If you stroll down the sidewalk at Jones Street and Whitaker Street you will find my FAVORITE Savannah experience by far...
The Wilkes House! In 1943 The Wilkes House was a boardinghouse run by Sema Wilkes. Her goal was to provide a modest living offering southern homestyle cooking served in a family style. Though boardinghouses were on the decline, Mrs. Wilkes continued to thrive as a boardinghouse-style restaurant. In the 1970's lines had started forming out front before mealtime.
Here is the line that forms daily waiting for the food and the atmosphere that many people and stars have also indulged in...including Kevin Spacey and Charlize Theron (I bet they didn't have to wait in line!)
As you walked in there are a total of 7 tables (in two rooms) that seat 10 people. The table is already set with 13 bowls of vegetables and three serving dishes of meats. Oh...and SWEET TEA! Here are some of the people we had lunch with. They were from New York City and Michigan. A blessing is said for the food that will be served that day at the first meal (at 11am). This blessing was often said by the late Mrs. Wilkes.
It was overwhelming with all the food on the table. I went out of my way to try it all as my plate shows! There were butterbeans, sweet creamed corn, stewed okra and tomatoes, collard greens, mashed sweet potatoes with raisins, rutabagas,squash, black-eyed peas ...fried chicken, barbecue pork, stew...Baskets full of the flakiest cornbread I have ever eaten--Yummy!
After you have cleaned your plate and eaten as much as you can you are asked to carry your plate to the kitchen were the kitchen staff says thank you and continues with their daily tasks. The atmosphere is amazing and nothing I can put into words! It is so personal in a world that often praises the impersonal.
Walking around in pink boas and taking pictures of our feet we often brought attention to ourselves. We were honored to meet Marcia, Mrs. Wilkes grandaughter. The Wilkes House continues though four generations of Wilkes. As we left Marica expressed that her grandmother would have loved to have met us.
This is "Savannah through the Feet of Me!"
Do you know of any restaurants that are "the best known secret"? or Restaurants only the locals know about?