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Posts from the ‘Bucket List’ Category

I Found My Soul Cake In South Carolina

“…Soul meets soul on lovers lips…” -Percy Bysshe Shelley 

 Meg, meet Caramel Cake, Caramel Cake meet Meg

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Happy Birthday From The Big Cave in Kentucky- 7 Ways That Mammoth Cave Humbled Me.

A place that takes on shapes and forms of another world and my imagination went in many directions.

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Urban Bourbon – Evan Williams Kentucky Bourbon Trail

If you are a bourbon enthusiast, a history buff, or just looking for something interesting to do in Louisville, you too will be interested in this fun-filled historical bourbon tour.

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Never Been Earwormed by Kow-liga before? 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die

Tasty Tuesday-My #42 try or #61 on the countdown.

After my first visit to the Kowaliga Restaurant to try The Fried Alabama Shrimp Platter, my curiosity got the best of me and I needed to figure out what Gulf Shrimp, Hank Williams and a lonely wooden statue had in common?

The Kowaliga Restaurant is near Alexander City on the beautiful Lake Martin. Technically, the lake is made from a reservoir and is 44,000-acre lake with 900 acres of shoreline. This is a popular area for weekend homes (some multi-million), outdoor enthusiasts and vacationers alike.

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Wind Creek Stat Park-view from the tower

I visited in the evening just after the New Year, when the restaurant was dressed up for the holidays.  The restaurant sits on a lakefront peninsula with two dining rooms and wonderful outdoor seating areas, all offering picturesque views of the lake.

The Gulf Shrimp Platter is served with your choice of one side dish.  I chose the coleslaw and my Mother had salad.

kowaligashrimp

I left this photo large so that you might get an idea of shrimp size. The coleslaw was super tasty and check out these warm hushpuppies.  Large and juicy gulf shrimp is delivered every three days to this restaurant. It is fried from simple ingredients of; cornmeal, flour, buttermilk and is said to have just the right amount of salt and pepper.   Always served with fresh warm hushpuppies and your choice of one side.

MEGastars ****4 I am going to give this dish a 4 star.  It is a simple platter,  yet taken up a notch with these perfect Gulf Shrimp.  If you follow my blog, you know that I am a new convert to Gulf Shrimp.  I love the taste!  These shrimp were large enough to taste, (I LOVE that) yet the batter seasoning was not overpowering, and the shrimp sauce was perfect.  Alabama food made with Alabama pride.  I couldn’t find the Kowliga recipe for coleslaw, but it had a little kick to it. Trust me, it was really tasty and crisp.

Other food tried at my table. Check out these ribs, onion rings and Caesar salad! NUM

 

What I learned from this visit.

  1. Kowliga is pronounced kaw-ly-jə
  2. Currently owned by Russell Lands Corporation. (you may have heard of Russell Athletic wear.) This company has taken time to cultivate this area into a top notch Southern destination. Although it is a business, these people seem to truly care about their product. Every aspect for the visitor experience is top notch, from the landscaping to top chefs and clean fresh décor.
  3. This restaurant has been in operation since 1953, built as a cabin in 1946, and rebuilt after a fire as a tribute to Hank Williams and his music.  You will find interesting photos and memorabilia on the walls. kowligashop
  4. Legendary country singer Hank Williams wrote a song called “Kow-liga” at his Lake Martin cabin in 1952. In 1953, this song went to the top of the charts.
  5. Legend has it that Kowaliga was a Creek Native American man, who once lived on Lake Martin. He fell deeply in love with a beautiful maiden and asked her to marry him. However, her father had already promised her to another. She had to leave, never to be seen again. Heartbroken, Kowaliga swore to stand on the edge of this lake and wait faithfully for her return. He stood on that lakeshore so long that his feet finally took root and he turned to wood.  Sad. Arranged marriages suck. kowligastatue
  6. An earworm is defined as: a catchy song or tune that runs continually through a person’s mind. I always thought the word for this state of mind was “jazzbound” and yet I couldn’t find this word in a dictionary. Who knew?

MEGatips:

  1. Bring a friend for that shrimp platter and also try the catfish taco, it was named the “tastiest taco” in Alabama by The Food Network.
  2. The website link will tell you everything that you need to know before your visit.  For hours, location and menus click here. Kowaliga
  3. Prepare to get earwormed.  Check out the song  Kowliga on You Tube

4. You too can visit Hank Williams grave and other sites in Montgomery, Alabama.hankgrave

This MEGabites and MEGastars description is found at the bottom of each post of 100 Dishes. If you are new to my 100 Dishes in Alabama escapade, this may be helpful.  *100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die is a compilation of food to chow down on Bama style. Thanks to Tourism Alabamawww.alabama.travel my Alabama bucket list just became a little easier. I am going to have some fun while making my way like Ms. Pacman, in yet another state that I call home.  You too may pick up the brochure at Alabama Tourism stops or download the alphabetical brochure that begins in Abbeville and ends in York. From the little old diner to the white cloth joint, it is an opportunity to explore and experience pride in the food from restaurateurs who are dedicated to local food with some Alabama style. From the local BBQ cook to James Beard recipients, you too will take a culinary trip across scenic and historical Alabama. From this list, I select visits based on convenience of location and they are in no particular order. I already have a few favorites and perhaps when I finish this list, I will rank my favorite dishes.

I use a 5 MEGastar system. I am not a paid food critic, just Meg, a curious traveler, with an interest in trying different foods, finding the story and sharing my two cents on these experiences. I try to follow my star system so that I may be fair to the wonderful dishes on this list.

  • *meh food. Just wasn’t good. Maybe the food came from a can. The place was not one that I would want to send someone to show pride in Alabama.   This has happened to me a few times and it is a difficult write.
  • ** passable – the food was ok and above happened but the place or vice versa
  • *** good but not outstanding or unique
  • **** Very tasty dish AND meets one of the definitions set forth by Alabama Foods/Tourism, of local food and/OR highlights Alabama Pride.
  • ***** I actually died, went to heaven and came back when I ate the dish. OR, something is very unique, something you cannot get anywhere else.

2015 Best,Weirdest & Coolest MEGabites

priesterscakepamphlet
This dish is going into my surprised me category. Super tasty!
Nude Oyster’s at Wintzell's in Mobile, Alabama. OK My husband still disagrees on me giving them a 5 because they are a chain. I loved a few dishes from their menu that were Alabama. (Name these instead)
Sweet Potato Casserole at Martin's in Montgomery, Alabama. This was so delicious. I don't really like sweet potato casserole but it tasted like pie. YUM!
4-Best Party/Drinks

Ummmm that beer brewed by Paulauner special for the season out of the barrel at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. How will I top this in 2016 or like EVER?
Peach Sangria in Savannah, Georgia-In season, this concoction is made with fresh Georgia peaches. It is an open container city. Nothing like walking around on a steamy Savannah summer evening, listening to tunes while sipping this darling.
Visiting Jim Beam on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. There was also some good pulled pork in a beautiful setting.
Bourbon Street, New Orleans. Ihad a few interesting visits this past year. Party on Wayne!
Broadway Street in Nashville, Tennessee. Although I have visited this fine city on many occasions, this was my first night visit to this street. (Can you say kids are all grown up.) Had a blast listening to many different styles of music. I am excited to return.
3 - Weird/Interesting/Learn Stuff

Eating crawfish boil at Mulletfest in Orange Beach,Alabama. What is this you ask? I participated in this event where one stands in a circle and throws a mullet fish (so not hair-sorry) from a circle in Florida, across a state line into Alabama. People come from many places in the U.S. and the world. There are bands and a big party all weekend. I took 17th place in my age category. Interesting trip.
Pizza cone in New, Orleans, Louisiana. It's not a bad idea but Ragu in crust. Meh.
I ate white BBQ sauce at Big Bob Gibsons Bar-B-Que in Decautur, Alabama. Interesting. Yep, popped that cherry.

From playing “100 Dishes in Alabama Before You Die” to chowing down on the top of a mountain overlooking __countries, this has been a year that will be a challenge to top. Certainly, I expanded my horizon. I gained interesting insight into my own tastes. I tried dishes that I would never have tried without an introduction. I hope to inspire you t have fun trying new foods and food experiences. Eat on and stay healthy! Find Peace through food and friends.

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Oktoberfestin In Munich And My Bad

It is not what you think, my bad did happen, but it is my bad.  Here is the part of the story that I will share.

Hands down, Germany has become one of my favorite places to visit, and my travel Germany bucket list is quite loose. However, visiting Oktoberfest was one list item that I had written in ink. I was simply thankful to my friend who gave me a push that made this MEGastop possible.

Considering that I a zoom around to other galaxies, I wouldn’t say that I am culturally ignorant. I am not suggesting that I am worldly; it’s just that I have a decent grasp on the modern world.   Having said that, I had a few of what I call mega duh or “my bad preconceptions” when it came to “THE Oktoberfest in Munich. This MEGastop was one fun travel learning experience that will not be forgotten soon.

So, why did I Oktoberfest in Munich?

  • It is the world’s biggest party, duh. I have been to Oktoberfest in several U.S. cities and always dreamt about going to the real deal.
  • I like history, this is a historical event that has had it goin on since 1812. 5-7 million people attend. I learned that statistics say that roughly 70% vistors to the Oktoberfest Munich come from Bavaria, 15 % from the rest of Germany and 15% from European countries, the US, Australia and Canada.  It is representative of a Bavarian tradition.
  • Culture-It is a peaceful event where I can immerse in another culture, dress up, sing songs, eat fantastic food, drink some of the world’s best beer in it’s home. Make new friends and burn off a little steam.
  • Any excuse to travel in Bavaria will do.
And it's on

And it’s on

Although I offer a few tips, it is not a “how to Oktoberfest.” There are a plenty of websites for that subject. Of course, I wish that I had read a few tips before my visit, flying by the seat of my pants just seems to be my middle name. Opening my eyes to a new world is part of the “trip,” it is a big part of why I do travel.  My friend got it, after the fest she said it was everything she expected and more. Not so for me, I had a few visions of what it would be like. My Bad.

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I was surprised to find a large fair atmosphere.

My Bad #1- Have dirndl will party- Planning is required. Before this experience, I thought that you show up ready to party; drink, dance on the benches, drink.   I learned that is actually difficult to secure a table in a tent and even more difficult if you go with more than two people. Lucky for me, my friend found a tour group that was simply perfect for me to enjoy this first time experience. Also lucky for me was that we were able to secure the last four spots in this group of really nice fun people. The planning was all taken care of. Phew! And yes, people do dress up. In fact, most people. I would have felt out of place had I not played dress up.

Dress up time.

Dress up time.

My Bad#2- The “tents” are not tents as in Ringling Brothers. My vision of a tent was like one that I might see at a big top circus. However, Oktoberfest is more than just a few tents thrown up. The tents are actually made of steel and wood and each tent has it’s own personality. Not surprisingly, it takes months to set these elaborate and well appointed halls. I was lucky to attend in theFisher-Vroni Augustiner-Festhalle It is said that Augustinerbräu is the best Oktoberfest beer. This is a family-friendly tent and said to be a favorite of local attendees. This tent seats 600 people.   The tents were decorated to the smallest detail. The temperature was very comfortable and one could move about freely. I loved it! Here are the exterior night photos of a few other tents.

"Before"

“Before” The nice atmosphere in the Fisher-Vroni Augistiner tent

My Bad # 3- the music is not your Grandpa’s oom pah pah-I thought I was going to hear traditional German oom pah music; type that I heard on a.m. radio on Sundays growing up in Wisconsin.   I did what any modern girl would do, I went to You tube and thought I familiarized myself with a few songs, but I was ill prepared. Lucky for me, they sang a lot of oldies (Sweet Caroline, Country Roads), AC/DC, Being a current Alabama resident, Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama made me feel at home. I heard many pop drinking songs. One example is Neil Sedaka’s Living Right Next Door To Alice. I will never hear that song the same again. Something about screaming out “Alice, Alice, who the fuck is Alice?” Simply, impossible not to sing along.

Fun music

Fun music up above the crowd

And the fun beginsup on the benches

And the fun begins….up on the benches

Fun with friends

Fun with friends

My Bad #4Beer- Can I get a Mich Ultra, dark beer,light beer? Just kidding, However, I did not really get that each tent has it’s own specific brew made special for Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest beer is a lager brewed for the fest. It is about 6-7% alcohol in content. Non-alcoholic beer is available. Served in a one-liter mug, you get two vouchers with your tent entry.An extra mug of beer will cost you €10.10 including the service fee tacked on. Served from 200 liter barrels called Stags, it is said that you can taste the difference.

My Bad#5- “…It’s A Free For All…” Show up, mingle and party.   The evening was more organized in practice.   After arrival, you get seated at your table.   Soon after that, you meet your host. Our host was named Mike. Mike brought us beer and the menu.   Food is served and the band starts playing. As one can imagine, with a 7% alcohol content, people are up on the benches fairly quickly and into the “prost” mode. Things wrap up by 10:30 and Living Next Door To Alice remains with me forever.

 MEGatips:

  1. Try not to be like me and do a bit more reading before you go.  Your knowledge may color your experience.
  2. Visit Munich. It is a wonderful city.
  3. Bring ‘old” friends and make “new” friends. I do think it is more fun with a group. That was also unexpected for me.
  4. Eat good food. Although the food is mass-produced, it was of high quality. There are many choices including vegetarian. You will be paying for 2 beers and a chicken with your ticket. This comes in the form of a voucher. You are able to choose your foods and simply pay beyond the voucher fixed price for more food.
  5. Get dressed up – You will feel left out it adds more excitement to the experience.
  6. t’s not a cheap bucket list check off. You are able to check out the grounds for free and there are websites dedicated to “how to go on the cheap.”
  7. If this event is on your bucket list. Be aware that it takes planning. This was my biggest take away.
  8. I have read it is recommended that one visit the grounds at least a few times over the course of the week.   Visit the grounds during the day, walk around and see the tents, vendors and variety of people who attend.
  9. If you want to dress in Tracht, know that the used tracht that I saw in the second hand stores were pretty high priced. Try to get them before you attend. I bought mine  new from e-bay and feel that I was able to get a fantastic buy.
  10. I have also read do NOT drink the Schnapp’s shots. They will take you home after having your liters.  You would expect a certain level of debauchery at the world’s largest party.  Don’t be that person in the ambulance.
  11. Don’t like crowds? 6 million people attend. It is crowded and the streets are rowdy. It is a fair like atmosphere and at night, difficult to move in crowds. Inside the Fisher-VroniAugustiner tent it was significantly less chaotic and more like being at an intimate concert with a seat. Another reason to get a spot in a tent.
  12. Generally, I don’t like tours. However, this ended up being the perfect way for me to go to my first Oktoberfest.  I learned that most spots are secured by locals and then open up to other visitors. Not only was all of the preplanning done, I had a quiet comfortable hotel, expertise at my fingertips and an automatic group of new friends. I highly recommend Harriman Travel. Brett did a fantastic job making everyone comfortable. http://www.harrimantravelbooks.com/Tours_Oktoberfest.html
  13. The Oktoberfest represents traditions of Bavaria. Not the entire country.
  14. There are smaller Oktoberfests in a few other cities. I visited a small one in Austria on this stop and there are a few in Germany that really do sound fun.

Eating Camel In Alabama, Tasty Tuesday- 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die

Camel Rider Sandwich at Nabeel’s. MEGabite #19 or #82 on the countdown of “The 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die.”

Nabeel’s Café’ and Market is located on the outskirts of Birmingham in beautiful Homewood, Alabama. For over 20 years, Nabeel’s was a market that sold Mediterranean products, and was purchased in 1993 by the Krontiras’ family; he from Southern Greece and she from Northern Italy.  This couple began their business to fulfill a need for a family café with authentic Mediterranean foods and a friendly market for authentic Mediterranean products.

IMG_3199

Great outdoor seating

The restaurant walls have many framed awards attesting to the love this community has for the food. There are two dishes from Nabeel’s on The 100 List”

Two 100 Dishes

Two 100 Dishes

The Camel Rider Sandwich is a Pita Pocket deli sandwich with; premium roast beef, bologna, salami and provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, mustard and mayonnaise. Served with pita crunchies or choose greek french-fries or greek rice for an additional $1.95. It is a light sandwich and the pita bread is a twist on all of the other deli sandwiches out there.  this is not a large sandwich, you may have room for dessert.

The Camel Rider Sandwich with Greek Fries

The Camel Rider Sandwich with Greek Fries

I give this stop and sandwich 4 ****MEGastars

  • One MEGastar * for; prompt courteous service, great menu, interesting décor and a clean enough atmosphere.
  • Two MEGastars ** for an interesting tasty bite.
  • One MEGastar * for Nabeel’s  dedication to their community.  I generally will give my 4th MEGastar for dishes that meet the criteria set forth by Alabama Tourism; local food with Alabama style. I do not know if Nabeel’s uses local foods.   However, I do feel that this family cafe and market take pride in community, and for that I applaud and award them with a 4th Thanks to Nabeel’s for bringing Mediterranean foods to Alabama!

MEGatips;

Fun Market!

Fun Market!

  1. Don’t miss the market. Small but packs in some great stuff to make your Mediterranean inspired dishes. Dried herbs and specialty oils, candies, meats and cheeses and pre-made foods for your carry out enjoyment. Loved it!
  2. Leave some room for the appetizers and the Baklava.
  3. Check out Nabeel’s recipes on their website. Thanks for sharing!

About 100 Dishes-

*100 Dishes to eat in Alabama before you die is a compilation of food to chow down on Bama style. Thanks to Tourism Alabama, www.alabama.travel my Alabama bucket list just became a little easier. I am going to have some fun while making my way like Ms. Pacman, in yet another state that I call home. Download the alphabetical brochure that begins in Abbertville and ends in York. From the little old diner to the white cloth joint, it is an opportunity to explore and experience pride in the food from restaurateurs who are dedicated to local food with some Alabama style. From BBQ to James Beard recipients. I use a 5 MEGastar system. If I give a dish a 4the MEGastar, it is bacuse it meets the criteria set forth folks who are dedicated to local food with Alabama style. If I give one of these dishes a 5th star, it means, I nearly died and went to heaven eating the dish, Loved it and don’t you miss it!

Meg Munching Moussaka-100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die-

My #18 munch or #83 on the countdown of 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die has brought me to a visit at Nabeel’s to try their Moussaka.

Nabeel’s Café’ and Market is located on the outskirts of Birmingham in beautiful Homewood, Alabama. For over 20 years, Nabeel’s was a market that sold Mediterranean products, and was purchased by the Krontiras family; he from Southern Greece and she from Northern Italy.   This couple began their business to fulfill a need for a family café with authentic Mediterranean foods and a friendly market for authentic Mediterranean products.

Nabeel's Market and Cafe

Nabeel’s Market and Cafe

Nabeel's Market

Nabeel’s Market

Nice outdoor cafe seating!

Nice outdoor cafe seating!

The restaurant walls have many framed awards attesting to the love this community has for the food. There are two dishes from Nabeel’s on The 100 List”

There are TWO Dishes from Nabeel's on The 100 List

There are TWO Dishes from Nabeel’s on The 100 List

The interior is spacious.

The menu is large with choices of both Greek and Italian.  I loved the appetizer menu, and  could have eaten each and every item.  Hummus, dips and  baked cheeses-Yes please.   However, I was here for the Moussaka star.

My dish came with a small starter salad served with a slice of bread. Crisp with a few olives, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and real feta cheese. The Greek dressing was unique. It was sweet yet savory. I liked it. I note that the dressing is sold in the restaurant and and market. I found in the reviews that fans of this dressing do stock up when they visit.

Starter salad

Starter salad

Nabeel’s offers this Mediterranean inspired Moussaka casserole, layered first with sautéed eggplant, sautéed ground beef and onions and topped with a thick layer of creamy béchamel over top, and garnished with tomato fondue.The Moussaka portion was average, about the size of a card deck. It was light and tasty with that hint of cinnamon and Kasseri cheese.

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I read many reviews on this restaurant. I want to point out one fact that may address a few negative reviews.  Moussaka is usually served warm not piping hot. The rationale is that this dish needs resting time to set up so if you ask them to warm it, it may even separate. I am not a chef but I think it helps when we know what to expect.

MEGastars;  I give this dish 4 ****

  • One MEGastar * for; prompt courteous service, great menu, interesting décor and a clean enough atmosphere.
  • Two MEGastars ** for an interesting tasty bite.
  • One MEGastar * I give my 4th MEGastar for dishes that meet the criteria set forth by Alabama Tourism; local food with Alabama style. I do not know if Nabeel’s uses local foods.   However, I do feel that this family cafe and market take pride in community, and for that I applaud and award them with a 4th Thanks to Nabeel’s for bringing Mediterranean foods to Alabama!

MEGatips;

Fun Market!

Fun Market!

  1. Don’t miss the market. Small but packs in some great stuff to make your Mediterranean inspired dishes. Dried herbs and specialty oils, candies, meats and cheeses and pre-made foods for your carry out enjoyment. Loved it!
  2. Minutes from I-65, this is an easy stop for on off 100 Dish folks.
  3. Leave some room for the appetizers and the Baklava.
  4. Love that salad dressing, stock up!
  5. Check out Nabeel’s recipes on their website. Thanks for sharing!

http://www.nabeels.com/recipes/

25 Bucket List Activities in Savannah, Georgia

3 of 3 MEGaposts on Savannah, Georgia

If I had to pick among the most interesting cities in the U.S.,  Savannah, Georgia would surely be on that list. I am not the only one. Savannah is routinely ranked by the likes of Travel and Leisure, Conde Nast Travel, Southern Living and Trip Advisor.

Why did I visit Savannah? Let me count they ways;  unique, free things to do, historical, funky, scenic, haunted, great food, romantic, artistic, public intoxicant loving, casual, awesome architectural, gardens, courtyards and the warmth…. My 25

ROAD TRIP SAVANNAH

SAVANNAH TURN OFF HERE

  1. Take a guided trolley tour. It’s a great way to get a quick overview. This city has more tours than a grandmother’s collection has pepper shakers.

    Trolley Central

    Trolley Central

  2. Walk all 20 squares. The Historical District of Savannah can best be seen hoofing it. In my opinion, this is one of the most fun city to walk in the US. I see something different each time that I visit.

4. Visit “that” fountain. Has to be one of the most photographed places in Savannah. Forsyth Park is active and lively. It is surrounded by really fantastic homes.  MEGatip: Try to photograph the fountain before the masses arrive. Make sure you walk around the block and check out the surrounding homes.

5. Take a ghost tour. I had too much to say on this subject and wrote about this in a post entitled “Ghost Bustering in Savannah.”  Savannah is the most paranormal city in the U.S. There are many ways to do a ghost or paranormal tour. From fun family tours, self tours, open hearse tours to the full on serious paranormal tours. MEGatips: This city takes on a whole other worldly appearance at night.  Don’t miss a night walk. Some of the tours can be really cheesy, choose one to your specific interest.

6. Visit Bonaventure Cemetery. See “that” statue. The “bird woman” statue, made famous by Midnight in The Garden of Good and Evil, has been moved to Telfair, Museum.  However, this statue of little Gracie is now one of the famous and photographed statues in this cemetery. One of my favorite all-time cemeteries to visit, the grounds are amazing for taking photographs.  Fantastic sculptures, moss covered oak trees. I have never toured with a tour group at his location.  On my last visit, I creeped on a tour guide and there were interesting stories. That might be fun for another visit. MEGatip; Don’t forget your camera!

7. Forrest Gump was here. For no reason, I now check out Forrest Gump scenes in cities that I have visited.  You know that famous scene in the beginning of the movie where that feather falls?  And,  the bench where Forrest sits at the bus stop? These spots are filmed in Savannah.    Many movies and shows have been filmed in this area. Other famous movie sights from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil are able to be visited. MEGatip: A fan? Clary’s cafe’ is open to the public. They serve a humdinger of a good breakfast there.  Southern food on daily menu also.

8. Hang out on River Street. Touristy? Yes, but there is fun, food, statues and some really great old buildings.  If you look and learn, this area tells a great story. MEGatip; Don’t miss the wonderful memorial statues on River Street. learn their story. A few of the statues; African American Monument,my favorite-Florence Martus aka “The Waving Girl,” 1996 Yachting Cauldron.

9. Bike Savannah. There is a new bike rental located in downtown.  This is really a busy place with a lot of one-way streets and cars. MEGatip; I would say this area is for a more experienced rider with fast reflexes. Somehow I was overcharged by 4X. I couldn’t figure out the system and even called them to clarify.  Maybe I will bring my own next visit.

BIKE ON!

BIKE ON!

10. Taste Chatham Artillery Punch and walk around with an open intoxicant, legally. I did both. This is one of a few cities in the US where this is possible..legally.

11. Visit Colonial Park Cemetery and look at those dueling grounds. This cemetery is within the historical district.

Colonial Cemetery

Colonial CemeteryVisit the Botanical Garden because I collect them.

12.  See “those houses” Amazing architecture is everywhere in this historic district. My photos will not do justice to the magnificent homes in this city.  From the 1700’s until the present, architecture is not to be missed.

13. Check out some art. There are several museums and shops in the downtown area.  MEGatip:STOP in at the SCAD Art Shop located in the historic district.  The works of the talented students are showcased and it is fun to check out. Great buys!

Art

Art

14. Check out the gardens. Famous for it’s beautiful courtyard gardens and landscaping, Savannah’s historic district is loaded with beautiful plantings.  In this historic district, you can walk around and have your own tour. It’s free. There are so many beautiful homes and gardens.

15. Learn about SCAD,  home to one of the coolest 11 buildings in the US.  Reuse, Reimagine, Repurpose. SCAD stands for Savannah College of Art and Design.  With more than 40 Majors and 60 Minors, this school brings in a fresh, vibrant and International vibe.  There are more than 11,000 students from nearly 50 states.  Almost 1/4 of the population is International, representing more than 100 countries.. A National Historic Landmark known to be  the only surviving antebellum railroad complex in the country. The complex also houses the ruins of a former freight warehouse. This city has such varied architectural styles.  

16. Eat some tasty seafood.  Lots of great food in this city. With too much to say, I also wrote a separate piece called Savoring Savannah. Each time that I visit, I find amazing food.  MEGatip: I loved Girabaldi’s Cafe.  A great menu and fantastic oyster’s with cilantro lime sauce.

17.  Paula Deen’s Lady and Son’s Restaurant. This family has a big following. Controversy aside, I was always curious.  I knew she made some famous biscuit’s and She Crab Soup.  One day, instead of Jimmy John’s I popped in and crossed this off my list. I wrote a separate piece on dining around the historic area. MEGatip: Don’t pop in, get a reservation.

18.  Visit The Botanical Garden. Like UNESCO Heritage Sites, I collect gardens.  The Savannah Botanical Garden is very small.  MEGatip: I recommend going to The Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens.  Although this garden is a work in progress, and in the beginning phases, there are interesting features to see. It is set on 5 acres. This place was known by the name The Bamboo Farm and is located about 10 miles outside of Savannah.  Yes, there is bamboo. It is FREE!  This photo has been one of my all time garden favorites. I snapped it on a past visit a few years back.

One of my favorite photos. I love how I saw the lizard after I checked photo.

One of my favorite photos. I love how I saw the lizard after I checked photo.

19. See “that statue” Telfair Museum. A Neoclassical Style exterior.  Admission is $12.00. There are permanent exhibits, paintings, sculptures, photographs and of course that famous “Bird Lady”  Because cell phones are not allowed I was asked not to take a photo of the statue with my phone. You may bring a camera if you stay 3′ away from the works.  MEGatip: For me, I liked the permanent exhibit about Kahlil Gibran. He is one of my favorite poets.  So that was worth the $12. If you are also a fan, one of the largest public collections is held here in the form of drawings and paintings.

20. Visit Historical Sites. for the history buffs, Savannah has plenty to offer. Some of the bloodiest battles were fought in this area. DSC_0064

21. Get my “Irish On”  I also collect Irish Pubs. Savannah and much of Georgia, was built with Irish labor. Savannah holds one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day Parades. Represent! MEGatip: Kevin Barry’s on River Street has evening entertainment. The dude knows how to play a Bodhran.

22. Get out of the city and see some nature.   I lose it after a few days without nature. With rivers and islands adjacent to the city, it is an easy place to find some nature. Flatlands, marshes and swamps. There is rich biodiversity found in The Coastal Lowlands Region. MEGatip:If you have kids, The Oatland Island Wildlife Center, located about 10 minutes from the downtown area, is a really great place to get out and walk. With animal exhibits, the kids will love it. There are trails throughout the woods and some animals that are in large natural type enclosures.

23. Visit Savannah’s  many historic churches. From Unitarian Churches, Jewish Synagogues, Catholic Churches and The First African Baptist Church. There is a vast culture of historical worship sites.  MEGatip: the interior of St. John’s is worth a peek.

24. Learn something random.  I learned a lot of interesting things visiting Savannah but I always like to learn a random fact.  Just in case.

Song writer James L. Pierpont, most famous for the lyrics Of Jingle Bell's  lived in Savannah.

Song writer James L. Pierpont, most famous for the lyrics Of Jingle Bell’s lived in Savannah.

25. Get out to Ty-Bee Island. A short drive of 18 miles and you can be at the beach.  MEGatips: Love beaches? GO there and enjoy the soft white sandy beaches and beautiful water. Collect national Park’s? have a passport?  History? The Fort Pulaski National Monument is run by the National Park Service and is worth a stop. EAT at The Crab Shack very near the park where you can have fresh shrimp and blue crabs in bare feet.

MEGastars  I give this city 5 MEGastars*****   I could possibly give 4 1/2 because I was a crime victim in this city.  Overall, i felt safe. My car got jacked from valet parking with 6 others.  I have one whale of a travel story…to be continued.

Savoring Savannah

MEGabite “Tasty Tuesday” post is concentrating on a few spots in the historical area  of downtown Savannah, Georgia, and one place outside of this district.

Not interested in Savannah food? Skip this post. Short attention span? Skip this post. Going to Savannah? Read this post.   I’m not a chef or a food critic. Just Meg.

Savannah  was listed as ‘The Best American Cities For Foodies”-Conde Nast Traveler, May 2014.  One thing that I love about Savannah is that you can enjoy fine dining in casual attire. So here is what Ms. Pacman tried on this visit.

1.  Garibaldi’s Escape Restaurant or Garibaldi’s Cafe. I was invited to a dinner with six others, meaning I got to try quite a few dishes.  I did not feel comfortable taking photos but I was able to snap a few entrees.

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Crispy Diamond Scored Flounder with shallot sauce, orzo provencal. Yum!

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Grouper with crab and arugula on parmesan risotto. This was my yummy dish. It  For appetizers; Calamari  and the Crab Stuffed Mushrooms with Parmesan were both fantastic.   There were seven desserts ordered.  I never order desserts so this was a fun way to try little bites. The berry basket was really good!

I loved the food here and absolutely will go back. Don’t feel intimidated by the beautiful décor, this write up says it best! “What I love about Garibaldi is its simple elegance. Diners are as comfortable in ties and jackets, as they are in shorts and polo shirts. Whether for a special occasion or dinner after a day in city market, Garibaldi is a place to celebrate with food, fun and friends.”          -Savannah Morning News . 

MEGastars 5***** Everything was perfect. Awesome service.

MEGatip-

  1. Get the oysters with cilantro-lime vinegar.
  2. I would make a reservation to be sure.
  3. The upstairs is fantastic, bright and cheery and a bit quieter than the downstairs bar area.

2. Sorry Charlie’s Oyster Bar and cocktails. This is a new restaurant in a nicely renovated building.

Sorry Charlie's

Sorry Charlie’s

Described as “A Historic feel with forward thinking seafood.”  Oysters vary daily as does the menu. I chose the Oysters Rockefeller; partly because the Nueske’s bacon is from my home state of Wisconsin.

Fantastic presentation small but tasty

Fantastic presentation small but tasty

MEGastars 3.5 *** 1/2* The food was good but a few of the portions were small.  The service was a bit slow but this is a new restaurant. However,  I left with a $140.00 bill for two.  I want something to rock my world.

MEGatips

  1. Bring a thick wallet!
  2. Try to get a table near the windows. Great watching!
  3. For oysters- I loved Girabaldi’s and The Grey!
Watching stuff!

Watching stuff!

3. Lady and Son’s. For those of you who do not know the story. Successful Savannah business woman, Paula Deen, along with her two sons, went from sandwich delivery, to catering, and  then the restaurant business. Their success story helped make this family TV celebrities.  

Lady and Son's

The Lady and Son’s

The door says walk in’s are welcome. I popped in without a reservation (don’t do this) and was able to be seated at the bar on the third floor.  Meh.

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The waiter gave a speech about the buffet.

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I did not see anything on the buffet that made me wiggle.  At $16.00 for lunch buffet, I simply can’t binge eat anymore. If you have a large appetite or if you have never tried Southern cooking, this may be a good way to try these dishes.  Described as Southern, American-Traditional food, there is a lot of hype around Paula Deen’s Restaurant.  It was a fun try, glad I went there once.

I was served a famous cheese biscuit with garlic butter and a hoecake while I waited for my order. And, I waited a really long time.It didn’t seem to go with my sandwich but I tried both and that biscuit was darn delicious.

YUM

YUM

I ordered “The Bag Lady,” Choosing1/2 “Jamie’s Famous Chicken Salad” with a cup of The Crab Stew-rich creamy stew with succulent blue crab.  For an upcharge of $3.00, I was able to try a few bites.

My lunch plate

My yummy lunch

Although I found the stew  over salted, It was a fun and tasty try.  Super creamy. Everything else was delicious and fresh.   Because of my long wait, I would give this experience  3.5 MEGastars *** 1/2*

MEGatips-

  1. .Go here if you are a fan of this famous cooking family.
  2. Read the reviews before you go, I agreed with most of them and this may help you choose your dish.
  3. Absolutely make reservations or be prepared for a wait. This is one busy place.
  4. For Southern/Soul Food experience, I would give Mrs. Wilke’s Dining Room a try. Difficult to see-photo below. but there are LONG WAITS  It rates really well for Southern Food as does Sister’s. 
  5. 5. Fan of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil? Go to Clary’s Cafe-They also have a really great breakfast menu. 
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Mrs. Wilke’s Dining Room Wait Line

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CLARY’S

  1.  The Shrimp Factory-Over the years, I have eaten at most of the Riverfront Restaurants (P.B.-pre-blog and photo era.) Let’s say this is a busy spot with lots of visitors.
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Choices choices

I gave The Shrimp Factory a whirl after seeing an ad at the Visitor’s Center.  Ya know, it wasn’t too bad.

Started with Shrimp, Crab, Spinach and Artichoke dip.  what can I say? Dig in!

Started with Shrimp, Crab, Spinach and Artichoke dip. what can I say? Dig in!

I had Shrimp Salad Stuffed Beefsteak Tomato;house made shrimp salad over a beefsteak tomato, served with sliced avocado and egg. Loaded with shrimp, I loved it!

YUM

YUM

My husband ate the Deviled Crab and Fried Shrimp,

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So there is this drink called “Chatham Artillery Punch.” I had a really fun waitstaff, and of course they charmed me into tasting.  I don’t like orange tea and was ready to not like it,  Not bad and I got to check this off my “eat/drink” Savannah list. 

5. Kevin Barry’s Irish Pub-Why? Because I got into town at 10:30

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My husband chose  “The Irish Sampler.” Beef Stew, Shepherd’s Pie, Cabbage and brown bread.  They serve until 11 p.m. I give the food a 3 MEGastars***  It’s a pub, and it was late for a food order.

Craic

Craic-This guy knew his way around a Bodrhan

There was a lot of fun going on in this place. MEGatips-Need a party place to sing drunken tunes? Go here later in the evening.

6. The Cafe at City Market for that Peach Sangria-I have eaten at all of The City Market Restaurants. It’s a fun place to sit outside, people watch and listen to live music.  I want to mention one menu item. The BEST drink in town is found here.  This peach sangria is magical and you can have these to go. Yep Savannah rides the fun bus.

THE BEST DRINK THE END

THE BEST DRINK THE END

7. The Flying fish Bar and Grill-An inside tip from my friend who lives in Savannah.Outside of the downtown and on the way to Tybee Island ,this is an easy stop. Fresh shrimp in a super relaxed spot.  They will fresh your catch. Good seafood menu at a fair price point.

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Yes please

Yes please FRESH shrimp!

I had a fun and tasty time here. I give this spot 4 MEGastars ****

Savannah You Rocked My Palate!

Other Restaurants that I recommend are;

  1. The Pink House 5***** MEGastars
  2. Vic’s On The River- 5***** MEGastars
  3. Best place for a burger and a brew. I like The Moon River Brewery. *****MEGastars They have a great menu with super choices, such as grassfed beef. Other reasons to visit. It reportedly has a ghost and there is a new 5400 square foot outdoor beer garden. MEGatip; They have these smoked Gouda Scalloped potatoes that are to die for.
  4. Another great spot for a brew is The Distillery near SCAD and the Vistor Center. This is within walking distance to the downtown area. ***** There is a small outdoor seating area.  Their motto “No Crap Just Craft.” I like these folks. MEGatip; get the Deep Fried Moonpie.
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