Best. Meal. Ever.
I have been neglectful in informing you of all my adventures during my vacation to visit Lincoln. My vacation actually started in Savannah, GA on a very HOT Saturday. My parents have been going to Savannah at least once a year for the last few years for the express purpose of eating at The Lady and Sons Restaurant, better known as Paula Deen‘s restaurant. A while back, I made the decision for them that we would meet there at the beginning of my vacation for Mother’s Day, and since my mother wouldn’t be a mother without my father, he was invited, too.
In any case, the details were set. They drove up to my Uncle and Aunt’s house in Orange Park, FL (near Jacksonville) earlier in the week, and then I flew down to Savannah on Saturday morning. They picked me up at the airport, and we drove to downtown Savannah. We took the Old Town Trolley Tour. If you go to Savannah, take this tour and hope that you get Irenette (Nette for short) as your tour guide. She was fantastic!
After that, my parents explained the entire Lady and Sons Reservation Policy, so we could make our plans for the next morning. Basically, the way it works is that you line up early in the morning and wait. At 9:30am, the hostess comes out and starts taking names and time requests on a first come first serve basis. The closer to the front of the line you are the more time options you have. Since it was Memorial Day weekend and we weren’t staying in Savannah passed Sunday, I wanted to be absolutely certain that we got into The Lady and Sons for the Sunday Buffet with no problem. I was not about to miss this opportunity. Dad typically gets in line at 8am, so I said, take me down there so I can be in line by 7:30.
My father didn’t understand why in the world I’d want to stand in line, but I told him that I wanted to experience the whole ordeal. So he and I got up early and drove back down to the restaurant. He dropped me off, and let me tell you, I was NOT the first person in line. In fact, the first person in line got there at 5:45. So, I brought a book and I just sat there on the sidewalk and read until they opened the line at 9:30.
We chose the noon timeslot. We were told to check back in at the hostess stand at 11:45 for seating at noon. And then we drove back to the hotel to check out and pick up mom. We stopped in the Paula Deen Store, which is right next to the restaurant for some shopping where I spent WAY TOO MUCH money, but it was worth it. Then, we checked in at 11:45 and were seated by noon. The whole system works like clockwork. As soon as we sat down, Michael Schroder (our waiter) came over and took our drink order and directed us to the buffet.
The all you can eat buffet included the following:
Fried and baked chicken, pork stew, black-eyed peas, collard greens, creamed corn, squash and zucchini casserole, green beans, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and lima beans. I think I got it all. Oh yeah, they have a salad bar, but from what my parents tell me no one ever uses it. (I did see a nice older lady who was behind me in the line that morning getting a salad, so I was happy about that.)
These are dishes that are not in the least bit out of the ordinary. I’ve grown up on these dishes, so really I wasn’t expecting anything special even though it is PAULA DEEN. However, that first bite of fried chicken, mac and cheese, and mashed potatoes nearly knocked my socks off (had I been wearing any…it’s sandal season, people). It was without a doubt (and no offense to my mother’s pot roast, which is my favorite food) the best meal I have ever had in my entire life. And what I think made it the best meal ever was the fact that everything was seasoned to perfection. Nothing needed added salt or pepper, and nothing was over seasoned, either. It was the very definition of perfect. Oh and these people come around to the tables constantly bringing you fresh baked biscuits and hoecakes that (GASP) need no butter on them.
The woman and her team are incredibly brilliant from the reservation policy to the wait staff service to the buffet to the dessert. Oh my the dessert. This may have been the most brilliant part of it. So, Paula obviously knows you’ve gorged yourself on the buffet already, so who needs some gigantic dessert. Dessert is included in the very reasonably priced $15.99 buffet, but they don’t put them on the buffet table. Our options for the day were banana pudding, gooey butter cake, and peach cobbler. Since there were three of us, each of us got something different so we could try them all. The desserts come in this little bowl that’s probably about 4 inches in diameter and not very deep. It’s just enough dessert to give you that sweetness at the end of your meal but not overpower you or make you feel like it’s too much. And of course they were each equally phenomenal.
There were no sightings of Paula or the Sons, but no matter, it was the best food experience I’ve ever had. Though I was completely stuffed and satisfied when we left the restaurant, but I know without a doubt, I could eat there every day of my life and never grow tired of it. So, if you ever find yourself in Savannah, GA, be sure to stop by the corner of Whitaker and Congress streets in downtown. Tell ’em Leann sent you and ask if Michael Schroder is waiting tables that day. He’ll take great care of you.