Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I ate there so you don't have to

Restaurant Review
Savannah BBQ (next to Jack's)

You can probably tell from the title of the post that this isn't a favorable review. I wish it was because 1) I wish there was another good place to eat downtown and 2)the couple who owns it seem really nice and probably put their life savings into it. But I cannot tell a lie.

If you have lived in Sac long you have seen this location go through a few different restaurants. This is puzzling, because although my own observation has led me to believe that the dinner crowd at Jacks has fallen off a bit, it's still quite busy and successful. Also, it's right near the Rubicon, which is always packed. So why does restaurant after restaurant fail here? Answer: crappy restaurants. Mary's BBQ was mediocre and so is this new place. We walked up at around 7:00 and there was not a soul inside. This is the kind of thing that scares you away from going in, but in my desperation to have somewhere new to eat in Sac, I soldiered on. They are pricey (as all BBQ places in Sac are for some reason), but they have a reasonable lunch special that they will let you order all day. The lunch special is enormous and I ate it for dinner last night and lunch today. For $7.95 you get a "quarter chicken" (that's what they called it, but by their accounting that quarter does not include any white meat), corn bread, and two sides. They have the usual assortment of sides. I got mac and cheese and beans. The chicken parts were two thighs and a leg. The chicken was very tender, but the sauce was sweet and bland. The corn bread was unremarkable and very crumbly. The beans were bland. The mac and cheese was terrible. For one thing, it was the exact same size and color as kraft mac and cheese. This made me suspicious. It tasted like kraft mac and cheese that they had maybe thrown a little real cheese into. Everything needed lots more spice and grease. Southern mac and cheese should be oozing grease and should have at least a little velveeta in it. The beans should have had garlic, green pepper and probably a ham hock thrown in. The lunch special can also come with ribs or a tri tip, so if you love ribs maybe give it a try and it will be good? I don't know, I can't really recommend it and I'll never eat there again. God I hope the owners don't somehow google this. I don't think that Sandra Dee's is the pinnacle of BBQ but it's a damn sight better than this.


Maya said...

It's just damn hard to get good southern food up here I think. There's a new BBQ place on Stockton, I think it's called BBQ and Breakfast. I have to take my car into the Firestone over there tomorrow. Maybe I will try it out.

I can't believe the beans had no ham hock. WTF is that?

Erik said...

Too bad. Anna and I went there last year, and the pulled-pork BBQ was pretty good.

Rosalitahead said...

I suspected the pulled pork was where it was at.

Anonymous said...

At least when it was Mary's you got a slice of white bread (I don't even think it was Wonder Bread) with the food. That was neat. But it was too dam expensive, too.

Anonymous said...

I must take exception to your review, I have been there a few times and found the food quite good. The meat is what I go to a BBQ for and I find their's to be execlent. Must admit I haven't tried the chicken though. If you found Mary's mediocre, we clearly have completly different palates for Mary's was a place I brought everyone I could. The meat was fantastic, well chosen and cooked to perfection with sauce that could really stand up and defend it's self. My understanding as to Mary's undoing was that she was burgled to the tune of a few thousand dollars and wasn't able to keep up expenses. You go on further to rap Sandra Dee's I wonder if you like BBQ at all, have you tried JR's on Otto Circle?

jimbo said...

I think you hit them on an off day, or something, because I think that place rocks. I have to admit that I'm not too crazy about the chicken, but the ribs kick ass, and so do the links.

I've got two kids at home, and I can tell you that the mac and cheese is NOT Kraft. It is also not the homemade style that I'm used to, but it's pretty passable.

I think the cornbread is pretty good, if a little dry. You need to give the sweet mashed potatoes a try. Very good stuff.

Try it another time...I think you'll come around.

beckler said...

All right, you Savannah defenders, if it's so good then how come it's empty as Nicole Kidman's barren womb? Maybe this is not the best argument because now I am picturing how packed Zocalo's is every night, which doesn't mean it's good, but you have to at least admit the sides are mediocre and there is no excuse for that! Yes I have tried Juniors, I think it's better than Savannah, and I think Uncle Nicks was better than either of those. I still need to go to Everett and Jones, though.