Paula always wins

Savannah, Georgia

Although the temperatures were unseasonably cool, the sun was out this morning. We checked out of the hotel and loaded up the car for our short drive to Tybee Island, better known as Savannah’s Beach. This time of year it was particularly quiet — the beach supply stores and restaurants long closed for the season and strip motels advertising off-season rates.

We had come to see the Tybee Island Lighthouse, one of the country’s oldest. It dates back to 1736, when it was the tallest structure in colonial America (a towering 90 feet). Since then, it’s been rebuilt and today is one of a handful of eighteenth century lighthouses still in operation.

A walk on the beach worked up an appetite for our lunch at The Lady and Sons, the Mecca of traditional Southern cooking headed by the Food Network Grand Dame herself, Paula Deen. Per instruction, we had made a reservation directly with the hostess that morning — they are not accepted by telephone. Having arrived a few minutes early, we strolled the sprawling gift shop with its Paula Deen lip balm, cook books, shot glasses, fans and knives. Paula has not been too discriminating with what she has slapped her face, name or signature “Hey Ya’ll!” on.

Finally, the time arrived to be seated and we were escorted to our table by a walkie-talkie wearing hostess. Quickly, our friendly waiter delivered steaming hot hoecakes, promptly doused in butter and syrup. Clearly, it was to be one of those meals. Glancing at the overflowing buffet, we were tempted but decided to order off the menu. We would not be disappointed.

The Savannah meatloaf sandwich came with several thick slabs of meatloaf on grilled pumpernickel with wild mushroom mayonnaise. It was accompanied by pickled tomatoes and huge sliced potatoes (or what non-Southerners would described as “French fries”). Cooked perfectly, juicy and well-spiced, it gave SANDWHICH a serious run for its money.

Meanwhile, the pulled pork sandwich was outrageous — pork butt, pulled and smothered in Paula’s BBQ sauce and served on a bun with fries and slaw. The pork was just scrumptious, juicy, tender, thick. This lady knows her pig! Washed down with some fresh brewed Luzianne iced tea, we agreed that it couldn’t get better.

It was an intense lunch that left me wanting more but unable to find room for just one more fry.

We had no room left so took a pecan pie to go — that evening, we demolished the gooey, sweet and crunchy masterpiece.

As our waiter cleared away our plates, still filled with mounds of food, we sighed in surrender. “She wins,” we whispered.

“Paula always wins,” he responded.

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Comments

  1. Paula’s pecan pie looks like the undigested stomach contents of a whale! Yuck!

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