Thursday, April 24, 2008

Country Buffet

Despite its title, this post will not be about that infamous restaurant bearing the name Country Buffet. Instead I am going to talk about the second celebrity chef restaurant I've ever visited - The Lady and Sons (owned by Paula Deen) in Savannah.

If I had to describe the dinner buffet in one word, I'd have to say it was succulent. I don't even remember many of the options from the regular menu because I was so set on helping myself to mounds of fried and buttery food. Luckily one of the servers brought us warm cheddar biscuits and hoecakes before we had even ordered, and they were not disappointing in the least.

The three entrees featured that night were fried chicken, country fried steak, and low country boil, which involved shrimp, corn, potatoes and sausage. Having indulged in copious amounts of seafood the night before, I limited myself to two shrimp, and they were tasty. The corn, however, was extraordinary, and I'm not sure if it's because it was that good or if I'm just excited about summer being near. Nevertheless, I had two pieces of corn, which amounted to two-thirds or so of an ear.

I eat fried chicken about once a year, and I'm thrilled that I was able to experience it The Lady and Sons. My first piece was a breast with part of a wing attached, and it was amazing, but for round two I tried a drumstick and it was truly unbelievable. The skin was perfectly crisp with just a hint of flavor, and the meat melted in my mouth.

Another highlight of the meal was the luscious macaroni and cheese. It was casserole style, and had a nice amount of creaminess without being too rich. I don't think it would have been humanly possible for me to sample all of the side dishes, but everything I tried was delicious: collard greens, black-eyed peas, green beans with potatoes and ham, candied sweet potatoes and short ribs. Some of the other options included grits, succotash, and cabbage.

The sweet potatoes were worthy of ending the meal, the buffet included a choice of three desserts: banana pudding, peach cobbler, and chocolate chip gooey butter cake. The choice wasn't a hard one for me, and I am wondering how I can perfectly replicate both wonderful layers in the gooey butter cake. The bottom was chocolate and almost like cookie crumbs, and the top lived up to its gooey description with mini chocolate chips mixed in.

I also had a few bites of the peach cobbler, but I was pretty full by that time and it didn't taste like anything special. All of the other food made such an impression on me that I couldn't be bothered with mediocre cobbler. I wasn't even disappointed that I didn't get to see the lady, or her sons, except that I want to ask them for some recipes...

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