My favorite Savannah experience took place on Friday, our first full day spent in town. We started the morning with a trolley tour, hopping off and on here and there, enjoying the guides' entertaining stories. Later that morning, the trolley dropped us off a few blocks away from Home Cooking Heaven otherwise known as Mrs. Wilkes.
We waited in line well over an hour, but that did not phase us at all. I think we each had a sneaky suspicion that we were in for something truly memorable. We passed the time by chatting with each other, talking to other hungry souls in line and taking pictures.
Mrs. Wilkes began her restaurant as a boardinghouse offering traditional Southern cuisine served in a family style setting. Her children and grandchildren are actively involved still today. As soon as you step inside you know you are in for something special. We noticed this sign beside the door and had to document it.
Since the tables seat 10, we had the privilege of sharing our lunch meal with a couple from New York, a couple from Minnesota and another lovely couple. Sitting together, passing the bowls around the table and eating together felt very much like a family. I could imagine the boarders years ago that may have stayed at Mrs. Wilkes for long periods of time, missing their home and families, and grateful for the home style setting she provided.
Take a deep breath. Here is the view of our table...
I can't remember when I have ever eaten a better meal. Seriously. Especially because I ate things I don't normally eat. About $12.00 bought you a full tummy of beef stew, black eyed peas, collard greens, barbecue pork, sweet creamed corn, potato salad, macaroni salad, cornbread dressing, butter beans, okra and tomato gumbo, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, rutabagas, mashed potatoes, cabbage, macaroni and cheese, delicate flaky biscuits, crispy fried chicken, sweet tea AND banana pudding.
It's a loud call for stretchy pants, isn't it?
Another aspect of the family style setting is that each diner is asked to carry his or her plate and glass to the kitchen. Isn't that great? Everybody has to do their part.
Of course, we each bought a cookbook with the hopes to recreate some of these memories back in Texas. Not sure I can pull it off, but I'd like to try.
She was even so kind as to pose for a picture with us before we left.
My experience at Mrs. Wilkes is my favorite Savannah memory not only because of the delicious food, but because of the personal touches that made eating lunch there different. It was like nothing else I have ever experienced. If you ever visit Savannah you MUST take time to visit Marcia and the other family members at Mrs. Wilkes' House. Plan accordingly since they only serve lunch from 11:00 to 2:00, they only accept cash or checks and don't forget to wear your stretchy pants.