Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Southbound to Savannah

Several weeks ago, my boyfriend and I decided to plan a Valentine's weekend trip. With all the snow in D.C. this winter we wanted to go south. His choice was Charleston, S.C., and although I love Charleston, I've been there several times in the past few years and wanted to go somewhere new. Savannah, G.A., was only an hour further away (yes, we took a 10 hour road trip), and a place neither of us had every been. I took Friday off of work (I mean, what's one more day when you've already missed the rest of the week due to snow?) and after spending Thursday night with my boyfriend's friend in N.C., we arrived in Savannah around 10:30 a.m. Friday morning. With cold rain and snow due in the city by the afternoon, we spent the morning walking around the city and exploring Savannah's 22 squares, which are like small parks, before heading to City Market for lunch. We settled on the first menu we looked at (partly because it looked good and partly because the rain had started to come down). Belford's Savannah was our choice.

Belford's is the perfect example of the prominence of history to the city of Savannah. The building was completed in 1902 for Savannah's Hebrew Congregation and was later sold in 1913 to W.T. Belford whose family converted the structure to a food wholesale company. The walls of the restaurant are adorned with photographs from the wholesale company's and City Market's heyday. As a restaurant Belford's has won many awards and welcomed celebrities including Clint Eastwood, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. You can read more about Belford's history on their web site.

We started our meal with fried green tomatoes served with roasted corn salsa and a remoulade sauce. Although the menu calls the remoulade sauce "spicy," I did not find it as such. The batter of the tomatoes was maybe a little underdone for my taste, but overall it was a good start to the meal. For our main entrees I ordered the shrimp po' boy with fresh fruit, and my boyfriend ordered the blackened Cajun chicken sandwich with Savannah red rice. The po' boy was satisfying with flaky, breaded shrimp cooked well, if not a little dry (which could be attributed to the fact that I don't like tarter sauce and didn't use mayo). My fruit tasted fresh considering the season, and it was refreshing to not have to pay extra for a side of fruit as I've come to expect. The chicken sandwich was "tasty" in my boyfriend's words, even though the piece of chicken was a little thin.

Our service at Belford's was great but expected as there were only a couple of other occupied tables when we were there. Our waiter Michael was friendly and helpful with our tourist questions and brought extra remoulade sauce without our request. The kitchen was open to the seating area of the restaurant, and the cook even spoke with a family when they entered the restaurant, giving it a very casual and inviting feeling. Overall, it was a great meal to start our trip.

More photos and details of Savannah to come...

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