Seems like months ago that I mentioned going to Savannah for a few days. But, instead of stopping there we drove another hour south of Savannah to stay on St. Simon's Island. Checked out the NYTimes "what to do and eat" on the island ahead of time.
They suggested breakfast at the 4th of May Café. We did that. Their dessert case was oh-so tempting, but since it was breakfast and early in the morning, somehow dessert seemed inappropriate. What was I thinking? Dessert is always appropriate. I had the biscuits and gravy. It was divine. But saved one of the biscuits to have with jam, as you can well see in photo above.
But then there's another list of places to eat courtesy of NYTimes. And why oh why do I rely on the NYTimes when it is such a northern institution? Simply because it is THE newspaper of Record.
Here's the list:
Frannie's Place on St. Simon's
Restaurant at the Sea Island Golf Club
Bennie's Red Barn
Blue Water Bistro
But here's what happened: We arrived on St. Simon's Island on Tuesday or Wednesday evening, checked into our hotel, and rested. So it was nearly 9 o'clock when we ventured out for dinner. We drove to Bennie's Red Barn. We walked inside and waited to be seated. There was only one other table occupied in the barn. One of the waiter/bus boys told us that they were closed. Drat. Missed that.
We put it on our list for the next evening. But where then, to eat? We pulled into two or three other restaurants only to find that their chairs/stools were on top of the tables. Very discouraging. We looked into eating at a bar, but Ian reminded me how much smoke would likely be inside, and I yearned for a quiet meal with hubby.
Finally, we pulled into Outback Steakhouse, which was open. We both had appetizers, as it was so late. Ian loves their wings. I tried their new Ahi Tuna appetizer. It was good, but cold. Frigidaire cold. Supposed to be seared. I didn't complain to the waitress. Should have. Maybe next time.
Next day we didn't have time for breakfast and barely made it to the trolley tour of St. Simon's before it left the parking lot by 11 a.m. If you're interested in reading more about that, check out my other blog wherein I write about my travels and other more personal things. Tour director suggested we eat at Zuzu's. It was downtown and a quick walk away from the trolley as it concluded the tour of the island.
Zuzu's is an old diner-type establishment. I ordered the crab and avocado salad, but waiter returned to the table to say they were out. In trying to be good and NOT ordering typical southern-fried anything, I go the spinach salad. Then got to watch the cook pour spinach leaves from bag onto plate, pour strawberries from container onto plate, and jiggle almonds from bag onto plate. That simple.
Wanted to order one of the fountain drinks, but waiter, being new, didn't know what the ingredients for the drinks were. I asked about the Black Jack. Later, I learned it's ingredients: Chocolate syrup, rootbeer, and vanilla ice cream.
Lest I give the wrong impression, Zuzu's was good. Their fried green tomatoes were fabulous. As I recall, Ian even tried them. He hates tomatoes, loves ketchup. I told him it was mostly fried cornmeal and assured him that there was not the first hint of tomato about them.
Our trolley guide pointed out Chelsea's on our trip through the island and said it was her favorite restaurant. Yup, I'm susceptible to those kinds of restaurant recommendations. Plus, it was already on NYT's list. I made reservations there. This was for our ninth wedding anniversary dinner. Ian asked why we weren't going to the Barn, but I said this would be better.
Chelsea's menu was okay. Nothing jumped out at me. The room we were seated in, because the table meant for us elsewhere was still occupied, was loud. Had tiled floors, and boisterous diners with shrill voices and loud laughs. Not quite the romantic dinner I envisioned. My seat was across and below the air conditioning vent, so every five minutes I removed my linen jacket and another five minutes later I put it back on. Oh, and the view of the kitchen was also not my favorite.
The food was okay. I had... what did I have? Fish. With capers. Ah, the Grouper Hemingway. Capers were huge, but there were only four on top of my two pieces of fish. I love capers and somehow four seemed stingy to me. The sauce the fish was cooked in was delicate and light. Quite nice, in fact. I had a soup. Maybe a chowder of some kind. It was creamy and had seafood in it. Terrible how poor my memory is at this point.
And Ian was irritated because he asked the waitress whether the cook could substitute chicken for shrimp in a dish. She said she didn't know. Then said she didn't think so. But never went to ask.
Dessert? I craved something coconut or banana. I hoped for it. I figured they'd have key lime pie. And they did. Had to ask the waitress to reel off the list of desserts. There were two. The KLP and maybe a creme brulee. CB is overrated. Not my favorite. So we asked waitress who had good dessert on the island. She said that Crab Daddies had dessert.
We walked across the road, told the hostess we were there for dessert, and she seated us. I ordered the bread pudding. I'm not a huge bread pudding fan and the first time I ate it was in New Orleans a year or so ago. Seems like Ian and I shared bread pudding not long ago and it was just okay. But this bread pudding at Crab Daddies was made with white bread and lots of cinnamon and covered with a banana liqueur. So I got my banana. Ian had something chocolate.
Then breakfast on the morning we left I went over at the beginning. Wish we'd gone to Savannah instead. Food was okay. We didn't shop. Only one place on the island has beachfront property and we didn't stay there. I didn't seem like much of a vacation. However, a postcard I sent to Cookie inspired her to cook up a storm!