23 February 2010

REAL Soul Food!!!

Ohhhh soul food.  How I love it, yearn for it, and yet how I rather insist on having it be cooked by people who really know what they're doing and have been cooking in this style their whole lives -- because I want the real thing, baby.  Yesterday, on our way down to Florida, we had planned a stop in Savannah and this became our destination.

So let's let the food porn begin, shall we?

Clockwise from top: biscuits (dessert!), corn pudding, OKRA! and tomatoes, and sweet potato salad in the blue bowl.
The okra.  Okra doesn't look appealing to me, because it's kind of tubular -- but it's so delightful.  And the corn pudding was sweet and magical.  I didn't like the sweet potato salad, because there was a lot of celery in there -- but there was also fresh dill, which I love.  But the presence of celery lost me.  No matter, it was the only thing that I had that I wasn't 100% into eating.

Baked sweet potato with brown sugar butter, collard greens! and cheese grits.  I prefer my grits with a ton of butter, but these were delightfully savory.  I didn't have any of the sweet potato, but I would walk 500 miles for a mountain of those collared greens.  Any collared greens, really.

Notable on this plate? Lima beans with dill!  I know lots of people really loathe lima beans, but as long as you don't have to eat only lima beans for your whole meal or something, I really rather enjoy them.  And loving dill is part of my genetic structure.  You can't really see them on the dish, but they were part of the taste.

I'm saving the best for last.  We also had coleslaw, but it was rather pedestrian and we had to season it ourselves -- I usually won't season things other people cook, because I trust whoever's cooking.  Anyway.  This asparagus.  OHHHHHH.  It was chilled, with a bit of a fresh tomato, onion and parsley salad with a zippy viniagarette -- there was a teeny bit of horseradish in there that made it delightful.  And I really enjoy asparagus and don't get to eat it enough.  The asparagus was also picked small enough so that it wasn't some thick stalk, it was still tender.

I often think people wait too long to pick vegetables -- zucchini is much better when it's not the size of a baseball bat, so is asparagus, often tomatoes...

It's meals like this wherein I realize that if this type of thing was what was available to me, I could be a satisfied vegetarian.  Or if I was in India.  But it would be a great sacrifice for me to say no to bacon/pork.  I'd be closer to enlightenment if I could let that go.  I wanted to try the catfish and did have a bite of some chicken there, but I've been eating a lot of seafood lately and knew I'd be having more this week - so yay for veggies!

And where did we eat all of this wonderful food?  At Sweet Potatoes in Savannah, Georgia.  I first read about it on Serious Eats, and Yelp sealed the deal.  The place was pleasantly full of a local lunch crowd -- I think we were the only Yankees in there, and four of us ate for about $30.  It's not near I-95 and it's not near Historic Savannah, but I'd definitely go back and make it a stop if I was in the area.

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