It had been a while since my last real “vacation,” a real long while. So when Kitty’s boss suggested that she take off the week after July 4th, we jumped at the notion and — initially — planned to take the boys up to Chicago and eat at a bunch of great restaurants. At the last minute, the Chicago trip was cancelled, and I found a little cottage in St. Marys, Georgia. I’d never heard of St. Marys and the thought of going somewhere new was just as exciting as the thought of a vacation.
We packed up a rented mini-van and hit the road with lots of tunes, lots of food in the ice chest, and lots of family time ahead. Between 4:00am Saturday and 9:15pm Wednesday, we had about 28 hours of driving, a long day on the beach (nearly deserted Cumberland Island), a day at a water-park, a day kicking around Savannah, two Waffle House meals, no WiFi, no cable TV, fantastic home-cooked meals, cold beer, good wine, strong coffee, and countless hours of time together that made the difference between getting away and getting together.
My guess is that you came to hear about the food, so here is the skinny:
- If you are in a waterfront restaurant in sight of a fishing boat, a shrimp boat, and a seafood wholesaler, but the waitress tells you that the specials are Blackened Salmon or Basa (neither native to anywhere near you), you should pack up your wallet and run. The first tip should be the word “blackened,” but more-so the choice of cheap and frozen over fresh and local should be outlawed in fishing towns.
- From our own kitchen back at the cottage, we had handmade orecchiette with egg yolk and capicola, broiled pork loin with herbed rice and sauteed zucchini, garlic-marinated tri-tip with grilled eggplant caponata, a couple of pounds of bacon, a flat of eggs, lots of fruit and a few too many cookies (but it was vacation so what the hell).
- There’s a little mom and pop Italian joint in Savannah where the food is good, but the servers and the signs from management are even better. It’s called Anna’s and it’s located in the City Market downtown.
- If I had one more night, I would have gone back to Savannah and eaten at The Florence.
- My son Whit loves the All Star Special at Waffle house. I mean he REALLY loves it.
I hope we can get away again soon. It was so nourishing.