Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room: 107 W. Jones St. in Savannah, Georgia
We heard about Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room from the flight attendant when we were just about to land in Savannah. She was walking by checking passenger seat belts and happened to say out loud…”I can hardly wait to get off of this plane. I have a layover in Savannah… so that means that I can have lunch at Mrs. Wilkes!” Someone across the aisle said, “Me too!” and we knew we better ask who in the world “Mrs. Wilkes” was and how they both knew her.
We asked immediately and found out that they were talking about the famous (except to us) Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room. Originally a boarding house, this iconic restaurant is a throwback to yesteryear. Guests are seated in groups of ten in the dining room even if they have never seen each other. No worry…everyone will be getting along by the time lunch is over!
In the dining room, there are large tables and the food is brought in pretty dishes…to be passed around to everyone. There is no menu. The dining room staff select the choices and the selection is changed daily.
The food is delicious and totally Southern style and made even more appealing by the location. Mrs. Wilkes‘ Dining Room is located in a historic house…built in 1870. Author William Schemmel describes Mrs. Wilkes’ as “a treasure hidden away in a beautiful historic district townhouse”…be prepared to wait in line on the sidewalk! The wait is worthwhile!
Famous guests at Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room
I tried Brunswick Stew for the first time at Mrs. Wilkes’ and it is still one of my favorites…
MRS. WILKES’ BRUNSWICK STEW
2 pounds pork or chicken, cooked and chopped
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon hot sauce (your choice)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup pork drippings or 1/3 cup bacon, fried and chopped
1/2 cup barbecue sauce (your choice)
1 1/2 cups catsup
2 cups diced potatoes, cooked
3 (16 ounce) cans cream style corn
Place all ingredients in large pan, cover and heat slowly on top of the stove. Salt and more hot sauce may be added according to taste preferred.
Makes about two quarts.