One of the best known places in Savannah is Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room. People line up two hours ahead of time for lunch in the busy season. I had heard great things and remembered vaguely viewing a tv clip on it once. Husband loves his food and I knew he would enjoy it. And where would be better to try Southern cooking?
Mrs. Wilkes was less than five short blocks from the Country Inn and Suites. On the way I wanted to detour to the two nearby squares to see what they were like. And to see the homes around them, just nosy.
I took the scenic route to Mrs. Wilkes and we arrived at 9:45 for 11am lunch. We join a line on the sidewalk of around twenty people to wait. Husband is not a very patient waiter so he set off looking for a bottle of water. It did not occur to me how nice a bottle of water might be while we waited. He might have secretly gone back to the hotel as he came back around 10:30 with water. By then the line was much larger and others had joined their family members in the wait. There was maybe fifty people ahead of us now that had joined their families. People behind us were trying to count heads and figured we should all make the first seating. And behind us the line stretched around the corner out of sight.
At 11am the bell rang and the crowd pushed forward. The staff counted off ten people and sent them inside. Now Husband has figured out we sit family style at a table with strangers. He HATES eating with strangers! (To be fair in the past we had been seated with some really rude people and I know that is part of it.) I might have left the eating with others part out and since we waited it was silly to leave now. Husband was not too happy but it was our turn to enter!!!!
We were seated at a ten top large table with a man in town on business, two sisters, a retired couple and a younger couple on vacation like us. Having an empty seat next to Husband did help. All the food is on the table and blessed already. Take your photos and start passing the dishes!
I stopped counting at 25 different dishes on the table. Sweet tea is already at your place setting but they offer water or non-sweetened tea if you prefer. We all passed the food and dug in. I tried some items I was not even sure what they were. I asked what it was and ends up it was rutabaga cut up. Very good and I even liked their collard greens. The potatoes, creamed corn and BBQ pork were my favorite items. Everyone had seconds or thirds before dessert was brought out on trays. The choice of either individual banana pudding or peach cobbler. We both took the peach cobbler and it was so delicious!
We all laughed when the gentleman across the table said he waited an hour and a half for this meal and he ate it all in twenty minutes! Even thought there was a significant line of people outside waiting for their turn we never felt rushed or hurried out.
When you are finished you take your place setting to the kitchen and hand it off to a staff member. There is a line by the door to pay the $18 a person cash. Also there are cookbooks and other items if you wish to purchase. Husband handed me a cookbook so I took that as a hint. After lunch we decided to walk to Forsyth park and walk our food off. It was like trying to walk in a sauna after Thanksgiving. We were not moving very fast that afternoon.
Mrs. Wilkes is open M – F 11-2 for lunch only.
107 West Jones Street
Savannah GA 31401
Cost is $18 cash only, kids under 12 are half price.
The other often talked about restaurant in the area is Lady and Sons. We stumbled on it while walking around near the riverfront area. What I saw from the window was enough to validate our choice of Mrs. Wilkes. It was a traditional buffet steamer setup with 8 metal buffet “slop” pans. (Country Buffet looked more appetizing.) I was shocked to see the name on the door “Lady and Sons”. I had expected much more than I saw from the window for that restaurant. Yuck!