May2005trip pics-Florida,Savannah,Charleston

2005/06/26 10:39:17
Sorry for the delay, but here is our summary of our May trip down south:
Flew into Orlando from Boston, with the intention of visiting Seaworld and Kennedy Space Center before heading north to Savannah and Charleston.
Tent camping with a rental car was our trip mode of choice, with a few hotel rooms thrown in between:

As we left to pick up our discount tickets, our lunch destination turned out to be Sonny's BBQ, the popular chain in the Southeast.
Being Northerners, Heather and I don't have the quantities of BBQ joints around us to be as picky as others.
We found the "Big Deal" special at $4.99 each plenty satisfying:

Heather had the pulled pork, I had the sliced brisket, plus a side order of the corn nuggets, and sweet tea for each of us. Total bill was $16, including tip.
Kennedy Space Center was great, but lunch wasn't.
Do not orbit around the Orbit Food Court

This Aramark/Delaware North controlled cafeteria served greasy pulled pork and dead,dried french fries to me, and a well done formerly frozen hamburger and more dead fries to Heather to the tune of $26, including drinks.
Nice people, but in 80 plus degree heat, we shouldn't have to teach them how to make an ice coffee, especially with the amount of transplanted Northerners.
SeaWorld had much better food, being run by Anheuser Busch.
We had BBQ chicken dinners, which still ran us $27 for lunch, but at least much more edible and tasty.
Kudos to Kokomo Joe for instructing us to go to Grills, in Port Canaveral for dinner. No pics here, but Heather had a Delmonico steak, while I enjoyed scallops and bacon and conch fritters.
Very tasty and filling.
All with a fine water view.
Our only issue was that we went on a Friday night, and apparantly this is the place to go for drinking and live entertainment. We had cocktails on the deck, but waited 45 minutes for a table for dinner.
The place was packed.
Not really being shrimp eaters, we skipped Dixie Crossroads.
But we would recommend the bagel bakery next door.
I had an excellent sausage,egg, and cheese on a bagel sandwich and ice coffee to start off one of our theme park days.
On to Charleston.....
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: May2005trip pics-Florida,Savannah,Charleston 2005/06/26 10:51:57
I like looking at your food-alogues; I remember your wedding and honeymoon one. I can't wait to see the Charleston & Savannah ones!

I kinda miss tent camping.
RE: May2005trip pics-Florida,Savannah,Charleston 2005/06/26 11:08:00
Off I -95 on the way to Charleston, we stopped at the Georgia Pig:

As everyone has agreed, excellent pulled pork and BBQ chicken, with sides of beans and potato salad and, of course, sweet tea.
Then to our campsite at the KOA campround in Mt. Pleasant,SC.
So nice waking up on the shore of this lake.

The next day, after our morning Starbucks break, lunch was at Jack's Cosmic Dogs on Rt 17:

Complete with old washing machines on the front porch:

A chili dog on the left, and one with the "zippy onion relish" on the right:

2 Root Beer floats, and THE BEST FRENCH FRIES on this trip:

I left, after a truly great lunch, with a Grape Nehi in a glass bottle for the road. Totally impressed with the review on the wall from Alton Brown.
Dinner, I repeat, dinner..was at Diana's.
Long considered a great place for breakfast and lunch, Diana's has added a dinner menu. Sam, the new owner, stopped by our table and was thrilled to see the attention from Roadfood forum readers.

I started with an appetizer of fries, bacon,monterey jack cheese, and ranch sauce. I am responsible for the catsup.

For entrees: Heather went with a rare steak and speckled grits on the side.

I went with a fried flounder sandwich on thick slices of white country bread:

They allowed us to switch our sides around, so we both opted for the speckled grits.
Fun eating a 2 inch thick sandwich.
All sandwiched around a great trip to Boone Hall Plantation.
RE: May2005trip pics-Florida,Savannah,Charleston 2005/06/26 11:10:45
We pause for an Al "Mr. Mayor" Bowen moment:

On a permanent site at the KOA Campground in Mt. Pleasant,SC.
RE: May2005trip pics-Florida,Savannah,Charleston 2005/06/26 11:37:13
Great pics!
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
RE: May2005trip pics-Florida,Savannah,Charleston 2005/06/26 11:55:14

Thanks for remembering us in your trip !! Keep the notes coming !!
Double Cheeseburger
RE: May2005trip pics-Florida,Savannah,Charleston 2005/06/26 11:57:09
Just sorry you missed Jestine's Kitchen. You've got to plan another trip to Charleston with that as your first stop. Heavenly food!

Bonita Springs, FL
RE: May2005trip pics-Florida,Savannah,Charleston 2005/06/26 12:02:30
The next morning, again after our morning Starbucks (a drive thru Starbucks that shares a building with a discount tire center..what gives?)....we drove through the old section of Charleston (actually Mt. Pleasant) to the Pitt St Pharmacy and their old time soda fountain:

We had a freshly made, real Chocolate Malt, which I can't show you because my loving wife helped me consume it rather quickly.
Our Brunch/Lunch was at The Baker's Cafe:

We both enjoyed the Eggs Southern-2 poached eggs with chesse sauce and scallions over country ham and cornbread:

But also enjoyed the peanut butter pie and chocolate pecan tort:

The restored Art Deco theater, The Rivera, is right across the street from the Bookstore Cafe. Notice the in-laid different colored granite sidewalk stones at the entrance.

And spent a lovely day touring Charleston, including walking the waterfront, and a few minutes on the swings. I thought this was really cool to have these public swings right on the waterfront.
The Pineapple fountain:

Wife awaiting husband to join her on swing:

It was a bit wet that day, but we went indoors to dine at Jestine's Kitchen for dinner:
Fried green tomatoes for an appetizer:

Along with the cornbread with honey butter:

Mac n Cheese as a side:

Heather couldn't wait for her Fried Chicken fix:

I chose the nightly special, a real low country dish called Sweet Chicken and Lima Beans:

There is at least 3 chicken legs (dark meat) and white rice beneath the layer of sweet sauce and lima beans.
A Terrific meal, and easy on the wallet. Th line was out the door and spilled out the sidewalk when we drove by earlier in the day (lunch crowd), but we had no delays for a 7pm seating. Interesting "open kitchen" concept, as a big window next door gives you a side view into the kitchen, specifically areas where they prepare the fried chicken.
More coming......
RE: May2005trip pics-Florida,Savannah,Charleston 2005/06/26 12:23:48
Again, after our morning Starbucks break, we used our previous visit to Boone Hall Plantation to our advantage, and stopped at their pick your own farm stand for breakfast.
As expected they already had fresh quarts of strawberries picked for sale. I couldn't recommend this enough as a way to start your day instead of the usual sit down breakfast.
I like my breakfast stops on the road, but this is a pleasant treat, especially the peach cider:

It was just enough of an early morning pick me up before our Brunch/Lunch at the Hominy Grill:

You gotta love a place that can do eggs correctly, and deliver hot biscuits, grits, and home made sausage to go with it-plus, breakfast was outside on the patio in back.
As we headed to Savannah, we stopped at the Carolina Cider Company:

The people could not have been more accomodating, and gave us samples of all the ciders....a great stop along Rt 17, and a great suggestion from Roadfood.
But we decided, however, that boiled peanuts are not for us.
We had dinner scheduled with a friend that evening in Savannah, and it turned out to be Uncle Bubba's, the sister restaurant of Lady & Son's.
No pics here, but a nice suburban type setting, and specializing in low country seafood.
Heather was introduced to the Low Country Boil, and can't stop talking about it.
I went with the Fried Grouper, which was delightful, but the chef added spices to the batter to offset the mild fish. Preparation was on target, but at times the spices in the batter overwhelmed. Our dinner companion declared his oysters fine and dandy.
More coming.....
Double Cheeseburger
RE: May2005trip pics-Florida,Savannah,Charleston 2005/06/26 12:55:19
Originally posted by QFan

Just sorry you missed Jestine's Kitchen. You've got to plan another trip to Charleston with that as your first stop. Heavenly food!

Bonita Springs, FL

Ooopps! I guess I jumped the gun on this. My apologies and glad you made it there!!!

Bonita Springs, FL
RE: May2005trip pics-Florida,Savannah,Charleston 2005/06/26 13:03:25
Lots to explore in Charleston:
Charleston's cobblestone streets down to the waterfront:

The Old Dungeon & Provost:

Boone Hall Plantaion and the avenue of oaks:

Patriots Point Maritime Museum with the USS Yorktown:

Fort Sumter:(along with Patriot's Point done during severe thunderstorms and constant rain)

And then Savannah:

more coming.....
RE: May2005trip pics-Florida,Savannah,Charleston 2005/06/26 13:26:28
Savannah's dining destinations each day were wrapped arong a trolley tour one day, and a carriage tour the next.
We were blessed with reasonable weather, two days of heat and sunshine, then a monsoon of Southern proportions for a one day. It seemed to rotate this for each of the cities we travelled. It made camping a little difficult, because you could never get the tent fully dry before the next monsoon.
Wildlife at the Savannah KOA (Richmond Hill)on the lake bordering the campsite:

Clary's for breakfast:

Heather's steak and eggs:

Who says places don't serve homemade corned beef hash:

Country ham and eggs:

And of course, pancakes:

Heather polished off a vanilla malt as well, so no room for the enormous eclairs, and our attempts to come back later and get one failed.
Great way to start the day, but we were stuffed until dinner, which was at Lady & Sons. No interior pictures here, but for us, a great buffett and a great time.

To those like us, tourists, coming in to dine forewarned.
We arrived at 6:45pm to place our name on the list for an 8:30pm saeting, which turned into 2 seats at the bar (but it was worth it...great young lady from South Dakota for a bartender).
This alone cost me $30-$50 in sterling silver jewerly from the jewerly shop across the street from the entrance/waiting line for the restaurant.
The jewelry store owner told Heather that they were formerly located next to the old location.When Lady and Sons moved to their present location, they did as well.
Can you say captive customer base......
Fried Chicken was excellent. mac n cheese great, but the ribs were a bit dry from the heat lamp..loved the ho cake and cheese biscuit delivered immediately at the beginning. Overall, the southern buffet was well stocked and monitored constantly.
It is a good tourist draw, and now we can say we have been...
more coming......
Filet Mignon
RE: May2005trip pics-Florida,Savannah,Charleston 2005/06/26 13:46:25
Sonny's BBQ IS a chain, but I kind of like it. In East-Central FL there are a number of such chains but not many purely independent places so when I'm there visiting my family, most of which now lives there, I often end up at Sonny's. I notice you appear to have gotten the sliced pork rather than chopped. I've gone either way and enjoyed it.
RE: May2005trip pics-Florida,Savannah,Charleston 2005/06/26 14:02:38
Moon River Brewing Company for lunch, before a trip down River St.
Burgers, brew and Onion Rings:

A great burger, and a nice simple selection of beers to choose from.
Convienient location on East Bay St near the stone "ramps" down to River St.

Once on River St., it was time for a "libation", namely frozen daquiri's at Wet Willie's, then a river cruise:

PS, they won't let you take a Wet Willie's libation on the boat with you, it cuts into their own snack bar profit. But the concept of drinks "to go" and walking around with cocktails is unheard of here in the Boston area.
Then a jaunt through the River St. Marketplace:

No pics here,but on what was a warm day, profiteering is always present at these tourist places. After a week of $2.59 bottles of Disani water, it was refreshing to meet a wonderfully friendly older couple, whose names I do not remember, who moved to Savannah and started a pushcart beverage business. They were originally from Western PA, and their motto is "Fresh products that do not cost a fortune". They sell expresso drinks,coffee,teas and more from a cart called Gypsy Java ((912)661-2077, the River St. Marketplace. Their bottled water was only $1, and their freshly brewed ice coffee was less than $2.
Please patronize these is rare to find folks like these in obvious areas of tourist trap-dom.
Again, time for another libation, this time over to the Shrimp Factory for the Chatham Artillery Punch (for the recipe, see google...8 different liquors) $8.95, but you get the souvenir glass.
The drink is finished with champagne as it is made:

we also couldn't forget our ice cream at Leopold's, next to the S.C.A.D. auditorium (another one of their lovely restored properties). Their Fashion 2005 expo was happening that evening, hence the fancy outfits on everyone else, except us tourists:

Dinner that evening was at Johnny Harris'Restaurant
Old time charm, and a very filling meal (Brunswick Stew on the left side of the plate, very much tomato saucy):

more coming....including Tybee Island and St. this space.
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
RE: May2005trip pics-Florida,Savannah,Charleston 2005/06/26 14:11:52

We enjoyed the Moon River Brewing Company last year with Poverty Pete, knocking back a few dozen Oysters of various flavors while sampling the brews available.
It is indeed a worthy stop on an afternoon in the Historic district.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: May2005trip pics-Florida,Savannah,Charleston 2005/06/26 15:04:29
Those home fries from the Hominy Grill look terrific. Now I'm kicking myself for going to Hyman's Seafood with friends last fall, instead of Hominy Grill on my own. Although Hyman's was pretty good.

Dave, great job. I feel like Homer Simpson, with the drool just dripping from my lips. Mmmmmmm, speckled grits.
RE: May2005trip pics-Florida,Savannah,Charleston 2005/06/26 17:26:57
I'm new to this board so still discovering old posts, but I just had to say, these pictures made me homesick!! I am from SC and living on the West Coast and you just can't find food like that here. We have good food here, yes, but nothing like good old Southen cooking. Thanks for sharing those wonderful pictures!
Double Cheeseburger
RE: May2005trip pics-Florida,Savannah,Charleston 2005/06/26 19:30:22
DaveM, great report and great pictures. This time I waited until you were all the way through posting. My mouth is still watering. Mrs QFan and I will be going to Charleston at the end of Sept. You can bet we will pursue several of your recommendations!

Bonita Springs, FL
RE: May2005trip pics-Florida,Savannah,Charleston 2005/06/26 19:43:15
Great trip report and photos. It's given me some great ideas the next time I decide to drive down to Florida. It could be as soon as November, since I'll be heading down to NY for a wedding the week before Thanksgiving anyway.
RE: May2005trip pics-Florida,Savannah,Charleston 2005/06/27 15:14:45
From The Cocktail Times:
Chatham Artillery Punch

- 1 1/2 gallons catawba wine
- 1/2 gallon rum
- 1 quart gin
- 1 quart brandy
- 1/2 pint Benedictine
- 2 quarts Maraschino cherries
- 1 1/2 quarts rye whiskey
- 1 1/2 gallons strong tea
- 2 1/2 pounds brown sugar
- 1 1/2 quarts orange juice
- 1 1/2 quarts lemon juice

Mix from 36 to 48 hours before serving. Add one case of champagne when ready to serve.

The Chatham Artillery is the oldest military organisation of record in Georgia. Organised May 1, 1786, their first official duty was to pay tribute at the funeral of General Nathaniel Greene.

When George Washington visited Savannah, May 12, 1792, the Chatham Artillery saluted him with 26 discharges from their fields pieces. The company found suck favour in the President's eyes that shortly the company received the gift of the "Washington Guns" captured at York town, October 19, 1781.

The Washington Guns were fired to salute President James Monroe when he visited Savannah in May 1819 for the launching of the S.S. Savannah, the first steamship to corss the Atlantic.

These occasions were undoubtedly celebrated with Chatham Artillery Punch. No one is sure how the heady concoction originated but Chatham Artillery members believe that gentle ladies made up the first beverage. Then one by one officers of the Artillery sneaked in and added this and that, thus creating Savannah's most noted drink in two centuries.

The drink is topped with champagne as they serve it.
The remainder of the drink is prepared in advance and kept in a plastic tub (with a spigot) at the bar.
If the champagne were added into the mix earlier, it would go flat before serving.Most people do not have more than 2 of these.
Heather,a former bartender, was not aware of this drink, and I kept it a surprise until they served it to her.
RE: May2005trip pics-Florida,Savannah,Charleston 2005/07/06 18:56:28
Saturday was Tybee Island,GA for a dolphin watch tour from the Lazareeto Creek Marina:
Tybee Island Beach

Cockspur Light

We started at The Breakfast Club: (highly recommended)

Eggs, Homefries, their trademark home made Country Sausage, corned beef hash,a pecan waffle, steak, grits,coffee..what a breakfast:

A grey day, and hard to photograph dolphins in the water, but here was a parasailer:

And when we returned to port, there were signs of what the local catch was everywhere:

How's this for advertising?

Met at the dock by a new friend....if we had fish

Cafe Loco is the local host restaurant at the marina, but we were still too full from The Breakfast Club:

Overcast weather and approaching nightfall made our Tybee Lights photos a bit dark:

RE: May2005trip pics-Florida,Savannah,Charleston 2005/07/06 19:07:10
Excellent Pics!!!!!!! It now appears I will be in the Savannah, GA area in mid December for a few days. I have heard only good reports about The Breakfast Club. Pics now confirm same.
RE: May2005trip pics-Florida,Savannah,Charleston 2005/07/06 20:04:06
Dave! You came to Mt Pleasant! You obviously made excellent restaurant choices. Beautiful pictures- Miss Jestine would be proud!
Few outsiders know about Jack's. It's the best for dogs if you can manage what is known to us old Mt P types as "the traffic". Good job.
RE: May2005trip pics-Florida,Savannah,Charleston 2005/07/07 14:09:19
Looks like next summer I need to do a 2 week trip to Charleston and Savannah....great pics and sounds like a fine trip....Laurie