Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sundae Cafe - Fried Seafood

While on a Day trip to see Fort Pulaski and go on a dolphin sightseeing tour on Tybee Island just down the highway from Savannah, we stopped in for lunch at the Sundae Cafe. We were offered a tip to this little joint from one of the park Rangers at Fort Pulaski. Needing to kill some time before our dolphin tour (and in need of some lunch) we stopped in. The place would be easy to miss, it shares a parking lot with a gas station and a liquor store. From the outside it looks like a bit of a dive. Don't be scared off, it's excellent.

Since we were next to the ocean, I was in the mood for fresh seafood, something I don't usually get back home in Toronto. I was torn between oysters, scallops, and shrimp (wanting some of each). Thankfully there was a combo plate ($22.95) which came with all of the above plus a grouper fillet, a crab cake as well as a couple of hushpuppies. I figured I might as well go all in! The side I chose was homemade potato salad.

I would probably say this was the best meal of my entire trip. The seafood was super fresh, the batter was light and crisp and didn't overwhelm the flavour of the seafood. The grouper was flaky and tender, the oysters were probably the best fried oysters I've ever eaten. They also served a delicious remoulade on the side which I loved. I was sure I wouldn't be able to finish the plate when it arrived. It was so good I couldn't stop. I wasn't totally sold on the crab cake and the potato salad, but, in the grand scheme, my issues were minor (the salad needed more seasoning and the potatoes were a little crisp, the crab cake was a little tough from overworking).

I loved my meal, it was simple with no frills, but, was excellent overall. In the picture below you can also see the corner of their fish sandwich ($10.50) Three massive fillets of grouper on a crusty roll, totally amazing as well.


Zunzi's - Multicultural Sandwiches

While on a tour of Savannah I looked for a place to grab a quick bite while wandering around. Zunzi's (108 E York St) seemed to get a lot of positive word of mouth both from reviews online and especially from the folks at the front desk of our hotel. At that point it was a must try.

We stopped just after noon and there was a line out onto the street. It seemed a little confused and one poor girl seemed to wait forever for a burger to arrive. Saying that, the line moved quickly and we placed our order, a Conquistador ($8.50) and a Godfather ($9.80).

The Conquistador comes with freshly sliced baked chicken with lettuce, tomato, and special sauce on a demi-baguette. The Godfather comes with the above with the addition of homemade Boerewors (a South African sausage) parmesan and tomato sauce (I declined the tomato sauce).

At first I wasn't sure about the price of these sandwiches, at almost $10 each I wasn't sure I'd get value for the money. When they were being prepared I was very impressed. The owner was slicing chicken breast and sausage to order and the sandwiches were huge. One thing I've noticed about many places in the USA, you don't usually want for quantity.....

The sausage was very tasty although a little crumbly, cloves and allspice were the dominant flavours. The chicken on both sandwiches was very moist and flavourful. The special sauce seemed to me to be a watered down version of Caesar dressing but was nice nonetheless.

What I really liked was the owner's repeated chiding of his employees for not laying the lettuce on the bread properly. If he takes that much care about layering lettuce I'm sure he takes the same care with the rest of the preparations...

I was stuffed after my sandwich and would definitely head back to try other things on the menu if I'm ever in town again.


Maurice's Gourmet BBQ - South Carolina Style Pulled Pork

On my way to Savannah Georgia, I passed by a roadside sign for Maurice's Gourmet BBQ, a place I'd never heard of before. It turns out there are 14 locations around the Columbia South Carolina area. I happened to stop at the 4411 Devine St location in Columbia. It's a tiny location offering mainly drive through service.

I was tempted to pull over here because I've never really tried South Carolina style BBQ. South Carolina style BBQ is typically served with a mustard based BBQ sauce. This differs from the tomato based sauces most of us in the rest of North America are used to seeing.

Looking over the menu I decided on a Little Joe sandwich basket which comes with a 5oz pulled pork sandwich, fries, slaw and two hushpuppies. Hushpuppies are simply cornbread fritters, quite often generously flavoured with onion and can be sweet or savoury. Hushpuppies are a favourite of mine and whenever I'm in the south I look forward to the many variations of this dish on offer.

Onto the meal.... The pork although apparently pit cooked, lacked any smoke flavour and didn't seem to have much of a rub on it at all. The mustard sauce was very nice, having an appealing tang. I actually dipped some fries in the small container of sauce that was served on the side. The fries were very ordinary, standard frozen variety. What I really loved were the hushpuppies. They had a slight sweetness and were packed with oniony flavour, they were very tender and had a light texture. They were one of the better hushpuppies I've ever had.

Unfortunately the meal was pretty blah overall, the hushpuppies were excellent.


Sorry about the image quality, years of storing the cell phone in my pocket has messed up the lens and everything gets a haze around it now....