petrossian_fondue.jpg

petrossian_cake.jpg

Wilkes Dining Room

by Lou Jane Temple
Print Email

mrs_wilkes_med.jpg Just as you would seek out a noodle shop in Tokyo, Japan, or enjoy a mole in Oaxaca, Mexico, a trip to Savannah, Georgia has to include at least one meal of classic Southern cooking.  And although Lady and Son, Paula Dean’s tourist Mecca, gets most of the press, a more authentic experience is down Jones Street.

Mrs. Wilkes has passed away, but her family and staff on Jones Street are carrying on her tradition.  You still sit at big round, oak tables with strangers.  You still take your own dirty plate, silverware, and glass to the kitchen door, bussing your place at the table.  And you still will be treated to the bounty of good, simple, flavorful, southern style food.  Although Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House has been renamed Wilkes Dining Room, all the food is still served boarding house style in bowls and platters on the tables.  There is no menu. And no one leaves the table hungry.

Here’s what was on the table at a recent visit: fried chicken, beef stew, sausage and cabbage, barbecue pork, mashed potatoes, sweet potato puree, creamed corn, green beans, lima beans, baked beans, black eyed peas, bread stuffing, okra and tomatoes, rice, coleslaw, marinated cucumbers, and a root vegetable that was probably turnips but tasted like candy.  There were also cornbread muffins and really good biscuits with butter and cane syrup, a local specialty.  Dessert is individual servings of banana pudding that our whole table said they couldn’t possibly eat, but everyone did.

Mrs. Wilkes is open only for lunch, so go easy on breakfast and show up early.  There is always a line of people waiting for a seat at those big, oak tables.  You never know who your dining partners will be or what’s for lunch.  But you can be sure it will be delicious.
 

Wilkes Dining Room
107 Jones Street
Savannah, GA. 31401
912 232-5997
Open 11AM to 2 PM, Monday thru Friday

Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room on Urbanspoon

Lou Jane Temple is a working chef and author of nine culinary mysteries (St. Martin's and Berkley) and one cookbook (Stewart, Tabori & Chang).

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Restaurant News

The Boathouse at Hendry's Beach
Southern California
by Eduardo Santiago

hnedrys_boathouse_logo.jpgI've always had a strange relationship with The Wedge. I see it on the menu, I want it, I plan to order it and then I change my mind. I'm always afraid that I'm going to get stuck with a chunk of...

Read more...
Philippe - The Original
Los Angeles
by Bruce Cormicle

philippe1.jpgDouble-dipped Justice at Philippe's

If you are a criminal defense attorney as I am defending cases in downtown Los Angeles, you will eventually find your way to the tangled skein of ceiling fans,...

Read more...
Order Up at the A-1 Dinner
Maine
by Brenda Athanus

a1-2.jpgThe A-1 diner at 3 Bridge Street in Gardiner, Maine is an old Worcester Streamliner diner car brought to its present location by truck in 1946 and installed on long Erector-like legs to bring it...

Read more...
Boston Bakery and Restaurant - Area Four
Boston
by Kitty Kaufman

area four 4It's inauguration Monday. Neither bison nor lobster's on our Cambridge menu but we're celebrating. The first place is "not doing lunch today," so around the corner we go to the second where I'm...

Read more...