On the way home, I noticed that the new restaurant, Peas and Carrots, was open. They are on Hwy 40 E across the street from Kingsland’s refurbished railroad station. They are where The Cheese Steak Factory used to be. They opened about 9 weeks ago.
It was 11:45. Close enough. I stopped in. Glad I did.
They serve lunch from 111:00 to 2:00, Monday thru Saturday. Not sure about Sunday. They serve “All you can eat, served at your table.” In other words,“family style.” If you’re not from the South, that means that when they are busy, you and your party may be seated at a large table with one or more total strangers. The food will be brought to the table continuously on platters and in bowls. If you are bashful and/or would be bugged by being asked to “pass the chicken,” please stay home (your loss.)
For just $8.95, they serve up two meats, three vegetables (you get all three), corn bread and drink of choice. Dessert, if desired, is extra but cheap. The menu varies daily. That is to say that they do not serve the same thing on every Monday, etc. The menu on any given day is based upon what struck the co-owner/cook’s fancy and is largely influenced by what looks good on daily shopping trips to local markets.
Today’s menu included fried chicken, beef stew, macaroni-and- cheese, large, dried lima beans,
fried okra, and corn bread. I opted for iced tea. I also had the dessert, peach mousse.
The chicken was obviously fresh, freshly breaded, perfectly seasoned, and perfectly fried – no doubt in a deep, cast iron skillet. Took me back to my childhood in Savannah. This chicken could have been enshrined in the Smithsonian as the quintessential exemplar of true, Southern-fried chicken.
Regrettably, I was so full from the one plate that I forgot to sample the beef stew but I have the faith that it too was delicious.
The macaroni- and- cheese was not quite as cheesy as Aunt B’s but excellent nonetheless.
The big, honking limas were seasoned perfectly with hickory-smoked bacon and some kind of chopped herb I could not quite identify. They were cooked down to where they made their own gravy, but not over cooked. Perfectly done and delicious.
OMG, the fried okra! Sorry, Joe Loomis, but your’s at Sonny’s, delicious as it is, just dropped to a very distant second place behind the fried okra I had today. It was, beyond any shadow of a doubt, the ABSOLUTE BEST xfried okra I have EVER eaten ANYWHERE in my 64 years on this Earth. I’m guessing the okra had not been off the bush 36 hours and definitely never frozen or pre-breaded. I’m sure they were washed, cut and breaded right there in the kitchen. The breading was extraordinary. It was like a thin, impossibly light, tempura batter. The oil it was delicately fried in was so fresh and clean that the breading came out looking white and raw but it was actually fried to perfection. It was served fresh from the pan, so hot you could not eat it right away. Served with a ramekin of a good ranch dressing for dipping.
The corn bread was authentic. It was not like cake and not too sweet. It was made from just barely mixed, still grainy batter, the way it should be. Perfect with the generous portion of whipped butter it was served with.
The peach mousse was delicious.
The iced tea was tasty but a bit weak for my taste. The easy solution it to double up on the the tea bags. Apparently, we native Savannahians were all brought up on stronger iced tea than folks down this way. I wonder if it is because tea has been imported through the Port of Savannah since the 1700s? Tetley still is. Maybe it was more plentiful and cheaper in early Savannah. If I can see through it well enough to read the menu on the other side, it’s too weak.