24 Hours In: Savannah, GA
Savannah is the perfect distance from Charleston for a 24 hour getaway. Although it is often compared to Charleston, I personally find Charleston to have a little more charm (maybe I’m biased) mostly because the city of Charleston has done a much better job of preserving historical buildings. However, I will say that I was extremely impressed by the food scene in Savannah and believe it will quickly rival Charleston’s if it doesn’t already. It’s also fun that you can walk around with drinks in Savannah, although I have a feeling that may get a little out of hand at times.
STAY: We stayed at the Andaz Savannah, which is a Hyatt brand hotel. The Andaz brand is described as ‘luxury boutique hotels’. Unlike other Hyatt brands, where each hotel is the same or very similar in every city, Andaz hotels are more unique, and reflect the local culture in the area it is located. The Andaz Savannah is situated in the middle of town and essentially walking distance to everything. (We didn’t have to take an Uber once) The hotel was undergoing renovations when I visited, however, I was still impressed by the service, rooms and free minibar with local snacks. Their hotel bar 22 Square also had great cocktails and was actually named best cocktails in town.
Little Duck Diner: Little Duck Diner is located right beside Andaz, so it was the perfect spot for a late lunch when we arrived. The restaurant is adorable and done in black and white tile with a diner counter overlooking the kitchen. The menu offers breakfast all day as well as Asian inspired tacos, bowls and salads. I ordered the duck tacos, which come OVERFLOWING with pulled duck, cabbage slaw, avocado, pickled carrots and daikon and cilantro, with a small side salad. These tacos are HUGE and the dish has great flavor. Off the breakfast menu we ordered the The Maxwell, a breakfast sandwich with soft scrambled eggs, chives, cheddar, caramelized onions, sriracha mayo on brioche bun with house fries (I chose to add bacon, obvi). This sandwich is...the bomb and what all breakfast sandwiches should be modeled after. Their cocktails all come with a tiny rubber duck floating in it which is a fun touch and a good photo opportunity for the ‘gram.
The Ordinary Pub: We went to The Ordinary Pub for happy hour and they were doing 5 dollar mules. The Ordinary Pub calls themselves the neighborhood basement gastropub. The pub is in a basement (obviously) and completely done in exposed brick with Edison bulbs everywhere. The drinks were good and the service was really fast and friendly. We didn’t order anything to eat, but heard they do a great brunch. As an added bonus, the bar is located on Broughton street where most of the shops are, so this is great bar to drop the significant other off at if you’re in need of a little retail therapy.
The Grey: The Grey has been getting A LOT of attention lately, working in public relations, I’m sometimes curious whether a restaurant really is that good or just has an amazing PR team. The Grey, which Eater chose as their restaurant of the year, does in fact live up to the hype. The head chef Mashama Bailey, was named a semi-finalist for best chef SouthEast and is a southern cuisine genius. We ordered several plates to share and had the veal sweetbreads, octopus, smoked collards and lamb shoulder. The octopus was perfectly cooked and paired with a lima bean puree with harissa, which is an interesting combination, the harissa gave it a really good kick of spice. The braised lamb was incredibly flavorful and tender. I will say, and this is no fault of the chef’s that the sweetbreads were not my favorite thing. They were cooked really well and with a great crunchy breading and paired with a vinaigrette that perfectly toned down their richness, but this was my first time trying the sweetbreads and it does have a distinctive flavor, that I think may be an acquired taste. The collards though...wow...it’s really hard to imagine that any leafy green can be the most memorable portion of a meal, but these were hands down my favorite thing I ate the entire trip and probably my favorite version of greens I have ever had. They had this smokiness to them without the addition of any meat product and cooked to the perfect doneness. The restaurant itself is incredible, it's set in an old greyhound station, but the designers chose to preserve as much of the original interior as possible including the flooring, skylight and even the clocks. The restaurant has a main dining room, but also has a diner, which has a separate menu, that I am definitely going to try next time I visit.
Flying Monk Noodle Bar: Noodles are my drug of choice, and I really just can’t get enough (for more on my obsession with noodles...visit my post here). Flying Monk Noodle bar combines some of the most popular noodle dishes across different Asian cuisines for a carb lovers dream menu. We tried the Master Shifu Noodles and the Tao Dumpling Soup. The Master Shifu Noodles are done with braised short ribs that are oh-so-tender, carrots, and potatoes (this is a very family style Chinese dish) this delicious combination is poured on top of wide noodles (they have the perfect amount of chew to them) and just coats the noodles in stew-y goodness. This dish is just so comforting, and delicious, if I lived in Savannah, it would definitely be my go to winter meal (it was like 80 degrees when we went and it was still amazing). The Tao Dumpling Soup is another really traditional Chinese dish (Cantonese) it is a noodle soup with a combination of wontons, egg noodles, Char Sui (Chinese BBQ), shitake, bean sprouts and bok choy. The char sui adds a bit of sweetness while the shiitakes add an amazing umami flavor. I may or may not have creepily leered at the food of everyone next to me and literally everything looked amazing.