Tag Archives: southern cooking

Mrs. Wilkes Boardinghouse Restaurant

Savannah, Georgia

Every weekday, hungry folks wait in line for a table in Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room.By 11:30, the crowd snakes around the corner of brick paved Jones Street, in heart of Savannah.No reservations are taken and no credit cards accepted.

Mrs. Wilkes restaurant was legendary, long before John Berendt’s, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, hit the bestseller list. His story included references to the boardinghouse food and my husband and I wanted a sample.

Being just a party of two, were quickly called to the front of the line.By tradition, the restaurant seats and serves family style; so this was our lucky day.

We entered a ground level room with a low hanging ceiling, giving it a cozy close feel, like dining at grandma’s house. Oilcloth covered tables were laden with so many side dishes, I lost count.In front of me rested bowls of lima beans, coleslaw, yellow squash, black- eyed peas, pickled beets, mashed potatoes and gravy.Next to Jay, an bevy of containers were brimming with beef stew, barbequed pork, succotash, collard greens, corn bread stuffing (called dressing in the South), mashed sweet potatoes, creamed corn, macaroni and cheese, tomato and okra gumbo and biscuits.

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