|When we arrived in Savannah we were looking forward to dining at Paula Deen's Restaurant, the Lady & Sons. But after talking to several longtime residents we decided to try Mrs. Wilke's Dining Room instead. It's been around much longer & the truth is, most of the locals feel it is the best dining experience in the city, especially for fried chicken. One of Larry's favorites for sure. We arrived at 10:15am to insure that we would be one of the first seated for the day. Even then the line was already forming.
Mrs. Wilke's has been in operation since 1943 and offers up wonderful Southern home cooking. It’s only open for lunch from 11 am to 2 pm, Monday through Saturday. It’s $16 a person and they only take cash or check. Once inside, we were seated at a table for 10. Water & sweet tea was already in place as were corn muffins and biscuits. The meal was served family style, with three meats and 20+ side dishes! Today that included cornbread dressing, candied yams, black-eyed peas, okra & tomatoes, cabbage, snap beans, Macaroni & cheese, rutabaga, squash, butter beans, creamed corn, rice & gravy, mashed potatoes, pickled beets, red rice, English peas & noodles and finally, baked beans. For dessert there was banana pudding and cherry cobbler. Unbelievable! The food just kept coming, along with platters & platters of the best chicken ever! The table remained seated until everyone was through eating, and then we were asked to carry our dishes to the kitchen so that they could prepare for the next table of 10! Too funny!!!
Afterward we went to the Oglethorpe Trolley Tour parking lot to board for our 90 minute narrated tour of the historic district of Savannah. Oglethorpe is $15 per person as compared to $26 for most of the others. They also do an uninterrupted tour which we liked. The others stop every 5-10 minutes to drop folks off or pick folks up along the way. Our tour offered unlimited on/off privileges with a smaller shuttle for the entire day after completing the uninterrupted earlier tour. Our guide, Micky, was very knowledgeable and her love of this city made it very interesting.
The Historic District of Savannah is the heart of one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with cobblestone streets, manicured gardens, and oak-shaded parks drizzling with silvery Spanish Moss. The largest National Historic Landmark District in the United States, Savannah contains more than twenty city squares filled with museums, churches, mansions, monuments and famous forts of the Revolutionary & Civil War eras.
Each year Savannah attracts millions of visitors, who enjoy the city's architecture and historic buildings: the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low (founder of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America), the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences (one of the South's first public museums), the First African Baptist Church (one of the oldest African American Baptist congregations in the United States), Temple Mickve Israel (the third oldest synagogue in America), and the Central of Georgia Railway roundhouse complex (the oldest standing antebellum rail facility in America).
After completing our trolley tour we picked up our truck & headed back down to the market/bay area to look around a bit more. The weather was beautiful as is the city, we can certainly understand why Savannah is a favorite vacation destination for many. Our time here was way too short to do the area justice so we plan to add this to our 'need to make this a return destination' list. Tomorrow we head to Florida. Oh my, time is flying by way too quickly!