy graham crust. Other than that, it was the same average banana pudding other restaurants serve. I make a better banana pudding from scratch.

Peach cobbler
A surprise disappointment. It was just canned peaches with a crust thrown over top. Better peach cobbler and banana pudding can be found at Mrs. Wilkes on West Jones Street.

Gooey butter cakes
The butter cakes were not on the dessert tray.

Sweet potato cake on a gingerbread crust
This dessert was the only standout. It was a wonderful combination of gingery spice and mellow sweet potato. And it is the only one I cannot find the recipe for on Paula's website. Anyone know where I can find it ?

Eating lunch at The Lady and Sons was worth the trip to Savannah. The food was delicious and filling (I was full after one plate!) The staff was friendly and courteous. They were prompt to clear dishes and offer beverage refills. I feel a return trip to The Lady and Sons is in order soon.

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